Ryuko escapes from Ragyo, and is taken away from the crumbling Honnouji Academy by Nudist Beach. One month later, COVERS have devoured almost the entirety of Honnou Town, and all that remain are Matarou and some of his friends. He’s saved by Jakuzure, who is now a member of Nudist Beach along with the other Devas. However, Ryuko has been unconscious the past month. Nudist Beach is attacked by COVERS, but amanges to secure victory by saving Mako using their new weapon, and a timely wake up by Ryuko. However, she angrily proclaims that she will never wear Senketsu again, devstsating the uniform.
Ragyo has captured Satsuki, and has been torturing her the past month, building her rage to use her in the ceremony for Shinra Kouketsu. Satsuki has other plans though, claiming that so long as she draws breath, she still has a chance at victory.
Let me get the obligatory crying over Satsuki Kiryuin out of the way. Despite being thrown against a wall and covered in rubble, she still manages to strike the final blow in the battle, blowing up Honnouji Academy, allowing Nudist Beach and the Devas to escape. She then endures a month’s worth of humiliation and torture at her mother’s hands, and if there was ever any doubt that Ragyo was sexually abusing her daughter, this episode truly did away with it. It would appear that Ragyo has been deliberately molesting Satsuki all these years to build up the rage within her so that she can fulfil her ultimate ambition of Shinra Kouketsu, a plan which involves sacrificing her to the Life Fibres. What this will achieve, I’m not sure, but I imagine it’s similar to Beserk Ryuko we saw, but on a much more massive scale. Unluckily for Ragyo, though, she’s dealing with Satsuki Kiryuin, who does not plan to give up. Personally, I think her black toenails are made of similar material to her sword Bakuzan. So seeing Satsuki kick people’s butt with her toenails will be a sight to behold. THe girl is amazing and just so resilient.
On the other end of the scale, Ryuko is having a very hard time dealing with the fact she is a human fused with Life Fibres, creatures bent on destroying humanity. This revelation would have been pretty damaging to anyone, especially considering that it also reveals that she is Ragyo’s daughter. Her change in character feels very abrupt, but at the same time, it’s natural. We all lash out when we get devastating news, and I think finding out you’re actually a human-alien hybrid is a big enough excuse to have a bit of a tantrum. Add to the fact that Ryuko probably hates herself now because of her Life Fibre heritage, and you’ve got a pretty volatile situation. Even if she did don Senketsu, I don’t think Ryuko could pull off Life Fibre Synchronise in her state of mind. Certainly, now that she’s rejected Senketsu, Life Fibre Synchronise is out of the question.
Luckily the Four Devas, who are now members of Nudist Beach, are there to carry on the fight with Mikisugi and Tsumugu. They all look so fab in costume (although, when did Inumuta get so buff?), and show that even without Ultima Uniforms, the Four Devas kick butt. It was a surprise to see the four assimilate so easily into the ranks of Nudist Beach though; I would have though there’d be much more friction. Another cool thing to see was how Bakuzan was divided among them, and that despite her disappearance, the Four Devas still care and want to save Satsuki. The Student Council is just so great.
The endgame is nigh, but I still have no idea where we’re heading. Obviously Ragyo aims to enslave humanity totally, but what will unleashing Shinra Kouketsu achieve? Will Satsuki end up being sacrificed, or will she manage to finally break free of Ragyo’s hold and deliver a much deserved arse kicking? And will Ryuko manage to break free of her depression and self loathing before the people important to her are hurt? Kill la Kill certainly didn’t start out as a show which was driven by its plot and characters, but it is pulling that off really well.