First Impressions – Kill La Kill 01

Kill La Kill

Episode 01 – “If Only I Had Thorns Like a Thistle


Kill la Kill is an anime series being produced by Trigger. The series is directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima. Together they worked on one of the most critically acclaimed anime Gurren Lagann. The quality , excitement and style of that series is clearly reflected on this series.


The story of “Kill la Kill” is rather simple, revenge (Kill Bill Style). Ryuko Matoi is the main protagonist. She is a young  girl who travels in search of the person that killed her father. Armed with a single red scissor blade she arrives at the “Honnoji Academy”. Apparently her father’s murder has the other half of the scissor. Honnoji Academy is a high school that’s ruled by a  student council, led by the student council president, Satsuki Kiryuin. The school uses powerful uniforms known as Goku Uniforms.


When Ryuko sees Satsuki she instantly instigates a fight. Her revenge is halted when Takaharu Fukuroda (Boxing Club Captain) interferes. After being thoroughly defeated by him she flees.  While sulking in the rain she decries her defeat to her father. Ryuko (aided by homeroom teacher Aikurō Mikisugi)  comes across a living school uniform named Senketsu, who forces itself onto Ryuko. Now with Senketsu, Ryuko returns to the school to stand up against Satsuki. She defeats Fukuroda destroying his uniform in the process. This episode ends on a cliff hanger and I can’t wait for the next one!

Character Design & Concepts

The character design of “Kill la Kill” is pretty simple. The uniforms seem standard Japanese school uniforms we’ve all seen before. However, the leaders of the Honnoji Academy student council seem to have more unique qualities. Ryuko’s uniform Senketsu unifrom clearly is designed with fan service in mind. A combination of metal and fabric ( what little it has ) is different from other uniforms in this series so far. The concept of the Goku Uniforms (instantly thought of Dragon Ball Z) isn’t the most unique but interesting.

Ryuko’s uniform leaves little to the imagination

Basically, there are four levels of uniforms identified by the number of stars. They range from no stars to three stars (only one to three have superpowers). Ryuko is armed with half of a scissor (obviously much cooler in anime than real life). Senketsu doesn’t appear to have any stars but we could assume its at least stronger that a two star. After Ryuko defeats Fukuroda his uniform disappears as her sword destroy it and her uniform absorbs a strain form it. I’m guessing she’ll gain power from each student she defeats (and maybe more fabric).

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Action & Animation

Trigger has my confidence when it comes to animation. With Gurren Lagann Imashi and Nakashima clearly have the talent to create great animation and it shows. The same fluid quality animation that was used in Gurren Lagann is used here. The camera angels are dramatic and there’s a combination of moving animation with detailed stills. The abilities of some of the characters are interesting particularly Fukuroda (in this episode anyway). I’m hoping that this is a precursor to more unique abilities that add to what seems to be a promising anime.


Overall, Kill La Kill is an entertaining, funny, violet and a little sexy. Kill la Kill has a rapid pace that can be too much to take in at first causing confusion. However, once you re-watch the episode a few times it will make more sense. If this episode is any indication this series has a lot of potential. It’s clear that Kill is inspired by Gurren Lagann (Ryuko and Simon are almost identical) this can only be a good thing. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations and the excitement episode 1 created.

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