The battle rages on! Last time we left Ryuko, she was smack bang in the middle of an all out battle royale, fighting to survive against for of the biggest bads to ever be classified high school students. Thus, without further adeui, let us rejoin the action and see just how our bombastic heroine intends to trump the Elite Four.
With Gamagoori down for the count, Inumuta is the next in line to take on Ryuko for the glory of Hannouji Academy. Diverting from his comrades “punishment and retaliation” style of combat, this tech savvy fighter prefers to rely on strategy, data and a healthy dose of invisibility to best his foes. Typical smart guy stuff. Unfortunately for Inumuta, this is a series where bravado and intensity top smarts each and every time. Poor guy didn’t even stand a chance. Jakuzure on the other hand fended a little better, opting to utilise weaponry that wouldn’t be done justice if referred to as over the top. Said weaponry also jaunts cheerfully through the public domain, bringing us such climactic tunes as Under the Double Eagle, the William Tell Overture and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. This serves to both sell the series’ love of mixing drama and ridiculousness together, as well as proving that the Elite Four’s official titles aren’t for show. Hannouji Academy is still a learning facility after all…if you pay really, really close attention and your definition of learning is very, very loose.
The Naturals Election reaches its apex however when the action is interrupted by the arrival of an unsuspecting foe. Giving Jakuzure a run for her money in the cute, abrasive category, Nui Harime makes one hell of an entrance by proving that she can completely obliterate a Three Star Goku Uniform. Mind you this is without her wearing one of her own, just some default cosplay threads, an umbrella and she can render any of the Elite Four inert. Thus we find ourselves with a brand new figure to direct our hatred towards, a concept that Ryuko unfortunately takes much to far in their original encounter. By far the darkest moment of the series so far, we are unlucky enough to witness what can happen when a Kamui is used incorrectly…it’s horrible. And I’m not just talking about the concept of being subsumed by an unpredictable source of power either, visually it is not something you want to see. Sure this isn’t a permanent malady, but damn if it isn’t one that’ll stick with you.
This volume also contains within it one of the most reserved runs of plot in the series thus far. Following her series of unfortunate events, Ryuko is more than a little worn down and spends her time wallowing in silence and sadness. An understandable reaction to be sure, but seeing a character that is normally shouting at the top of her lungs reduced to this is pretty heart wrenching. Moreso in the fact it drives a wedge between Ryuko and Senketsu, allies who could not be closer (physically and emotionally). But, as is so often the case, this downtime allows us to re-evaluate the relationships that have been forged, whilst remembering just how much characters have evolved in the melting pot that is Hannouji Academy. Which is nice, because the plot soon skyrockets right out of the school gates and takes the goal of Lady Satsuki to the national level, via the Tri City Schools Raid Trip, otherwise known as a declaration of war. Being Kill la Kill, the other schools of the Kansai District are of course just as ludicrous as Hannouji and all possess geographically and socially apt powers, such as impenetrable defences fashioned out of Kobe beef. Because why not?
As always, the visuals of this series relish in intensity and take refuge in audacity, doing their damndest to one up themselves at every turn. Hence the introduction of a tech ninja, a musical airship and an American football team (it makes just as much sense in context). With emotions more often than not reaching a fever pitch, the vocal cast also had many an opportunity to scream their lungs out this go around. Most notably would be Jakuzure, who goes from her normal bratty tone, to all out insanity when provoked. It’s pretty fun to listen to, plus it comes with the added benefit of watching a smug character crumble under pressure. There’s a sadistic pleasure in that, I believe it’s referred to as poetic justice.
Now we’re through the 10-14 episode run, just over halfway through at this point my friends. With Naturals Election done and dusted, a new arc dawns before us, one that promises to dwarf the first. On the backend, we are briefly introduced to Ragyo Kiryuin, the mother of Satsuki and head of the world dominating REVOCS clothing label. Shining with seven colours that put Satsuki’s dramatic light show to shame, this enigmatic woman is most certainly planning something, hell she even refers to clothing as sin, citing Adam and Eve as the fools who brought clothing upon humanity. An odd viewpoint for a proprietor of clothing to have, but one that only serves to cast more confusion onto her intentions. We are also privy to a rather significant power bump in Ryuko which, by anime logic, means more powerful foes await. But honestly, if you weren’t expecting more fighting, then I honestly have to ask; What series have you been watching?
The Tri City Schools Raid Trip ends in the Kansai District, but it starts at Madman