Kill la Kill Episode 18: Like Mother, Like Daughter
Satsuki and the students of Honnouji Academy prepare to take on Ragyo, but Ragyo has other plans. She recovers from Satsuki’s attack, and brings the students under her control using her Marionette Threads. She also manages to take control of Ryuko for a short period of time. However, Ryuko breaks free, and tells Satsuki to take her mother out while she takes care of Harime Nui. Satsuki obliges, and decapitates her mother. However, being imbued with Life Fibres, Ragyo survives, and attacks her daughter mercilessly. She strips Satsuki, and dons Junketsu herself. She then proceeds to tear Ryuko’s heart from her chest, revealing that Ryuko has also been fused with Life FIbres, and decalres that Ryuko is in fact her daughter.
WOW. Although the plot twists in this episode weren’t unexpected, their execution was certainly something else. I certainly predicted Ragyo to be a formidable opponent, but she turned out to be far more powerful than expected. Satsuki in a Godrobe was no match for her mother, despite her confidence, and as a result, was brutally beaten. This scene was particularly harrowing to watch; Ragyo was relentless in her attack on Satsuki, and the first person perspective during this attack made it very painful to watch, especially as you saw Satsuki feebly try to defend herself. To add insult to injury, Ragyo steals Junketsu from Satsuki and dons it herself. But not content with just stealing Junketsu, she does so by molesting Satsuki and then publicly humiliating her.
From what Ragyo said as she attacked Satsuki, it would appear that to truly wear a Godrobe, one must be infused with Life Fibres. Thus far, Satsuki has simply been forcing herself into Junketsu and forcing Junketsu to obey her. This speaks very strongly of Satsuki’s resolve and ability, so despite the fact she is currently out of commission, I definitely think she’ll be back to take her mother down.
However, this isn’t going to be easy. Ragyo is easily the most powerful character introduced in Kill la Kill so far. Ryuko is probably the only person capable of taking her down at this stage, given the revelation that she is in fact Ragyo’s second daughter, implanted with Life Fibres. In true Kill la Kill style, though, this was revealed when Ragyo ripped Ryuko’s heart out of her chest with her bare hand.
This episode really highlighted just how twisted Ragyo is; she’s truly inhuman. She only gave birth to Satsuki and Ryuko so that she could perform Life Fibre experiments on them, and has subjected Satsuki to years of molestation. Not only that, but she seeks to eliminate the human race entirely, and seems to delight in the immense pain she inflicts on her daughters. In fact, I find her delight in depravity and evil to be much more terrifying than Nui’s nonchalant cruelty. For me, this really sets Ragyo apart from many other villains who revel in their evil. It’s a fairly standard feature of your pure evil villain, but the fact that Ragyo makes this run of the mill trait so horrifying is a testament to the writing of her character.
I’m still anticipating that Satsuki and Ryuko will join forces to take Ragyo down at the end. Their interaction this episode was the stuff I’d dreamed of; quips and jibes, but with an underlying a mutual goal and understanding. Now that they’ve discovered they’re sisters, it will be interesting to see how their dynamic changes. I don’t think it will be an easy adjustment for either of the girls, both being so strongheaded and having been acrimonious towards each other for so long. But a mutual takedown of Ragyo would be spectacular to watch!
After all that Kill la Kill has done, it feels as though speculation is pointless. Even if you do manage to predict the overall direction of the plot, Kill la Kill still manages to surprise you with its execution. Next week, the Devas are set to take on Nui and Rei, and I’m hoping this will be a longer showcase of their teamwork; the short glimpse we had this episode was great to see, and I’d like to see it continue. As for Satsuki and Ryuko, well, anything goes at this point.