Kill la Kill Ep. 23: Let our powers combine!

kill la kill 2305

Have we finally reached the final form?

Episode summary: Thanks to the power of friendship, our heroes manage to take down the original Life Fiber (for good?). Unfortunately, Ragyou has one last trick up her sleeve as Nui unveils the Omnisilk Koutetsu.

Notes & analysis:

• Apparently, Mako would receive the biggest boost in combat proficiency out of all of the people there — and don’t forget that this includes the Four Devas — so as a result, she gets her Ultima Uniform completed first. But at the end of the day, it’s still just a 2-star uniform. And if you’re going to do that, why not just arm everyone else as well, i.e. all the other no-stars? And it’s not like giving Mako her Ultima Uniform first heavily impacted the story anyway. She didn’t do anything major at the start of the episode that any of the Four Devas couldn’t have done.

• According to Inumata, the magical reason as to why Nui was unable to regenerate her arms in last week’s episode is because of how scissors work. Supposedly, if you cut a Life Fiber from both sides, it doesn’t have the time to regenerate itself like it normally would. Well, okay… So why are we getting this explanation now?

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Just so Satsuki won’t feel useless. Since Bakuzan is now broken into two, she can now use the twin blades like makeshift scissors. Heh, very convenient. But y’know, if that’s how you sever Life Fibers for good, why not just create a giant cleaver-like weapon. This way, even if the Life Fibers tried to regenerate, they can’t… because a giant cleaver is in the way. C’mon, guys, let’s think outside the box! By the way, just in case somebody out there thinks I’m being serious, I’m not. So spare me your magical hand-waving powers.

• But of course, defeating Ragyou is not going to that easy. When the two sisters attack their mother together, the matriarch pulls out twin blades needles of her own… ones made from ultra-hard Life Fibers. Not only that, they once served as the basis for both Ryuuko’s Sword Scissors and Satsuki’s Bakuzan. So some Life Fibers can cut other Life Fibers permanently, but not these Life Fibers over here because…

• Ragyou says, “The original Life Fiber is everything in one. The beginning and the end both reside within it.” Later in the episode, the monstrous object opens up one end of itself to reveal a cavernous maw lined with sharp tooth-like appendages. Its appearance here kind of reminds me of the creature Atomos from the Final Fantasy series:

final fantasy atomos

There, Atomos is usually just a force of nature that seeks to devourer everything. Since it’s hard to say whether or not the Life Fibers have sentience, you could make the same case for our antagonist in Kill la Kill. And let’s suppose the original Life Fiber happens to succeed in converting the entire universe into nothing but Life Fibers. The name Life Fibers would then become ironic. By converting everything and every sentient being into Life Fibers, all traces of sentience is wiped out: “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” These are famous words from Oppenheimer as he witnessed the detonation of the first atom bomb.

• I guess it was neat to see the Four Devas’ 3-star Ultima Uniforms incorporate elements of Nudist Beach into them. But of course, there’s little to say here as I watch these guys beat up the human-form COVERS. Scenes like these are fun to watch, but they have little to analyze.

• To Ragyou, Life Fibers sit atop the food chain. As such, why is it wrong for Life Fibers to rear human beings as if we’re livestock? Well, there’s a reason why we have qualms about eating dolphins. I know, I know… certain cultures out there — ahem — have no problems slaughtering dolphins, but a lot of us do. A lot of us believe it’s wrong to eat such an intelligent creature. So likewise, the humans in Kill la Kill have a case.

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Since they have a will of their own, they’re not going to stand idly by and allow the Life Fibers to consume them. Plus, other than Senketsu itself, it’s difficult to argue that the Life Fibers even have a will of their own. Sure, Ragyou claims that she’s merely carrying out the will of the original Life Fiber, but that is nevertheless a second-hand account. How do I know she isn’t just a very proud owner of a very strong and powerful beast? And if that’s the case, who’s to say the Life Fibers are atop the food chain at all?

• Fittingly, Ragyou taunts Satsuki for being the inferior sister: “The only thing you’re good for is lending your lonely little sister a shoulder cry upon.” This is just a small reminder that Satsuki has no Life Fibers within her, unlike both her mother and his sister. Anyway, I’ve talked about this in previous entries on the show, so I won’t get into too much detail about it here. Needless to say, Satsuki might be weaker than both Ryuuko and Ragyou, but unlike them, she’s a leader. I mean, you could argue that Ragyou’s a leader in her own way, but isn’t she just brainwashing people into doing her bidding? On the other hand, Satsuki never makes anyone follow. Sure, she won’t give a shit about you if you fail to live up to her standards, but ultimately, people are free to come and go at their own accord.

• So apparently, Ryuuko secretly blocked Ragyou’s blades, and “jumped into the ocean before [Ragyou] cut her in half!” This is what really happened despite the fact that we saw our heroine in two pieces:

kill la kill 2303

I guess you just can’t trust your eyes anymore these days.

• And somehow, Sanageyama’s eyes have healed up. Not only that, he now fights better with vision. Oh, okay.

• In the end, Mako becomes a hamster:

kill la kill 2308

• But we know this isn’t the end. After all, take it from Frieza:

final form

In other words, where’s Nui and that Kouketsu thing she’s been working on?

• Oh there she is:

kill la kill 2301

And she’s brought something called the Omnisilk Kouketsu with her. Not only that, Ragyou gives the Grand Couturier bionic arms or something.

• Aikuro says, “And now we’re going to barge into Honnouji Academy, destroy the transmitter, and capture both Ragyou and Harime Nui!” Why just capture them though? For the sake of humanity, why not just put those two out of their miserable existences?

• Well, this doesn’t do much to dispel the idea that our heroes are just pigs in human clothing:

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• Senketsu hasn’t had much to say all episode, but at the end, he advises, “This is on a whole different level to what you’ve faced up to now.” Well gosh, we wouldn’t have it any other way, now would we? So behold… Life Fiber Subjugate:

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Somehow, this new outfit involves absorbing Hououmaru into itself for true power. Well, I can’t wait to see how this works in next week’s episode. But for now, we are done.

19 thoughts on “Kill la Kill Ep. 23: Let our powers combine!

  1. Gore17

    I suspect there was a mistranslation with Ryuko being split in half. My guess is that she ripped herself in half, allowing her to “dodge” the blades, ensuring that she could regenerate from the injuries.

    Also, Sanageyama’s eye’s were always fine, his eyelids were just sewn shut. As for why he’s better: he’s learn how to not rely on them, but they still offer an advantage. That’s why we have eyes!

    Anyway, it appears that Ragyou really does/did view the Primordial Life Fibre as a holy being.

    1. E Minor Post author

      Also, Sanageyama’s eye’s were always fine, his eyelids were just sewn shut.

      Meh, that changes my perception of the guy then. He was a whole lot cooler in my mind when I initially thought he had the balls to truly sacrifice his vision.

  2. higgsbosoff

    This episode reminded me so much of TTGL. The scene of Ryuuko cutting the core of the life fiber while the song played, with the whole Nudist Beach ship pushing in was very reminiscent of the attack on Teppelin.

    Anyway, funny action, beautiful shots, and little more. I didn’t have much of a problem with the explanation of Ryuko’s plan, I’d say she just did like Ragyo did back in episode 18 – she looked decapitated but actually had her parts connected by a single strand. Given the – magical indeed – explanation that only a double cut from each side will do it, deflecting a single blade is enough to get that result. Though if there has been a mistranslation I’d be curious to know (btw I watched the CR version).

    On another note, one of the things I enjoyed the most this episode was how they introduced the after-credit scene with Nui intruding into the ending sequence – art shift and all. That girl keeps smashing down the fourth wall into powdered rubble.

    1. E Minor Post author

      I’d say she just did like Ragyo did back in episode 18 – she looked decapitated but actually had her parts connected by a single strand.

      Ryuuko’s body parts were really far away from each other. Much farther than Ragyou’s head was from her body. Sure, you can explain everything away, but I thought it was lame.

      1. higgsbosoff

        Weeeeellll… if they are entirely made of threads I suppose unravelled those would amount to a handful of kilometers anyway…? I… guess. Kinda. I mean, we DO have 45 miles of nerves and around 60,000 miles of blood vessels in our body already.
        Yeah, they COULD have toned down on that, like make her fall all on one side. But I guess that the Rule of Cool dominates – no one was fooled even for one second there anyway, had it been the last episode maybe I could have bought it, but yeah.
        And Sanageyama kinda looked cooler with his blindfold on. But the whole “now I’ll take it OFF!” thing is just a way to pull off a power-up, it’s kind of like when in DBZ they used to go “but I was wearing WEIGHTED CLOTHES THE WHOLE TIME!”. I was always aware that the guy had only his eyes sewn shut though, so it didn’t come to me as much of a shocker (also, I won’t even try to understand how the hell is that supposed to work. In this show, anything that has to do with cloth, clothing, threads, fibers, weaving and/or sewing is automatically magic. Which is kinda hilarious by itself).

        1. E Minor Post author

          Like I’ve said, you can come up with an explanation for anything, but it doesn’t mean the explanation will be satisfactory to everyone. To me, eh. Anything’s possible in a fantasy world, but while I like the show enough, I’m not going to pretend like the Ryuuko thing didn’t make me roll my eyes. And yes, I know the Sanageyama thing is like DBZ. I haven’t forgotten. In fact, it’s such a given, I didn’t think it needed mentioning. After all, the trope has remained unchanged. And because it has remained unchanged, it’s not very impressive to me.

        2. higgsbosoff

          Yup, not wanting to do the writers’ work here. Whenever viewers have to do that, it means they failed somewhere. Personally I’m treating the fights like the ones in Jojo and basically taking them at face value. Doing actual “trickery” with fantasy superpowered fights is very hard, I can only think of very few series that do (HunterXHunter and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood come to mind). I guess that reading Bleach every week in spite of how hilariously bad it has gotten made me much more tolerant to asspull fights.

        3. Naota

          Yeah, “trickery” implies a rigid set of rules which the audience understands that can be bent or worked around in ways the characters (and usually the audience) haven’t anticipated, but still hold up to scrutiny once they have been.

          Anime commonly favours a very skewed and simplified idea of “power”, where a gun is the same as a sword is the same as a bomb is the same as someone’s fists and all four of them simply make an individual “stronger”, as if strength is a single number and any fight is really decided before it starts.

          But obviously this isn’t true. A fight is a million variables among which strength barely signifies. There’s the element of surprise (negated most often by bullshit “sensing” – either of straight up power or of the ludicrous ‘murderous intent’). There’s differences in capability like speed, dexterity, balance, perceptive ability, tolerance for injury, ability to aim and so forth. There’s the environment – the guy with the sword should be at an advantage in a claustrophobic maze while the guy with the gun should win easily in an open field. There’s also tactics – how many of the above can either combatant intuit and use against their opponent?

          I think the reason so many anime fights are so boring (Tokyo Ravens! Strike the Blood!) is that they don’t even consider how their fights would actually work kinaesthetically, let alone tactically. They’ve never progressed beyond abstract concepts. That’s why we get two morons standing around looking smug and spouting nonsense as coloured screensaver effects bounce harmlessly off of glowing bubbles until one party falls to their knees and the other walks past. That’s why we need the participants to literally stop fighting and explain to us what their attacks are doing.

        4. Naota

          Well… that and cutting corners for cheaper animation. Still, at least old series with cheap as hell production values like DBZ still put the illusion of kinetic energy into their fights.

          It’s an absolute joy when we get something like that one moment in Noragami last week where two people with swords actually went at it in a reasonably believable fashion, locking blades, trying feints, and using the environment to their advantage to generally avoid getting stabbed. Sort of ironic, given how it was a battle between two gods.

  3. John Barnes

    I think the most important thing in this episode is that, in Kill la Kill, somebody actually did die.

    Unfortunately, it was Rei, who for most of the series, just stood there, and was all “It’s cool” when she was assimilated.

    1. E Minor Post author

      It’s Kill la Kill so unless we literally see a person get smashed into individual atoms, you can never be sure that they’re dead.

  4. Boytitan

    The suits were made nudist beach style because the life fibers are easier to synchronize with when they cover a body less. Notice each uniform covered the divas body less and less each upgrade. I also agree the Ryoko getting cut in half scene should have just not happened it was bad.

    1. E Minor Post author

      The suits were made nudist beach style because the life fibers are easier to synchronize with when they cover a body less.

      I already knew this.

  5. watanabe43

    The dual wielding thing still doesn’t explain he Nui/eye regen thing but hey ho.

    Kill la Kill > Disengage brain > Enjoy

    ’tis the only way.

    1. Di-Dorval

      Nui eye got stabbed by the full scissor, so yea it explains it.
      For the trickery part I just like to see it has Ryuuko deflecting the blow then cutting herself in half (with only one scissor half she can regenerate) and patching herself under the original fiber. Though the way the subs describe it makes it really messy.

    2. E Minor Post author

      Disengage brain

      I don’t see why it’s a big deal that I don’t like everything about the show.

      1. watanabe43

        Eminor – That wasn’t directed at you, it’s how I get through it :)

        Di-Dorval – she didn’t get stabbed with the whole scissor, half was embedded in Matoi’s abdomen at the time but I’m obsessing about it far too much bearing in mind what I said above.

  6. Lee

    I dont see how yuall dont get the “cut in half” scene… its freaking simple even with the bad translation.

    You already know the girl is immortal and can survive getting cut in half like that…. the problem was getting cut from both sides at once. Se deflected one blade and let the other cut her in half from one side so she could still regen. Would be very hard to tell the difference.

    I think they have kept power levels fairly consistant with what they should be, which is very difficult for a “do the impossible, break the unbreakable” style build up story like this.


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