If you watch the show for the crazy action and the fan service, you will be rewarded with a whole lot of braindead entertainment. If you are offended by lots of nude, you will drop it early on. If you start thinking about its plot and themes, you will be completely lost and stop caring from a point on. If you start making allusions and symbolisms, and comparisons to every little detail to everything else out there, then welcome to the overthinking group, where no matter how stupid something is, you will still find some excuse to make it seem like it’s amazing.
And now that we clarified the different types of viewers this show creates, let’s proceed to what it really is. It is a zany action comedy about fighting teenagers. Yes, later on they try to make it seem like it’s a lot more by throwing in a convoluted conspiracy about clothes eating up humanity because aliens and shit, but it all boils down to neurotic teenagers yelling and beating the crap out of each other. Yes, it does have a plot that escalates from a simple revenge story to a war for the salvation of the planet but it happens in such a random way that you are better off not paying attention to how things move from point A to point B. The heroine, Matoi, can pretty much level any opponent past the school president since episode 1 and after episode 3 feels like the she forgets her revenge issues and just goes to school like nothing much happens, while her nemesis is not destroying her right away just so to stretch the series to 2 cour. And lots of other similar stuff like that happen later on.
But who cares about that; in terms of style Kill La Kill (KLK) is pretty much eyegasm for retro fans, as it offers a tribute to several dozen titles from earlier decades. The animation is fairly jerky to the most part but stuff will be moving around so fast, you won’t really mind that after awhile. It will keep your eyes constantly wide open, and your willies constantly hard and upwards, and that is more than enough to keep a big portion of the audience entertained.
Of course as good as it is as dumb entertainment, it is equally bad as a well written story with deep characters. You are not going to be watching it for any deep thinking; unless you are one of those overthinkers out there who will be writing a wall of text for every bouncing pair of hOOters being some sort of pro-feminism message. And as much as the show attempts to foreshadow major events in a lazy attempt to make you think it knows what is doing, when the gloves come off it all comes down to “I win because I said so”. Which is no surprise coming from the same creator as Furi Kuri, Tengen Toppa, and Panty & Stocking. Compared to those KLK shares the same zany style and has the highest amounts of entertainment, but is also the most barren in content and planning. Also the nudity is so omnipresent that it will either make you disgusted early on, or eventually give you immunity to it. Which in a way is double lose for me, since it is also supposed to be its main theme and gets treated like a joke that gets tiresome after awhile.
What the show manages to achieve is being the most entertaining fighting chicks anime I know of. And I know all of them (most famous being Cutey Honey, Ikki Tousen, Queen’s Blade, and Freezing). In terms of campy fun it also has nothing to be jealous of famous live-action movies such as Kill Bill or Sucker Punch, thus it manages to be a sort of cult classic overshadowing most of the earlier competitors almost instantly. Which is not a small feat I must say.
It isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the word and it definitely didn’t save anime, like most yell while chuckling. It is not for everyone, since lots of its content is plain bizarre and gross to non-fans, while its nudity is too much even for many who already are fans. It is just silly fun and should not be viewed as anything more past that.
There is nothing left besides some fairly simplistic (just like the show is) scoring system.
Art/Sound: 8/10 (good artwork, but jerky animation; good dynamic songs but not amazing to relisten to every so often)
Script/Cast: 4/10 (stuff happen because you yell a lot, character growth is hampered by random twists)
Value: 8/10 (easily memorable and rewatchable, but still the worst of Imaishi’s works to date
Entertainment: 6/10 (depends on how much you are content with brain dead action and fan service; I personally, am not that much)