GEEKY SHIT: (NSFW) Matoi Ryūko (Senketsu Kisaragi ver.) and Kiryūin Satsuki (Senketsu ver.) figures by Good Smile Company

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Good Smile Company has given us two of the most impressive figures available from the Kill la Kill series in the form of Ryūko in her ultimate Senketsu Kisaragi uniform, and Satstuki in the pre-transformation Senketsu. Both are strange and unique choices that are only depicted within the show for a single scene each. I personally love these choices for 1/8 scale figures.

You may be aware from my previous posts that I try and keep my anime figure collection mostly child-friendly and my tastes frequently veer into and remain firmly ensconced within the realm of the fluffy and joyful. Kill la Kill may seem at odds with this predisposition, but in many ways it’s a far cry from the show it presents itself to be, and as such isn’t too far from my own interests. It’s hard to argue that the designs of these figures are much more than high levels of fan service. The entire concept of Kill la Kill is one of fan service. It presents ultra-violence and nudity in brash and stereotypical ways, but the final product is far from a cliché.

Kill la Kill is essentially a Magical Girl anime. It may have more violence and fewer frills, but it has all the essentials. It has magical outfits, transformation sequences, anthropomorphic side-kicks (the clothes themselves in this case), and epic battles of Good vs Evil. Kill la Kill subverts these ideas by conforming to them within the context of an unusual set of trappings. SPOILERS FOLLOW.

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Kill la Kill presents itself as extremely high stakes by showing extreme violence and gratuitous nudity, but is actually an extremely low-stakes story. We might see a battle for the salvation of the world, but in the end there have been almost no deaths. As we learn the motivations of each new nemesis alongside our heroine, Ryūko, we gain a new angle of compassion, and very soon each “villain” has been revealed as the good guy they were all along. Kill la Kill also introduced equal-opportunity fan service relatively early in the piece. In a reference to common Magical Girl tropes, which often see blinding white light obscuring details of breasts and genitals, we get to see male nipples obscured with a laughable glaring shine. The full frontal nudity of the women’s transformation sequences is soon met with full frontal male nudity as the male characters transform into their equally-improbable battle suits. The secret organisation of the “Nudist Beach”, an organisation which shows its opposition to the life-fibre fuelled battle uniforms by going around naked, is the ultimate unravelling and illogical end point to the hyper-sexualised less-is-more uniform designs.

I didn’t intend to turn this figure review into Fan Service Apologetics 101, but it’s such an interesting subject for discussion. However, when all is said and done, these are just anime figures depicting gratuitous nudity of improbably-designed women/girls. Here’s hoping for some male counterparts. And before you ask about Ryūko’s breasts: Yes, a large force is pushing them up. The same blast of power that’s inverting her hair. The same blast of power that means she’ll never lose her way.

The photos themselves will certainly speak volumes concerning the figures’ production quality, but it might be important to note that Ryūko’s shining yellow pieces were extremely difficult to insert, given how hard the pegs needed to be pushed in order to accommodate the holes. Her Scissor Blades on the other hand are well-designed and easy to insert. Satsuki’s sword was also reasonably tricky to insert, but there’s a certain peace of mind offered by how firmly it’s held in place.

These are stunning pieces, and I hope GSC continues this line of striking KLK figures. Click on any of the images to see the original high-res photos.

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Geeky Shit looks at rare, geeky, and (allegedly) awesome items in Evan’s collection.

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