Gurren Lagaan vs Kill La Kill

Both series, made by Trigger – both making the most unthreatening things in existence (the spiral, clothing) deadly to the entire human race – and both, I would argue, handle how to save the world in very different ways.

Although both have extraordinary lengths of fanservice (Look at Yoko in GL and Ryoko‘s outfit in KlK for further confirmation): each are very different in their message of what can save humanity. For the main character in GL, Simon – it’s being a “man,” protecting what’s important to him (the people in his life). For Ryoko – it’s the same, but what is important is that there is no gender assignment behind it.

The fanservice in Kill la Kill is also far from one-sided. We see just as many bare bottoms of men as we do women – and the main character chooses of her own volition to fight her battles for both herself and the people around her. Gurren Lagaan is strong in this – all the characters, regardless of sex, fight on – and the head of their tech division is quite obviously a gay male – but I feel like Trigger has hit their mark in a gender-balanced show after watching Kill la Kill.

After all, how many anime, let alone television shows, have the main character (as a girl, not as rare) having to save the world (getting slightly rarer) against the craziness of her mother (exceptionally rare) – PHYSICALLY (incredibly rare at this point) without a love interest to support her (a la Sailor Moon) or “establish” her femininity. No one questions if Ryoko is female – yes, her outfit leaves little to the imagination – but no one comments to her being unwomanly or masculine for it. Nor do they suggest, as I’ve seen in other shows (Battle Athletes, I’m looking at you, though I love you still) that women who are physical must ‘automatically’ be lesbians.

After having avoided the series for a long time because of how bad I heard the fanservice was, I have to admit I did the series a disservice. And I must also say, I’m quite excited to see what Trigger comes up with next.

(And I hope other studios take note – GL did well in BR/DVD sales, but I can almost assure you that those figures are small compared to the preorders for KlK.) Society’s ready for a new kind of hero – one that can be tough but still a woman.

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