Thursday, 3 October 2013

Kill la Kill - Episode 1

It's the show everyone has been talking about incessantly ever since its announcement, and now its opening episode is finally here - boy, does Kill la Kill have a lot of expectations to live up to this autumn.

This first episode quickly introduces us to Honnouji Academy, a school with a decidedly strict regime of discipline - then again, when students are running around with tear gas maybe that's understandable.  Even then, it could be argued that killing the perpetrator is a tad harsh, but that probably isn't something that you'd want to say in front of the school's disciplinary committee chairman Ira Gamagoori, or indeed the student council president Satsuki Kiryuin, who rule over the student body (and the school as a whole for that matter) with an iron fist. That iron fist is somewhat literal as well as proverbial too, as Kiryuin's minions are outfitted with so called "Goku Uniforms" which grant their wearers incredible powers to varying degrees based upon a three-star rating system.

Enter Ryuko Matoi, a transfer student on a very personal mission - to find the owner of the other half of the almighty pair of scissors which killed her father.  Matoi may be a tough nut to crack, but there's no way she can possibly face off against anyone wearing a Goku Uniform, forcing her to beat a retreat no sooner has she confronted Satsuki.  If only Matoi could call upon similar powers herself.... well, needless to say that part of her father's legacy emerges to offer her just such an opporunity, which she wastes no time in using to save a new-found friend being held hostage by one of the students while also proving her intent to follow through on her hunt for the perpetrator of her father's death.

The trouble with this first episode of Kill la Kill is that it's truly difficult to put into words, such is its break-neck visual energy as it flings it cast and anything else that isn't firmly tethered around at a million miles an hour, like the red-headed stepchild of Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking after reading all of Medaka Box in a single sitting.  Put simply, this episode is utterly crazy, but in the best possible way - it revels in its insanity and has no qualms about ramping things up whenever it feels the urge to do so, and the result is an incredibly entertaining and fluid blur laced with just the right amount of comedy and exposition to ensure it doesn't leave its orbit entirely.  Whether it can even come close to keeping up this pace is another matter entirely, but as opening episodes go I would wager that you won't find anything as ludicrously engaging as Kill la Kill this year, let alone this autumn.  Kill la Kill is looking pretty cool la cool right now.

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