If a mad scientist secluded himself in a laboratory for 15 years to design the most terrifying stereotypes in all of anime, and combined them into one character, and his final design was Nui Harime…he would be quite proud of his accomplishment.
But that’s skipping ahead a bit, let’s discuss the finale of the Jakuzure fight.
This fight, as opposed to last week, was played mostly for laughs and as a way for Ryuko to unlock new powers. This is arguably my biggest problem with KILL la KILL on the whole: its tendency to take interesting threads and say “Alright! We did it, now we can move on!” before they’ve fully explored the consequences of those actions. I realize I say this just shy of the halfway point, and these plot threads (Jakuzure’s crush on Satsuki, Mako’s face-heel turn) may come up later on, but at the pace this show likes to change the status quo it seems unlikely. Well, perhaps with that latter example. The former may yet rear its head.
Still, Ryuko manages to turn Jakuzure’s power of sound against her (and with all the 70s rock references in this series, the least of which being the episode titles, we kind of expected Ryuko to get a power like that sooner or later). And we had Mako getting on Gamagoori and Inumuta’s nerves (and later Jakuzure’s when she joins them in the loser’s box).
Some suspected, as did I but not seriously, hence why I didn’t mention it, that Sanegeyama wouldn’t get his rematch. He was the only one who had fought Ryuko, and was the only one not to fight her in the rumble, it seemed like coincidence, more that since Ryuko hadn’t beaten him last time, it could have gone either way. As a challenge to overcome her previous weakness, or to pull the rug out from under us since we had already seen that fight.
Enter Nui Harime.
As I said, if you designed a character to set off every red alert in anime about what not to stick your dick into, Nui would be it. A Madoka-inspired dress, fights with an umbrella, a high pitched, possibly yandere voice, eyepatch, drill tails, and huge pink bows adorning her outfits….she bears all the warning signs of an elder god who will rape you in your coma nightmares. And she does this handily with Sanegeyama, outright ripping the life fibers from his Goku uniform with her fingernails.
Oh, and she wields a scissor-blade.
Not only that, she appears to answer directly to none other than Kiryuin Ragyou, Satsuki’s mother. And she said that Satsuki began her little battle royale without informing her family. That’s quite interesting. Satsuki is keeping her own machinations from her mother. An uprising, perhaps?
We did learn what Satsuki was really after. She is using the battles with Ryuko to better strengthen the Goku uniforms. The uniforms that conquered every high school in Japan. What would she need to improve them against?
Positing a theory: Satsuki recognized the name Matoi. Could she have been the one working in tandem with Ryuko’s father? And had to sell him out to continue appearing the innocent daughter? After all, we finally found out who killed him, and it wasn’t Satsuki.
And hence, our blurb this week. It has begun. Satsuki’s switch from antagonist to anti-hero. And there were details…as soon as Nui shows up, Satsuki is given more heroic angles to her shots. Not sympathetic, she is still Kiryuin Satsuki, lord of Honnouji, but her features became less stern, and more on the side of determined. Maybe I’m just splitting hairs. But for the first time, the Elite Four heard Satsuki panic. For no other reason than for Sanegeyama’s safety. So yes, it’s safe to say the turn is soon. Whether this takes the form of action against her mother, or Nude Beach being a new antagonist against Ryuko and her Kamui, we can’t be sure yet. But the sides have definitely grown way more complicated.
Speaking of Nude Beach, they seemed ready to neutralize Ryuko’s Kamui, their best weapon against the Kiryuins, right up until Nui arrives on the battlefield. So while I expected them to be a third party villain last time, this week I’m not so sure where they’ll fall when the dust settles.
We cut out this week on Ryuko mid transformation. I wonder if her anger will give her any new powers…