Kill la Kill Volume Three
Format: DVD (reviewed), Blu-ray
Release Date: March 11, 2015
Price: $29.95 AUD (DVD) – Available Here / $34.95 AUD (Blu-ray) – Available Here
This volume brings us up to and past the half-way point of the series. The action, the sheer insanity of the series and every other aspect of the series (for better or worse) have all remained consistent so far. Some episodes have been better than others, but the creative team always manages to find some way to make every episode entertaining. This volume promises more violent action that the previous volumes, so do these five episodes maintain that same level of quality of the previous nine episodes, or is the action unnecessarily violent and over-the-top?
After defeating Ira Gamagoori in the first battle of the final round of the First Naturals Election, Ryuko is now up against Houka Inumuta. Using his skills of data collection and analysis, he is able to dodge many of Ryuko’s attacks. Comparatively, this battle seems to be over far quicker than all the other matches, but it becomes clear that this fight did not take place so Inumuta could defeat Ryuko, but rather so he could gather more data about her fighting capabilities for future reference. She then immediately faces Nonon Jakuzure, who uses the power of sound to overpower Ryuko and leave her and Senketsu unable to focus clearly on formulating a plan to defeat Jakuzure. Ryuko then gains the power of flight and takes off like a rocket, eventually winning by using Jakuzure’s own power to defeat her. Uzu Sanageyama is now all that remains of the Elite Four, the other three members of which are now sitting rather intimidatingly next to the hyper-energetic Mako Mankanshoku.
It is right as the final battle is about the begin that a new character, who had previously only been shown during a few brief shots, is introduced. This person turns out to not only be an enemy to Ryuko, but interestingly as an annoyance to Lady Satsuki as well. Her name is Nui Harime, and she possesses the ability to de-thread a Goku uniform without even breaking a sweat. Though Ryuko does not realise who she is at first glance, Harime wields the other half of the scissor blade and reveals to Ryuko that she was the person who murdered her father. Unable to control her rage, Ryuko continues to fight so much that she loses so much blood that she essentially becomes a zombie, fighting but unable to actually have any kind of thought that would allow her to formulate a strategy to defeat her father’s murderer. The best points in the series are not where there is relentless action and violence, but where the other side of Ryuko appears, the side that views Mako as a friend and part of her will to fight, best seen in the scene in which Mako brings her back to her senses. Following the conclusion of the battle, Satsuki reveals her ulterior motive for creating the First Naturals Election, and we then see Honnouji Acaedmy’s finest soldiers taking over the Kansai region, all while Ryuko faces a serious dilemma of her own.
The visuals are still consistent, with the animation being fluid even during the most fast-paced action scenes these episodes have to offer. There is an slightly increased reliance on still frames though, suggesting that there may have been production issues caused by the budget or time constraints, but given the insanity of the show, it could just as easily be an intentional stylistic choice.
Female sexualisation is still prominent and frequently thrust right into the viewer’s face, but there is at least some ‘equal opportunity’ fan-service with the male transformation sequences, which still continue to be censored by the sourceless ray of light that fans of ecchi anime are undoubtedly quite familiar with. The male nudity does bring up questions about what is and is not morally acceptable at Honnouji Academy and the surrounding district, with Ryuko’s teacher Aikuro Mikisugi again displaying his nipples which inexplicably produce a bright purple light, and Ira Gamagoori being almost completely naked next to Mako following his defeat in the First Naturals Election. It is ironic then that Houka Inumuta, a fellow member of the Elite Four, gets told off by Gamagoori for wearing a tracksuit, and that Gamagoori also tells off Uzu Sanageyama, another member of the Elite Four, for wearing nothing at all.
The violence in these five episodes is ramped up to a new level, with copious amounts of blood spurting out of Ryuko’s body in what would realistically be a long enough period of time to render her dead. The choice to depict Ryuko as a zombie during this period of time is interesting, and is an accurate representation of her mental state at the time, with her mind being completely consumed by rage following the discovery of the identity of her father’s murderer. Fans of the slapstick violence seen so far in the series will likely find Mako’s method of bringing Ryuko back to her senses quite hilarious, if not completely over-the-top.
The audio remains as excellent as ever in these five episodes. The high-quality background music by Hiroyuki Sawano continues to be put to good use, although some pieces of music are used far more than others, with certain pieces only being used once throughout this entire volume. Any fans who have been having trouble deciding whether or not to pick up the CD soundtrack will be given more incentive to get it while it is still available after watching this volume.
The voice-acting is also consistently good, with minor characters and main characters alike being cast perfectly. There are however two things to note about the dub: the names of character names and Japanese locations are horribly mispronounced (in particular Mako Mankanshoku’s name), and many characters use a lot more coarse language than they have previously done, likely to signify the ever-increasing drama. Of course, at this point in the series, very few people if any at all will actually find the gratuitous swearing objectionable.
As with the previous volumes, the on-disc extras simply include the ‘web version’ previews for each episode, which are actually the regular next episode previous shown after each episode, and the textless opening and ending animation.
The episodes featured in this volume of Kill la Kill continue to entertain with the same level of action, bad-mouthing, drama, comedy and sheer craziness that has been the norm thus far. The insane and impossible amounts of blood shown in one episode in particular may put off some people from deciding to get into this series, as might the increased amount of swearing, but for those of you who have been watching since episode 1, this volume will provide you with two hours of high-quality anime entertainment.
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