Kill la Kill Episode 13: Brink of War
After losing control of herself while fighting Harime Nui, Ryuko isolates herself from the Mankanshoku family and stops attending school. Meanwhile, Satsuki and the Four Devas prepare for the Battlefield Trip to conquer the rest of Japan’s schools. This is in line with a mysterious plan named COVERS, the primary directive of the Kiryuin conglomerate. A new student named Shinjiro Nagita also appears, hell bent on getting Ryuko to continue to fight against the Kiryuins. However, he is revealed to be Harime Nui in disguise, using the fake student to draw Ryuko into battle once more. Afraid to fight at full strength, Ryuko is thoroughly trounced by Nui, and Senketsu is destroyed. His remains are distributed throughout Honnouji uniforms, and Satsuki moves out to conquer the remaining schools of Japan.
Episode 12 was a definite high point for the series, and so anything served up after that was inevitably going to be a lower key episode. Despite a lack of action sequences, however, the plot developments in episode 13 have potentially changed the direction of the series overall significantly, and blindsided me.
First and foremost is the reveal that the new character Shinjiro Nagita is in fact a disguised Harime Nui. That was totally unexpected, and I have to say, an excellent twist. Trigger really knows how to build up your expectations and totally turn them on their head. The episode really built Shinjiro up as an ally and potential love interest for Ryuko before the big reveal (which was wonderfully done, with Nui just Popping out).
I gotta say, though, Nui is a fucking little shit. That being said, though, her character is very well designed. The cutesy appearance belies her sadism and the way she views people as objects for her amusement. She even wants to make Satsuki go berserk with her Godrobe, which would be truly terrifying. Harime Nui is definitely a character to look out for, and I feel she will be a major plot driver from now on.
Ryuko no longer having Senketsu is obviously a major development, too, as she’s now unable to fight on equal footing with the rest of the cast. Senketsu has been divided up and distributed to Honnouji students. However, there are a few interesting things to note. Not only did Satsuki save Ryuko from Nui, she also covered her with a blanket and allowed Ryuko to keep a piece of Senketsu. Perhaps this part of Senketsu is his last Nexus Thread/Banshi, and given suitable fabric, Ryuko will be able to reconstruct him. However, this loss is going to hit Ryuko pretty hard. Not only did she allow herself to be beaten by Nui, she’s also effectively allowed Senketsu to die. With Ryuko’s mental state already being fragile following the events of episode 12, I don’t know how she’ll pull herself out of this funk. She’s also not got Mako with her to cheer her up. I really do feel sorry for the poor girl.
By the looks of things, Nudist Beach will take Ryuko under their wing, and perhaps recruit her as a new operative. The group is opposed to the Kiryuins, who are undertaking a project named COVERS, which also involves Satsuki’s subjugation of Japan’s schools. On the surface, Satsuki appears to be complicit with her mother’s schemes, but I am sure she has her own plans in store. Similarly, Ragyo is just using Satsuki, a fact I think her daughter is also aware of. It’s only a matter of time before the two clash.
Speaking of Satsuki, I was so thrilled with the conversation between her and the Four Devas at the start of the episode, which basically explicitly stated all that I’ve previously thought about their relationships. Satsuki is there to help them grow through their failures. I just thought that was so great.
It’s anyone’s guess as to where we’re heading next. This episode opened up plenty of questions, especially ones about what REVOCS is after. Future episodes and the Battlefield Trip ought to give us some answers in the fantastic style Kill la Kill has.