A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
This story of good and evil follows a teen's desire to seek revenge on the person responsible for her father's murder. She's an underdog in the fight but has altruistic motivations rooted in love. Fighting is the only means to an end. Those with access to superpowers use them to dominate everyone else, so bullying is an overarching theme.
Positive Role Models
Even though she uses violence to do so, Ryuko seeks only to avenge her father's death. Antagonists are manipulative and scheming, and they delight in intimidating and harming others. This show takes bullying to a new level, endowing a team of ruthless bullies with super suits that better enable them to control those they don't like.
Violence & Scariness
Violent battles with hand-to-hand combat as well as stabbings. Injuries bleed profusely and leave scars, as when a main character's eye is impaled, forcing her to wear a patch. Some people are killed. Many characters take sadistic pleasure in inflicting harm on others.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Female characters' outfits are very revealing, often barely covering only partial breasts and nipples and cutting high in the crotch to show a lot of skin. Some wear thong-style unitards, leaving their butts and much of their groins exposed. A woman fondles herself and forces the same treatment on unwilling partners. Misogynistic tones and sexually suggestive positions. A male character goes naked, and his groin is obscured by phalluses such as a stick or a staff. Lots of innuendo and suggestive dialogue between characters.
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"Bitch," "damn," "dammit," "hell," and "frickin'."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though Kill la Kill is animated, its content is mature and not appropriate for younger teens. Some scenes are sexually explicit, with fondling and physical advances that border on assault. Teen girls wear strappy outfits that barely cover their nipples and groins and leave their butts exposed, and they're often seen in provocative positions. A lot of dialogue has sexual undertones as well, often between female characters who talk about seeing each other naked. Language is another concern; "bitch," "damn," and "hell" are heard a lot. Expect to see some very violent encounters as well, with copious blood, amputations, stabbings, and even death, in which the evildoers revel. Adults may enjoy this show's wealth of intriguing (if evil and sadistic) characters and an engrossing story line, but it's too explicit for kids.
Is It Any Good?
Kill la Kill's violent, sexually explicit content is a real surprise if you're not prepared going into what looks like an otherwise benign anime series. Sadomasochistic outfits, lewd comments, misogynistic themes, unwelcome physical advances bordering on assault, and all kinds of innuendo are only briefly overshadowed by the show's excessive violence, hastened by the powers their suits add to the mix. And at the heart of the story itself exists a dynamic of bullying in its rawest form, with a group of bigger, stronger people torturing their weaker peers.
Of course, the show is intended for an audience that's mature enough to separate the inherently good from the bad, and that's pretty easy to do here. The story offers plenty of action and a cast of characters you'll love to hate, plus one who's motivated by justice in a sea of corruption. On the whole, it's not a bad mix if you're OK with the edgy stuff, but do keep kids away.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.