Can't believe I made enough of an impression for you to remember my art >.<
And ah yes that scene! It's one of my favorites (although the number of "favorite scenes" I have for this show is probably more than the number of "not-favorite scenes"...). It's one of those scenes that shows how much Ryuuko has grown over the course of a couple of episodes. The scene is a giant parallel to the scene in the first episode when Ryuuko, after losing horribly to the boxer dude, flees school on a stolen bike and stands in the ruins of her home in the same exact pose. Then, she's dragged into shenenigans when stripper-sensei drops her down the trapdoor.
But now, 8 episodes later, things have changed. Ryuuko is no longer alone -- she has a friend now, Mako. She's not running to the ruins of her house in defeat, but with a purpose. The bike she rides is lent to her willingly by her foster parents, not stolen from a passer-by.
And when Ryuuko goes down that trapdoor again, she goes out of her own free will.
Maybe she's as far from learning the truth about her father's death as she had been in episode 1, but Ryuuko's grown. She went from someone who's been kicked around by the plot to someone with agency. The changes are subtle -- she's still as hotblooded as always and still a deliquent at heart, but they are definitely there.
And it's like, wow I can talk about this show forever and it's so much better than people give it credit for and it's not like I've watched each episode 3 times or something of course not
Wow, you seem really touched by the story development.
I personally got way more hyped at the beggining, but I'm still loving it and I expect something big to happen on christmas. It'll be in the middle of the season, and knowing Trigger, they probably planned something to blow our minds.
And I still do think it has something to do with the school being a giant uniform. Notice how the gateway has fingers and the main building looks like the chest piece of a sailor uniform. And people give hands and become a red net above the school in the Opening. And the sculptures in the Ending. So many clues, Satsuki has something really big going on in her mind.
Oh no you got me talking about Kill la Kill now I'll never stoooooop
Honestly speaking, in the beginning, I was pretty sure that the show is going to be a complete trainwreck -- mostly because of the transformed Senketsu design was just so... wow. Probably one of the worst designs I've seen in years. And when episode one established that it's not going to be a serious show, I was actually quite worried. Humor can only go so far without becoming stale, and 2 cours is a lot of episodes. It'd be the result of a beginning studio trying too hard, having too much freedom, and finally flopping. It'd be an entertaining trainwreck, but it'd still be a trainwreck regardless.
But I kept on watching after episode 1 because it gave me a bit of hope. Episode 1 hinted that they were probably planning something. Too many people got stripped naked, and they were too aware of how ridiculous Ryuuko's transformed outfit was. But there was just so many jokes and janky animation and hiarity that I wasn't sure if I was just seeing things. I had hoped that they would do something profound, but it seemed like they're just going to slap toilet jokes and underboobs all over the screen...
As of episode 1, I decided that Kill la Kill is going to be an absolutely sexist, repetetive, terrible trainwreck unless they actually address nakedness as a symbol. They have to demonstrate that the uniform design isn't just for fanservice. If this doesn't happen, it's going on my list of sexist-as-hell, brainless-but-well-it's-kinda-entertaining shows.
And then, well, here I am, typing paragraphs of praise about this show. Studio Trigger, you win.
Kill la Kill lives on the edge. It sets itself up as an uniform-of-the-week but then stomps your exceptations in with its heels with each episode. It looks like the dumbest show in existence but it's actually extremely smart below the surface.
(That's not saying there's still problems. The way it's handling issues regarding women and sexuality is dipping into dangerously sexist territtory at times, and any mishap will send it straight from empowerment to the bottom of the sexist pit. My interpretation of the show makes it pass most of the tests so far (biggest/only problem is the Senketsu-"rape" scene), but I know some people who see it as the most sexist thing to hit anime in years...)
ANYHOW, yes! The school being a giant uniform, clothing + the lack of as a theme, the red strings... My personal guess is that the red strings and the red people holding hands symbolize society, aka the bonds between people. Red string of fate, the people holding hands forming a cage... Things like clothing being restrictive like a cage (see the ED), people being ashamed of their bodies because of society's beliefs... Plus the focus with Ryuuko being a loner in the past and now making friends + family, Senketsu absorbing fibers from destroyed uniforms, episode 7 (episode 7!!)...
These guys seem to know how the 2-cour story-telling format works, so I expect a climax at the half-way point (ep 13ish). As for what the climax will be about... Well, it's Trigger. From what I've seen, there's no way we can guess.
Fanservice always bothered, I was more like "I hope these absorbed threads will make her outfit more covered over time, like a reverse-fanservice, but I'm losing my hopes here. At least they made episode 3 and this settled the fanservice as something trivial, "just shameful in Ryuko's head". Satsuki put it in a way I hadn't thought about: even though this kind of fanservice is put to attract teenagers into the show, the show itself mocks people who do it because they are pigs in human clothes, the masses.
You watched TTGL, right? I wasn't expecting something deep (and am still not), I think it'll be more straightforward like TTGL, but equally epic and worth it. But not being deep doesn't mean it's silly or dumb, you see through the whole structure of the rather simple plot, the references, the small clues and the way they show information bit by bit that even a simple story (if it is going to be one) can be told in interesting ways. And even being straightforward, TTGL carried a very interesting messages about humankind, which I believe will happen again.
From Episode 1 and 2 I really wasn't expecting it to be based on humor, but rather in action and punching everyone in the face.
Episode 4, "No late day", was really cartoonish and I thought "now THIS is something completely based on humor". I liked the episode as an isolated case, but when it happened again on episode 7 and the preview for episode 8 hinted it would be another comedic one, I finally thought I didn't want the show to go this way as default. Fortunately, episode 8 progressed more with plot and action than slapstick and "Gamagoori Squarepants learns to drive", which is what I was expecting. Now it's focused on battles and I do believe we won't get much room for more No late days, since mid-season is coming with something big - they already declared in interview that it'll grow way more serious because the plot unfolded to something really big when they were making it. Cross your fingers, let Santa be nice to us.
I actually kinda disliked the idea of Ryuuko gaining fibers and more clothing as a solution to the stripper-outfit. It's a bit like running away from the problem, you know? Ryuuko is embarassed as hell by Senketsu's transformed form. Everyone's pointing out how it's lewd to be showing that much skin. Ryuuko fights, and becomes stronger, and gains back more clothes (and her dignity) while stripping everyone else along the way. That would be interesting symbolism, but it's not enough of a solution by itself. The original problem is still there -- that Ryuuko, on her own without any clothes, is shameful and weak. Her power is the sole product of her clothes. She wouldn't really be stronger. It's just that everyone else now respects her strength.
Then this would be a story about Ryuuko fighting so other people would view her with respect... which, I feel, isn't really as good of a message as "screw what society thinks, I DO WHAT I WANT". Or "I'm born with boobs, DEAL WITH IT".
They way Kill la Kill dealt with the theme gives Ryuuko control. Again, the growing agency: Ryuuko goes from being pulled around by society's ideas to someone who does what she wants. She goes from just kinda dealing with Senketsu's stripper form because she had to to owning it, embracing it, and thus, gaining control of it. "To wear and to be worn" indeed...
Kill la Kill knows what it's doing with the fanservice. Small things like: Episode 2, Mako's family peeps on Ryuuko changing clothes. Ryuuko is in her underwear. But is that really a service shot? The camera angle is sympathetic to Ryuuko--the camera follows Ryuuko's point of view. The first scene is Ryuuko from behind, opening the door. The second is what Ryuuko sees, aka a bunch of perverts. We're looking through Ryuuko's eyes, and we see what she sees. "We" are meant to be Ryuuko. "We" are not the perverts from behind the door.
If it's completely meant as a service shot, then we would've gotten a view of Ryuuko from the front; the camera would have been coming from the perverted guys' point of view. And if they really wanted for it to be 100% service, it wouldn't just be a shot of Ryuuko casually standing there. They would slow down and pan up Ryuuko's legs, following the eye movements of the pervers peeping in on her. Then, we would be sympathetic towards the perverts, because "we" are the pervers.
Kill la Kill never invites the audience to enjoy the fanservice. The only time Ryuuko is in servicey positions is when she's placed in it without her own free will; and even then, she always looks pissed off and ready to hit someone. Are you going to be one of the depraved perverts on the sidelines and eye-grope her? Be part of the crowd who's responsible for making Ryuuko ashamed of her own body?
And I think that's the difference between Kill la Kill's "fanservice" shots and the those from your generic service-heavy anime. It's the reason I think Kill la Kill is, ultimately, an empowering work instead of a sexist one.
(I know some people who interpret these scenes as an invitation to enjoy the service, not as a taunt. Those people hate Kill la Kill for being super sexist and terrible. I personally believe that these people are misinterpreting Kill la Kill, but eh, to each their own, I guess. )
(A big bias I have against American comic books; why do the women superheros always land with their butts up in the air and their legs sprayed out like that? And why would anyone choose to wear skimpy armor?)
Hm, maybe "profound" isn't the right word. Maybe "smart"? Like how TTGL is smart and interesting. Kill la Kill already made a really interesting point about embracing the own body you're born with and not be ashamed of it.
Hm, didn't feel like episode 7 was humor. Episode 7 is actually super interesting, symbolism wise and also plot-wise. The character development was a bit heavy-handed but there's a lot of things they did that surprised me (in a good way).
Don't believe in yourself! Believe in Studio Trigger who believe in you! DON'T LOSE YOUR WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
(Oh god this keeps on getting longer and longer, I warned you bro, I warned you that I'm not gonna stop once I start talking about Kill la Kill... Thanks for reading through all this, haha. Feel free to ignore me now~~~~~~)
I have to disagree. They are surely criticizing fanservice, yes, but the fanservice shots they make are definitely eye-candy for the public, even if they are against-her-will occasions and put us to be the perverted peepers. Many hated the show because of these scenes, but the public who like fanservice will obviously like this as well, so it's a selling point to it.
From my point of view, though, and making an analogy, they are punching us to teach how beating is wrong. The impressions of the slutty outfit are all out there, even if the message goes beyond it in the end. I don't put my bets on KlK actually fighting against these western dilemmas on sexuality, but rather teaching an individual lesson about self-respect, like Satsuki did for Ryuko on episode 3.
And I agree episode 7 had some juice in it, and made the plot progress with Ryuko's cleanup of club presidents. But the episode itself had nothing new; many, many episodic series have this story about one of the main characters getting rich/famous/powerful/etc. and in the end getting back to the starting point to be back together with the other main characters. Usually because these episodic series can be watched in any order and the episodes are enclosed separately, always reseting in the end. No the case of KlK, but the story itself is kinda overdone.
By the way, I can't wait to listen what Satsuki has to say. I hated her at first for being just a stubborn antagonist, but after her plan came a bit to light, I begin to think she might have something likeable behind that bitchy attitude.