If you're not going to read the rest of the review please read this:
Kill La Kill contains incestual rape, girls in skimpy battle outfits (this can either be extremely uncomfortable for you or pleasing depending on who you are), and a somewhat lacking motive and back story for its main antagonist. The art is similar to the popular anime Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann and will not fail any old fans of that anime. The music is well done and extremely enjoyable since it's mainly orchestral and fits the mood well. The characters are, for the most part, intriguing and entertaining. The story is interesting enough for me to be thoroughly invested in the last couple episodes. Would I suggest this to anyone? Yes, but with warnings for everything I believe would be an issue for them that show up in the show.
As someone who finds out about anime from a certain blogging site (tumblr) I end up missing out on seeing a lot of great animes while they were airing (the anime I'm specifically talking about is Gurren Lagann), but that's not the case with Kill La Kill. I'm sure many of you are probably making faces or sounds of disgust after seeing that I come from that site considering that most of the internet and world seems to dislike tumblr as a whole (of which I understand), but the people on this site often remind you of certain human decencies when they point out the social issues that a show/movie/person/song/etc. may have or cause. Such is the case with KLK.
The following review will contain some spoilers. Especially and mostly for the first episode of the anime. Nothing huge will be revealed.
Kill La Kill initially pulled me in with images of the great and powerful Satsuki Kiryuin when I saw her in photosets on tumblr. I really enjoy strong female characters so it's obvious why I was interested in her, but then I saw Ryuko who was also obviously fearsome (she bit into a lemon VOLUNTARILY in, like, the first episode and didn't even cringe) and met Mako who I realized later was brave and wonderful in her own way and felt just really welcomed to this anime.
However, that's not the only thing that makes this anime great in the beginning, it's also the art (familiar to TTGL fans) and....the music. As a huge fan of orchestral music words cannot explain how much I enjoyed the soundtrack. Honestly, the music constantly fits the environment and is easily recognizable because it's just so thrilling and well composed. Check out KLK for its art and its music if anything.
So anyway, getting back to when I was talking about how I found out about this anime on tumblr, because that's important to this review. Like I said before tumblr often reminds you of certain human decencies by pointing out anything problematic in people, places, things, etc. and it did that with KLK. Many people were drawn into watching KLK because many people were huge fans of TTGL, but dropped the show after a few episodes because it made them uncomfortable. That being said, many people kept watching the show for a couple key elements: Gamagori/Mako and the fight scenes (which were interesting and...mostly well animated). So you're probably asking why they were uncomfortable. Well without spoiling too much I'll tell you...
When Ryuko finds Senketsu she bleeds on him causing him to force himself onto her. Many people took offense to this because it could be taking as a metaphor for sexual assault. Apparently the writers of the show tried to defend themselves by saying it was just her trying to get over her body image as she was a teenage girl and many teenage girls battle that, but.....Ryuko doesn't really fight with body image more than the average person who just feels embarrassed to go out in a skimpy outfit because...that's not their thing. They really try to emphasize this with Mako's "hallelujah" rants especially when she tells Ryuko not be afraid because her body is really hot and she's "got a great rack", but, again, Ryuko doesn't really fight with body image it's more like she has to overcome her fear so she won't "lose her way" and can accomplish her goals.
Another issue, the skimpy battle outfits. Okay, seriously who would go into battle wearing one of those godrobes? It's like playing a video game where the female characters are all there to just be attractive and please the male audience. I know that the sexual element of the show is there partially for a joke, but seriously? Essentially, you learn in the show that the godrobes only cover a small amount of the body and do that for a specific reason (a reason that I thought was extremely flimsy because of the amount of fabric on their arms. I don't want to spoil you, but seriously if you defend that reason just look at their goddamn arms and think about how much of that could be covering them where the wearer would want it) so that's why they're in such skimpy outfits.
And then one of the biggest issues, the one that made everyone stop watching this show: incest and rape. Incestual rape may be a better way to define it. It was something they didn't need to add in the show at all. It was tasteless and disgusting. I think it was supposed to make you really see how evil the character who was doing it really was, but the way they carried out the scenes (actually it's just this particular scene) was really horrible and I have mixed feelings about it. It really doesn't get worse than this.
And finally the last thing I want to talk about here is the story. Which I felt was interesting, but lacking in some part. Particularly motive and back story for the main antagonist which was basically nonexistent. Instead of the filler episodes KLK had midway through the series I wished they would have taken that time to really make this series whole. Because of this, KLK felt like it was being written as it moved on. I mean, it didn't have a manga until after the anime was created so it wasn't basing itself off of anything. But, the revenge story was interesting and the way they wrote it and the show's characters kept me interested until the end.