Jul 9, 2017
Unfortunately the manga adaptation of the anime does a poor job of transferring the epic, over the top scale of the show onto paper.

I find it quite disappointing that the manga itself is deemed complete only after three volumes, ending after Ryuko finished taking on the Elite Four and Nui for the first time. That felt like a particularly jarring and inappropriate note for the manga to finish on since the world of Kill la Kill is still so undeveloped and ultimately open ended. The story itself up to this point is practically the same as the original anime, albeit much of the detail is left out which I feel is quite a shame considering that for instance the anime does a great job of dramatizing the extravagance of the fight scenes. In the manga, the entire elite four fight during the naturals election is condensed down to a mere 40ish A5 pages. The overall rushed pace of the manga gave me no opportunity to truly enjoy the story and world of Kill la Kill.

The art itself was quite well done, although often ambiguous enough to evoke confusion from the perspective of the reader. This is particularly evident in volume 2 and 3 where content is densely packed so that the plot can progress quickly. If it wasn't for the fact that I'd seen the actual anime I would be pretty clueless with what was actually happening at certain points in the story. In terms of character drawings they were well done but somehow I don't like how Satsuki and Ryuko's faces were drawn, their features aren't as sharp as those from the anime. Despite the fact that it's definitely more detailed, I can't help but think that the anime depictions of these two were better manifestations of each character's respective personalities and outlook.

Unfortunately, we had general underdevelopment of character mostly due to the dense packing of plot events in this manga. Ironically, Ryuko is more well developed than Satsuki here unlike in the anime where Satsuki's ambitions is colored in a far more sympathetic light. In the context of the anime I could understand why Ryuko would be less developed, she doesn't really have a meaningful past and because of that she is seeking to find reason for her existence. The fact that none of the characters in the manga are truly developed is quite disappointing.

Due to the fact that I'd just finished watching what I thought to be an exceptional anime (my favorite out of the five I have seen haha) a couple days ago, the manga adaptation served as a stark contrast in that it just so much worse. I understand that budgeting and deadlines may have been an issue here, but I was just generally disappointed by the manga. I just wanted to see more Ryuko but this adaptation doesn't truly do the character or the anime justice. Fight scenes lack the gorgeous, over the top quality that made the original anime unique and I can find little meaning in the densely packed material of the manga.

This is my first ever review, hope it's been helpful.
Reviewer’s Rating: 4
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