Twelve Days of Anime Part 1: It’s Not Good Because It’s Different; It’s Good Because It’s The Same

No, this is not a post about Gundam or Gundam fandom (love you /m/en!).

Ryuko Matoi brandishing her scissor blade and Senketsu from Kill la Kill

I love Kill la Kill.  Lots of people love Kill la Kill.  I do find it very interesting that many fans go to bat for the show by claiming that it is good because it is different.  The argument, I think, is that Kill la Kill is distinct both in body (how it looks) and spirit (what it conveys and how it makes you feel) from anime’s other offerings.  I disagree.  I don’t find anything particularly novel about the show.  On the contrary, it feels comfortably familiar to me, and that is why I like it so much in the first place.

Aesthetically, Kill la Kill draws directly from a Gainax (Trigger’s parent studio) OAV called Blazing Transfer Student.  In addition to drawing on BTS for many of its visual elements, Kill la Kill also features high school kids making decisions based on the outcomes of brutal one-on-one battles, the central conceit of the OAV.  BTS isn’t KlK‘s only inspiration though.  Both the fiery temperament of the main character and over-the-top escalation of the obstacles she must overcome can be traced back to super robot fare such as Getter Robo.  Of course, you’ve got the magical-girl-esque transformations and ability upgrades.  Throw a rock and you’ll hit an anime revenge story in which the quest for vengeance begins straightforwardly but becomes more complicated than the MC originally assumes.

I do not say this to besmirch Kill la Kill.  I love Kill la Kill.  I just do not believe it is a particularly original work, which, again, is no bad thing.  What I love most about the showis its sense of enthusiasm and possibility.  These shine through just as in director Hiroyuki Imaishi’s previous effort Tengen Toppa Gurren LagannKill la Kill makes me feel the way I felt when watching Redline; I am totally swept up in the spectacle.  It reminds me of what I like about anime, and, for this reason, Kill la Kill is comfort food.

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Twelve Days of Anime Part 1: It’s Not Good Because It’s Different; It’s Good Because It’s The Same

3 thoughts on “Twelve Days of Anime Part 1: It’s Not Good Because It’s Different; It’s Good Because It’s The Same

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