Kill la Kill Episode 6: Resolve
The Deva, Uzu Sanageyama, requests that he be allowed to challenge Ryuko, which Satsuki approves. He and Ryuko clash, and despite his ability to predict her moves, Ryuko emerges victorious. Ashamed, Sanageyama realises he was reliant on his eyes, and resorts to sewing his eyes shut. Impressed by this, Satsuki gives him another chance, and this time, crushes Ryuko in battle. Ryuko only manages to escape as Sanageyama’s suit overheats.
The outcome of Ryuko’s battle was certainly unexpected. I really thought that Sanageyama would be defeated, and that was that. However, not only did he fight her again, but he managed to completely overwhelm her. Drawing parallels once again between Kill la Kill and Gurren Lagann, you see more influences from the latter. While both shows utilise over-the-top battles and generally see the heroes victorious, there are still episodes were our heroes don’t, or if they do, it comes at a cost (such as when Team Gurren commandeer the Beastmen’s battleship, only to lose Kamina). It keeps the series fresh, and stops the battles becoming a formality for Ryuko’s victory. You’re kept watching because you’re sincerely interested in the outcome. Will Ryuko actually win? What will be the price she pays for her victory? And given what Tsugumu talked of last week, there may be costs associated with winning using Senketsu we’re not aware of yet.
One interesting point to note is that Three Star Uniforms are also capable of transforming, which is something of a game changer. This will definitely make the fights with the Devas more interesting. Also important to note is Satsuki’s decision to allow more Two Star Uniforms to be issued. I’d say this is a tactic to delay her and Ryuko’s confrontation, but with what we know about Satsuki, it probably also has another aim. What other reasons, aside from conquering all of Japan, could Satsuki have for bolstering the number of Two Stars?
My favourite part of this episode was the exploration of relationship between Satsuki and her four Devas. From their past, we can see that her demonstration of power and prowess won their absolute respect. They have been together from quite a young age (I wonder just how long Jakazure has been with her; she had absolutely no doubts Satsuki would take down Sanageyama and his goons), and the interaction between Satsuki and Sanageyama gave us a real insight as to how she feels about her Devas. Unlike the other students, Satsuki actively listens to her Devas, and gives them her respect. She even has what look like inside jokes with them (“Did you think you could get behind me Sanageyama?”).Why else would she let Sanageyama fight Ryuko? Their relationship is based on one of reverence for Satsuki, with her in return giving them her respect as comrades, not just subordinates. I think this is an important distinction between them and the general population; quite possibly they are the only people in all of Honnouji Academy whom Satsuki respects.
Not only that, but following Sanageyama’s first defeat at the hands of Ryuko, she allows him to reclaim his position as a Deva. He first has to prove to her that he still has the resolve to fight and act as a Deva, but upon doing so, Satsuki is more than willing to give him the chance to redeem himself. I don’t think anyone else would be given that kind of lenience. Not only that, but she follows through on her promise to treat Sanageyama to tea, despite the fact he didn’t follow through completely on his end of the bargain; Ryuko wasn’t technically defeated. To me, this speaks volumes about how Satsuki views her Devas; they’re the closest thing she has to friends, and not merely a part of the servile masses.
Once again, the soundtrack was amazing this episode. Particularly the track which played upon the introduction of Satsuki’s mother. That scene also opened up a number of questions. What level of control does Satsuki’s mother have over Honnouji, and Satsuki herself? And what will she say when she finds out that Satsuki has put on Junketsu? And where is that massive tower? Questions upon questions.
Next episode could prove to be a game changer. Mako’s family has been placed in the upper class district, but for what reason? Is this a test of their loyalty to Ryuko? I’m very excited to find out.