Kill la Kill
Episode 8: I Will Wipe My Own Tears
At the end of the last episode, after the Mankanshoku’s return trip through riches, President Satsuki pondered the skill of her student army. What with Ryuko tearing through them like they were paper and all. When the old system starts to fail there’s only one sensible thing to do: hold an all out seven day brawl to see who stands worthy amidst the masses. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Naturals Election.
Whilst the nameless students of Hannouji immediately begin the chaotic proceedings, the Elite Four decides that they are confident enough in their own abilities to avoid any combat until the final day when only the strongest remain, better known as the Sudden Death Runoff Election. With a week to themselves Gamagoori leaves, car key in hand, deciding to practice his driving so that he may personally chauffeur his illustrious Lady Satsuki. Even the other three Elites note how impressive his loyalty is.
Ryuko also decides to skip the schoolwide rumble, opting instead to travel to the ruins of her family house in search of clues. Naturally Mako joins her after once again proving she isn’t just a ditz, noting that as a No Star student she has nothing to lose, so why bother fighting. Don’t worry she’s back to her regular self in about a minute, noting how Ryuko must be poor, having grown up in burnt out ruins…not always the sharpest girl, but that’s why we love her. After clearing up her home’s previous lack of fire damage, Ryuko reveals some of her past to Mako. With a distant father who only had time for his work (and looked like a mad scientist straight out of an 80’s anime) and a mother who passed away when she was born, Ryuko grew up fairly troubled. She lashed out and fought everybody, becoming a full blown juvenile delinquent. However, once her father asked to speak to her one day, her path changed. When she found her father half dead he gave her a choice, walk away and live a peaceful life or take up the Scissor and search for its other half, wielded by the one who murdered him. Unfortunately in her immediate pursuit of the killer, Ryuko never got to hear what else her father wanted to tell her, as the house erupted in flame and he was lost to her forever. Another regret and more answers she longs for. This backstory expresses how Ryuko’s openly abrasive attitude conceals her more fragile side that is seen occasionally. It also depicts more clearly just how different the Mankanshoku family dynamic is and why she desperately wants to hold onto it despite her uncertainty.
With the bunker beneath her house empty, for which Senketsu suspects Mikisugi to be responsible, the Mankanshoku’s pilfered scooter runs out of gas, leaving Ryuko and Mako stranded on the side of the road. Deciding to hitchhike, they are met by Gamagoori who is out for a drive in his stylish pink convertible. However, rather than fighting Ryuko, he decides to assist them as they are students of Hannouji who have found themselves in trouble off campus. Not everybody is so kind though, as not too soon after their drive begins, the Automotive Airsoft Club decides to wipe out Gamagoori and steal his Three Star Uniform. Not the smartest idea but at least they learned from Maiko’s foolish idea to steal Senketsu. After his driving skills end him up in a concrete wall, Gamagoori unleashes his Three Star transformation: Shackle Regalia. Whilst taking an ineffectual pummelling from the Airsoft lackeys, and liking it just a little too much, he details the day he met Satsuki and his life changed. (Cue flashback music)
Apparently Gamagoori was his own high school’s President and sported a much more luscious ‘do to boot. A purveyor of justice, he was appalled by some students who used their family’s status to terrorise others, even forcing one student to jump off a roof for something as trivial as spilling milk on someone. Not that there’s a good reason to make someone jump off of a roof…that’s just bad. When Satsuki arrives, she immediately claims Gamagoori’s school as her own, neutralising the threat of outside retribution by buying out the company of one student’s parents and firing another’s. Gamagoori notes how she is no different from the others, utilising her parents power to impose her rule. Satsuki immediately begins one of her explanations, noting that she does note abuse their power, she takes it for her own. Semantics. But it does give him something to think about.
Back in the present, Gamagoori changes gears from masochism to sadism as he transforms once again into the Scourge Regalia, lashing out and whipping the Automotive Airsoft club to shreds. With their common enemy defeated, Gamagoori and Ryuko part ways until their showdown in…the Sudden Death Runoff Election. With the herd thinned out by constant combat, Satsuki reveals the final challenge: climbing. Those who stand atop the pillars in the courtyard will be the front runners for the privilege of a Three Star uniform. With five pillars there is just enough places for the Elite Four and Ryuko, shocking I know. As each Elite desires the chance to best Ryuko, a King of the Hill match is set up. With passion burning in each contender, who will come out on top when titans clash?
This week in Kill la Kill we learnt a little more about the titanic Gamagoori and his pre Hannouji life. We learnt that his loyalty is powerful enough for him to re-enroll in highschool at the age of twenty, that he cares deeply about justice, that he’s willing to help out an enemy should his duty call for it and that he once had beautiful hair. What a loss. With that and Ryuko’s own troubled past, it seems like nobody has it easy in the origins department. Oh well, there’s no time like the present and, in said present, these two students stand ready to fight. Let the battle begin!
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