At the end of my last post, I dropped a lowkey, mediocre hint at which anime I’d talk about in this post. If you guessed it, then congratulations and thank you for putting up with how much of a piece of trash I am for this specific anime.
Favorite anime I’ve watched so far? Kill la Kill.
This is hands down my favorite anime and I haven’t had many seasons in my anime fan life where I could definitively point to just one series that’s my lasting favorite. The five in-depth posts I’ve written about it (plus a guest post I’ve hosted and a forthcoming sixth post from me) is a testament to how intensely I responded to this series.
I think a lot of different factors came together to formulate that response. First, I’m three years out of college, but still do what I can to keep my analytical mind sharp. Second, I’m deeply entrenched and interested in both intersectionality and Christian theology. If Kill la Kill had come out while I was still in college or high school, I wouldn’t have had the knowledge or viewpoints that I have now, so I don’t think I would’ve responded the same way at all.
Ragyo’s speech in episode 13 to her corporate drones, where she invokes the Genesis 3 story, was the initial spark that made me open up a Word document, start over from the beginning, and actively take notes. Then I noticed other themes I jive with: feminism, queerness, and dismantling oppressive social structures. This combined with the most important characters being girls or women just made me engage with the story in a way I haven’t experienced with other anime.
All of that said, if I were writing Kill la Kill, I wouldn’t approach it the same way. It passes off some terrible actions, events, and behaviors as okay and while it may have some liberative elements, it’s hardly a poster-child for female empowerment (even though it’s easy to find female empowerment in the story).
I think even with its problems, Kill la Kill doesn’t present anything one-dimensionally, whether it’s nudity or kamui or other plot elements. That’s probably why I keep coming back to it and I see something new every time I rewatch a few episodes.
Next: Anime you’re ashamed you enjoyed. It’s not a trick question.