Otaku USA Magazine
[Review] Kill La Kill

If you think your school is torture, you should check out Honnouji Academy. If you miss practice on the girls’ tennis club, you’ll be purged by being hit with millions of tennis balls, even if your excuse for not showing up was the fact you were being held hostage. And killing students and hanging their naked bodies up outside? All in a day’s work.

The true purpose of Honnouji Academy is to make its students worthy of wearing a Goku uniform. The uniforms give the students superhuman powers … if they can survive long enough and work hard enough to earn one. Ryuko Matoi shows up as a transfer student, holding half a giant pair of scissors. In a flashback we learn that her father had called her home saying he had an urgent message for her, but by the time she got there he was dying, impaled by a giant half-scissors … the half that Ryuko now wields! Ryuko vows to find the other half of the scissors, as well as her father’s murderer, and she thinks Honnouji Academy might have the information she needs.

In the meantime, she’s more than willing to use the half pair of scissors to fight. Kill la Kill is exuberant in its fighting scenes, with so many battles it almost feels like it’s indulging in a happy parody of shonen manga while being a shonen manga itself. The fight scenes are bombastic, with plenty of speedlines and huge lettering to introduce characters.

Ryuko might not have a Goku uniform, but she has something else up her sleeve: an incredibly fanservicey sailor uniform that talks and wants her to wear it … and feed it blood. It seems her father made this uniform before he died, and it leaves very little to the imagination, both working as fanservice and a parody of how outrageous fanservice can be.

Really, all of Kill la Kill is outrageous, from the bloodthirsty almost-pornographic outfit to the school where a student’s worst nightmares literally come true. A great spin-off of the anime series of the same name, it thoroughly enjoys itself as it fights and laughs its way through the pages. Recommended.

This story was originally published in the December 2015 issue of Otaku USA Magazine. It’s no longer on newsstands, but if you want a hard copy you can get it here. It’s also got features on Monster Musume, Gangsta, Selector Spread WIXOSS and more coverage of anime, manga, TV games, and cosplay!