A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
Themes & Topics
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