Warning: contains spoilers.
“Dressing with style is akin to issuing a manifesto; dressing fashionably is like signing a petition.” – Jani Allan.
It is the third and final part of the series, and things are not looking good for either Ryuko Matoi, Satsuki Kiryuin, or indeed humanity in general.
When we left the story, it was revealed that Satsuki’s mother Ragyo, head of the multinational clothing company REVOCS, had been using Life Fibres to slowly launch a take-over of the entire planet. Life Fibres are in fact alien lifeforms and Ragyo plans to ultimately gain control of the Earth. To make things worse, Ragyo is not just Satsuki’s mother – she is also Ryuko’s mother, making Satsuki Ryuko’s sister.
Ryuko learns that she survived an experiment to add Life Fibres into a human body, meaning that she is not strictly speaking a human. This causes her to reject her super-powered uniform Senketsu. Satsuki meanwhile reveals that her true plan has been to actually stop her mother, and use the whole of Honnouji Academy against her, but she is easily defeated and Ryuko takes her prisoner. Ragyo also uses Life Fibre-lined clothes worn by ordinary people to capture and enslave everyone in Japan, with just some remnants of Honnouji Academy and armed rebels Nudist Beach left to fight against her.
Moving onto this collection, Ragyo decides to lure Ryuko to Honnouji Academy and succeeds in her plan, leaving everyone else to try and get to school before she does. Meanwhile Satsuki manages to escape from her cage, but it is too late. Ragyo launches her most vile plan yet: making Ryuko wear Satsuki’s old Kamui, brainwashing her in the process and using Ryuko to attack her friends. The only way to stop her is for Satsuki to wear Senketsu and the two successfully free Ryuko.
Having returned Ryuko to her senses, the gang now have to stop Ragyo’s ultimate plan – after gaining 100% of the world clothing market, with everyone on Earth wearing Life Fibre-lined REVOCS clothing, Ragyo plans to use a satellite to cover the entire Earth in a single Life Fibre cloth, clothing the entire planet, and finally to destroy the world.
The idea of clothes destroying the world might sound daft, but given that this anime comes from Hiroyuki Imaishi, the same person who created Gurren Lagann daftness, the things from beyond our world are to be expected. To reference the Radio 4 sitcom Bleak Expectations: “‘A bit of a cliche, isn’t it?’ ‘I’d say more of a classic.'” Then again, it is hard to think of any other work of fiction that has decided that the way to destroy the globe would be to cover it up in a cloth.
The ending of this series was never going to compare well to that of Gurren Lagann, simply on terms of scale. That series concerns the whole universe while Kill la Kill only covers our planet. However, the ending itself is perfectly serviceable, featuring both joy and tragedy in equal measure.
Although the series doesn’t end there, because one of the extras in this collection is the 25th episode, originally released as an OVA. This episode takes place during the graduation day at the Academy, but the school is still under attack from Life Fibres. It feels rather anticlimactic, but it does tie up some lose ends. On the disc itself the other extras are textless opening and closing, and an 8-minute summary of the entire series narrated by Aikuro Mikisugi, the head of Nudist Beach.
The other extras that come with this collection are a 132-page artbook, and a case to store all three Blu-Ray volumes in one single box-set. The case itself is OK, but as some people have pointed out it looks rather plain. It is mostly black and much of the text is written using a reflective black material so you can only see it when you shine a light on it.
Kill la Kill however is still a great series. It is fun, and deals with big ideas despite also being rather broad with its humour. The characters have become popular as well as the show. Hopefully Hiroyuki Imaishi can keep up the pace when he comes up with his next project.