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.

Little Witch Academia Review: Endearing and Hilarious.

4 and a half stars
Joining Anime Club at my University this year, I expected to see a lot of interesting anime.
Barakamon was one of these anime and, as you could see from my review, I enjoyed it a lot.
But my favourite series we watched in Anime Club, by far, is Little Witch Academia, made by Studio Trigger.
Directed by Yoh Yoshinari, the anime follows Atsuko “Akko” Kagari (Megumi Han) who, hoping to follow in the footsteps of her idol, the witch Shiny Chariot, goes to the witch school she went to, Luna Nova.
There is just one problem: Akko is a terrible witch, being completely incapable of flying on a broom.

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Akko’s constant failures work great as slapstick humor and makes you route for her even more.

However, after finding Chariot’s Shiny Rod, Akko resolves to find the idol who inspired her, embarking on a series of increasingly hilarious adventures with her friends Lotte (Fumiko Orikasa) and Sucy (Michiyo Murase).
Little Witch Academia succeeds in being extremely funny, leaving most of the club roaring with laughter.
This was mainly because of the absolute klutz that is Akko.
Despite her incompetence, I found Akko to be one of the most relatable underdog protagonists I have seen in a while.
Every time she gets knocked down she gets back up, more determined than ever.
Along with this, Akko shines through the friendships she builds with the other characters.
It was great to see other people slowly warm up to her, resulting in positive impacts in the lives of characters like Diana (Yoko Hikasa) and Andrew (Ryosuke Kanemoto).

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Watching Akko and Diana’s rivalry (although Diana refuses to call it that) evolve into a strong friendship was natural and well done. 

Another aspect of the anime that keeps the humor fresh is the constant references to other material, with hilarious homages to Star Wars, Pawn Stars and even freaking Twilight.
Then there is the way that Little Witch Academia  brings it themes across to the audience.
Looking deeper into the writer’s thought process, it is apparent they were trying to create an anime with messages about whether you should follow in the footsteps of your idol, and being your own person.
These themes are brilliantly presented in fantastic episodes such as “Night Fall”, “Intellect and Sensibility”, and the final two episodes, “The Road to Arcturus” and “Changing at the Edge of the World.”
The anime’s animation and music are also quite well done, with the first op, “Shiny Ray” by YURiKA, being a song you will be glad to get stuck in your head.

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I swear, you will find yourself humming the opening song constantly, after hearing it.

If I had to pick out any flaws it would be that there is a twist in there that is blatantly obvious.
Other than this though, I whole heatedly enjoyed Little Witch Academia.
It has a relatable, underdog protagonist, moving themes, and will have you holding your sides with laughter.