Kill la Kill, Ep 3: To be pure is to have no shame

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So the performance quality of the kamui depends on how unashamed the wearer is with it, which pretty much translates to needing to not feel embarrassed about exposing your breasts to everyone. I love how this show using the fanservice now for thematic purposes and not just titillation. Even though the kamui are still pretty asinine looking, it’s neat how they’re now being used now to play with the concept of purity and “wedding outfits.”

The idea of female purity has long caused women to reject their sexuality, concealing their bodies and remaining virginal until they wed (which in modern society, has evolved to where women commonly have sex anyways but are branded as “slutty.”)

Satsuki, the woman who holds the power over the militaristic fascist school, rejects all these notions of purity and does whatever she must to fulfill her plow for more power. If she must wear a ridiculously skimpy outfit in order to master the kamui, than she sees no issue with it and does so without any objection. And when Ryuuko tries to take a stab at her by calling Junketsu an “exhibitionist getup,” Satsuki brushes this insult aside and proclaims that she should have no reason to feel ashamed of her wonderful, magnificent body worthy of the applause from a crowd of one-star uniform wearers. She inverses the whole concept of female purity and states that to feel no shame for your body is true purity. Which is really how it should be in real life.

Since this leads to Ryuuko resolving to wear the kamui with no shame, the fanservice in Kill la Kill is now more empowering to the female characters—even if it’s still there for people to oggle at. And that’s a good step in the right direction amidst all the controversy that has arisen over the show, though it still has the tendency to use “rapey” undertones for humor (even if those rapey scenes are hilarious, but I’m trying to be objective here.)

It seems kind of odd for the kamui to depend on the wearer feeling unashamed though when their creators could have just designed them to be less revealing in the first place. I would hope there’s more to it than Ryuuko’s father just being a huge pervert, otherwise that’d probably be another thing to add to the list of things about Kill la Kill that are vaguely rapey (and really I need to find a better word to use than “rapey.”)

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I was kind of hoping that this episode would throw out the ladder climbing structure of the plot, but now it seems like we’re back to where we started in episode 2 with all the school clubs targetting Ryuuko. The only difference now is that the final boss is more intimidating than before. But oh well, it’s been great so far and I have faith that Trigger will churn out something good no matter how the story ends up beings, and we can probably bet on it being anything but predictable. So I should probably avoid writing any “what will they do next?” paragraphs in these posts now. The episode did end yet again with Satsuki going deciding to spare Ryuuko when she could have easily done away with, which continues to get slightly more annoying each time the conflict is resolved in such a fashion.

The pacing seemed a tad slower and less rushed this time, so that was I nice improvement over the last couple episodes.

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6 Responses to Kill la Kill, Ep 3: To be pure is to have no shame

  1. I still don’t have anything to write about KLK… I was about to drop it after this third episode but I might hold on for now and wait for the next two ones.

    I think…. people might be looking too much about the fanservice, there’s so many interpretations going on right now about the purpose of the show. When I look at it on the surface it looks like a mindless fun kicking ass show. However the intentions of the main character, and the overall plot presented so far hasn’t been a great hook. Plus, if the creator wanted to do criticism or some type of “social commentary” it’s a tad difficult for others to notice since everything is nonsense so far.

    P.S I need to find that gif where the students are clapping after Satsuki transforms D:

    • Yeah, I would agree Kill la Kill probably gets more controversy for its fanservice than it really deserves, though I suppose it’s only to be expected when a show as hyped as this ends up having such stripperific costumes for the lead characters. And for those who dislike fanservice I can see why it would be difficult for them to ignore.

      Only reason I really brought it up in this post though was because it has thematic relevance now. To be honest I’m kind of hoping that the next episode gives me something else to write about, since although I think it’s worth discussing, I can’t say I’m all too interested in debating over whether the fanservice is problematic or not.

      I wouldn’t say that the whole show is nonsense though, since there definitely is social commentary on fascism and Japan’s “culture of shame.” YMMV however for whether it’s meaningful social commentary or not.

      A gif of the students clapping is indeed something we must have.

      (By the way, thanks for the comments! They are much appreciated.)

      • > I wouldn’t say that the whole show is nonsense though
        Nonsense in the sense that the fights are ultra crazy ones. But there’s this feeling (sorry if I’m ruining it a bit I’m this type of person that likes to nitpick on details *pouts*) that if Satsuki and Ryu are on par with their power, and the student council doesn’t go against the president… then we can already say that Ryu already won all the fights? D: *slaps self*

        I don’t pay much attention to fanservice… more like it’s rare for me to go around telling people that fanservice is bad. (way too lazy to be self-righteous yada yada) so as long as it’s fun and I chuckle/laugh it’s fine with me.

        And no probs. I’m always around reading stuff from the wordpress reader :] always good to exchange bits with other wordpress users ^-^

      • Yeah I can’t imagine how the fights would be too much of an issue for Ryuuko if she can already sort of handle her own against Satsuki, though I’d say that gives more reason to believe that this won’t be a simple ladder-climbing type of plot. (Or at least I hope so.) Like I said in the post, this is the kind of show where you’re probably better off not thinking too much about how the plot is going to develop, and just wait and see what Trigger does with it. This is done by the same people who gave us all of Gainax’s post-Evangelion works after all, so the plot will be anything but predictable.

  2. Your Mom says:

    Everyone needs to stop bitching about “fan service.” there’s hardly any. What’s everyone getting worked up over? The non nude outfits? Or the style in which they appear to have no genitals? What’s so controversial? Nothing, everyone is getting worked up over nothing.there has been mainstream animes worse than this. There, now it’s off my chest.

    • Well to answer your question of why people are getting worked up over this instead of other animes, it’s because this was a highly-anticipated series, and so it’s only natural that it would catch the attention of those more averse towards fanservice—regardless if there’s actually anything “problematic” about the fanservice to begin with.

      And yeah, the fanservice in question is mainly the “non nude outfits,” although there’s a bit more to it than that. The first couple of episodes had Ryuuko essentially being forced to wear a skimpy outfit in order to win each fight, which was clearly used to appeal to the “male gaze.” But like I explained in this post, that complaint gained less credibility once Ryuuko started to “own” her look in episode 3.

      But yeah, Kill la Kill might not deserve all the controversy, but I doubt it’ll have much effect on its popularity anyways.

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