The trouble with coming back to the ongoing shows after a two-week flood of new material is that it can look stale. Kill la Kill takes care of that problem by releasing episodes with lots of energy, humor, and a few shocks. In other words, doing what they always do.
I won’t talk too much about episode 13 except to mull again where this clothes and nudity is going. Ragyo announces that clothing is a sin. Her opponents are a group called Nudist Beach, who are fond of disrobing. One has to wonder if they’re really on the same side, deep down. By the series end, will Ryuuko and Satsuki be so powerful that they won’t even need to wear their life-fibers? Are we heading for an all-naked half-scissor battle? On the other hand there’s plenty of episodes to go, and plenty of complications to deal with. Nui provides one here with the episode’s biggest surprise … You have to wonder if that was intentional on her part, get Ryuuko to fight her when the former is still doubting her ability to hold back after her transformative rage. While it’s been clear from the start that Nui isn’t as airheaded as she acts, I have to wonder whether she’s not actually the show’s true antagonist, and that Ryuuko and Satsuki might have to fight her together. I wouldn’t rule it out.
As for the story, having Senketsu sliced up and its pieces distributed among the invading high-schoolers was an even bigger surprise. I thought for a while that she would have to do without her uniform from now on. That would have pleased Nudist Beach, and me, too, but the story has a possible answer. There I was, watching the high school invade those cities, enjoying the regional stereotypes converted into battle strategies, and rooting for Mako to have some fun, and at the moment it seemed Ira would be triumphant in Kobe, here comes Ryuuko! With heroic horns playing in the background (the repetition of this activity in Kyoto was also enjoyable, and by the time they hit Osaka it became an excellent running gag)! I never guessed that Ryuuko would try to get all those pieces back, and she’s doing it WITHOUT the help of clothing! So now, in Osaka anyway, we got the invaders, the defenders, AND Ryuuko! Next week might be even wilder than this one, if that’s possible.
Meanwhile, Nagi no Asukara went and changed the whole plot around, sort of.
First thing we see is Chisaki commuting somewhere, and little by little we’re fed information about what’s going on. It’s only later when they finally tell us it’s been five years since the festival. There’s snow, or salt, or maybe both, all over the landscape. So the changes they’ve been warning us about is happening. People are growing up. Tsumugu’s studying oceanography and, with is prof, is trying to figure out what the hell’s going on down below. We catch up with others, all going about their usual, quiet lives. Except that half the cast is now gone. Not much else to say about episode 14; we’re simply getting reintroduced to the characters. Then we get the big event right at the end, at another tomoebi, when, inexplicably, Hikari washes ashore, looking like he did five years ago.
A lot of ways to go with this, and the show plays with them all. Miuna is now Hikari’s age, so are they going to play with that? Meanwhile there’s the whole “change” theme to play with all over. Chisaki has changed, but Hikari, the one she didn’t want to change, hasn’t. When they finally meet (and you can guess that they avoid each other) Hikari, now just a boy to Hikari, tells her that she hasn’t changed. He might have caught on to her fears and was saying it to make her feel better, or maybe he was just teasing–he’s still a kid–but it’s the big moment of the episode. Whatever they decide to do, if they’re going to play with a romance for Hikari, whether it be Chisaki or Miuna, it feels a little squicky to me. So thank heavens for Akari who teases Hikari by letting him know Chisaki has a nice body now.