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Kill la Kill (Japanese: キルラキル, "Kill ra Kill") is a Japanese anime television series developed and produced by Studio Trigger, in the animation studio's first ever original anime television project.

As a result of HBO Max's partership with Crunchyroll, this was one of seventeen starting-anime for the service, alongside ERASED and Bungo Stray Dogs.

The entire series was avaliable at launch.

Premise

Kill la Kill follows vagrant schoolgirl Ryuko Matoi on her search for her father's killer, which brings her into violent conflict with Satsuki Kiryuin, the iron-willed student council president of Honnouji Academy, and her mother's fashion empire.

Characters

Main

  • Ryuko Matoi - A stern schoolgirl, and the protagonist of the series, who transfers to Honnouji Academy in order to find the one who murdered her father Isshin Matoi. She possesses the Scissor Blade, one half of the Rending Scissors
  • Satsuki Kiryuin - The ruthless student council president of Honnouji Academy of 18-year-old, administers Goku Uniforms to students using various hierarchical schemes such as a no-late day event and battle royale-esque tournaments such as the Naturals Election. She wields a katana named Bakuzan.
  • Mako Mankanshoku - An energetic, uber-airhead second-year student and Ryuko's classmate. She immediately befriends Ryuko upon the latter's arrival at the school.
  • Senketsu - A talking sailor uniform that Ryuko finds beneath her house. He is a kamui (神衣, lit. "Godrobe"), an outfit made entirely of Life Fibers, which provides its wearer with superhuman abilities in exchange for their blood.

Supporting

  • Honnouji Academy Elite Four
    • Uzu Sanageyama
    • Houka Inumuta
    • Ira Gamagoori
    • Nonon Jakuzure

Cast

  • Ami Koshimizu as Ryuko Matoi
    • Erica Mendez provided her English voice.
  • Ryōka Yuzuk as Satsuki Kiryuin
    • Carrie Keranen proviced her English voice.
  • Aya Suzaki as Mako Mankanshoku
    • Christine Marie Cabanos provided her English voice.
  • Toshihiko Seki as Senketsu
    • David Vicent provided her English voice.

Production

Development

The anime television project, directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi at his animation studio, Trigger, was first teased in the March 2013 issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Newtype magazine released on February 7, 2013. Kill la Kill was officially announced on May 8, 2013, with scripts written by Kazuki Nakashima and character designs by Sushio.

According to director Imaishi, much of the plot is based on his observation that the Japanese manner of pronouncing "fascio" (ファッショ, fassho) is nearly the same as the word "fashion" (ファッション, fasshon), his observation that the pronunciation of the Japanese words "school uniform" (制服, seifuku) and "conquest" (征服, seifuku) are identical, and that the titular kiru may mean "kill" (キル), "to cut" (切る), or "to wear" (着る).

Release

The series is licensed in North America by Aniplex of America, who simulcast the series on Daisuki.net,[ and streamed it on Crunchyroll, and Hulu. The series aired on Adult Swim's Toonami block in the United States from February 8 to August 2, 2015. It also started airing on Viceland UK on October 16, 2017.

Reception

Critical

Kill la Kill was well received by critics. Eliot Gay of Japanator called the "uniquely fun, even gripping" series "a reminder of how fun and creative anime can be at its best", despite the readily apparent budget constraints. Kat Bailey of IGN, describing the series as "magical girl anime on speed", noted that its over-the-top absurdity was part of its charm. Joseph Luster of Otaku USA described the series's concept as "mostly straightforward setup for revenge and shonen-style 'stronger! STRONGER!' battle progression", but praised its execution. Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku appreciated the series for "perfectly mixing comedy and action", its pacing, internal consistency and over-the-top straightforward adaptation of standard action anime tropes. The animation of fight scenes and character movements, as well as the "keen selection of music", were particularly praised by Robert Frazer of UK Anime Network. Michael Logarta of GMA News Online likewise noted the "superb pacing", to-the-point storytelling and well-realized characters in the series's "whirlwind of gorgeous visuals, story, and unfettered insanity".

Awards

Kill la Kill won multiple prizes during the 4th Newtype Anime Awards, including Best Character Design (Sushio), Best Script (Kazuki Nakashima), Best Sound, and Best Picture (TV Broadcast). It placed second for Best Theme Song ("Sirius"), Best Director (Hiroyuki Imaishi) and Best Studio (Trigger). In the Best Mascot category, Senketsu placed third and Guts placed ninth. In Best Character (female), Ryuko placed second, and Mako placed third.

UK Anime News Network selected it as the 2013 UK Anime Network Awards winner in the "Best streaming anime" category. Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network also appreciated the inventive and funny animation and the series's "retro shonen action pushed to (...) loony, hyperactive extremes".

Trivia

  • A manga adaptation based on the series, illustrated by Ryō Akizuki, began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten's Young Ace magazine on October 4, 2013.
    • The series ended with the seventeenth chapter on February 4, 2015, a year after the final episode of the anime.

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