「君に薔薇薔薇…という感じ」 (Kimi ni Bara Bara? Toyuu Kanji)
“I’m Crazy For You.”
Kill la Kill’s back for its second half, and it’s exactly the kind of game-changing episode the series needed. It explored the aftermath of the series’ hectic first half, gave us quite a few surprises while it was at it, and did some quality reinforcement of the topics it tried to broach. Best of all, it did all of this despite having little to no actual action, and it bodes well for Kill la Kill if it can build on this with the remaining 11 episodes.
For all intents and purposes, this episode was a preparatory one for the upcoming academy raids on Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. It’s anything but straight forward though, because it’s revealed also that this is just the final step to forcing Nudist Beach’s hand, and it’s an interesting revelation that changes the playing field. Because whereas the previous episodes hinted at some kind of future conflict with the Nudists, this episode finally verifies exactly how the Kiryuin’s are aiming to get to them—both literally and figuratively via clothing distribution. Needless to say, the execution this week was spot on in this regard, and I did quite like the whole “clothing is sin” and “clothing will force the naked apes of Nudist Beach out” elements they put here this week. Best of all, they combined this with some masterful puppeteering work on Harime Nui’s part, and I was admittedly caught off guard by how effectively they strung up Matoi throughout the episode. It played on the whole “hero recovery” trope in style, and one wonders just how she’ll get back into things now that she’s lost Senketsu AND received a load of additional mental trauma while she’s at it.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the episode (for me, anyway) however, ends up being the fact that Gamagoori didn’t even seem to realize that the discipline committee members chasing “Narita” weren’t actual members. Granted, it’s highly possible that this is merely due to Harime being on a whole other level power-wise, but it’s interesting nonetheless because one can say a lot about this just being a side effect of the system being run at Honnoji Academy. There’s essentially little to no individuality among the general populace, and this lack of recognition hammers in this fact, as this basically says that there’s so little individuality between them that they can’t even be distinguished from one another.
With that said though, it’s interesting to note that those below a certain level seem to have been excluded from the raid despite this lack of recognition—either intentionally or via the Naturals Election—and it can be said that this may be representative of a kind of compassion on Satsuki’s part. Considering how she’s treated the members of the Elite Four up until this point, this definitely wouldn’t be beyond her character at all, and it’s something that confirms her to be a better representation of “goodness” than Matoi actually is. We had seen some of this before hand already, but this episode makes it especially obvious, and the fact that even Matoi ends up being saved by Satsuki is a key development that adds further to this notion. In addition, it once again opens up the potential of Matoi at least playing some part in helping Satsuki fight against Ragyo, which is a rebellion we all know is coming at some point. It makes you wonder if this same compassion might not end up leading to Satsuki’s defeat at the hands of Matoi—we know she’s going to reunite with Senketsu at some point too—when it’s all said and done though…
Ultimately, it’s quite a good start to Kill la Kill’s second half. I was contemplating dropping the series if this episode didn’t end up demonstrating some additional promise outside of its action-related aspects, but that idea’s been put on hold for now. After all, how can I drop the series when they finally gave us Blumenkranz in its full glory? Just a heads up though, future episodes may not be covered until Friday night, and may/may not be slightly reduced in terms of content depending on circumstances. I still may drop the series at some point if it doesn’t end up meeting the potential this episode hints at, but for now, let’s see where this goes. Until next week though, try not to trust any random new people that pop up into your life saying you inspired them in some way. It might just save your life. Oh yeah, remember that wearing clothing is a sin!