Kill la Kill Episode 16: Life Fiber
The “recap” had me worried initially, but in true Kill la Kill style, the recap was paced just as blindingly as the rest of the series. The series awareness of itself is really quite refreshing and actually made the recap enjoyable! That is huge!!
It also served as a foil to the rest of the episode, which was very heavy on information and set the stage for the rest of the series, as well as raising some questions about previous plot points. We finally learnt that Life Fibres are in fact alien life forms which feed upon humans’ nerve transmissions, and facilitated our evolution so that we could become the dominant life form, and one with a brain more suited to hosting Life Fibres as clothing. However, according to Nudist Beach, Life Fibres ultimately seek to feast upon humanity and have simply being raising them as pigs for slaughter. The Kiryuin family seeks to aid the Life Fibres through COVERS; that is, outfitting every human with Life Fibre imbued clothing.
Given the nature of Life Fibres, this raises questions about a number of things Satsuki has said in the past. Most recently, she scoffed at Ryuko’s claims that she had formed a friendship with Life Fibres. Given what we know now, it would appear this is true. Humans and Life Fibres would appear to be enemies, and once COVERS begins, who knows how Senketsu will react. If Life Fibres can be controlled by the original Life Fibre, or act as a sort of hive mind, Senketsu could possibly fall under their influence.
What I find most interesting, though, is how Junketsu is called Satsuki’s “wedding dress”. Now that we know Life Fibres are living things intent on consuming humanity, is Ragyo intending to “marry” Satsuki to Life Fibres, either by fusing them or feeding her to them? Has she been betrothed to the alien life force? It all seems very sinister to me.
Especially given the fact that the Kiryuins are painted to be so capable, and that Ragyo is so fanatical about clothing. She sees clothing as human instinct, and people who ignore that as fools who will welcome their own destruction. To me, this hints that COVERS will result in the Life Fibres and humans assimilating, adding further weight to the whole “marrying” Satsuki theory. But at the same time, it seems contradictory, as both assimilation or destruction at the hands of Life Fibres will means humans will cease to exist.
Ragyo is shaping up to be a very interesting character, and will be a major player for the rest of the series. Mikisugi said that she made contact with Life Fibres 200 years ago (although I could be misunderstanding), and if so, wow, she looks good for her age. She also seems to exert some level of control over the Fibres, being able to morph one into a suit. This suit reminded me of the one donned by Satsuki’s father in her flashback in episode 3, and could be the reason behind the dark look she gives the suit as it rests with all the others. What are they? Soldiers? Beings Ragyo is growing?
And what was with that bath scene? There are thousands of theories floating around the internet, but my personal interpretation is that Ragyo was opening Satsuki’s chakras to enable her to exert more control over Junketsu, albeit in a very sexual manner. I noticed Satsuki has a much softer appearance around Ragyo, perhaps because of the very sexual way Ragyo treats her. I personally think Ragyo uses that as a means to control Satsuki and assert her dominance. Ragyo just has that very sinister vibe about her.
Hopefully we gain some more insight in to what COVERS ultimately entails with the Grand Culture and Sports Festival to be held at Ragyo Stadium, the final phase of the Honnouji Academy project. I imagine this will showcase COVERS on a smaller scale. But is Satsuki okay with this? She says Honnouji will welcome Ragyo with open arms, but does that means they’ll attack and try to antagonise her?
Certainly, at least, Nudist Beach will. I anticipate Ryuko will, too, however, she’ll need to come to terms with the fact that Senketsu was created as a weapon, and she herself was seen as one, too. The dynamic between the two is really interesting, seeing as though Senketsu is a piece of clothing. I don’t think many other series can claim to have characterised an object as well as Kill la Kill!
I’m not particularly sure where Kill la Kill is heading, but I think the OP offers us a few clues. Ryuko, Mako and Nudist Beach walk along separate catwalks to Satsuki and the Four Devas, indicating some degree of antagonism. However, this is all observed by Ragyo; the CEO is above their conflict, and is perhaps even orchestrating it. The OP also culminates in Ryuko and Satsuki duelling fiercely. Perhaps the two are never destined to team up, and fated to fight.
Also of note is the brief flash of the two “blood mechanisms” of the two Godrobes activating of their own accord, with no direction from either Satsuki or Ryuko. Could this foreshadow Junketsu taking control of Satsuki?
The new song is also fantastic! I have been looping it like crazy.
All in all, a wonderful infodump episode which has set the stage for a wonderful finale. I am so looking forward to the rest of the series. Kill la Kill is managing to pull off fast paced action and humour while weaving a really engaging story, and is fast on its way to becoming one of my favourite animes to air in a long time.