Kill la Kill
Episode 6: Don’t Toy With Me on a Whim
Having gone through some pretty intense realisations last episode, Ryuko is understandably irked after chancing upon some evidence that reveals that Mikisugi has connections to her mohawked foe. Apparently the threat of vivisection carries some clout as he manages to disclose the name of his organisation: Nudist Beach. Ryuko scoffs at this “reveal” citing Mikisugi as a liar and vows to become stronger, in the hopes of getting a straight answer.
As luck would have it, Athletic Head Uzu Sanageyama, one of Satsuki’s trusted Elite Four is fairly fed up with Ryuko and wants to battle. Naturally this requires the President’s go ahead. After “sneaking” up on Satsuki, we are treated to a flashback that details their first meeting in the distant time of three years ago. It would seem that Sanageyama was the leader of the Northern Kanto Gang Alliance and cut a pretty imposing figure. With 500 supporters behind him, he was challenged one faithful day by Kiryuin Satsuki. Refusing her kind offer of surrendering to her, these 500 men were subsequently blasted across a field by nothing more than her stare. Gaining both Sanageyama’s fear and respect, he decided to lunge at her, sword drawn. Unfortunately for him, his skills were not enough and he was subsequently bested by the future President. However, rather than destroy him, she saw fit to extend another offer. If he joined her he would receive the training needed to utilise his latent power. This flashback was interesting in that it once again strayed into the bizarre occurence that is Satsuki’s compassionate side. It also expresses the fact that each Three Star follows her out of repsect, unlike the faceless masses of Hannouji. We can also conclude that Sanageyama was the last of the Elite Four to join Satsuki and that, at least three years ago, Information and Strategy Head Inumuta was still uncertain about her power, lending to the theory that he may have been the third recruit.
With his permission granted, Sanageyama wastes no time in challenging our Scissor wielding vagrant to a duel. Ryuko immediately accepts said request and meets him in the Kendo Club dojo, in front of a roaring crowd no less. Wasting no time, the two combatants prepare for battle by transforming…yeah. So apparently the Kamui is not unique in its ability to alter form, something Ryuko learns the hard way. True to his style, Sanageyama’s uniform shifts into a kick ass robotic Bogu, dubbed: Blade Regalia. This in itself is a great moment in the series as it shows that there will be a bit more variation in some of the more climactic battles. Unfortunately for Ryuko, Blade Regalia’s bulk belies his speed, an aspect which Sanageyama uses to proliferate her beatdown. Not only does Regalia possess two awesome pile bunker kendo swords, Sanageyama himself reveals his Tengantsu ability which allows him to see everything. Unfortuantely for him, this ability requires him to actually be able to see, so with a little ingenuity, and fabric, Ryuko blinds and defeats the Elite Four member. Despite his loss, Sanageyama again reveals that not all characters are what they seem and that there is a great deal of new powers coming for our protagonist. Which will be cool.
With a major deal to his pride as well as his body, Sanageyama opts for some self imposed penance in order to prove to Satsuki he has the resolve to continue fighting. Gaining her approval once more, another duel is set. Donning Blade Regalia Mk II, Sanageyama lies in wait. Ryuko immediately nullifies his Tenganstu ability as she had before and leaps, ready to deliver the finishing blow. Imagine her shock when Sanageyama lands a direct hit, sending her careening across the battlefield. Befitting such a headstrong and prideful warrior, it is revealed that Sanageyama ordered the Sewing Club Head to sew his eyes shut, so that he might never become overconfident in his skill again. Once again, this is one of those intense elements that kind of makes you forget that this series takes place in a school. A chaotic, totalitarian school of fear, but a school no less. With his eyesight now non existant, Sanageyama has acquired a power which allows him to see more than he ever could before. The eyes of the mind: Shingantsu. After an absolute onslaught at the hands of a unflinching and unceasing foe, Ryuko is saved when Sanageyama overheats his uniform…so yeah, apparently that can happen. This fact alone clearly expresses just how much he has improved, in just a single episode. Sanageyama’s drive also adds a little more personality onto the Elite Four who, up till this point, have been fairly standard anime stereotypes without too much screen time. It should also be noted that his new skills allowed him to sneak up in front of Satsuki, having gained the clarity to not care about direction.
Though not a crucial element of the episode, we also receive some more smaller glimpses into everybody’s favourite President. She herself notes how wearing Junketsu is rather draining on her physically, though she refuses any other path as she chose to seek this power.It is also seen that, unlike Senketsu who is ironed and placed on a hangar when not being worn, Junketsu is sealed behind glass and nailed to a wall, all the while flailing to escape. This hints further at the disparity between the two Kamui, though their true link is yet to be revealed. Along with Satsuki’s relationship with Junkestu, seeing her dynamic with Sanageyama was also rather interesting. Her compassion once again shows in not only the flashback, but also in her decision to actually grant him a second chance. She also notes that his inability to finish the fight was not a loss, but rather a testament to his strength. She even keeps her promise to Sanageyama by offering to have tea with him after the fight is won. Amidst all of the lust for control and power, it would seem that she has a soft spot for a select few. Her familial relationship is also teased when her mother calls, wanting to know why she donned Junketsu before her wedding day. How she will play into the series has yet to be revealed, but I’m sure it’ll be in some chaotic way. Everything in the series tends to happen that way after all.
So, what did we learn this week on Kill la Kill? Well don’t piss off a kendo master for one. It won’t end well for you. We saw that despite all of her improvements, Ryuko still has a ways to go before she can challenge Satsuki on equal footing. Also, maybe Nudist Beach doesn’t truly inspire fear as the name of a revolutionary group. Lessons were learned, eyes were stitched and heroes fled. Let the chaos continue…
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