Kill la Kill

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Kill la Kill TV Poster Image
Explicit violence, sexual themes dominate dark anime series.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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. 

Sex

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.

Language

"Bitch," "damn," "dammit," "hell," and "frickin'." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.  

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byガアク たなー June 14, 2015

Sadly misunderstood

What the reviewer from the main article seems to have missed is the point on the entire show. This show is a satire of many other shows in the genre. The hyper... Continue reading
Parent Written byWalt L August 15, 2015

CS Review misses the mark (and the point)

Don't watch this show until you've seen a bunch of other anime first. Kill La Kill is a parody of anime tropes, from the 'magical girl' tr... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bybioniclecomeback56 January 25, 2016

Not worth watching and certainly not for kids

I don't always agree with CSM but I definitely do here. I cannot believe the other reviews on here are saying this ok for 12-14 year olds. You people are... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byi am so kawaii October 25, 2015

My personal favorite.

This is a great anime. It is a giant, big , parody, yet manages to have a great, engrossing storyline. It has unique characters (each with unique hair, too... Continue reading

What's the story?

KILL LA KILL is an anime series set in a Japanese high school where a select group of students use powerful uniforms called Goku to assume superpowers and subjugate their classmates. Led by the fierce Satsuki Kiryuin (voiced by Carrie Keranen), these students even lord it over the school's teachers, but a newcomer named Ryuko Matoi (Erika Mendez) challenges them in pursuit of her father's killer, Nui Harime. Ryuko discovers a uniform she names Senketsu (David Vincent), and they team up against Nui to avenge the death and to retrieve the Scissor Blade she had stolen when she murdered Ryuko's father. Later episodes see the installation of Ragyo (Laura Post), Satsuki's mother, as the dominant and vindictive leader of the group.

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether ample safeguards exist to keep kids and teens away from content like that of this show. Do your teens pay attention to TV ratings? Does a rating of MA warn them or intrigue them? 

  • How much is too much when it comes to violence in the media? How different is the effect in a cartoon from that in live action? Does seeing violence on TV desensitize us to violence in the real world?

  • Some characters use sexuality as a means of manipulating others in this show. Have you ever witnessed bullying with sexual undertones? How might an act like that prey on a victim's vulnerability even more so than other forms of bullying do? 

TV details

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