Kill La Kill Review: SYSTEM ERROR: FANSERVICE OVERLOAD!

4 and a half stars
Before I started watching Kill la Kill, I tried to remember what I had heard about it before.
Well, of all the things I could have forgotten, I somehow didn’t remember hearing that this was an anime with a lot of fan service.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I first saw our hero Ryuko (Ami Koshimizu) wearing Senketsu (Toshiniko Seki).
It made me worried that the show would just devolve into one of those anime that put fan service over story or whose fan service often got in the way of that story, like with Code Geass.
Thankfully, the exact opposite happened because, in an unexpected twist for me, Kill la Kill is an anime that revels in its fan service in such an over the top way that it somehow worked entirely.
Fan service is literally at the center of the story with the good guys being nudists.
This created a story that was both intense to watch, due to its story, and hilarious to see unfold, due to its purposefully out there eye candy.

Unlike other anime, Kill la Kill handles its over the top fan service in a perfect way.

Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, Kill la Kill follows Ryuko Matoi who goes to Hoonouji Academy to confront the mysterious student council president, Satsuki Kiryuin (Ryoka Yuzuki), about who killed her father.
However, before she can get answers, she’ll have to fight through the various other students of the Academy, all while wearing the revealing Senketsu, a sentient uniform constructed from the even more mysterious Life Fibers.
The rivalry between Ryuko and Satsuki is great, as is the supporting cast, like the elite four, Ira Gamagori (Tetsu Inada), Uzu Sanageyama (Nobuyuki Hiyama), Nonon Jakuzure (Mayumi Shintani) and Houka Inumata (Hiroyuki Yoshino).
My favourite character would have to be Mako Mankanshoku (Ayu Suzaki), who is the kind of friend everyone would like to have.
Except for the whole, you know, going mad with power thing.
Thankfully, that was a one-time thing though.
In all seriousness, Mako is an enjoyably funny character with the great animation helping show off her eccentricities.

Can I get a “HALLELUJAH!” for Mako?

As for the animation, it is fantastic throughout.
I was captivated by it right from the very first episode and this continued to the very end.
Studio Trigger sure does have amazing animation for a lot of their anime.
As for the score, Hiroyuki Sawano once again kills it with some absolutely fantastic songs and music.
I especially like the themes for the main villains of the anime, Ragyo Kuryuin (Romi Park) and Nui Harime (Yukari Tamura), which were fire.
Speaking of Ragyo, I think we can all agree that she takes the title for worst mother in the history of ever.
Seriously, it doesn’t get much worse than planning a worldwide genocide with alien clothes and sexually assaulting your own daughters.
Well, at least the anime did a good job of making you hate her guts.
As for Nui, she is also a villain that I had a lot of fun watching, with her innocent design giving a false sense of security that hides the complete psychopath underneath.

Nui is a great villain who certainly leaves an impression when she first appears.

All of the characters are great and combining them with a good story, intense action highlighted by fantastic animation, a terrific score, and surprisingly well handled, over the top fan service, you get a really good result.
Kill La Kill is a great anime that has me intrigued to check out more of Studio Triggers’ work.

Japan Sinks 2020: At This Point, I Wouldn’t Even be Surprised.

3 stars
2020 has been a disaster of a year so it’s only fitting that an anime comes out, set in that year, where massive earthquakes cause Japan to begin sinking.
It also makes sense then that the anime is a bit of a mess, again, just like 2020.
Directed by Pyeon-Gang Ho and Masaaki Yuasa, Japan Sinks follows the Muto family who are caught up in the disaster of their country sinking beneath their feet.
The family consists of aspiring runner Auyumu (Reina Ueda), her brother, the gamer Go (Tomu Muranaka), and their parents, dedicate father Koichiro (Masaki Terasoma), and Filipino working mother Mari (Yuko Sasaki).
Over the course of the anime, they struggle to survive, encountering many other survivors who join them on their journey, but not everyone makes it out alive.

muto family
Japan Sinks doesn’t pull any punches with what can happen to any character at any time.

The first three episodes of  Japan Sinks are very well done, for the most part, depicting the horror that such a disaster would have expertly, except for a few weird scenes like characters taking family photos in the midst of this.
These episodes also establish that no character is safe, which makes for a lot of tense moments, considering that I came to like a lot of these characters.
Surprisingly, my favourite characters came from outside the Muto family, primarily Haruo Koga (Hiroyuki Yoshino), Auyumu’s former friend turned introvert, and Kite (Kensho Ono), a famous YouTuber.
Both these characters have great arcs that made me really care for them as the show went on.

haruo
Haruo had a pretty great arc, going from introvert to hero.

I wish my care for certain characters had extended to a love for the show but, unfortunately, it couldn’t for a variety of reasons.
The primary reason though is that episodes four to six are a complete waste of time, introducing mostly terrible characters, and some awful animation.
It took me ten days to watch the entire show and, of that time, it took me five days to get through episodes four to six.
That should tell you how much of a drag those episodes were.
On the plus side though, episode six did provide the most unintentionally hilarious death scene I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Other problems persist throughout Japan Sinks, like the animation issues, amount of unexplained events and coincidences, and characters acting like no real person would, for example, seemingly moving on immediately after a loved one dies.
These problems are seen throughout the show and really drag its high moments down, although there are a fair amount of these high moments.
After episode six, the story picks up again and the episodes are actually enjoyable, delivering a reflective finale that brought a smile to my face.
Then there are the themes, which are very well handled.
For example, the show tackles racism in Japan with the mixed family of the Mutos experiencing a lot of it from purely Japanese people.
Also, I like a lot of the subtlety for certain characters, like Kite, who we learn something about in the final episode that I honestly didn’t catch until another review pointed it out to me.

kite
I didn’t expect to like Kite at first so I was surprised when he became one of my favourites.

There is a lot of good things about Japan Sinks. 
It’s just a shame that the majority of those good things are dragged down by some truly awful episodes, animation issues and inconsistencies.
Japan Sinks is a mixed bag that delivers plenty of good moments but also a lot of bad moments.
So, I guess you could say that the show is 2020 in a nutshell.