Kill La Kill is a fireworks show of color, attitude and stunning imagery. It’s artistic style and flare are no doubt one of the series’s highlights. Being told very much in the style of Shounen battle manga/anime, but with influences all over the place from the Mech to the Mahou Shoujo genre, it’s only right that it has some outlandish transformation sequences.
Here are 10 of the best! Note, even those for whom the amount of fanservice made them wanna Kill La Kill themselves (Notably, me) will find a lot to like in the colorful, dynamic and memorable transformation sequences.
10. Ragyo Kiryuin ‘Junketsu’ Transformation
There is something so stunningly perverse about Ragyo Kiryuin as a character that deserves more analysis than would be fit to place in this article. However, her hijacking of her daughters ‘wedding dress’, Junketsu, is a good visual metaphor for her sickening relationship with Satsuki. There is something so creepy about Ragyo in general that seeing her in Satsuki’s typical transformation sequence, but with Ragyo’s own flair, just seemed truly wrong. But in that, it is effective, coming in at number 10.
9. Ryuko ‘Berserk’ Transformation
Ryuko’s berserk transformation is a sort of grotesque mess that’s perfectly emblematic of the loss of control she suffers in one of her fights with her nemesis Nui Harime. It’s a result of Ryuko getting too angry and essentially overloading Senketsu. It’s a nice twist on her usual transformation, where we see the threads of Senketsu move out of their nice, even rows and are all jumbled apart. What results is a half Picasso, half Courage the Cowardly Dog villain result that is equally goofy and scary.
8. Elite Four ‘Regalia Mk. 2’ Group Transformation
This group sequence has shorter transformation times for all the Elite Four but ends up giving slightly spiffier outfits to Houka Inumata and Uzu Sanageyama, who had some of the blander sequences by Kill La Kill Standards. Inumata’s is terrific because it seems like he’s become some embodiment of computerized data coming straight out of a goofier take on a Ghost in the Shell Hacking Sequence. Sanageyama get’s a slightly beefier outfit as well, highlighting his warrior essence
7. Elite Four ‘Supreme War Regalia’ Group Transformation
The Supreme War Regalia is really cool as a ‘final form’ because it’s a sort of final form inversion. You expect any sort of final form outfits or transformations to be the most grand, and outlandish form a character can take. However, the Final Form of the elite four are totally opposite. In the case of Sanageyama, literally running the gamut pass all his previous forms to his ‘final form’, being the most modest of all. It’s an interesting facet of Kill La Kills thematic exploration and the motif of nudity representing authenticity.
6. Ira Gamagori ‘Shackle Regalia’ Transformation
Gamagori is, quite literally, a larger than life persona within Kill La Kill. It’s befitting the series and his character that he has one of the most over the top and raunchy sequences. The Shackle Regalia is essentially an armored gimp suit, designed to absorb as much damage as humanly possible before doling it back out in a devastating counter attack. Seeing Gamagori’s stern eminence encased in this bizarre, mummy-esque cocoon is one of the pleasantly weirder and more memorable things you’ll see in watching the series.
5. Nonon’s ‘Symphony Regalia Grave’ Transformation
Everyone can use a little more Nonon Jakuzure in their lives, she’s one of the best sub-characters in Kill La Kill. Her purple, pink and white color scheme almost make it look like a true Mahou Shoujo transformation sequence. What follows is her literally encasing the myriad of instruments into her giant, floating airship as to trap their sound and use it as a weapon. It embodies all of Nonon’s charm, femininity and also her playful, bombastic side.
4. Satsuki Kiryuin ‘Junketsu’ Transformation
Ryuko and Satsuki are Summer and Winter, Spring and Fall. They’re opposites that seem to form a complete whole when joined together. As such, the Junketsu transformation is highly similar to Ryuko’s Senketsu transformation sequence. However, they stay within Satsuki’s white/blue color scheme, which seems a natural and fitting response to Ryuko’s red/black scheme.
There are even subtle reversals from Ryuko’s sequence, such as the ‘camera’ moving in the opposite direction as the blood flows into the clothing, and the fire demon facing the opposite side. It can be thought of as a sister sequence (Hah) to the Junketsu sequence, and is awesome in it’s own right.
3. Ryuko/Senketsu ‘Fashion Week’ Transformation
The Fashion week Transformation is pretty derivative of Ryuko’s original Senketsu transformation sequence. What earns it a spot at # 3 is the slight changes that are made to take it to the next level of hype. The fact that Satsuki, Mako and Crew give up their Life Fiber clothes in order to make Ryuko more powerful as if they’re offering a sort of clothing spirit bomb adds to the epicness of the sequence in and of itself.
In terms of visual changes, we love the red and gold color scheme, and a lot of the other details that make it really look like Senketsu got a powerup. The original might be more iconic, but the ‘Fashion week’ transformation is also superb.
2. Ryuko/Senketsu Transformation
It’s hard not to watch the original Senketsu transformation and almost feel a tinge of Nostalgia for the first time I watched the series. The sequence is repeated throughout the show and is definitely a visual highlight in my eyes. There’s a lot of dynamic camerawork zooming around that makes the whole transformation scene feel very active and fast-paced.
The Image of Senketsu becoming a fire-beast is one of the most beautifully animated parts of the show. If there’s one image that always stands out to me about Kill La Kill, it’s the final part of the original transformation sequence. Starting with the frame centered around Ryuko’s resolute looking eyes, it follows her essentially Shaking with the power Senketsu gives her as she yells ‘Life Fiber Synchronize, Kamui Senketsu!’ before ending with the trade mark giant red letters around her saying ‘Kamui Senketsu.’
It’s an epic moment, and the original transformation sequence is also one of the best.
1. Episode 25 OVA, Graduation from Ryuko, Final Scissor Attack
It’s funny to put this as the penultimate transformation, because it isn’t really a transformation. However, it is kind of the epitome of the grandiose and bombastic style that Kill La Kill pulls off in every episode. It’s also one of the most emotional.
This is really how Kill La Kill ends its story, this is the closure for the 25 episodes ride you’ve been through with this series. It’s at the top of the list because it’s not only fun and over the top like just about everything in this series, but really does put a nice little bow on Kill La Kills fantastic run. It still brings fond memories and a tear to my eye.
Hopefully this article captured even 1/100th of Kill La Kill’s vivid and volatile style. Let us know what your favorite Kill La Kill transformation sequence was in the comments below and let us know how the list would look in your head! If you haven’t seen Kill La Kill yet, go out and watch it! And if you have, well hunker down, get some popcorn and consider watching it again just to relive some of these awesome transformation scenes