Kill la Kill Ep. 16: Bondage

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Whoa, exciting episode. I have lots to say in my notes.

Episode summary: We finally discover the origins of the Life Fibers. According to Nudist Beach, they are an extraterrestrial threat to mankind’s existence. Due to the bond she’s developed with Senketsu, however, Ryuuko is unwilling to fight for Nudist Beach. This results in a standoff between her and Tsumugu. Meanwhile, Ragyo shows Satsuki the original Life Fiber, and then reveals her plan to advance to the final step of their experiment.

Notes:

• Well, aren’t we glad that this wasn’t actually a recap episode? I liked the first OP better though if we’re judging it by the song and the song alone. Despite this, I get what the new OP is trying to do though.

• We definitely got some interesting visuals out of the new OP, especially in the quasi-sexual shots of Ryuuko and Satsuki bound by their life fibers. So what are the images trying to convey? It’s interesting to me that Ryuuko is bound by red strings while Satsuki is bound by blue strings. Perhaps this suggests that fate is on Ryuuko’s side. Continuing along this line of thinking, perhaps their poses may also serve as clues as well. Ryuuko is in the stereotypical power-up pose that we’ve come to expect from many shounen heroes:

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Does this image imply that Ryuuko has the power to break free from her fate? Or perhaps even her sins because we’ve learned that clothing is sin? On the other hand, Satsuki’s pose goes against everything we’ve learn about her:

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It is rather submissive as though she’s resigning herself to her fate. We know, however, that she is anything but a helpless maiden.

• We can’t forget that Ryuuko synchronizes with Senketsu whereas Satsuki overrides Junketsu. There is perhaps a zen-like aspect to her synchronization as if she’s accepting the cards she’s been dealt in life. No matter what comes Ryuuko’s way, she’ll work with it. For instance, she didn’t initially desire Senketsu; in fact, people took issue with the scene because of how much it resembled an act of rape. We can revisit that quagmire of an issue later, but needless to say, Ryuuko is now in tune with Senketsu. Satsuki, on the other hand, feels like she always has to fight everything, much less Junketsu. Throughout her entire life, it seems as though she has had to be combative in order to achieve her goals and dreams. One might naturally wonder if one day, it’ll all catch up to her. Both girls definitely have a lot of resolve, but it feels as though Satsuki has to fight against the inevitable to get what she wants out of life. The results of this may very well be tragic.

• At the end of the OP, the iconic red scissor spins then turns into a disintegrating red string. Since it is practically ubiquitous that the red string motif in anime represents fate, it would suggest that the series’ conclusion will involve some of our characters — most likely Ryuuko — breaking free from fate in some form or fashion. This would also tie into the idea that our two major female characters are bound by fate as we’ve just discussed.

• Once Satsuki disappears from our protagonist’s view, we see her collapse and pant as though she’s in pain. Junketsu appears to be pulsating on its own. It’s clear that Satsuki’s lost some measure of control over her Godrobe, which is interesting considering how control, in its many forms, has been her defining characteristic. What even makes Satsuki seem so noble is how she can stand by her honor (as we can clearly see from last week’s episode) despite being the villain of the narrative. That takes a lot of personal control over one’s vices and inclinations. Again, this may all just foreshadow Satsuki’s eventual fall from grace. You could say that the first half of the series is punctuated by Ryuuko’s loss of control and the Phoenix-like rebirth from her nearly catastrophic failure. As Ryuuko’s foil, we must therefore wonder if Satsuki’s character arc will follow in her rival’s footsteps, but in the end, she will fail whereas our heroine did not.

• Satsuki’s butler had to spray a tranquilizing agent onto her in order to help her change out of Junketsu. Foreboding signs…

• This is where we begin to see Satsuki’s vulnerabilities. Her gaze here, I think, is telling:

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The whole tone of the shot is weariness. For so long, she has had to serve as Ryuuko’s foil. Since Ryuuko was flawed in the beginning, Satsuki has had to be strong. Since Ryuuko was easily swayed by her emotions, Satsuki has had to be stone-faced. Every time our antagonist made her appearance, the scene would be dominated by a pillar of light as though her words rang down from the heavens themselves. Hell, Satsuki carries herself as though she is God. So remember how we talked about Ryuuko’s character arc last week. I argued that she had merely been the show’s protagonist, but it wasn’t until last week’s episode that she finally became the people’s hero. Now that this transformation has taken place, it’s only natural that we see Satsuki slowly falling back down to earth. She has never been as human as she appears to us now.

• Satsuki tells us that as long as Ryuuko has Senketsu, she has “no choice but to don Junketsu.” The lack of choice here is meaningful. We have to imagine what the girl is thinking at this very moment. Through her shear strength of will, she has forced others to conform to aims and ambitions. It was her will and her will alone that got her this far. All of a sudden, she has “no choice.” Why? Well, Satsuki has only ever had to rely upon Junketsu when she’s fighting Ryuuko. In assuming great power, Satsuki has actually had to give up a measure of her freedom — of her will even — and this is a rather surprising twist of fate. We normally think of power as liberating; power gives us additional privileges that we would otherwise lack. But in Satsuki’s case, power is slowly imprisoning her.

• I am somewhat reminded of the nuclear arms race. Everyone knew that nuclear weapons could only spell disaster, but the global superpowers felt as though they had no choice in the matter. It was either keep up with the enemy, or leave yourself extremely vulnerable. Regardless of the toll on Satsuki’s body, she must feel the same way: if she doesn’t keep up with Ryuuko, she will lose and thus become vulnerable, which is an anathema to her personal philosophy. But this is only fitting. At first glance, it may look as though we have a traditional shounen story where the protagonist starts out weak but slowly — through much dedication and training — becomes strong enough to defeat the super powerful endgame boss. But let’s not forget that Satsuki did not actually put Junketsu on until Ryuuko showed up in her life. She too has had to play “catch-up,” so to speak. To put it bluntly, she’s more Vegeta than she is Frieza to Ryuuko’s Goku.

• Satsuki’s butler knows that his master will never back down mentally from a challenge, but perhaps her body will.

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• Nui seems to play a very common role that you see in many superhero stories: she’s the agent of chaos. Her one special ability, after all, is the power to dissemble the Ultima Uniforms at will. She can pinpoint the critical Life Fibers within the uniforms and extract them with ease. Basically, she’s entropy. This is why she’s everywhere at once, always popping up out of seemingly nowhere. Her function within the narrative so far seems to support this interpretation. Her first appearance within the anime was to interrupt the Natural Elections, the bout between Ryuuko and the Elite Four that would’ve predictably culminated into a final showdown between our heroine and Satsuki. But just as Nui can swing things against Ryuuko, she can also inadvertently swing things in our protagonist’s favor as well. By cutting Senketsu up into pieces, Nui essentially gives Ryuuko the desperation the latter needs to stir herself out of her malaise. After all, Ryuuko had lost all confidence to fight after the events of the National Elections. Nui is like the joker or trickster of the story, a.k.a. the wild card. She derives fun from disrupting the natural progression of events regardless of who she ends up benefiting.

• Words from Satsuki that may add to our understanding of Nui: “That’s rich, coming from someone who refuses to let anyone understand her.” No one gets Nui. She’s supposed to be random and unpredictable.

• Mako claims that she doesn’t have the resolve to go nude, which this statement definitely serves as a moment of levity, but I think her words here are nevertheless telling at the same time. It’s not that she feels the shame of going nude. As always, I think she’s oblivious to everything, including what going nude entails. She just doesn’t go nude because that’s not how her world works. She very much just goes along with the flow of things. Nevertheless, she is not powerless if we are to measure power by a person’s resolve, which is what we’ve been doing all series. Mako will follow Ryuuko because she wants to support the latter as a true friend. Essentially, she represents the oft-repeated idea in fiction that “love triumphs over all.” We’ve tried to discern what each character in the show represents, so let’s now take stock.

Satsuki certainly believes humanity is capable of greatness, but it can seemingly only come from total control and fear. Ryuuko, initially, seemed to be after truth and justice (for her father’s death), but after spending time with Mako, our heroine has changed. She now wants to stop Satsuki simply because she knows Satsuki’s actions are wrong, i.e. Ryuuko is beginning to care a bit about Satsuki’s victims. In other words, what Mako represents is the idea that personhood is actually defined as a something more subjective, i.e. a genuine maternal trust and connection between each and every individual. And this subjective quality is superior than any humanist or universalist ideal that Satsuki is aiming for but is nevertheless going about it in entirely the wrong way.

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• It’s only natural that Mako immediately has no problems fitting in with Nudist Beach, and thus she dives into the water along with them as if it’s no big deal. After all, Mako goes along with the flow of things. Meanwhile, Ryuuko has to take pause and look around with bewilderment. In contrast to the rest of the show’s characters, when she isn’t playing the heroine fated to rescue the world, she represents the audience. In these scenes, Ryuuko dons the face of the everyman, the Han Solo-esque role that gets to ask, “What the hell is going on?” It’s a point of reference for us viewers in moments of extreme ridiculousness.

• Ragyo says to Satsuki: “I shall purify you.” It is no coincidence that we see a nude Satsuki dipping herself into the water then shivering from the sensation of the act. Is it hot or is it cold? Either way, she undergoes a baptism of sorts.

• In the shallow pool of water, Satsuki’s pose calls back to how she appeared in the OP. This time, she isn’t being bound by Life Fibers, but she is bound nonetheless. Not only is the scene sexually suggestive, it hints at Ragyo’s true dominance over her daughter and her daughter’s actions. No matter what Satsuki has been able to accomplish thus far, you cannot shake the idea that Ragyo has always been watching and guiding the events to suit REVOCS’ goals. She isn’t the CEO of one of the most powerful companies in the world without reason.

• “Humans are such fragile beings. When we’re naked like this, anxiety overcomes us. It makes us want to hurry up and cover our bodies in the wonders known as ‘clothes.'” I’m sure you could interpret these lines in several different ways, but I want to offer a reading that is consistent with the analysis I’ve been advancing. Essentially, Satsuki has had to appear strong to serve as a foil to Ryuuko’s character. Here in this pool, however, Satsuki’s godliness is deteriorating as we begin to see her for who she really is. In her natural, i.e. “naked,” state, she is the child of an immensely powerful woman. Satsuki even defers to her mother by calling her not ‘okasan’ but ‘oka-sama.’ She’s the product of a family with an undeniably influential legacy. And again, with this comes not only power but bondage as well.

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The privilege Satsuki gets from her birthright does not set her free; if anything, she’s a prisoner to it. Of course, I am not invoking the literal sense of bondage, but rather, I am suggesting that Satsuki is bound to her family name regardless of how she might feel about it. In comparison, Ryuuko is free in that she no longer has any family, and she’s since resolved the guilt of failing to both save and avenge her father. Yes, Ryuuko certainly sees Mako’s family as her own, but it’s not as if she has to live up to the Mankanshoku name. Satsuki, however, must live up to her family’s legacy. And this obligation, I think, is what gives her the anxiety that Ragyo speaks of. This burden overcomes her, forcing her survival instincts to manifest through her need to control and impose fear upon those beneath her. We can plainly see, however, that Satsuki is anything but in control when she’s within her own home.

• Oh yeah, remember when we first learned of Junketsu? It was introduced to us as Satsuki’s future wedding dress. She had been fated to marry into her family’s legacy all along.

• To mirror Satsuki’s baptism, our heroes also emerge from a body of water as Aikuro intends to show Ryuuko the “truth” behind everything. This also adds an additional layer of context to last week’s setting. Recall how the entire world around Ryuuko was ablaze in fire. Essentially, she had to undergo a rite of purity by fire to be reborn as the story’s heroine.

• Hm, so Ryuuko’s father collected money from corporations in order to fund an insurrection against one of the world’s biggest corporations.

• That maternal trust and connection that defines personhood results in Ryuuko and Mako now sharing the same wavelength to the extent that the former is now privy to the latter’s thoughts. Normal people might be dismayed to encounter such a lack of privacy, but again, thanks to that maternal trust, Mako is just plain happy at these developments: “Awesome, Ryuuko! Now I’ve got a friend who’s both outside and inside my mind!”

• So why are humans the only species on this planet to wear clothes? Aikuro explains, “Life Fibers caused homo sapiens, previously just one of many anthropoids, to evolve this far. Mankind was chosen by clothing.” Let’s step outside the anime for a moment. This is likely not relevant to Kill la Kill at all, but I think it’s fascinating to wonder why we did evolve to lose our fur. One of the most popular theories out there is that humankind shed its fur in order to rid itself of parasites like ticks and louses. Then, healthy skin became a desirable sexual characteristic, i.e. “Look at me! My smooth skin shows that I’m parasite-less!” Anyway, back to Kill la Kill

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• Ragyo takes Satsuki to see the original Life Fiber that started everything. It looks like a miniature sun, but nevertheless, we learn that it traveled through space until it touched upon our planet. Like the bizarre monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, mankind’s evolution has since been directed and driven by this space-born entity… or so we’re told.

• We are also told that the Life Fibers are extraterrestrial parasites attempting to propagate itself through the manipulation of humans and human events. But is this really true?

• Let’s not forget that this is the first time Satsuki has learned of the existence of the original Life Fiber. So basically, she has been subjugating and conquering rivals schools and territories while being a pawn in Ragyo’s game all along. Yes, Satsuki has always known the primary aim behind COVERS, but this is the first time she’s learned of the true extent of her mother’s goals. By the end of the scene, there appears to be a sense of resentment in Satsuki over the fact that her vision has been subsumed:

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Again, her fascist control over her people has ended up being nothing more than a means to advance the capitalistic machine that is REVOCS. And again, Satsuki is not as free as she should be. Despite Satsuki’s immense power and privilege, she is bound by the aims and goals of REVOCS. Ragyo directly refers to Satsuki as her successor. There is thus the burden of expectation, i.e. “you are to finish what I have started.” The only question now for Satsuki is her next course of action. Will she fall in line and uphold her family’s legacy? Or will her strength of will prevent her from merely following in her mother’s footsteps? She’s always looked down upon others for their inability to forge their own destiny. Satsuki now stands before her very own fork in the road and this is why she’s become even more human than ever before.

• Despite Ryuuko’s reluctance to fight after hearing Aikuro’s lecture, she is nevertheless the heroine of the story. That maternal trust and connection that she formed with Mako is now simply being extended to Senketsu. And in this, personhood constitutes something even greater than merely what technically defines us as a species. Shed any preconceived notions that you might have of what the idea of personhood is supposed to entail. Essentially, what makes us a person isn’t just that we are homo sapiens. There is more to the idea of personhood than this, and it lies in our capacity to love and care for one another. To use another story as an example, this is the central theme in Wall-E, a film in which we see two robots exhibit more personhood than any of the inhabitants above the space-faring ship Axiom.

From this, we have to begin to wonder if the original Life Fiber is truly as menacing as Nudist Beach would make it out to be. How can we be certain that the Life Fibers are parasitic? How can we be certain that we cannot coexist with the Life Fibers symbiotically? They even admit they have no idea why the original Life Fiber went dormant after initially kickstarting human evolution. Tsumugu is merely speculating that the Life Fiber has only awakened now in order to feed upon us as if we’re fattened cattle. So what are we to make of the Life Fibers then? Despite Senketsu’s apprehensions, it certainly does seem as though it shares a symbiotic relationship with Ryuuko. Yes, it feeds upon her blood, but it is not as if Ryuuko’s life has ever been threatened by Senketsu. A parasite will eventually weaken its host, but there are no signs of Ryuuko falling ill as a result of wearing Senketsu. If anything, it was Ryuuko’s loss of control at the end of the National Elections that threatened both their existences.

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So with this in mind, we have to begin to question the real threat posed by the Life Fibers. Are they truly parasitic? Or are they dangerous because of how Ragyo has misappropriated their purpose? Do we think Ragyo is actually under the control of the original Life Fiber? Or is that merely a convenient excuse for her to advance her aims of global domination through the proliferation of Life Fiber-enriched clothing? After all, why would you willingly become the mouthpiece of some extraterrestrial being? Ragyo does not appear as if she’s being brainwashed. It’s plainly evident that she stands to gain tremendously from this. As the CEO of a company with this much power, Ragyo is hardly just a mouthpiece. Where’s the parasite here? Basically, I believe Ragyo is the true villain here, and not the Life Fibers. We don’t even know if or how the Life Fibers even think. Nevertheless, we can clearly see from Senketsu that they are not incapable of personhood.

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11 thoughts on “Kill la Kill Ep. 16: Bondage”

  1. The jab at the recap episode at the beginning was hilarious – and all the more gutsy if we consider that those are usually done to spare money, and it’s not like Trigger has much to spare. On other notes:
    1) the disturbing scene between Satsuki and her dear mom has raised more than one eyebrow. True, the point of the scene was to show the submissiveness of the daughter to the mother – and how twisted the latter is (this was really the Moral Event Horizon for her) – but someone might argue it’s an overused cliché to use sexual imagery to argue submissiveness of women. However, in this specific case, it tied with the overall theme of clothing/nakedness and sin/shame, so it made more sense. Still disturbing as all heck. Made me think of the incestuous scenes between *those two characters that I won’t name for the sake of who hasn’t seen the show yet* in Revolutionary Girl Utena.
    2) lots of references here. The original Life Fiber seems a crossover between 2001’s monolith and Evangelion’s Lilith’s Egg – there’s even an Instrumentality-like plan to “cover the world” in it. The whole theme of clothing being seen is twisted further: it’s not that man clothed because they acquired the knowledge of good and evil – rather, they acquired the knowledge of good and evil BECAUSE they clothed. Is the Life Fiber the ‘snake’ of biblical tradition? And while Ragyo advocates giving up to basic instincts – which is fundamentally animal – doesn’t it look like the Life Fibers are what actually allowed mankind to overcome that basic nature?

    1. Finally, someone wants to comment on this post! I mean, why the hell is Golden Time getting more attention?

      but someone might argue it’s an overused cliché to use sexual imagery to argue submissiveness of women.

      Well, I dunno… sex is an intrinsic part of human nature. I question the use of rape when it’s used as a fictional device to debase women, but I don’t think that sort of thing applies to this anime. ‘Cause I mean, what’s problematic about rape in something like SAO is that it implicitly ties Asuna’s value as a character to her sexual chasteness. That’s not what we have here, and if someone wants to argue that, they better have a compelling case. Being vigilant of anime’s misappropriation of sexual taboos doesn’t mean we should cast blanket statements about all usage of sexual taboos in fiction.

      Is the Life Fiber the ‘snake’ of biblical tradition?

      At this point, I think this depends on whether or not we take the threat of the Life Fiber at face value. I just don’t know yet. I can’t imagine that solution to the conflict is that the Life Fibers must be eradicated. I think Nudist Beach must be mistaken. I think Ragyo has more secrets than she’s letting on. Until a clearer picture materializes, I hesitate to compare the original Life Fiber to the snake in the Garden of Eden… unless, of course, you interpret the snake in a different way than most do.

      And while Ragyo advocates giving up to basic instincts –

      Does she? I thought she said that species that defy its instincts will fall into ruins.

      1. Yeah, exactly, so she endorses following those instincts. About the “snake”, I meant it into the most lateral interpretation possible. Have you read the “His Dark Materials” trilogy by Philip Pullmann? There’s a very interesting declination on what Adam and Eve’s temptation means for human knowledge and self-awareness – and a look at the “loss of innocence” as an actually POSITIVE thing. Which also reminds me of the reaction my little brother had to the telling of the Adam & Eve story – when we got to the part where Adam is condemned to “earn his bread with sweat” he said “well, but I think it was a good thing then. It’s more satisfying to earn stuff than to just have it given to you”. And he was eight years old at the time.

        1. Yeah, exactly, so she endorses following those instincts.

          Whoops, my eyes somehow forgot to read the word “to” in the sentence of yours that I quoted, so I initially read it as “And while Ragyo advocates giving up basic instincts…”

          And while Ragyo advocates giving up to basic instincts –

          I don’t read a lot of fantasy, so I haven’t read that particular interpretation of the Snake, but yeah, I’ve heard similar things about how the Snake actually liberates Adam and Eve. Maybe we’ll see something along those lines as Kill la Kill nears its conclusion because I’m leaning towards Life Fibers sticking around to coexist with mankind.

  2. I feel bad about not commenting here (don’t think I don’t read these articles – I love them – just, they’re very dense compared to something like Golden Time, which makes them much more effort/pressure to reply to), so here goes:

    “Life Fibers caused homo sapiens, previously just one of many anthropoids, to evolve this far. Mankind was chosen by clothing.”

    A mysterious force that accelerates natural evolution and development to the point where a single species overruns its environment on an exponential trend with no end in sight? This reminds me a great deal of Gurren Lagann’s Spiral Energy. Perhaps it’s intentional or just a random happenstance, but I smiled all the same.

    We normally think of power as liberating; power gives us additional privileges that we would otherwise lack. But in Satsuki’s case, power is slowly imprisoning her.

    I’ve always enjoyed seeing this paradigm in fiction. Without power there’s no burden to act or capacity to make meaningful choices, but with it one must always choose. Every happening is a choice.

    When Ryuuko shows up and starts wreaking havoc in the school, even refusing to act is itself a statement to be judged and examined – Satsuki can use her power and fight back, or do nothing despite having the means to. No course of action or inaction remains which doesn’t define her. She’s a human held to the standards of a god.

    Finally: This episode reveals that Ryuuko is special in her ability to resist (tolerate?) the influence of life fibers, and also that originally they attempted to control living beings through attaching to their nervous system. Though this clashes somewhat with your theory, and is a little too clean-cut for my liking, what if Ragyo is this very phenomenon embodied – a human with this same unique trait housing life fibers inside her own body? Hence the hair and eyes. Hence the crazy.

    If we assume these features are genetic, this explains Satsuki and Juunketsu… and also potentially Ryuuko. After all, we’ve yet to see Satsuki’s father, and Ryuuko’s mother has never been alluded to. There’s the obvious narrative and mythic symbology to them being sisters as well as equal and opposite opponents in a world-defining conflict.

    1. Perhaps it’s intentional or just a random happenstance, but I smiled all the same.

      Probably not happenstance. I’m sure it’s all part of their oeuvre. We all have our pet subjects, theories, ideas, etc. that we find ourselves gravitating to. Hell, one of the ways I got my girlfriend to try out this anime was by saying, “Hey, it’s by one of the guys responsible for Gurren Lagann!”

      Finally: This episode reveals that Ryuuko is special in her ability to resist (tolerate?) the influence of life fibers,

      There was that scene where some test subject went out of control because they tried to affix too much Life Fibers onto his body. I don’t know if you really fall under the Life Fibers’ control so much as you just lose control. Why? Weak constitution? Lack of will? Shrug. What we do know for sure is that too much of the Life Fibers is a bad thing for 99% of the human population. Why this is the case, again, who knowss? All we have is hearsay from Aikuro that the Life Fibers are a threat, but Senketsu proves otherwise. Is Senketsu the exception, or the first time anyone’s tried to befriend an entity made out of Life Fibers? I just feel as though Nudist Beach is one of those Luddite-esque organizations, especially with someone like Tsumugu. They’ve seen the dangers of the Life Fibers, and although they don’t perfectly understand the Life Fibers themselves, they’re content to take what they believe is the safest course of action, i.e. let’s just get rid of the Life Fibers. In fact, I just watched Ender’s Game and there’s a similar thing going on there. Is the alien race peaceful or not? Why risk it? Let’s just blow them up!

      Though this clashes somewhat with your theory, and is a little too clean-cut for my liking, what if Ragyo is this very phenomenon embodied – a human with this same unique trait housing life fibers inside her own body? Hence the hair and eyes. Hence the crazy.

      Well, she could still be full of Life Fibers herself, and nevertheless be in control of herself. Perhaps not in full control, but still enough to say she’s driving her own actions and not the other way around. So far, we wear the Life Fibers on the outside, so they’re like enhancers or augmentations. If we’re going to start housing the Life Fibers within us, it’d be like nanotechnology or something. It’s essentially transhumanism with a Kill la Kill twist. It would be an interesting development for the series to take. In fact, it would make the show even more similar to Wall-E than before. If it gets to that point, I’ll elaborate on what I mean by this.

      After all, we’ve yet to see Satsuki’s father,

      We did briefly see him in Satsuki’s memories of when she first glimpse Junketsu. Granted, memories are unreliable and we didn’t even get to see his face. Still, he appeared in her memories as a thin, tall man with the posture you would expect of someone of that social class. Still, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible for Ryuuko to be Satsuki’s sister. After all, do we really know for sure that Matoi Isshin is her birth father or just someone who raised her? Shrug.

    2. I feel bad about not commenting here (don’t think I don’t read these articles – I love them – just, they’re very dense compared to something like Golden Time, which makes them much more effort/pressure to reply to)

      As for this, I’m usually just taking the piss out of the whole thing whenever I mention the lack of comments for my more serious posts. It’s simply true that shit like Harem Hill gets both more views and comments than the stuff I actually care about. If I don’t make light of it, I’d be pretty discouraged. So… I jest.

      1. Oh, certainly. I just wanted to assure you that I certainly read and enjoy these longer, more thought-provoking posts whenever they show up.

        There’s just a sort of natural impetus to replying to something so thoroughly thought out – an offhand comment seems almost disrespectful, like saying “Well, I don’t know about all that… but it sure is cold today!” to a lecture about how climate affects art, narrative themes, and the human psyche. To me an informed topic sort of requires an informed response, which I’m happy to attempt, but it’s in a whole other ballpark of effort than joking around about the seasons’ dregs.

        1. A thorough response isn’t necessary. You could just pick out one aspect of the post that you want to discuss.

  3. I keep thinking Satsuki may turn against her mother, though I’m not too sure since she’s basically following Ragyo’s orders. I just don’t think Satsuki will stay as her mother’s pawn much longer.
    Maybe that’s one of the reasons her underlings call her by her first name?

    1. I just don’t think Satsuki will stay as her mother’s pawn much longer.

      Maybe. Her character development from this point on, I think, will be the most important part of the story now that Ryuuko has become a hero and we’ve sort of figured out Mako’s purpose in the narrative.

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