Kill la Kill
Epsiode 18: Into the Night
I just…I don’t even know where to start with this one…Seriously, so much happened. For every minute of screentime there was some form of epicness or badassery to match it. Imagine how you felt in the final minutes of last episode, now times that by one hundred. That’s this episode in a nutshell. Bear witness to more revelations than you’ve ever seen in the series thus far. It’s kind of overwhelming.
OK, so Satsuki has her mother on the ropes. Backstabbed, impaled, crucified. Pretty much the curtain call for life. Or rather it would be, if Ragyo was human…which she isn’t. Apparently the twisted tyrant decided to personally merge with Life Fibres and gain they’re colossal strength for herself. It worked, I’ll give her credit for that much. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Hey, this also might explain why she’s such a psycho bitch.” Wrong. As we learn from Satsuki’s brilliant monologue, Ragyo has never entertained the slightest iota of goodness within her empty husk of a heart. After marrying Soichiro for his scientific acumen, Ragyo bore Satsuki for the purpose of experimentation. Even back then she desired a method to appropriate Life Fibre powers into the human form. This notion also supports Ragyo’s overall treatment of Satsuki in past episodes. Though her “too close for comfort” moments merely seemed awkward to us, they showcased how Ragyo ignored mother/daughter conventions because she didn’t truly see Satsuki as a daughter. Just a subject to be poked, prodded and tested. If that wasn’t enough, the soulless CEO also gave birth to a second child. With this one she didn’t waste any time with her cruel experiments and sought to bond it with Life Fibres mere months after birth. When the experiments failed, she simply moved on. No sadness. No compassion. Nothing. At least when we though Satsuki was the villain she had emotion. This…this is something else.
On the day his second daughter perished in their experiment, Soichiro Kiryuin vowed to end his wife’s ambitions. Should he fail, he entrusted his will unto Satsuki, a will she never let go of. For thirteen years Satsuki plotted against her mother, never letting her facade slip for a moment. It is this act that forced her to fight against Ryuko and accept her misguided fury. Though, Satsuki being Satsuki, it also served to test Ryuko’s power and prove that she could stand by Satsuki’s side in the revolution. A long con so precise and crucial, that it caused a schism between her and the world she was attempting to save. But she pulled it off. A fortress, and elite guard and an army to support her. Unless something came along an suddenly turned her army against her. But there’s nothing that can do that right?
WRONG! Allow me to introduce Mind Stitching, Ragyo’s ultimate middle finger to the free will of humanity. With her multicoloured twine and a simple flick of the wrist, she can subjugate countless people and turn them into mindless marionettes. Even people as strong as Ryuko…which she does. Just when they were looking to team up, Ryuko and Satsuki were back at each other’s throats. But how long does mind control on a protagonist work anyway? In a dramatic turn of events, Ryuko punched herself in the face, then proceeded to reach into her own head and pull the Mind Stitching from her very brain. Badass. Badass enough that Ragyo was impressed and curious, which should raise some red flags for anybody. Anyway, with the Kamui clad warriors back on the same side, they each go on the offensive. Satsuki finally gets to enact her plan and Ryuko gets a little payback on Nui Harime.
When first confronted by the pigtailed demon, Ryuko looked set to slip back into the unbridled rage that almost killed her once before. However, in an expression of self control and character development, she manages to reign in her fury and challenge Nui the proper way: unrelentingly. Amidst the chaos of the Kiryuin crisis unfolding around them, it was good to see Ryuko join in the revelation rapid fire. Her countless fights throughout the anime finally culminated in her reaching complete synchronisity with Senketsu. This is represented by her awesome power and blinding speed, which shatters the faux saccharine persona of Nui Harime. Serves her right. It’s interesting to note that during her curb stomp battle with Nui, Senketsu’s glowing red segments briefly phased to purple in certain sequences. Whilst certainly a representation of power, it also connects them to the other half of the scissor blade Nui wields, which is also purple in colour. Dual wielding anybody?
In line with Ryuko and Senkestu’s perfect synch being attained, we learn that Satsuki has been wearing Junketsu wrong the entire series. Remember her infallible will overcoming Junketsu’s vicious desires? Wrong way to handle the situation apparently. Satsuki has literally been forcing Junketsu to bend to her will, which may explain his attitude to a degree. It is because of this that Satsuki was unable to completely decapitate her mother…oh yeah, Satsuki cut her mother’s head off, can’t believe I forgot that bit. Anyway, one strand of Life Fibre remained, allowing Ragyo to pull herself together and proceed to dominate Satsuki. Knowing that she spent her whole life one this one moment of vengeance and revolution, it’s honestly painful to watch Satsuki get mercilessly beaten down. With no bravado left and her power rendered ineffective, she simply loses. Though it seemed that Satsuki’s use of light to blind her mother when she decapitated her was hauntingly poetic, it was in fact a reference to Satsuki’s inability to compare. Existing as nothing but reflected light.
To add insult to injury, Ragyo takes Junketsu for her own and unleashes its true potential. Standing above all humanity as a self proclaimed higher being, Ragyo simply smiles as COVERS consume the sky. Beings born from the Orginal Life Fibre, the COVERS ominously hover above Hannouji as Ragyo moves in close and tears Ryuko’s heart from her chest…she just reaches in there and takes it. However, Ryuko doesn’t die. Remember when I said that Ragyo killed her second daughter a long time ago? That’s not entirely true. You see, the baby did survive being bonded with Life Fibres. It was found, raised and lived it’s life as Ryuko Matoi. Which means that Ruko’s father isn’t her real father. Which means that Ryuko and Satsuki are sisters. Which means that Ragyo’s two greatest foes are her own daughters…That’s one hell of a dysfunctional family.
So…yeah. COVERS looms overhead, ready to bear down on humanity, Satsuki lies imprinted in a concrete wall and Ragyo currently has Ryuko’s heart in her hands…This episode didn’t end well for the goods guys. Here’s hoping that they can turn it all around…Here’s hoping that they live long enough to try…
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