Anime Review: Kill la Kill [Second Half]

kill la kill anime review

It’s been over two years since my better blogging half reviewed the first half of Kill la Kill, so I think it’s finally time to finish what she started and review the second half. YuriReviews may have lost its way when it comes to KLK, but our bond has gotten much stronger than before. Let’s go~

Picking up where things left off in the first half, the story takes several dramatic turns in the second cour, and however absurd the narrative may be, the execution is surprisingly effective. KLK won’t make anyone forget about the works of Tolstoy, but just because the storyline is silly, it doesn’t mean the entirety of the story is terrible. Well, I wouldn’t call it good either, but at the very least, it’s somewhat respectable. Compared to the first dozen episodes, the tone is darker, yet throughout it all, the series never loses its way sense of humor. Just as it is with the action, comedy remains at the heart of what makes the series great. Years ago, if you were to have told me the major plot points of this anime, I probably wouldn’t have hesitated to say that the story must be shit, so it feels like quite the accomplishment that it actually turned out rather compelling.

Something that can’t go unsaid is that the ending is extremely anticlimactic and a big disappointment. There was one battle too many, and instead of going out with a bang, the story unfortunately goes out with a wimper. The OVA rights some of the wrongs of the main series and gives us proper goodbyes, yet it can’t erase what had already transpired. Nevertheless, as mediocre as the story may be, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still find it mostly enjoyable.

kill la kill yuru yuri parody gif
GIF courtesy of hOsaki

The story was a bit too wild for its own good, but every step of the way, the cast of characters make it a much more enjoyable experience. Like the first half, there isn’t a ton of character development, but considering how great and straightforward the characters already are, it’s not really a big deal (and it wasn’t really expected anyway). Anyone who’s watched an episode of this show can probably attest to how awesome the cast is. Ryuko, Satsuki, Mako, and pretty much every other character with a substantial role becomes even more likable, and if you’re like me, you’re basically loving all of the characters by the time the show ends.

To complement the already well-established characters, there are also others who see their screen time dramatically increase in the second cour. Among them, cycloptic loli fashionista Nui and disco MILF Ragyo. They have their time to shine in the second half, and they immediately become villains that you just love to hate, which is a pretty nice compliment. Also, the ladies aren’t the only ones that are half-naked, as the fellas of Nudist Beach strip down in order to save the world. The collection of interesting characters was already one of the biggest reasons for KLK‘s success, and the events of the second half make this strength even stronger. As a whole, this is probably my favorite cast of characters in anime. There’s great heroes, villains, comic relief, and enough characters with lovable quirks that you can’t really help but enjoy them all.

Director Hiroyuki Imaishi’s fingerprints are all over this anime, especially the visuals. Known for his breakneck animation style as seen in Dead Leaves and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, KLK really personifies that spirit and kicks it up another notch. Battles are a cacophany of blood and chaos, and it’s glorious. The art style may rub some people the wrong way, but I think it’s hard to deny that Kill la Kill looks great. Sure, it’s rough around the edges at various points, but when it matters the most, everything comes up aces. Another thing that may seem off-putting is the fanservice, but believe it or not, there’s a somewhat logical explanation for it. Well, it’s about as logical as the rest of the story, but it does make some sense. Distinctive and disorderly, KLK bleeds style and makes most other anime look bland in comparison.

Hiroyuki Sawano (Ao no Exorcist, Guilty Crown, Shingeki no Kyojin) is the mastermind behind the music of KLK, which explains why it’s so great. Keeping pace with the visuals is a tough task, but the audio is definitely up to it. From the flawless voice-acting to the phenomenal music, there isn’t all that much you can criticize regarding the audio. I suppose one could say that a few of the tracks are used a little too often, but if they’re really good, is that necessarily a bad thing? Several characters have their own theme songs, and they’re all very fitting and phenomenal. Like the Shingeki no Kyojin soundtrack, the KLK soundtrack also features a song sung in German, which serves as Ragyo’s theme. Even though Lena says that the German in this song “sounds horrible” and doesn’t sound accurate at all, it’s still a welcome addition to the show, in my opinion. πŸ˜›

kill la kill yuri

During the first half, Ryuko and Satsuki were too busy fighting to really give us any worthwhile yuri vibes, but that’s not always the case with these last dozen episodes. Minor as it may be, the last few episodes fan the yuri flames that the fandom has kept burning, so those moments alone probably surpass the yuri content of episodes one through twelve. In addition to that pairing, Ryuko x Mako is a little easier to imagine, even though Makogoori essentially becomes canon. On the flip side, Satsuki x Nonon stagnates and doesn’t advice beyond the relationship that was shown/intimated before, but I don’t necessarily view that as a huge loss, considering they were probably the least popular pair and the other more shippable pairings are still alive and kicking. So it may be much ado about nothing, but some hints do remain and are stronger than before. Oh yeah, Ragyo also dips her toe into yuri waters, but since it’s so awkward, let’s just move on already.

Simply put, Kill la Kill is one of my favorite anime of all-time. When it comes to sheer entertainment, it’s really in the top tier of all action anime, in my opinion. If you’re still willing to put your brain on autopilot and just sit back and enjoy the ride, the second cour continues the madness and solidifies KLK as a must-watch for action-comedy fans that don’t mind some fanservice.

Year: 2013-2014
Length: 24 Episodes
Genre: Action, Comedy, School, Super Power

kill la kill anime review
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13 thoughts on “Anime Review: Kill la Kill [Second Half]

  1. I gotta agree, the story was pretty wild, not only during the second half, but throughout the whole thing, so i get why you'd only give it a 6/10.

    Though, what totally made up for that was the oh so subtle yuri that was taking place right before our eyes, climaxing right when a certain someone tried to address their sister properly for the first time.

    HNNNNNGHHHHHH, seriously, this scene certainly kill la killed my yuri heart – Yeah, I repeated this lame comment of mine to make it sound even more awesome πŸ˜›

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  2. You're really tempting me with this review to give Kill la Kill one more try. The first time I started it I only managed to watch 4 episodes before dropping it. Guess it was way too over-the-top for me since everyone was so hyped about it back then and I probably expected something more serious. Well, my mistake XP

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  3. Woar! You actually read the review?!?! πŸ˜›

    You gave the first half a 6.5 for the story, so great minds think alike~

    I replayed that scene too many times. It helped that it happened in the best episode of the series, IMO.

    It's already awesome enough. No need to make try to make it even more awesome.

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  4. I agree with the review totally the enjoyment was good but the story was very shallow, yet one of the best anime that I saw. And the song Blumenkranz is fantastic πŸ˜€

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  5. Awww. Just 4 episodes? But it pretty much gets crazier and crazier, so if you thought the first 4 episodes were too much, resuming and making it to the end might make your head explode. πŸ˜›

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  6. Most people that watched it probably weren't watching for the story, so I don't think it's a deal-breaker or anything~

    I know, right? L's just mad because Murasaki Hotaru won't sing in German… not that it would sound any better anyway. πŸ˜›

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  7. Yes, the beginning seven or so episodes can be like drinking from a firehose. It was tough for me to make it that far, but once I reached the eigth episode, I finally 'got' what the creators were trying to do and I enjoyed all of it– I discovered much beneath the surface and thought about all of it long after I finished viewing. One good thing I see about the frenetic and over-the-top stuff is that it make the series much more rewarding on subsequent views since you are certain to have missed much on your first exposure.

    I thought was just tacky and juvenile for the first few episodes; I disliked the art, the comedic violence, and unabashed fan service– but then it all came together for me, redeemed itself, and made me glad I toughed it out. Your mileage may vary.

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  8. Let's hope it'll stay in one piece πŸ˜€

    I also wasn't fond of the art, the violence, and all the fanservice but I guess I know now what to expect from it. Thanks for the heads-up, I'll try to stick with it for a bit longer this time~

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  9. It's one of those series that i heard a little about, but never really saw. Or I might be like Lion above, I probably tried watching it, but … yeah, tried. Mayby i had hard time with art side.

    After your review I'm thinking about checking this again, thanks.

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  10. From a visual standpoint, it definitely stands out, but it matches the tone of the show quite nicely, so it was a positive for me.

    Glad I could maybe give you something else to watch.

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  11. Aw, being freshly after finishing KLK, I still can't believe how I went from disliking this series to adoring almost everything about it so quickly. A thin line between love and hate, I guess? Or so they say πŸ˜€ Thanks a lot, Rock The Vogt, and you too, Anon, if not for your review and encouragement then I'd probably wait another 2 years to give this masterpiece one more try!

    Well then, I'm off to enjoy some more Ryuuko x Satsuki~

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