Annotated Anime: Kill la Kill Episode 11


Things just went from bad to worse

There was something of a tonal shift in this week's Kill la Kill, and I suspect that going forward we're going to see it become more and more pronounced.

All parties are now on the move; Ryuko, Nudist Beach, Satsuki and her vague ambitions, Ragyo, and now the loose cannon Nui Harime. Events are finally reaching a boiling point, and I'm betting that things will change significantly in the next few weeks.

Episode 11 delivered.

The battle between Ryuko and Nonon finally comes to a head as our heroine manages to break down the conductor's three-star Goku uniform and subsequently destroy it. With three of the Elite Four down for the count and benched alongside Mako, Sanageyama joins the fight for a final rematch with Ryuko. Before things can even get started however, a strange girl named Nui Harime appears between the two battlers. Satsuki loses her composure and the rest of the Elite Four are left scrambling for information on this odd newcomer. 

Elsewhere, Satsuki's mother Ragyo finally receives a formal introduction of sorts alongside newcomer Rei Hououmaru. As it turns out, Nui is actually the Grand Couturier of the Kiryuin family, and Ragyo is well aware of Nui's random whim to pay a visit to Honnouji Academy. Meanwhile, Ragyo herself heads for the company's home base in a flurry of rainbows and cool music.

Back at school, Sanageyama is quickly taken out of the picture as Nui displays her ridiculous skills and knowledge of the Goku uniforms. She declares her intent to battle Ryuko, and then proceeds to pull out the other half of the scissor blade, revealing that she was the one who murdered her father. 

 Ryuko is not a happy camper, to put it mildly.

While not nearly as climactic and film-like as Gurren Lagann 11, this week's Kill la Kill hit all the right beats and managed to push the entire narrative forward in some big ways. The first half of the episode is devoted primarily to the fight against Nonon, and unlike the past few weeks, it's given the attention it deserves. The scene is filled with cool cuts and crazy angles as we watch Ryuko and her opponent fly through the air. Bonus points to the frequent use of background animation as well. There's a fun cut in which Ryuko flies through some clouds only to have Nonon appear behind her, shooting lasers.The battle isn't particularly mind blowing in any way, but it is a showcase for the sort of fun action that Kill la Kill is capable of when the budget is in place. Tons of neat effects and a classical music soundtrack make for one of the best fights in the show thus far.

The animation quality is consistent across the rest of the episode as well. Mako's movement is more animated, making her comedic scenes with the Elite Four feel alive. Speaking of which, everybody's favorite Mankanshoku turns in another great performance as she's forced to deal with the strongest students at Honnouji Academy. Placed in a situation where she's completely and utterly overpowered, Mako still manages to hold her own when the Elite Four take jabs at her. She declares her name and underachiever status with pride, and even Gamagoori is impressed. Go Mako!

The real showstopper however came in the form of Nui Harime and the implications of her arrival. The clear reality here is that Ragyo is going to be a force to reckoned with in the larger picture, and we're now starting to see her enter that picture in a big way with Nui's arrival. For the first time in the series, Satsuki is left in panic mode because it's more than likely that her power is nothing compared to someone like the Grand Couturier. 

The biggest bomb Nui drops is the declaration that she murdered Ryuko's father and stole the scissor blade off of his corpse. Based purely on the silhouette the show had been showing us up until this point, the killer doesn't appear to look anything like Nui at all. Then again, there's no guarantee that Satsuki wasn't present at the scene of the murder, so the verdict is still out on this one. That being said, it's obvious that Nui intends to stir up trouble regardless of whether she's the real killer or not. Once again, it seems like Ryuko is being manipulated by her enemies without realizing it.

That's been the case for pretty much the entire run of Kill la Kill thus far; Ryuko is constantly trying to push back, but the reality is that Satsuki has had her dancing to her tune the whole time. Nui's arrival is the first time that control has been wrested away, and even Satsuki realizes that when she mentions to herself that it's all up to Ryuko now. Things are heading in a chaotic direction, and I wouldn't be all that surprised if next week marks the end of Honnouji Academy as a major location in the series.

Kill la Kill has been a wild and crazy ride thus far, but it's episodes like 11 that remind of what this series can be at its absolute best. 

Bring on episode 12.

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Elliot Gay
Elliot GayContributor   gamer profile

Elliot is an associate editor for Japanator and can be found contributing to Destructoid on occasion. He lives in Japan and can be found on Twitter @RyougaSaotome. more + disclosures



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