Friday, January 31, 2014

10 Second Anime - Kill la Kill - Episode 16

Kill la Kill - Episode 16

All the backstory about life fibers is finally revealed, and Ryuko's and Senketsu's roles in the ultimate confrontation with Ragyo Kiryuin. But what if Ryuko refuses that role, and Satsuki too?

So much exposition, from the Kiryuin side and the Nudist Beach side. Here's what we now know: the life fibers are alien parasites who feed off the nervous system of animals. They chose humans to be their best hosts for their developed cerebra, and subtly improved their evolution so that one day, the life fibers could feed off them in a grand harvest. It was Ragyo Kiryuin who somehow came into possession of the big ball of life fiber, and hatched her plan to make Revocs clothing (a backwards writing of Cover, which is what the life fibers want to do) ubiquitous, and awaken the life fibers sewn into each one when humanity was ready. Dr. Matoi, Ryuko's father, found out about the extraterrestrial nature of the life fibers while researching them for Revocs, and formed Nudist Beach to oppose this harvest. He created an artificial life fiber suit to be worn by his daughter, who was extremely tolerant of the draining effect that life fibers have on their hosts. But before he could present the suit to Ryuko or Nudist Beach, he was attacked by Harime the Tailor, which brings us to the beginning of the show.

A Mako Moment captures the viewers' shock at all this news:

Aikuro explained this all to Ryuko and Mako at the undamaged portion of their base. On the flipside, at the Kiryuin mansion, Ragyo takes Satsuki to see the big ball of yarn. Much shorter explanation when you can see it right in front of you. Satsuki's facial expressions belie an ambivalence about her mother's plans. The source of this ambivalence is surely from wearing Junketsu in battle. Instead of disengaging the transformed suit at will, like Ryuko and Senketsu, her suit must be forcibly stopped from feeding on her blood. This was much like Ryuko and Senketsu in the beginning episodes when she was too self-conscious about her nudity, and the lack of a relationship she had with Senketsu. With Junketsu, once he's got his fangs in Satsuki, he doesn't let go. Her mother has prepared a special bath to help soothe the pain after she has worn a life fiber suit for too long.

Mother and daughter seem to share an interesting relationship... With what Satsuki goes through whenever she transforms Junketsu, it's not a stretch to see that she may be having doubts about the world population being fed on by life fibers. The plan may have been theoretical all her life, as she gathered schools to wear the Revocs uniforms, but when she finally put Junketsu on, the reality might not have been to her liking.

As for Ryuko, who got all this new information dumped on her, about how she and an artificial life form are meant to destroy its brethren, it's understandable that she needs to process this.

I seriously thought the episode was going to end on this scene, ruminating Ryuko next to sleepy Mako. But our anti-hero takes the anti-hero route. Slapping the face of all those other magical girl shows with a sci-fi veneer, which always have the trope of using the alien invader's cells/energy/material against it, she says, "Don't give me this shit!" Senketsu is a sentient being, and she doesn't want to force him to kill his own kind. This forces Kinigase to give her two pieces of useful information: 1) A Kamui not used for battle is useless, and 2) that means he'll destroy it right here and now. Aaand standoff for the cliffhanger.

We've now got the whole banquet laid out for the last 8 episodes. We just need some more motivation, a few more revelations on old relationships, one or two betrayals, a major character's redemption, and lots of crazy battle scenes. Kill la Kill phase 2 has begun!

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