Kill la Kill: Episode 12

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Recap: Ryuko, overcome with anger as a result of Nui’s reveal, loses control and things go badly very quickly.

Gee’s Thoughts: As everyone expected and feared, Ryuko’s anger gets the better of her and things go nuclear. With the reveal that Nui was the one responsible for the death of Ryuko’s father, things get hot quickly, as Ryuko unleashes a relentless assault on the sinister little girl. Unfortunately, her bloody fury takes her to the point where Senketsu can no longer maintain control and ends up devouring her, turning the two into some kind of horrible amalgamated fusion of the two. Suffice to say, props to Trigger for making a truly terrifying berserk form. Some of the horrifying details like the scissor blade arm and Ryuko’s head coming out of Senketsu’s shoulder really hammer home the direness of the situation.

Turns out that Dr. Matoi merely used the scissor blades as a gambit to distract Nui from his real project; Senketsu. Capitalizing on the sadistic girl’s arrogance and malevolence, he manages to save the kamui from falling into the wrong hands, though at the cost of his own life. Still, after pulling the wool over Nui’s eyes as well as making her lose one of said eyes, it becomes much clearer why Nui wants to destroy Ryuko so badly.

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Elsewhere, the rest of the external elements begin to mobilize. Satsuki, realizing how poor the situation has developed, rallies her Elite Four into action while she herself brings out Junketsu again. At the same time, Nudist Beach also starts to move into action as Tsumugu ends up squaring off against both berserk Ryuko as well as Nui. Hopelessly outclassed, it’s only through his Joseph Joestar-esque antics that he can barely escape the situation intact. Meanwhile, Mako continues to be the best character in the show, and resolves to save Ryuko before her self destructive berserker rage ends up killing herself from the sheer blood loss or Mikisugi puts Ryuko down for good with the anti-fiber bullet revealed in the previous episode.

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Thankfully, the power of friendship wins the day, and everyone’s fears of Mako’s early demise have been assuaged. It’s a straightforward scene, but the ridiculous execution of Mako’s cooldown hug was still a lot of fun to watch, as well as being heartwarming to boot. For all her silliness, Mako is truly Ryuko’s one and only true friend, and the two really are inseparable. If Ryuko has resolved to jump feet first into the depths of hell, you can bet Mako won’t be far behind.

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Overall, this was a great episode with some fantastic moments. Ryuko’s clash with both Nui and Satsuki were a lot of fun. And of course, anything with the Elite Four and Mako is a joy to watch. Even better, the CG and flash tweening was kept to a minimum this episode, showing that Kill la Kill can look pretty decent when it wants to. It’s still not going to be the most fluid show on the block, but it does give me hope that Trigger knows when to bring out the budget. As the last episode of the year, it looks like Kill la Kill is ending things on a good definitive note. With Satsuki’s reveal of her ambition to take over all of Japan’s school districts, the stage has been set for the second season. It’ll be interesting to see how Ryuko deals with Honnouji now that she knows Satsuki isn’t the one responsible for her father’s death. Will she continue her single-minded journey for revenge, or has her time at Honnouji made her realize that there are even larger things at stake?

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