Part two of the four-part watchalong of Kill la Kill with Amelia, Vrai, and special guest Miranda Sanchez! Fashion gets an unfair shake. The StuCo is Good, but Satsuki is Best. As for Nui… maybe you don’t want to hear out thoughts on Nui.
Date Recorded: Saturday 17th February 2018
Hosts: Amelia, Vrai
Guest: Miranda Sanchez
09:26 Unequal sexualization
13:05 What are they doing
15:35 Ryuko x Mako
19:11 Not looking cute
23:56 Marxism, fashion, and women
29:07 Brass knuckles for Vrai
31:18 The nobility of poverty
40:32 Next six episodes
44:16 Nudist Beach
48:50 Miranda surprises
53:45 All gender work and no gender play
AMELIA: Hi, everyone, and welcome to Chatty AF, the Anime Feminist podcast! My name’s Amelia. I’m the editor-in-chief of Anime Feminist, and I’m joined today by Vrai Kaiser and our very special guest Miranda Sanchez. If you guys would like to introduce yourselves?
VRAI: Yeah, sure. Hi, I’m Vrai. I’m an editor and contributor to Anime Feminist. I do a lot of things all over the internet. You can usually find links to those on my Twitter, @writervrai, or you can find the other podcast I co-host, @trashpod.
MIRANDA: And I’m Miranda Sanchez. I am an editor at IGN and I kind of run our anime content every now and then when we have it. We’re working on it. If you want to freelance, let me know! Send me a headline. Send me your pitch. I’m on Twitter, @havokrose—that’s “havok” with a “k.”
So, yeah, and I’m very excited to be here. I’m… Kill la Kill is one of my favorite things, and we’ve got a lot to say about it, and I think that’s awesome. My favorite thing about this watchalong is it’s having me watch this in a very different way I haven’t before.
AMELIA: Oh, great.
MIRANDA: I’ve taken so many notes. I’m like, “Wow, I should just write about all of this and put it on IGN.”
VRAI: Content! That sweet, sweet content!
AMELIA: You can pitch us if you want, Miranda. [crosstalk] We’re accepting pitches, too. [laughs]
VRAI: Ooh, yes.
MIRANDA: I think I could probably get approval for that.
AMELIA: For anyone who does want to pitch Miranda, we actually recorded a podcast with me, Miranda, and Lauren Orsini—the Otaku Journalist—recently, and that is also available in Chatty AF’s backlog. I don’t remember which episode number it is, but if you want to know how to get into anime writing, all the information is there. We’d all love to see pitches from you.
So, Kill la Kill. [laughs; sarcastically] Getting back to this delightful show, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching.
AMELIA: I promise.
MIRANDA: Oh no! [laughs]
VRAI: Amelia doesn’t care for a show with a lot of T&A.
AMELIA: [faux shocked] What?
VRAI: I’m sure everyone listening is surprised.
AMELIA: [sarcastically] Nobody saw this coming!
Yeah, this one’s… This one’s proving to be a bit of a slog for me. I’m sorry. But I have to say, I did find this six-episode set… [reluctantly] more tolerable than the previous six-episode set. And that is the strongest praise I am giving today, I think.
AMELIA: Vrai, how was it for you?
VRAI: Uhh… It’s definitely trying to say some… [beleaguered] Listen, I know how to engage with trash. I have a lot of experience engaging with trash.
So, I can say, there were things I like. The question is: do those things I like overpower the things that I hate?
AMELIA: I think we’re gonna go into detail on the more challenging points, so let’s just look a little bit… What did you really like about these six episodes?
VRAI: I love everything with the student council. I really, really enjoy all of the flashback sequences. That kind of… Satsuki is probably my favorite character.
VRAI: Everyone who talks to me on Twitter at this point is like, “Yeah, the show is garbage, but I can’t quite give it up, ’cause, like, Satsuki, though.” And I can understand that sentiment. Satsuki’s really good. And I really love all of the kung-fu bullshit flashbacks of how she assembled her student council. Those are segments where I’m having fun, and it’s aesthetic. And it’s a good time.
And, also, I knew I was here for RyuMako, but I had no idea that I was also very here for Nonon and Satsuki, who are very good.
AMELIA: Yes, that’s been fleshed out a little bit, hasn’t it?
VRAI: It’s very good.
AMELIA: I didn’t love the flashbacks, but I do like the fact that there seems to be something bigger going on. Satsuki’s got a plan here, and it’s some kind of ambitious plan, and I don’t really get it yet, but I appreciate that there’s a bit more going on. But it is… Remember, I compared it to Utena in the first episode, and I’m really getting those vibes again, so I don’t know how… [laughs] I don’t think this is made for me.
VRAI: Do you hear the sound rumbling from the end of the world?
VRAI: It’s very bad.
AMELIA: Unfortunately, that makes Satsuki into Akio, right? Which is…
VRAI: Fuck no! It makes Satsuki Touga, who I still don’t like.
MIRANDA: [crosstalk] No. No. No!
VRAI: I don’t care for Touga.
AMELIA: We’ll come back to this discussion topic.
I really liked, actually, how Satsuki seems to have a bit more respect for Ryuko here, and she doesn’t seem to be just going out of her way to crush Ryuko. She’s actually using her a bit more strategically. I thought that was interesting. That relationship is growing in a way that I’m enjoying watching. But they don’t spend a lot of time together, so that’s kind of bits-and-pieces here and there.
VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah.
MIRANDA: Satsuki’s still kind of a mystery at this point.
MIRANDA: Even though you are learning her background through the Elite Four, her intentions and ambitions aren’t really stated, and because of the nature of Kill la Kill, it’s not easy to guess what those are.
AMELIA: [crosstalk] Yeah, exactly. [Unintelligible through crosstalk] and we understand.
MIRANDA: And she only gets more interesting.
AMELIA: [happily] Well, good. Okay. I’m looking forward to that, then.
VRAI: It’s also… This show… I am not a shounen person. Seinen and josei are pretty squarely where my interests tend to lie. But the thing I do enjoy about shounen shows is that kind of prickly camaraderie post-defeat thing that a lot of shows do really stupidly, but when it’s done well, it’s on-point. And I enjoyed those parts of the tournament, just everybody sitting on the sideline bench. Those scenes were fun. And I had a fun time.
AMELIA: I completely agree with that. I really… I enjoy how they’re humanizing the Elite Four a little bit, and making them a little bit more ridiculous, which I enjoy. I think the visual style of Kill la Kill is just amazing and I really am enjoying that. The aesthetic is wonderful.
MIRANDA: Yeah. The animation in these fights is just incredible.
AMELIA: Oh, so good. So good.
MIRANDA: I love watching it so much.
VRAI: Yeah. During the actual combat scenes when they were focused… When they were focused on showing off the fighting and Ryuko’s… I still hate Ryuko’s outfit but it became this matter-of-course thing because the fights were focused on framing other things, so it would be a very loosely sketched-out image of the amount of exposed flesh she has, and it was just focusing on the gimmick of her opponent, or the acrobatics of the fight, I started actually having a good time, because they are well-choreographed and well-animated in those segments, and I really enjoyed… I continue to enjoy the thick-lined look that the show has.
AMELIA: Yeah. Yeah, me too. But I do want to use that as an opportunity to segue, because not all of the fights were, ah… of an equal approach, I think.
AMELIA: [laughs] So, we had four fights, and three of them were pretty standard. “I have a gimmick and this is my gimmick.” And then one of them was BDSM Climaxing Erection Outfit—
VRAI and MIRANDA: [snicker]
AMELIA: —and I think we need to talk about that a little bit.
VRAI: [faux-angrily] Why can he talk through the ball gag, you cowards?! You cowards! You can’t talk in a gimp suit!
AMELIA: [through laughter] That has been your go-to criticism for the last week. I think it’s the first thing you said about these episodes.
MIRANDA: I mean, it’s very important. You can’t do that. That’s… Come on. [laughs]
AMELIA: Where is the authenticity, Kill la Kill? Come on!
VRAI: I have been told that that is a highlight of the dub outtakes is Patrick Seitz also taking issue with that, and I enjoy Patrick Seitz as an actor, so I feel, you know, vindicated.
AMELIA: That’s a pretty good anecdote. Yeah, he… I mean, the first time I saw his costume… ‘Cause they have that great car episode, right?
VRAI: That’s fun! I also enjoyed that. I love the punch-clock villain-type stories.
AMELIA: I think that was my favorite episode so far. You’ve just got Gamagori being really kind of principled when he’s like, “No, no, no, no. We’re gonna fight on the battleground. Right here, I’m just the head of the student disciplinary committee and I need to help the students. That’s my duty.”
I thought that was great. And then he gets into this little pink car and he’s a giant. His hands on the tiny steering wheel.
VRAI: He just got his license. He’s so excited.
AMELIA: [through laughter] He just got his license.
MIRANDA: He just wants to drive Satsuki around. That’s so nice.
AMELIA: It’s great. He just wants to be her chauffeur. And that is… He’s such a great character anyway. I’m really enjoying him. I don’t need to read into him too deeply most of the time, but his costume is… It raises questions.
So, a lot of the time, you kind of get the sense that he’s more on the masochistic side of things, but Satsuki, she kind of controls him. But then, in his fight with Ryuko, it’s very much… He’s spanking her? And that… We get a good view of that at one point, which was pretty uncomfortable, I think. And he’s kind of talking about how he’s going to… He’s essentially trying to dominate her, right? And it’s such a weird moment, and I don’t really get what they were trying to say with that and with his character in this costume for that character? So… Well, Miranda, you may know already, but Vrai, any thoughts on that?
VRAI: Uh… Anime is basically never… Anime is good at portraying kinks zero-percent of the time.
AMELIA: So let’s start with that as our premise.
VRAI: I’m… As we continue this watchalong, I’m ever-increasingly crankier about the flimsy defense that dudes are also sexualized and get naked because it continues to not be on parity at all.
MIRANDA: Yeah, that’s never a defense. It’s a goofy defense. Just saying, “Well… ” Mm, no.
VRAI: Yeah, ’cause I guarantee you if any of the women would have been wearing bondage gear, it would be way more sexualized than this. Because Gamagori is wielding metaphorical penises that he uses on Ryuko, but his body is so incredibly hidden underneath the gimp suit that he’s wearing that it’s never particularly framed in an explicitly…
It’s framed in a “you’re a weird kinkster” light, but not in a “you are a sexual object who is dressed in this kinky fashion that you are empowered by, [growing frustrated] because if you would just embrace the way that you’re being exploited, you would find it empowering.”
So, it’s… It’s not… And also, you know, no butt stuff, though. None of these phallic objects on his costume are in any danger of coming anywhere near him. God forbid.
AMELIA: Right. He… One hits him at one point, doesn’t it? And he looks so affronted.
VRAI: Mm-hm. He does have the self-punishment technique, but it’s not… It’s also… It’s framed at a distant shot and his suit immediately blows up to, once again, obscure his meat flesh.
MIRANDA: Yeah, I think the only one you see at this point, the most naked, is Yanagi toward the end after he gets knocked out. And I think episode 11, he’s standing there in the buff.
VRAI: I have no desire to see a high schooler’s dong, but I am just mortally offended that they chickened out with the glare over his butt in every single shot.
MIRANDA: I think there’s one time when he’s falling, you see his butt a little bit.
VRAI: That’s it. Yep.
MIRANDA: It’s pretty much—yeah.
AMELIA: It’s not equal, and it’s not comparable, as well. The way that they end up naked is not treated in the same way as the way that women end up naked, and it’s… Yeah. It’s not great. At the same time, I was… I think we need to look a bit more at how they’re using the other male characters. So… I can’t remember his name. Is it Inumuta?
MIRANDA: Inumuta, yes.
AMELIA: The data guy. And he actually gets put into this kind of really skintight costume, and he’s [through laughter] contorting himself all around. And they’re treating him as this comedy character in that moment, and they don’t seem to do that with the female characters, except for Mako.
So, when the women fight, the women are sexy. When the men fight, they might be funny. Does that make sense?
MIRANDA: Yeah. That’s true.
VRAI: It… They do have a—briefly, Inumuta’s suit-up sequence has that incredible plunging hipline with his exposed abs that I found very funny. But then that goes away.
AMELIA: Yeah. Yeah. I really liked his costume, actually. I thought it was really funny and I was amused. But it’s kind of… The women aren’t really given space to be comic characters. Ryuko’s funny but not when she’s fighting.
MIRANDA: Right. She’s usually just in pain. [snickers] Or angry.
AMELIA: Yeah. And that’s the other thing, is the two women literally bleed for their costumes to work. [sarcastically] Subtle. And it’s… I haven’t really figured out what they’re trying to do with this. I think that’s… You know, it goes back to what you were saying at the beginning, Vrai, where we were like, “They’re trying to say something.” But maybe they’re just drip-feeding the information and it’ll all become clear in the next 12 episodes, or maybe I’m just not smart enough. That’s also a possibility.
VRAI: It reminds me of my time working as an editor, specifically in college, where I would get a lot of freshman papers that clearly wanted to say a thing.
VRAI: And had only taken freshman comp.
AMELIA: Right. [laughs] Miranda, am I being harsh?
MIRANDA: No. I mean, I think you’re totally fair. I mean, that’s the thing, right? I was reading a lot about this, too, it’s like whether or not Kill la Kill is feminist. Maybe we want to talk about this later. But, it obviously… They want to really say something, but they’re having such a hard time doing it. And the inklings of what that is are there, and maybe as we keep watching, they’ll become more clear to you, or maybe it won’t.
And I think that’s still important that, at this point, you can’t clearly say what they want to do at this point. It’s halfway through the show, you know?
AMELIA: And they haven’t yet. [dryly] No, that’s—
MIRANDA: [crosstalk] I think it’s important.
AMELIA: —that’s amazing, isn’t it?
VRAI: I’ve seen people describe this show as, “Well, it’s really trying to say something—if you have a high tolerance for anime bullshit.” But, honestly, the anime bullshit has been some of the only fun parts.
AMELIA: [laughs] Yeah. I would agree with that.
VRAI: And, again, I am the world’s foremost defender of The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, a show that people spent a lot of time dismissing as being unnecessarily sexualized and stupid and, you know, grimdark for the sake of grimdark, and [excitedly] I will fight every one of you in a parking lot. Line up, suckers! But I’m just… [unenthusiastically] I’m not getting that here.
MIRANDA: No, I mean, there’s a lot of times where… It’s like when Ryuko is fighting Nonon and her boobs are flapping in the wind and she’s getting blasted with this beam. It’s like, “Why? Why did you have to do that?” Even on my first watch, I was like, “Oh, I’m enjoying this. I’m enjoying this. [dejectedly] …Oh. Okay.”
AMELIA: And that moment where she’s hanging by her braces… What do you guys call those things?
AMELIA: And she’s hanging by her boob straps. She’s hanging by them, and her breasts are right up in her face, which, you know, is a pretty tricky angle to get.
VRAI: And then Mako gets a nosebleed like heterosexual platonic friends do.
AMELIA: And then Mako gets a nosebleed. [laughs] And what a convenient segue you’ve given me, Vrai, ’cause that was something I wanted to look at. Ryuko and Mako: pretty implied at this point that there’s something going on there, I think. Even I saw it this week and I have straight lenses firmly on. [laughs] So… It’s… Yeah. What do you think about those two? I know you were shipping them right from the start of those six episodes?
VRAI: I’m a stan because I’m very angry at the fandom, but also they are very cute and have a good dynamic. I will say that, if I am going to be watching Kill la Kill, I am going to get all of the lady-kissing enjoyment out of it that I can possibly wring—
VRAI: —so I spent some time on Tumblr this week.
AMELIA: [hesitant] Oh.
VRAI: The fandom is still playing the “they’re just really good friends, you guys” saw in The Year of Our Lord, 2018, and I guess I have to get a bigger parking lot, because I will fight all of you.
MIRANDA: [pained laughter] It gets worse. Of the “how could you deny this?” Like: How? No! They are totally in love. Mako loves Ryuko so much! It’s evident at this point! How dare you deny this?
VRAI: She has the cooldown hug. That’s a shounen love interest trope!
AMELIA: It really is. And there was that moment, even, two episodes before that, where somebody says… Oh, somebody says to her, “Oh, so she’s the one who calms you down, then.” Was it Senketsu saying it to her?
VRAI: Yeah, yeah.
AMELIA: “Oh, that’s who calms you down?”
VRAI: Well, and it’s interesting—
AMELIA: [crosstalk] And, at that moment, I was like, “This is now undeniable. That’s the line crossed. It’s become text.”
VRAI: And it’s interesting, because I’ve also seen people be like, “Well, it can’t be a thing because the really important relationship in the show is because Ryuko and Senketsu,” which, obviously, that is a very important bond, but also, we’re on on our shounen bullshit. There is always an important platonic and an important romantic relationship. That’s how it do. [faux anger] That’s how these things do. Why have you never watched anything before, ever?
AMELIA: Yeah. It is… It is a very shounen show, and that is such a shounen trope, and it’s completely falling into that. And I like that they’ve done it. You know, I have my issues with Mako—I think we all know—and I still don’t love her as a character
MIRANDA: [crosstalk] Aw.
AMELIA: —but I do appreciate the—I’m sorry, she’s never gonna be for me.
MIRANDA: Oh, it’s okay.
VRAI: [crosstalk; quietly] She’s very good.
MIRANDA: [crosstalk] I love her so much.
AMELIA: Okay, guys. I don’t wanna offend either of you, but…
AMELIA: I have come to appreciate the role that she plays in Ryuko’s life. She kind of strikes me—this is gonna sound awful, and I’m really sorry—but she kind of strikes me as the Ron Weasley, where she kind of brings this orphan family and love and unconditional acceptance. So, not quite the same, but that feels like the role that she’s filling. I mean, apart from the sex, but I don’t think that was ever included in Harry Potter.
VRAI: Yeah, objection. Ron Weasley is, like, two steps away from swallowing the red pill.
AMELIA: Agreed. Agreed. So, yeah, that’s what’s my… Of all the controversial things I thought I’d say in this podcast series, I didn’t think that was gonna be one of them. [laughs]
MIRANDA: I love airhead characters that have a lot of heart and ambition and some sort of drive to do something, and her ambition is Ryuko, and being there for her every step of the way, and I just love that so much. It’s so genuine. That’s all.
VRAI: It’s so… It’s very sweet and cute. It’s… And, by the way, speaking of the hug, I really do enjoy Ryuko’s monster form. This show is very good at appealingly grotesque designs, and I wish they did it more.
AMELIA: They did that really well. Yeah, I was thinking that as I was watching it. It was… It’s the first time she’s been allowed to look really unappealing, I think. And they’ve done that before. There’s that moment at the end of… Is it Jakazure? Nonon. When she gets really furious with Ryuko, and she just stops looking cute. And they really play into that, and that was really—
VRAI: [crosstalk] Nonon is so fun. Nonon is a character archetype—
AMELIA: [crosstalk] Yes!
VRAI: —that I enjoy a lot. The—
AMELIA: What character archetype is that?
VRAI: The “I’m a little shit to everybody except one person who I just lavish affection upon.”
VRAI: I enjoy that.
AMELIA: Yeah. And it was nice to see someone with ties to Satsuki before. She keeps making that point as well. She’s like, “Well, my relationship’s different.” And I think that’s quite sweet. But she’s probably the closest to Satsuki as well, ’cause she actually does command an army of marching band girls, which is similar to the one-star uniform boys with the bowl cuts.
VRAI: And her uniform is restrained. I liked her uniform.
AMELIA: [crosstalk] Right?
VRAI: It was cute.
AMELIA: Yeah, and I kind of wanted to bring that up, because I’m not sure why she out of all of them was not sexualized. ‘Cause there’ s one scene where they—I can’t remember what happens, but—she shows up… Oh, no. It’s as a child, I think. And all the boys are clearly in love with her and they build her the sandcastle and then later we see her going into the battleground and everyone’s blushing, or something.
And so clearly she’s popular. And people are attracted to her. But she’s not sexualized within the fight. And I think she’s the only female character we’ve seen so far who’s not.
MIRANDA: Nui, too.
AMELIA: Right. We should talk about Nui.
AMELIA: Vrai, you wanna kick this off?
VRAI: That is… That is my other point, is that: okay, fandom. If you would like to tell me that Ryuko and Mako are just good friends, I’m gonna be a lot meaner about this character, the evil, depraved queer person. Are you kidding me? Her entire deal is that she is a sociopath and hits on Satsuki and Ryuko. And also is a murderer for shits and giggles.
AMELIA: Yeah, it’s not really clear what her motivation is yet.
MIRANDA: She’s just cruel. She’s weird because at this point we don’t really have a clear-cut villain, and then she comes, and we’re like, “Oh, okay. You want us to not like her. Okay. You’ve made it very clear that we should not like her.”
VRAI: Yeah, and the fact that… Even though I like Ryuko and Mako very much, the fact that their relationship is very—in this very sexual show, their relationship is very cute and chaste, other than Mako obviously thinking Ryuko is hot.
And then Nui rolls in and is just double-entendres all of the time. So the fact that she is so explicitly into girls and so explicitly sexual and also the explicit villain with no redeeming traits whatsoever. [frustratedly] Excuse me, Kill la Kill, we need words.
AMELIA: Yeah, absolutely. And the fact that you’ve got several kind of—like you said, you’ve got Mako and Ryuko, you’ve got Nonon and Satsuki, and then—but that’s all subtext, and it does look a bit bad. And I was kind of hoping that there would be more to her character, but now I’m questioning that, ’cause it doesn’t sound like it.
MIRANDA: So, I mean, there’s more. But by far, she is the worst character in Kill la Kill. I hate her so much. Every time she’s on-screen you’re like, “Please, just go away. I don’t want to hear your voice. I don’t want to see your face.”
AMELIA: [crosstalk] Oh wow. That’s intense.
MIRANDA: Granted, her design… I think it’s also unique in that she’s not sexualized and she’s very much “Lolita”-cute, bouncy girl…
VRAI: It’s a good design, and it’s got that very… I’m sorry for referencing Kill Bill, because Kill Bill steals from so many real kung-fu movies, but it’s what I can think of right off the top of my head that has the famous eye-gouging scene. It was very that.
MIRANDA: Right. Yeah.
VRAI: Which… I do enjoy her design, and then there’s everything else about her.
MIRANDA: She’s so manipulative and an actual terrifyingly cruel villain that we just haven’t had up to this point. And I guess it’s like if Kill la Kill was gonna do a villain like this, they would go over the top, just in accordance with everything else that’s happened. But I just wish she were…[pained] different. In so many ways.
AMELIA: I want to point out one positive, though, which… If the other girls being interested in girls were actually more textual—and I’d argue Ryuko and Mako’s pretty close, but it’s not completely textual—then, actually, we’ve got a range of female characters here representing quite diverse motivations and approaches to life, competencies, that kind of thing. That’s something that I wouldn’t normally be looking for in a shounen-style action anime. It’s a little bit frustrating.
VRAI: That segues, I think, into something I wanted to talk about with… Last watchalong, I mentioned that very obviously this show has a thing to say about consumer culture and Marxism. That continues to be more and more true.
But as of this series of episodes, I wanted to talk about, specifically, why it’s chosen fashion—well, I don’t know why, but the fact that it has chosen fashion. And on the surface, there’s very much this… I can see why people are like, “Well, look at all these strong female characters who are fighting one another. That is cool and a feminism that it did.”
VRAI: But, structurally speaking, I think it’s cracked from the foundation up, because its choice… It might turn out there is something I don’t know about. But it seems like from here that the big bad in control of everything at the top of the food chain is Satsuki’s mom. So—
MIRANDA: Ragyo, right?
VRAI: Yeah, Ragyo. Who all I can think is “Ragu.”
VRAI: And it was very amusing for me. I had a good time with that.
AMELIA: Get the enjoyment out of it that you can.
VRAI: So, we have this power hierarchy completely composed of women. All we’ve seen of the resistance movement so far is dudes. These dudes who are fighting the power of these gosh-darn women.
And, meanwhile, you’ve chosen… Of all the systems of capitalist exploitation and the downtrodden worker, you’ve chosen fashion, a thing that is… an industry that is most specifically tied to women, and things women enjoy and get benefit from from capitalism.
And rather than talking about nuanced views of ways one is adorned and how certain types of clothing could be exploitative versus not, the very fact that Satsuki’s mom seems to be at the top of this food chain and this entirely women-controlled thing, because, you know, we women are just… the women and the femmes are exploiting themselves all on their own [tiredly] while the dudes are outside the system…
And, you know, meanwhile, fashion is, by and large, a male-controlled industry. There are— it’s one of those statistics where four-in-five women are in on the ground floor—manufacturers are women. But once you get up to the people who own labels at a big fashion event in Milan or whatever, maybe four of the label owners are women in an entire show that contains upwards of 20 designers. That kind of thing.
And I see no indication in this show that it is like Utena, where it seems like there are all these powerful women running the show and oppressing one another, but at the top, there’s this asshole dude who is benefiting from everything. I don’t get a sense of that here. It doesn’t seem that self-aware to understand that: “Uh, hi. Drink! Patriarchy!”
AMELIA: I think that’s a really good point. Genuinely. I’ve been trying to look for the message of the pair of clothing, which Princess Jellyfish does a really good job of addressing from a very different angle. And so I’ve been kind of trying to approach it from that, because it’s a message that I think is really important. I really like it. I think there’s a lot that this particular show could do with it. But I think you’re right. I think, actually, it’s presenting some much more problematic messages.
VRAI: Well, and I know that the second half gets into more vaguely… Gets away from this “rejection of clothes” and gets more into “We have to work with clothes” kind of thing, but I’m not quite sure how it can execute that message. It seems like something designed to focus on Ryuko and Senketsu’s relationship rather than to dig its way out of this hole it’s presented from this inherent misunderstanding of how this industry it’s chosen to focus on works. I could be wrong. I would like to be wrong.
AMELIA: Miranda, you have anything to add to that?
MIRANDA: I still don’t want to say anything yet. I’m gonna wait another six episodes.
AMELIA: Alright. So, it is doing something in that space, which is good to know.
MIRANDA: [flippant] Yeah. We’ll see. [laughs]
AMELIA: We’ll come back to this. Vrai, you also wanted to talk about just the general concept of capitalism, ’cause it’s got that one episode, it’s episode seven.
VRAI: [loud groan]
AMELIA: So, what happens in this episode is that Ryuko starts her fight club. The club does really well, Mako is the president, and as a result, as the club does better and better, her family’s status gets elevated higher and higher and they move into wealthier and wealthier circumstances. And as a result, her family becomes… devolves into silos and becomes much more separate. And you weren’t too thrilled with this one, I remember.
VRAI: [with quiet anger] I hate. This trope. So much.
Positives first. Compliment sandwich. I really, really love Mako’s uniform. She looks so cute.
MIRANDA: I have her nendoroid on my desk at work. It’s my favorite.
VRAI: Oh! Oh, that’s so cute! Oh, I want one! I love figures!
MIRANDA: They have a piece where she’s crying so you can put her tears on. And it’s like that waterfall.
VRAI: Why would you do that? No!
MIRANDA: It’s so cute.
VRAI: Oh no. No, Mako’s a good girl.
MIRANDA: She’s so good.
AMELIA: I actually really enjoyed seeing her fight as well. That was really fun, and it was something that I had not expected to happen at all in this entire series. So, that was a nice surprise. But the actual premise of the episode…
VRAI: Oh, and also, her brass knuckles with her name on them are just so good. They’re so good.
MIRANDA: Those come with the nendoroid.
AMELIA: We need to get you some of those.
VRAI: [excited shout]
AMELIA: “Vrai” also has four letters, you know? [laughs]
VRAI: Oh my God. Yes. Give it to me. Please!
VRAI: I need. [groans] And I was really looking… ‘Cause, you know, Mako is that sort of character who you’re just waiting for their focus episode to come along. So I was really excited to have a Mako-focused episode, and then it focused on my least-favorite trope in the history… .Well, not my least favorite. That’s surprise gender reveals. Fuck that trope.
MIRANDA: [disgusted] Oh, yeah.
VRAI: But this one is down there.
AMELIA: So, explain a bit what you took issue with so strongly.
VRAI: Yes. So, this is one of those episodes about “the empowering nobility of being poor.” Because the episode starts with Ryuko being really, really happy that she has found this family, and everyone is so close ’cause they have to… You know, they all eat dinner together in this cramped, tiny, rat-infested apartment, but, gosh, they’re all just so happy together because they realize what’s really important.
And then, as they… Because this is a theoretically meritocracy-based society, as the club does better and better, they, like you said, Amelia, they move up the ladder and they become increasingly distant from each other as they become more wealthy.
And then… So, it ends with Mako giving up her status as the president, disbanding the club, and they go back to their shithole apartment. But, gosh, they’re just so happy because they have each other and they realize what’s important [angrily] as they eat garbage, because, really, I mean… [sarcastically] “We’re not poor, but those poors? Gosh, they really have somethin’ special, don’t they?They just really have something that they understand because they can barely afford to feed their family and worry about having a roof over their head.”
I’ve been poor. I have never been hand-to-mouth poor, but I have been, “Oh God, can I pay the bills this month?” poor, and it is not ennobling. It sucks. It’s stressful. The anxiety has a constantly low-key degrading effect on your health, because you’re worried about being able to provide for people you care about—which, by the way, takes up a lot of time that these shows insist that you theoretically should be spent appreciating the time with your family that you’re worried you won’t be able to provide for.
So, I really, really hate this trope about how poverty is ennobling and how the attempt… The desire to attain financial stability and comfort is somehow evil. And I get that it’s playing into the show’s ideas about how capitalist systems are inherently poisoning, because Satsuki’s whole thing is, “Well, will you become part of the system or will you reject it?”
But it’s such a long, long, long, long, long, long break between this episode and… That was at the start of this crop of episodes we’re watching. By the end of this crop of episodes we watched, they still hadn’t gotten around to that whole “We’re dismantling the system.” Nobody else is starving to death nobly for the sake of this, Comrade.
And I hate it. I hate it. Whatever it is trying to say is so divorced in terms of plotting, structure, and pacing from the overall themes of the show that it just comes across as, you know, “be happy with what you’ve got,” and “really, you should be content with it, because you know more than us! Really! No, we suffer up here at the top. We’re all just so alienated.” I hate affluenza, “boo-hoo, poor rich kid” stories. Fuck off.
AMELIA: And I think we need to point out that Ryuko’s home actually seems pretty… She calls it a mansion, and that is not the Japanese block-of-flats mansion. She uses the word “yashuki,” which is an actual mansion.
So, she has come from a fairly wealthy background, we can assume. And Mako says to her, “Oh, are you a posh?” basically. Sorry, I’m very British. She basically asks, “Are you a posh?”
VRAI: Right. She asks if she’s an “ojou-san,” right?
AMELIA: “Ojou-san,” yeah. And she says, [faux-shocked] “Oh, no. Not me. We just had a mansion.” And so she’s come into Mako’s family life and she appreciates the closeness of the family, apparently, although that does include Mako’s dad assaulting her, but nevermind, we’ll just forget that. It’s hilarious.
VRAI: [gngrily] God, I hate! That is part of what makes her sad later is “Oh, now that we’re all rich—”
MIRANDA: [crosstalk] Gross!
VRAI: “—and distant.” That was just truly—
MIRANDA: [crosstalk] It’s like, “Let me just look out the window to see if they’re peeping on me. I hope so, ’cause then I wouldn’t be alone.” Like, what?
AMELIA: [crosstalk; mockingly] “Oh, I’m over here, unashamed.”
AMELIA: Yeah, it’s horrendous. So, Ryuko’s come into Mako’s life. She kind of makes this judgement call for herself that they were happy when they were poor, and, like you, Vrai, I’ve been…
I’m fortunate because I have the psychological safety of: my family has a home. My parents own homes. So, worst-case scenario, if I ended up homeless, I would be able to move back in with my parents. So, I’m not saying that I experienced the same kind of poverty, but I have been broke to the point that I can’t pay rent, can’t buy food.
VRAI: I know. Same. I have definitely had the benefit of a family who would take me in, if worst came to worst, but still.
MIRANDA: Right. Vrai, I think you offer such a valuable perspective for this, too, because I don’t think a lot of people pick up on what you found from this episode at all. My first watch, I was like, “Aw, man, this system’s real shit.” It’s manipulating them and—
VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah. And I think that’s clearly—
MIRANDA: —it’s poison, and I get what they’re trying to go for. But, yeah, the way that they go about presenting it is really gross.
VRAI: Yeah, and it’s—
AMELIA: And what I was—
VRAI: Go ahead.
AMELIA: What I was left with is that, actually, one level up, they were really happy. The point of which they seemed to have financial stability and a comfortable home, but not be at the point where they were so wealthy, they actually seemed pretty pleased with themselves and pretty happy as a family. So, I don’t understand why it had to be one or the other when that didn’t seem to be the case.
MIRANDA: Well, I think the problem was also with them exploiting Ryuko to fight for their money, and putting all this pressure on her to maintain this club where Mako was just doing her best to crunch those numbers and get to the front of the room so they could have that glint in their eye.
VRAI: Yeah. They’re—
AMELIA: That made me kind of uncomfortable, though, because, again Ryuko’s come in again and she’s made this judgement call, whereas, actually, Mako and her family are fighting to maintain that lifestyle. They’re fighting to reach that point. So, Ryuko has just decided that’s not what’s best for them. And, okay, we’re kind of shown that it isn’t, but…
MIRANDA: Yeah. And it’s fair for her to call it like, “This isn’t what’s best for me either. I’m not happy. I’m alone and you’re using me like a dog to fight these things for your money.”
VRAI: Yeah. There is—
AMELIA: Yes. But that isn’t the point that she makes, is it? It’s that this isn’t best for you. The happy family has gone.
VRAI: There is… Clearly what they’re trying to talk about it is the exploitation of the worker. You know, once you reach a certain degree of remove. And I can theoretically… I can theoretically appreciate those elements. But it’s Kill la Kill doing the same thing that Kill la Kill has done for me every time I find something that I find interesting: is that it will have this idea that is clearly a good one and then it will just wrap it in something really lazy.
The “noble poverty” trope is well-worn and really lazy. And it’s sort of mucking all over these genuinely unique, interesting ideas about how Ryuko is exploited and about how, you know, Mako as the businessperson who becomes increasingly alienated from the human element.
AMELIA: That would’ve been a really—sorry.
MIRANDA: Sorry, I was gonna say, what I’ve gathered at this point is: we go to Trigger, and tell them, “Hey, guys. You tried. But what if you redid the show in ten years and make it the show that it could have been? There you go.”
VRAI: I can sympathize with that. ‘Cause I can see why people who found this show at a young and formative age really want to hold onto it for those good ideas. Basically what Trigger has done is that they have taken a bunch of diamonds and then just fed them to a dog. And then they have served me the results. And because I am not the late, great Divine, I am not interested in this.
AMELIA: Yeah, it’s… [crosstalk] We’re starting to get an idea of this show… [trails off]
VRAI: [crosstalk] That is a John Waters reference for four of you out there.
AMELIA: [laughs] That is… Yeah. It’s… The longer we go on, the more we get an idea of what the show is about, and, yeah, as Miranda said, we’re about halfway through the series. And I’m surprised it actually seems to have gone down the tournament route. I don’t know why I’m surprised, maybe because I associate that so much with shounen that just seeing it without a male protagonist is really surprising to me. But it’s—
MIRANDA: So, yeah. The thing with Kill la Kill is that it is shounen. And it tries to do everything its own way that you would expect to see in shounen. That’s Kill la Kill at its core. [happily] So, those’ll keep comin’.
AMELIA: Which makes it sound really appealing.
VRAI: Yeah, it’s—
AMELIA: Why don’t I love this? I love shounen!
VRAI: And it is… On that front, I don’t think it executes well. But I can appreciate it on the same—for the same reasons that I love Samurai Flamenco, which is a show that really loved using pastiche to make its commentary points, which I think Kill la Kill also wants to do in some respects.
AMELIA: Yeah, I… There is stuff that I’ve enjoyed about it that I hope it builds on.
Vrai, what would you say you’re hoping for for the next six episodes?
VRAI: I… I want to spend more time with these ensemble cast members that I enjoy. ‘Cause the character-focused moments that aren’t focused on the exploitative framing, I’ve had fun with those. There are some genuinely endearing bits of character writing in here. I really enjoy getting to know Satsuki. Ryuko is a good protagonist, and I enjoy her and Mako’s dynamic a lot. Boy, I hope they smooch. It’s…
VRAI: So, those moments, I want to spend more time in those moments, without getting shaken back into the unpleasant reality that, oh, yeah, I’m watching also the lazy part of this show. I don’t… Honestly, of all the main cast, the one I really don’t care for is Senketsu. He’s… He sure is a device?
AMELIA: I thought that was something that was quite interesting that was a bit… I had expected it to be just “Ryuko gets stronger.” When, actually, Ryuko learned versatility in her powers, which I thought was a nice way to approach it. So she effectively learns a new skill in each match.
And that made it more interesting, I think, ’cause in your typical shounen, they won’t learn new skills in every match. They’ll just pair up the things they have or they’ll use their brain or something like that. But the fact that it changed so drastically… Got to admit, though, really hated the knives costume. That was hard to watch and not go, [exasperated] “Oh, come on!”
But I enjoy the… When she changes the shape, she makes Senketsu huge, and then uses that to crush the guy, and it’s showing her having more power, I guess, in her relationship with Senketsu, which I would like to see more of. And I think it’s good that they addressed the idea that she can be controlled by Senketsu. But it seems like Senketsu completely lost control and then they morph into something unrecognizable and creepy and…
VRAI: In some ways, it reminds me of Soul Eater, which is a shounen that I enjoy, which was very much about that intimate teamwork thing.
AMELIA: Which I really enjoy.
MIRANDA: Me too.
VRAI: I will say: shout out to… I really enjoyed the monster Ryuko design, but shout out to putting Senketsu’s teeth right over her crotch in a Devilman level of “We’re afraid of vaginas!”
AMELIA: That is true. I hadn’t thought about that. Yeah, you’re absolutely right.
VRAI: It is so weird how this show wants to say an empower, and then has all of these emblematic hangups of the anime industry going on.
AMELIA: It will be so interesting to see where it goes from here. I’m very… I really want to see how Ryuko and Senketsu’s relationship develops. And it seems weird to me that Satsuki and Junketsu don’t seem to have a relationship. Junketsu doesn’t seem sentient. So, I don’t know if that’s gonna change.
VRAI: Well, and I think that’s… Granted, I know a little bit… I know one or two vague spoilers, but I think—
AMELIA: No spoilers. No spoilers.
VRAI: Well, but, I think it’s evident here that Ryuko and Senketsu’s relationship of working together rather than attempting to master clothes or reject clothes… The fact that they have a bond that is symbiotic is clearly key to where the show wants to go in its second half, because obviously it has to restructure what it wants to say because it’s reached the end of the first half and has to change notes.
I still… Now that it’s no longer funny stripper scenes, I don’t care for Nudist Beach. You fuckers can go away from creeping and manipulating on these teenage girls, please.
MIRANDA: Man, Vrai, [sing-song] do I have some news for you!
AMELIA: Yeah, it’s… And I think it’s a really good point, actually, that you make that hadn’t occurred to me. This is great. I’m learning so much. But you’re right. The fact is Nudist Beach is just guys that we’ve seen, and they are approaching taking down this matriarchy that they’ve identified in quite a typical masculine way.
MIRANDA: Yeah, there’s even a point at the end where… I forget who says it, but they’re like, “I couldn’t even touch those three women. Not even close. It’s like when they get like that, they’re not even human.”
VRAI: [inhaling] Yup.
AMELIA: That’s right. Yeah. I can’t remember the guy’s name, but it’s the one with the mohawk.
VRAI: Oh, do you mean the dude whose introduction to Ryuko was angrily forcibly holding her at gunpoint and telling her to strip? Do you mean that guy?
MIRANDA: That guy. That guy, yeah.
VRAI: I will say—kudos. The sexual menace was extremely downgraded in this section of episodes.
AMELIA: [laughs] Well done, Kill la Kill! Well done!
MIRANDA: Oh yeah, Kinagase? Yeah, they don’t say his name very often.
VRAI: Mohawk guy.
MIRANDA: Yeah, mohawk guy.
VRAI: Mohawk guy and stripper creep. And “Discount Akio,” as I will take to calling him.
AMELIA: “Discount Akio.” Wow. So, we… I kind of want to see where that goes, but, like you, I’m a little bit concerned now. And it doesn’t seem to be adding too much to the story at the moment, which hopefully all will be revealed over the [unintelligible due to crosstalk].
VRAI: [crosstalk] I’m also pretty certain that Satsuki’s on her way to becoming a sympathetic character who we’re supposed to be rooting for, but also… [disappointed] really?
AMELIA: [laughs] I’m really… I’m most intrigued by Satsuki, I think, at this point. I want to know what her plan is. She’s been really Machiavellian and I’m intrigued. And she’s a more interesting character than I thought she was. So, I… Yeah, I wanna know where that’s going. And now her mother’s been introduced and it seems like there’s an even bigger piece [unintelligible due to crosstalk].
VRAI: [crosstalk] With her magnificent, gay hair.
MIRANDA: Oh my gosh, I love—
AMELIA: [crosstalk] That was amazing.
MIRANDA: I love Ragyo’s introductions. Every time she’s on screen, they just give her such an incredible presence. The music’s fantastic. All the lighting they do. Everybody… Even everybody on the screen, how they’re positioned. It’s just such an incredible spectacle to see her on there.
AMELIA: Yeah, and she has a Black assistant, which I’m not sure yet how that’s gonna go, but it did make me go, “Ooh. Interesting.”
VRAI: She had a very cute design! And cute glasses.
AMELIA: Mm-hm. Yes. And, so, we’ll see how subservient she is and how trope-y that gets.
MIRANDA: [inhales] Oh, boy. [laughs]
VRAI: [flatly] Oh boy.
AMELIA: Kill la Kill‘s gonna handle this with the utmost delicacy, I’m sure. [laughs] It was… I mean, I always notice the POC characters in anime. Whenever they show up, I’m like, “Ooh, I want to follow you.”
MIRANDA: [crosstalk excitedly] Me too! It’s like, “Oh, thank you!” I have my Leo de la Iglesia ita-bag in my backpack just ready to go. ‘Cause all these pins..
MIRANDA: Go Leo! [laughs] Anyway. Yuri on Ice. But, yeah.
AMELIA: It’s amazing. So, if they do more with her assistant, I’d like to see that. But that’s pure self-indulgence. That’s got nothing to do with the story. That’s just ’cause I like to see brown characters in anime and I like to see them treated well.
MIRANDA: Me too.
VRAI: I understand. It’s the same feeling of hope and then depression I feel every time an okama character shows up.
AMELIA: Yeah, pretty much. So, let’s prepare to be depressed, together!
VRAI: Oh, one more thing I will say about Ragu, who has a fabulous entrance, is that I had a moment, a shook moment, where I was like, “Oh my God, Rebecca Sugar watched this show!” ‘Cause the way Yellow Diamond is framed in Steven Universe feels very like Ragu’s entrances with the very imposing framing without any of the sexualization. Yay, Steven Universe. But, yeah. I was like, “Oh, oh, you watched this show.”
MIRANDA: They also watched Utena.
AMELIA: That’s so interesting.
VRAI: They watched so much Utena. Good God. If I drank every time there was an Utena reference in Steven Universe, I would be dead.
AMELIA: So, let me ask you, Miranda, apart from the fact that we segued with Harry Potter and Steven Universe in this podcast, did anything surprise you about our discussion today or—for you, you rewatched these episodes for the first time in a while—did anything surprise you? Or was it more or less as you expected?
MIRANDA: I mean, honestly, I think it was just a wonderful time to get some different insight, perspective, that I don’t… I haven’t heard, really. And I’m very intrigued to see what you guys think about what’s going forward.
A lot of my notes were basically about, yes, identifying points that it tries to do but also at the same time fails to do, ’cause as we keep coming up on these things. Kill la Kill wants to do so much, but as Vrai says, kind of in a lazy way. Maybe this is what they thought was best at the time, but ultimately the end result isn’t as effective as it could have been because they go the most tropey path possible. Which is a lot of the show, honestly. It’s about taking tropes and making them their own, sometimes failing drastically.
I am glad you guys liked the Elite Four a whole lot, because I think—
VRAI: [crosstalk] They’re really good.
AMELIA: [crosstalk] They’re good.
MIRANDA: —’cause Satsuki and her team are the highlight of the show for me. They… I love Mako. I love Ryuko. But, when it comes down to it, I look to the Elite Four and Satsuki for what I love about this show. So, I’m excited to see what you guys think about them going forward.
Let’s see. What else did I have? Yeah. More about Ragyo, too, ’cause she’s got a lot coming up. I mean, this whole next chunk kind of does a thing similar to Gurren Lagann, where you build this world for so far and then something happens. Big turning point. And then it’s just a different show. There’s just so much more to it.
VRAI: Oh, that’s what I can say about this show. That’s what I can say about Kill la Kill. I respect its attempt to try more than Gurren Lagann‘s.
MIRANDA: Yes. [laughs]
AMELIA: Interesting. I’ve not seen Gurren Lagann, so what do you mean by that?
VRAI: Gurren Lagann is a show I watched all of. It’s a show that is clearly made with a lot of love by its creators, so it’s easy to get swept up in the big shounen emotions of it while you’re watching it. And then if you take even a fraction of a step backwards, you find yourself thinking, “Oh, this is dumb. This is dumb and also there are phallic objects everywhere and the writing is kind of lazy and shallow. Oh my God.”
Which, like… Kill la Kill makes me angry, but I can respect the points where there is a good show desperately trying to get out of it. To desperately chest-burster its way out. I respect that to an extent, and Satsuki is also very good. Satsuki and all of her team.
AMELIA: I completely agree. I’m enjoying them very much. They’re probably my favorite part of the show as well, apart from Ryuko herself. I think Ryuko is, for me, what makes it. I’d be quite happy watching a show where Satsuki was the main character, but given that Satsuki’s not the main character, if it weren’t a character like Ryuko, I’m not sure I’d be able to continue with it.
And I’m already struggling. Ryuko’s great, but I am struggling. But if a character’s good, then I will follow them pretty much anywhere and Ryuko is just so unusual in the anime main character landscape for female characters. So, I very much appreciate that about her.
VRAI: You seem to be having with Kill la Kill the same struggle that I had with citrus before finally dropping it, [which] was like, “What a good, unusual, punkish main character surrounded by sexual menace.”
AMELIA: [laughs] That’s exactly the experience I’m having. Although I am still watching citrus, so…
MIRANDA: I haven’t started yet. Oh, no. I’ve been…
VRAI: [faux-excitedly] Do you like sexual assault?
MIRANDA: Oh, no.
AMELIA: Then start from episode six.
MIRANDA: Yeah, that’s kind of what I heard and then instantly was like, “Ah, what if I don’t watch it though?” Is that… That’s probably fine.
VRAI: I have six other yuri shows in my back pocket that you could watch instead that are not citrus.
MIRANDA: Yeah, let’s go for those instead.
AMELIA: I mean, that’s the thing, isn’t it? Everyone has dealbreakers, and, for me, it’s always gonna be tough when I see women’s breasts being made a focal feature of an anime. That’s always gonna put me off. And whether or not it’s a dealbreaker does depend, but they would’ve lost me extremely early on with this one, because it’s combined with sexual assault and it’s combined with general rape-y feelings, and it’s just… It really is unpleasant.
But I know for you, Vrai, it’s… The way that they’re approaching queerness is really getting under your skin, and the way that they’re approaching class as well, and it’s… Yeah. I think there’s something for both of us, but there is also stuff that has crossed our—not necessarily “dealbreakers” ’cause we’re still watching—but if I were a casual viewer, I wouldn’t be watching.
VRAI: Mm-hm. Yeah. I will… One more thing I would like to put out into the universe that I’m almost positive won’t happen because I have seen—I am aware of DarliFran—and it’s just not in Trigger’s bones to not believe in “the genders.” But I would love to see that this… To see Kill la Kill play with literally anything with gender play.
Because clothing and presentation is one of the only ways anime knows how to deal with gender ambiguity and genderqueerness, and so there’s rife material there in a show that is about clothing and presentation, and bodies and clothes. Bodies and clothes and people… “You should all just get naked.” Excuse you. Some of us rely on clothes. And… So I don’t think Kill la Kill is going there, but it would be nice. It would be nice.
AMELIA: And I think that’s a really good point. I’d like to see that, too. But, we are in tournament mode. I think we’ve got another tournament coming up, so… We’ll see how that goes. Ryuko fighting people presumably outside the school system. Not sure.
VRAI: I just hope she punches Discount Akio in the face. A lot.
AMELIA: [laughs] Okay.
VRAI: I want it.
AMELIA: And on that predictive note, thank you so much, both of you, for joining me today. If you want to find our work, it’s at animefeminist.com. We’re on Twitter, @animefeminist. We’re on Facebook, facebook.com/animefem. We have a Tumblr, animefeminist.tumblr.com. And, of course, we have a Patreon, patreon.com/animefeminist. This is how we pay everyone who contributes to the running of Anime Feminist, including writers, editors, administrators. We’re paying everyone, but we’re still not breaking even, and we’re nowhere near covering the cost of something we really need, like premiere reviews.
So, if you can spare a dollar a month, it really does add up. If you go to patreon.com/animefeminist and send us a dollar a month to continue our work, we’d really appreciate it. And if you send $5 a month, then you will get access to our Anime Feminist private Discord server. So, please do help us out. Support our work. We really appreciate it.
Thank you so much to Vrai and Miranda, and we will be back next time with episodes 13-18.