Kill La Kill Vol. 1 (Udon)


Rating: 4/5 – The Wildly Popular Anime Comes to Manga…
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Al Sparrow

Honnouji Academy’s oppressive student council inflicts its will over the student body via the use of powerful Goku Uniforms – special suits that grant superpowers to their wearer. To date, nobody has dared stand against them and lived to tell the tale (if the crucified student in the doorway, guilty of attempting to steal a uniform, didn’t tip you off). Kill la Kill chronicles the story of transfer student Ryuki Matoi, a student wielding a blade that looks like half a pair of scissors. She’s looking for the other half, as the owner might be the person responsible for her father’s death.

Kill la Kill – in anime form – has a pretty good reputation as a fun, bloody, and fanservice-laden revenge tale. I know when I work various conventions it’s common to see a Ryuki cosplayer walking around the floor. Those elements transfer nicely to the manga page in this impressive first volume from Udon. The humor is definitely intact, both in Ryo Akizuki’s artwork and in TRIGGER/Kazuki Nakashima’s writing. Ryuki’s main fighting move – running away – is particularly hilarious. Fighting sequences are completely over the top, much like in the anime, but well-rendered by Akizuki. Even fanservicey elements – the demon-powered uniform Ryuki finds leaves little to the imagination – blend well with the humor and action to provide a well-rounded story whether you’re familiar with the anime or not.

There might be little here to goad someone well-steeped in the anime to want to pick it up unless they’re just a huge fan of the series. It certainly makes a nice companion piece to it. I almost feel this book may serve more to draw people to watching the anime for all the right reasons. Usually if a manga doesn’t hold up well to its animated counterpart, I’ll encourage readers to check out the anime instead. In this case, I’d almost say dig into both. The manga is a really fun read but it may only serve as a nice appetizer before hitting the main course. In either event, it’s easy to see why Kill la Kill has the following it does. Rarely does any series blend action, humor, drama – and a little fanservice – this well.

Reviewed by: Al Sparrow
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