Kill la Kill
Episode 7: A Loser I Can’t Hate
This week we take a slight divergence from last episode’s quest for answers and power, instead peering into the twisted cityscape that is Hannouji. With the iron fisted rule of Satsuki extending far beyond the school walls, even the citizens are not free from her rules. When might equals right, how will our Kamui clad hero cope with this barbaric world order?
Whilst partaking in one of the trademark Makanshoku family dinners, Ryuko notes how different it is from her own childhood. Apparently papa Matoi was not the most responsible father, shipping Ryuko off to boarding school at a young age. With her mother having passed away, Ryuko wasn’t left with a lot of family connections. After having been accepted so warmly into the household, she decides that it’s high time she payed the family back somehow. Calling on her stengths, she decides to infiltrate the Satsuki system and form her own institution: Fight Club. As an official part of the Hannouji school system, the members of Fight Club are entitled to all the benefits that come with such a position. Unfortunately, being the President of such a club, as Ryuko had initially intended, also comes with paperwork. A lot of paperwork. Not prepared for such a task, Ryuko immediately hands the reigns over to everybody’s favourite ditz: Mako. As the episode progresses we are treated to a brand new side of Mako, a responsible side never seen before. She rather quickly grasps the concepts of the school system, creating a plan for Ryuko to use her natural talents to secure a stronger position for their club. Carving through clubs with prodigious speed, Fight Club gains enough clout for Club President Mako to gain a One Star uniform and with it, a residential upgrade.
As the Makanshoku family works their way up through the echelons of society, they begin to change. What began as an innocent jubilance for their more well of lifestyle, twists into a desire for more. Greed. Pure and simple. A family that was once happy with mystery meat croquettes now considers opulence a given, drifting further apart from each other in the process. As Ryuko sits alone at a lavish table, she finds herself regretting her course of action, having lost that which she cherished the most. That being said, the fault lies with the Makanshoku family, rather than Ryuko herself. Not used to anything more than life in the slums, they were not equipped for such a rapid rise through the social hierarchy of Hannouji. It for this reason that Satsuki even allowed Fight Club to form, trusting “human weakness” to grab hold of the loveable family. We have already seen Satsuki’s despisal towards all she deems weak, which is quite a large deal of the population. Hoping to seize victory through less direct means, Satsuki sought to have Ryuko too succumb to the barbaric simplicity of her regime. That being said, a small smile creeps across her face when Ryuko remains defiant. Perhaps in the acceptance of Ryuko as a truly worthy opponent, or perhaps in relief that she may be wrong about the world. Who knows?
Unfortunately, thee is one who does not remain entirely unaffected by Satsuki’s plan. One who allows the system of violence and reparations to cloud her judgement. Mako. Having lived in the grasp of poverty for, presumably, her entire life, she is unwilling to give up her new position…even if that requires her to turn on a friend. Granted the power of a Two Star uniform by Satsuki, she is given a rare chance: Defeat Ryuko and immediately receive a Three Star uniform and a place on the Student Council. Donning her Fight Club Spec outfit, the misguided Mako reveals yet another side: badass. Able to go toe to toe with a Kamui, she proves herself a more than capable fighter. Refusing to fight her friend, Ryuko deactivates Senketsu and proceeds to get pummelled for hours. This display of faith eventually manages to get through that thick Makanshoku skull, forcing the family to realise the error of their ways and rush to Ryuko’s side.
This episode also provides an explanation for the seemingly endless supply of ridiculous clubs and over the top anime baddies that target Ryuko. Consumed by the same greed that almost tore the Makanshoku family apart, Hannouji clubs have begun to crumble and divide. As only the club president will receive a Three Star uniform upon defeating Ryuko, each student desires the power for themselves. It is also for this reason that Ryuko faces so many weak opponents. Though many now hold the title of Club President, very few of them are actually worthy of said position. It’s essentially a system that creates its own cannon fodder. Very handy. Plus Ryuko gets more chances to add to her collection of requisitioned Life Fibres. It’s win/lose, in the good way.
Well we learnt quite a lot in Kill la Kill this week. Not about fighting or super powered clothing, but about family. What it really means to be happy and what you need to continue living. Apparently it isn’t things, but emotions and connections with loved ones…weird right? When life begins to change around you, it’s easy to lose sight of what you started with. The only difference between a shack and a mansion is all the hollow space.
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