Kill la Kill (2013–2014)
|Genre||Animation, Action, Comedy|
|Content Rating||TV-14 (TV-14)|
|Awards||Awards3 wins & 3 nominations|
|Company||Aniplex, Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co., Lucent Pictures Entertainment|
Kill la Kill
Kill la Kill (Japanese: キルラキル, Hepburn: Kiru Ra Kiru) is a Japanese anime television series produced by Trigger. The series follows vagrant schoolgirl Ryuko Matoi on her search for her father's killer, which brings her into violent conflict with Satsuki Kiryuin, the iron-willed student council president of Honnouji Academy, and her mother's fashion empire. Ryuko, Satsuki, and others obtain martial arts superpowers from their clothes, which appear to have a will of their own.
The series is Trigger's first original anime television project, directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, both of whom had previously worked together on Gurren Lagann in 2007 and would go on to work on Promare in 2019. Kill la Kill was broadcast in Japan on MBS' Animeism programming block between October 2013 and March 2014. An original video animation (OVA) was released as a 25th episode in September 2014. A manga adaptation by Ryō Akizuki began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten's Young Ace magazine from October 2013 to March 2015. A video game adaptation, titled Kill la Kill the Game: IF, was released in July 2019, with slight deviations to the main storyline of the anime.
In North America, Aniplex of America licensed the anime for a simulcast with a home video release starting in July 2014. The series premiered in the United States on Adult Swim's Toonami block in February 2015.
Honnouji Academy (本能字学園, Honnōji Gakuen) is a fictional high school situated in Tokyo Bay, Japan, on the island of Honnō City. The school is dominated by its fearsome student council led by their president Satsuki Kiryuin. Its students wear Goku Uniforms (極制服, Gokuseifuku) which give their wearers superhuman abilities because they are constructed with a special material known as Life Fibers (生命戦維, Seimei Sen'i, lit. "Life Battle-Fibers"). Honnouji Academy and Honnō city feature a stratified class structure, in which higher-ranked students are allowed to obtain more powerful Goku Uniforms. This in turn affects the social status of the student's family.
Vagrant transfer student Ryuko Matoi, who wields a scissor-shaped longsword that can cut Goku Uniforms, challenges the council as she searches for her father's killer. Although she is initially easily defeated by Takaharu Fukuroda, she finds a sentient sailor uniform that she names Senketsu, a Kamui (神衣, lit. "Godrobe") which is completely made of Life Fibers and transforms her so that she can face Kiryuin and her trials and obstacles. Ryuko is befriended by her hyperactive classmate Mako Mankanshoku, a no-star student, and moves in with her impoverished family.
When Satsuki reorganizes the allocation of Goku Uniforms through a battle royal and king-of-the-hill event known as Naturals Election, Ryuko faces the members of Satsuki's Elite Four, who wear powerful Three-Star Goku Uniforms, in a series of duels. After defeating three of her opponents, Ryuko's final fight is interrupted by Nui Harime, the wielder of the other Scissor Blade, revealing herself to be the murderer of Ryuko's father. In the ensuing fight, Ryuko becomes enraged at Nui, transforming into an uncontrollable monster in the process. Mako calms Ryuko down, while Satsuki prohibits Nui from entering Honnouji Academy. Ryuko becomes reluctant to wear Senketsu after the fight, until a disguised Nui convinces her to put Senketsu on once more. Nui promptly defeats Ryuko, shredding Senketsu in the process, but is confronted by Satsuki before she can kill Ryuko, and flees.
With the Tri-City Schools Raid, Satsuki annexes the major schools in Kansai and the other regions of Japan, and quashes Nudist Beach (ヌーディスト・ビーチ, Nūdisuto Bīchi), a paramilitary organization led by Ryuko's homeroom teacher Aikuro Mikisugi. Meanwhile, Ryuko follows the raid and retrieves pieces of Senkentsu's body. Ryuko battles Satsuki, finally completing Senketsu. Satsuki arranges for a festival that will host her mother Ragyo, the academy's director and the CEO of REVOCS Corporation (REVOCSコーポレーション, Ribokkusu Kōporēshon), a clothing manufacturer that has dominated the worldwide market. Mikisugi reveals that the Life Fibers, which have been woven into all REVOCS clothing, are actually alien parasites that consume their wearers. When they devour the festival audience, Satsuki turns on her mother, revealing her end goal to have always been destroying Ragyo, but the rebellion is short-lived as Ragyo has fused with the Life Fibers to attain tremendous power. Ragyo recognizes Ryuko as her own daughter and Satsuki's younger sister, who survived the termination of a Life Fiber experiment and was raised in secrecy by Ragyo's missing husband, Isshin Matoi, formerly known as Sōichirō Kiryūin.
A month later, Ragyo and the Life Fibers have devastated Japan and have captured Satsuki, leaving the Elite Four without Goku Uniforms and forced to hide out with Ryuko and the others at Nudist Beach. When they rescue Satsuki, Ragyo captures and brainwashes Ryuko into fighting her. After Ryuko frees herself, she and Satsuki challenge Ragyo, who plans to use a space satellite to command all Life Fibers to consume their human hosts and detonate the Earth in order to propagate the Life Fibers throughout the universe. After taking down the satellite transmitter and blasting the cocoon that houses the Original Life Fiber, Ragyo absorbs Nui and flies in to space to manually activate the satellite, but Ryuko chases Ragyo and defeats her, causing the Life Fiber clothes to perish. Following the battle, Senketsu sacrifices himself and burns up on atmospheric re-entry to return Ryuko to Earth.
In a follow-up OVA episode, Ragyo's secretary Rei Hououmaru disrupts Honnouji Academy's graduation ceremony, using leftover Life Fibers to create doppelgängers of Satsuki and the Elite Four. However, they are defeated by Ryuko, the real Elite Four, and Nudist Beach, and Satsuki convinces Rei to abandon her struggle. Honnouji Academy is shut down during the sinking of Honnō City, and everyone leaves to live out normal lives.
The anime television project, directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi at his animation studio, Trigger, was first teased in the March 2013 issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Newtype magazine released on February 7, 2013. Kill la Kill was officially announced on May 8, 2013, with scripts written by Kazuki Nakashima and character designs by Sushio.
According to director Imaishi, much of the plot is based on his observation that the Japanese manner of pronouncing "fascism" (ファッショ, fassho) is nearly the same as the word "fashion" (ファッション, fasshon), his observation that the pronunciation of the Japanese words "school uniform" (制服, seifuku) and "conquest" (征服, seifuku) are identical, and that the titular kiru may mean "kill" (キル), "to cut" (切る), or "to wear" (着る).
Kill la Kill aired in Japan on MBS' Animeism programming block between October 4, 2013 and March 28, 2014. It also aired on TBS, CBC and BS-TBS.
The series is licensed in North America by Aniplex of America, who simulcast the series on Daisuki.net, and streamed it on Crunchyroll, and Hulu. The series aired on Adult Swim's Toonami block in the United States from February 8 to August 2, 2015. It started airing on Viceland UK on October 16, 2017.
The video release on Blu-ray Disc and DVD began on January 8, 2014. Soundtrack CDs are included with the first and fifth volumes, making-of documentary DVDs are included with the third, seventh, and ninth volumes, and drama CDs are included with the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth volumes. An original video animation episode was released as part of the ninth volume on September 3, 2014.
|Volume 1||1–2||January 8, 2014|
|Volume 2||3–5||February 5, 2014|
|Volume 3||6–8||March 5, 2014|
|Volume 4||9–11||April 2, 2014|
|Volume 5||12–14||May 7, 2014|
|Volume 6||15–17||June 4, 2014|
|Volume 7||18–20||July 2, 2014|
|Volume 8||21–23||August 6, 2014|
|Volume 9||24 + OVA (25)||September 3, 2014|
The series was released in five BD/DVD volumes in North America. The first volume was released on July 15, 2014, in limited edition BD/DVD combo packs including soundtrack CDs, as well as standard Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases. At Anime Expo 2014 held in Los Angeles, Aniplex premiered the first English dub episode, and hosted a performance by theme song singer Eir Aoi, and a panel with script writer Kazuki Nakashima, director Sushio, producer Yosuke Toba, and voice actresses Ami Koshimizu and Ryoka Yuzuki.
|Volume 1||1–4||July 15, 2014|
|Volume 2||5–9||October 21, 2014|
|Volume 3||10–14||December 23, 2014|
|Volume 4||15–19||February 24, 2015|
|Volume 5||20–24 + OVA (25)||April 28, 2015|
The series is licensed in the United Kingdom and France by Anime Limited, and was simulcast on Wakanim, later receiving a digital release on Netflix. The series was released on Blu-ray and DVD in three Collector's Edition sets, the first part was originally slated for a December 8, 2014 release date but was moved up to November 17, 2014. Subsequently, the release was pushed forward a further two weeks to see the first release being available in the UK on November 3, 2014, while the Blu-ray version was pushed back by a full month to December 1, 2014.
|Volume 1||1–9||November 3, 2014 (DVD)|
December 1, 2014 (Blu-ray)
|Volume 2||10–19||March 23, 2015|
|Volume 3||20-24 + OVA (25)||July 11, 2016|
In Australia and New Zealand, the series is licensed by Madman Entertainment, who simulcasted the series on Madman Screening Room, and later released the series digitally on AnimeLab. The series was released on Blu-ray and DVD, and mirrored the release pattern of the North American releases. The first volume was released on October 15, 2014.
|Volume 1||1–4||October 15, 2014|
|Volume 2||5–9||December 10, 2014|
|Volume 3||10–14||March 11, 2014|
|Volume 4||15–19||April 15, 2015|
|Volume 5||20–24 + OVA (25)||June 10, 2015|
|Kill la Kill Original Sound Track|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||December 25, 2013|
Music for the series is composed by Hiroyuki Sawano. For the first fifteen episodes, the opening theme is "Sirius" (シリウス, Shiriusu) by Eir Aoi, while the ending theme is "Gomen ne, Iiko ja Irarenai" (ごめんね、いいコじゃいられない。, "Sorry, I'm Done Being a Good Kid") by Miku Sawai. From episode 16 onwards, the opening theme is "ambiguous" by Garnidelia, a duo consisting of vocalist Maria and composer Toku, and the ending theme is "Shin Sekai Kōkyōgaku" (新世界交響楽, "New World Symphony") by Sayonara Ponytail, though an extended version of the original ending theme returns for the last portion of episode 24. Aoi's song "Sanbika" was used as an insert song to accompany climactic events in episodes 3, 7, 11 and 23.
The first soundtrack album was published on December 25, 2013. Aniplex USA also released the CD on January 17, 2014. It features 18 tracks, including six vocal songs performed in English and German. The background music tracks feature titles that are typographical variants of "Kill la Kill".
The second soundtrack album was released in Japan as part of the fifth DVD/Blu-ray disc set on May 7, 2014. It also features "Kara-OK" (空OK, karaoke) versions of the vocal tracks from the first album, among other background music.
All music is composed by Hiroyuki Sawano.
|1.||"Before my body is dry"||4:07|
|2.||"goriLLA-Ja-L" (goriLLA蛇L Gori Ra Jaru)||4:16|
|3.||"InuKA3L" (犬Kあ3L Inu Ka Saru)||4:34|
|5.||"Ad la Lib" (AdラLib Ado Ra Ribu)||3:24|
|6.||"Kiryu ga KiLL" (鬼龍G@キLL Kiryū ga Kiru)||4:38|
|7.||"KILL 7la Kill" (KILL7la切ル Kiru Nara Kiru)||4:46|
|8.||"Suck your blood"||mpi||3:40|
|9.||"Kik9=KELL" (Kiっ9=KELL Kikku wa Keru)||4:51|
|10.||"k1ll wa iLL" (k1ll◎iLL Kiru Wa Iru)||3:08|
|11.||"Light your heart up"||cAnON.||Aimee Blackschleger||3:56|
|12.||"Hiru ra lilL♪" (昼裸lilL♪ Hiru Ra Riru)||2:02|
|13.||"KiLL La KiLL" (斬LLLア生LL Kiru Ra Kiru)||4:25|
|14.||"Kiryu ha KiLL" (キ龍ha着LL Kiryū Ha Kiru)||4:15|
|15.||"I want to know"||Benjamin Anderson||4:07|
|16.||"NeLL na Ki9" (寝LLna聴9 Neru Na Kiku)||7:08|
|17.||"Kill a KiLL" (Kiる厭KiLL Kiru A Kiru)||5:06|
|18.||"Till I Die"||cAnON.||CASG (Caramel Apple Sound Gadget)||4:41|
|1.||"Gekiban Tokka-gata Hitotsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (劇伴特化型1☆極★服)||3:24|
|2.||"Rhythm Kyōka-gata Futatsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (リズム強化型2☆極★服)||4:12|
|3.||"Nichijō Gekijō-gata Mittsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (日常劇場型3☆極★服)||3:35|
|4.||"Fuku o Kita Buta-gata Yottsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (服着豚型4☆極★服)||4:13|
|5.||"Naming Sense 0-gata Itsutsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (名付扇子0型5☆極★服)||5:10|
|6.||"Tsuika Hatchū-gata Muttsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (追加発注型6☆極★服)||4:14|
|7.||"Haikei Keigu-gata Nanatsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (背景敬具型7☆極★服)||4:21|
|8.||"MT Hensō-gata Yattsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (MT変装型8☆極★服)||4:51|
|9.||"Tabun LASTBOSS-gata Kokonotsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (多分裸SBOSS-型9☆極★服)||3:30|
|10.||"Zenhan Saishūroku-gata Tōnohoshi Gokuseifuku" (前半再収録型10☆極★服)||4:45|
|11.||"Tsuika Saishūroku-gata Tōtohitotsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (追加再収録型11☆極★服)||2:54|
|12.||"Jūyoubutsu Hakkō Kyōchō-gata Tōtofutatsuboshi Gokuseifuku" (重要物発行強調型12☆極★服)||4:09|
|13.||"Before my body is dry <Kara-OK>" (Before my body is dry <空OK>)||4:06|
|14.||"Suck your blood <Kara-OK>" (Suck your blood <空OK>)||3:41|
|15.||"Blumenkranz <Kara-OK>" (Blumenkranz <空OK>)||4:18|
|16.||"Light your heart up <Kara-OK>" (Light your heart up <空OK>)||3:55|
|17.||"I want to know <Kara-OK>" (I want to know <空OK>)||4:06|
|18.||"Till I Die <Kara-OK>" (Till I Die <空OK>)||4:41|
A manga adaptation illustrated by Ryō Akizuki began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten's Young Ace magazine on October 4, 2013. The series ended with the seventeenth chapter on February 4, 2015, and was compiled into three tankōbon volumes between December 2013 and March 4, 2015. Udon Entertainment has licensed the manga adaptation.
|No.||Original release date||Original ISBN||English release date||English ISBN|
|1||December 2, 2013||978-4041209080||October 29, 2015||978-1927925492|
|2||March 7, 2014||978-4041210482||January 14, 2016||978-1927925546|
|3||March 4, 2015||978-4041021071||July 26, 2016||978-1927925843|
A video game adaptation titled Kill la Kill the Game: IF (キルラキル ザ・ゲーム -異布-, Kiru ra Kiru za Gēmu: Ifu) was announced at the Anime Expo between July 5–8, 2018. The game was published by Arc System Works and developed by A+ Games, who developed Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time, also based on another anime by Trigger. It was released on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in Japan on July 25, 2019, and in North America and Europe the next day. In Europe, the game was published by PQube. Kill la Kill the Game: IF also received an English dub. The game's storyline takes place during the events of episode 3, depicting Satsuki being placed by Junketsu in artificial reality that follows the anime storyline with slight deviations.
Kill la Kill was met with widespread critical acclaim. Eliot Gay of Japanator called the "uniquely fun, even gripping" series "a reminder of how fun and creative anime can be at its best", despite the readily apparent budget constraints. Kat Bailey of IGN, describing the series as "magical girl anime on speed", noted that its over-the-top absurdity was part of its charm. Joseph Luster of Otaku USA described the series's concept as "mostly straightforward setup for revenge and shonen-style 'stronger! STRONGER!' battle progression", but praised its execution. Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku appreciated the series for "perfectly mixing comedy and action", its pacing, internal consistency and over-the-top straightforward adaptation of standard action anime tropes.
The animation of fight scenes and character movements, as well as the "keen selection of music", were particularly praised by Robert Frazer of UK Anime Network, The site selected it as the 2013 UK Anime Network Awards winner in the "Best streaming anime" category. Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network also appreciated the inventive and funny animation and the series's "retro shonen action pushed to (...) loony, hyperactive extremes". Michael Logarta of GMA News Online likewise noted the "superb pacing", to-the-point storytelling and well-realized characters in the series's "whirlwind of gorgeous visuals, story, and unfettered insanity".
Kill la Kill won multiple prizes during the 4th Newtype Anime Awards, including Best Character Design (Sushio), Best Script (Kazuki Nakashima), Best Sound, and Best Picture (TV Broadcast). It placed second for Best Theme Song ("Sirius"), Best Director (Hiroyuki Imaishi) and Best Studio (Trigger). In the Best Mascot category, Senketsu placed third and Guts placed ninth. In Best Character (female), Ryuko placed second, and Mako placed third.