Kill la Kill
Episode 2: So Sexy She Might Pass Out
This show just doesn’t slow down does it? No, no it doesn’t…answered my own question there. Welp if you were a fan of Episode 1, which is why I assume you’re here, strap in for the fury that was Episode 2. Tennis anyone?
We pick up right where we left off from the last episode, with boxing boy stripped and defeated and all around badass Ryuko pointing her Half Scissor Blade to the heavens, at the demon Kiryuin. During this stand-off, Senketsu relays to Ryuko that she only has five minutes before she will pass out, as it is revealed that she has indeed been giving him the blood he wanted: hers. In the midst of battle no less. Assessing the situation, Ryuko makes the smart call of retreating, rather than facing the Prez on a time limit.
Having succumbed to blood loss, Ryuko’s unconscious body is found by none other than our favourite little gang leader: Mataro Mankanshoku. She awakens in a strange room, with an unknown man breathing heavily over her. Immediately she punches said man, launching him into the ceiling, then the floor. It is at this point that Ryuko learns that the man is Barazo Mankanshoku, Mako’s father and also the one who treated her wounds. Whilst these scenes reveal Mako’s family in its entirety, mother Sukuyo included, it also serves to cement one thing: People. Are. Crazy. Continuing from what we’ve already seen, Ryuko appears the only character who takes a step back and wonders just what in the holy hell is going on in this place. Even Mako’s mother, whilst appearing calm and sweet, is completely complacent and unfazed by the chaos that unfolds around her. Naturally this is hilarious, as Ryuko essentially represents what we, the audience, feel whenever anything happens.
We then learn of the President’s newest scheme in her desire for world domination. Can you guess what it is? That’s right! An interleague tennis match. With the opposing team so intimidated and having suffered a heavy blow to their very core being, her take over of Northern Japan will be complete…and you thought Wimbledon was serious. We are also introduced to the next Two Star opponent: Omiko Hakodate, the Tennis Club Captain. With new power in her possession, she seeks to dominate on the tennis court and aid her fearsome leader. It is also at this time that we learn why the Hannouji uniforms appear as they do. Believing that school is run with military precision, Kiryuin took it a step further by providing military uniforms, army for the boys and naval for the girls. This scene is actually more important than it may be given credit for, as it shows that Kiryuin’s control over the school is so intense, so complete that she even decides what her “followers” are to wear everyday. Also, in case it wasn’t obvious, that she controls every school club absolutely and to their absolute extremes. The sewing club for example, being a large factory where numerous members slave to create the Goku Uniforms.
This episode also treats us to a flashback that reveals the events right after Ryuko donned Senketsu for the first time. We learn that despite knowing clearly that drinking blood will grant him and his wearer tremendous power, he lacks a great deal of his own memories. He does however, vaguely recall his creator: a man with a beard, an eyepatch, a white lab coat, stooped posture, sandals, a can and a pet mouse. With such a thorough description, Ryuko reveals Senketsu could only be describing one man: her father. It is also at this point that Ryuko creates the name Senketsu, literally translating to “fresh blood” , based on his method of revival.
Back to present times, Mako explains to Ryuko that a students position in school decides where they are to live in the city, hence her home in the slums. Her invitation for Ryuko to live with her is cut short by a barrage of tennis balls, launched directly into Mako’s face. As it turns out, Mako is a member of the Tennis Club and, due to her kidnapping the previous day, missed training. Tennis Captain Hakodate is naturally behind this punishment, with the promise of much, much more. As if you already didn’t know she was evil, the series uses this moment to show that she is also just a terrible person in general…and she has a weird monocular thing on her head…and is mean. Anyway, in her attempt to defend Mako, Ryuko is for some reason unable to awaken Senketsu, leading to a tactical retreat and a number of questions about how to use her mysterious new power.
After being washed away by a barrage of tennis balls, Ryuko is rescued by her homeroom teacher: Aikuro Mikisugi. Whilst taking increasingly glorious poses, for some reason, he explains that Senketsu is actually a Kamui. Though before revealing any more, thank God, he wishes Ryuko to prove herself worthy of answers by defeating the Tennis Captain. He does give her the Seki Tekko though, a snazzy looking gauntlet to make it easier for her to feed Senketsu her sweet, sweet blood.
Immediately Ryuko races to challenge Hakodate to a match, but not the one she was expecting. After some bizarre reasoning from Sanageyama, the sword wielding Two Star, Ryuko is forced into one of the most intense tennis matches in the history of everything forever. With some back and forth, both words and tennis balls, Ryuko is down 40-0, mainly due to the fact that her rackets keep exploding under her own power. Following Senketsu’s advice, she constructs a makeshift racket from the Scissor Blade and a thread, surprisingly with the approval of Kiryuin. Imbuing it with all of her power, she strikes down her opponent before strippin her of her Goku Uniform, much to the delight of the audience. Whilst this victory is cool, it also serves to show how badass Ryuko is, as the President herself descends from her lofty perch, something I assume doesn’t happen often. She then attack Ryuko with her sword, said to possess the power to strike down even a Kamui. Though Ryuko once again retreats, Kiryuin is still impressed that she was even able to survive, let alone block, a strike from her sword. A side comment made by Kiryuin about scheduling a sumo match to replace the now dishonoured tennis club, is another subtle expression of Kiryuin’s cool-headed and emotionless demeanour.
Once again Kill la Kill proves to be an absolutely insane, fast-paced series that holds nothing back and leaves as much of an impression as a racket on Hakodate’s face. The story is explored a little more, which is good, though no real answers are given. Hopefully Episode 3 will shed some more light onto what Senketsu truly is and the secrets within Hannouji. Though this episode did show us that the Prez is interested in Ryuko’s power, which I’m sure will be the first step to her eventual downfall…omoshiroi.
Check out more Kill la Kill Impressions HERE.