So this series was finished in one foul swoop by yours truly and, man, if Kill La Kill goes in a direction that is not the direction it’s currently going in, this my pick for the best anime of the year. And that’s even with a bit of lopsided tones of these last two episodes (11 should’ve been 12 and vice versa).
Episode 11 focuses on the culture festival in Tomoko’s school. The first half, with everyone preparing for the festival, finally establishes Tomoko’s reputation among her classmates: the weird girl who shouldn’t push herself otherwise she’ll pass out. It is actually very depressing, specifically since she stays only out of obligation to her own imagination regarding how high school should be for her and she’s pretty much invisible. Of course, the rest of the episode follows her at the actual festival, which goes about as well as you’d expect. She’s alone and miserable on the first day and she starts to enjoy herself (while still being depressed) on the second day, when Yuu goes with her. This is a good episode to relate to everyone who has ever been to these types of events alone: they are miserable and cruel to all of the lonely people out there (there’s a reason I hate street carnivals).
Oh, and the episode has a nice other character in it. She shows up in a few scenes and is talking to Tomoko. While she only appears in a small part of the episode, her appearances lead up to ………. the nicest, happiest moment in the whole series. For all intents and purposes, this single moment, this one outcry of “Someone Cares!”, is the payoff for the rest of the series. It is for that reason that I believe this should’ve been episode 12.
Episode 12, however, was meant to show Tomoko’s progress throughout the show. It instead resets her character. The episode follows her as she realizes that the school year is almost over and she hasn’t done anything. It is mostly her convoluted plots to become popular, but it does have one important thing: it shows Tomoko looking towards the girl from episode 11 (Megumi) as being the girls who is her opposite, but also showing Megumi showing a fascination with the shy girl who needs to get over her neurosis. While that would be good if this were to get a second season (the series bombed in Japan, most likely because most of the manga’s fanbase is americans who use 4chan), it is also a bad last episode because the end result is Tomoko back where she started in the first episode. It takes her back several steps and, since it’s highly unlikely that this will get a season 2, it finishes the series weakly.
Still, however, it was a good ride. While not for everyone, those who get this series will appreciate and relate with it. I just wish that this would get a second season, since it’s the events after the school festival that actually begin Tomoko’s character development. Still, it is one of the best anime of the year and I highly recommend it.