Kill La Kill and Putting on the New Man

Watching the conversation between Matoi and Senketsu in episode 13 of Kill la Kill reminds me of how Christ might speak to a Christian who has fallen into a vicious cycle and can’t seem to bring himself up.  From the above statement, you probably figure that the allegory is tenuous; but, let’s see how far we can take it, shall we?  First, my dear readers, let’s start with Matoi’s status as a hero.  People look up to her.  Then, she loses her cool, her kamui devours her, and she is saved by someone who hardly counts as a fighter–Mako.  This might be analogous to a young man or woman who strongly practices the faith, which always leads people at least to marvel at them for not skipping church and disobeying the other precepts of the Church as most of their colleagues do.  But, such people always endure the sharpest temptations: they are scoffed at by the majority and weighed down by the desires of the flesh.  If none of these bring them down, then the devil tries to bring darkness and confusion into their lives.  Against this onslaught of evil, it is not surprising that some fall and even fall so deeply that they do not want to get up.

Matoi sleeping life away.

Matoi similarly does not want to rise–even from her bed.  (How I know that feeling!)  She dares not to put on Senketsu and even feels embarrassed to speak to him.  She has witnessed how monstrous her nature and lack of self-control can be.  To compare her to a Christian, imagine someone who had immense confidence in Christ, but forgot the limitations of human nature and fell.  What they thought was confidence in Christ turned out merely to be confidence in themselves.  Is Christ to be blamed for this deplorable state of events?  Of course not!  “Pride goeth before a fall.”  Whenever people fall greatly, they have forgotten humility and the fear of God.  Pride inhibits the working of grace, which is why St. Augustine told someone that the three main virtues of Christianity are “humility, humility, humility.”

St. Augustine

Curiously, Senketsu hanging on the closet reminds me of a crucifix.  Many Catholics have them hanging in every room.  Negatively, this means we cannot avoid suffering.  Positively, this means that we cannot avoid Christ who is always aids us in our suffering.  Perhaps, the line of Matoi’s which most easily brings one’s thoughts to the crucifix are when she tells Senketsu that the memory of Senketsu’s tears brought her the most pain.  In perfect repentance, a soul repents not merely for the punishment due their sin, but most especially for the pain and disappointment their sin caused Jesus Christ.

The Bed and the Cross--so to speak.

The Bed and the Cross–so to speak.

What is the result of a soul falling into such sin?  They might not feel the confidence of faith as they once did, and Jesus Christ finds that he needs to knock on a door which was once always open to receive Him.  Excuses are tendered.  Self-accusations of unworthiness are offered to avoid having to do God’s will.  Even the accusation that God let one down might be said–but who really believes that?  One wants to ignore the fact that there is a war waging between good and evil and that losing means nothing less than than losing one’s own soul and harming the souls of others.

Kill la Kill II

But, Jesus Christ is patient because human beings are so weak and ignorant.  Like Senketsu, Jesus might remind us that He “was born in order to be worn by [us].”  For, what else is the Christian religion but putting on Christ, the New Man, and fulfilling the works he would have us do so that we might crucify the Old Man, our sinful selves?  We all have particular trials to undergo for the love of God.  Christ ardently desires to be with us every step of the way: we must simply put Him on and run our course.

Now, Matoi is saved by her greatest rival.

Now, Matoi is saved by her greatest rival.

Even after agreeing to run again, we might find that we fall to that formidable temptation over and over again–as Matoi fell in battle soon after putting on Senketsu again.  But, St. Theresa of Avila confessed that she even fell occasionally into mortal sin after entering the convent, but she became a great saint through perseverance, i.e. always trying to put on Christ.  Likewise, Christ shall lead us to become great saints as long as we don’t stop trying.


13 comments on “Kill La Kill and Putting on the New Man

  1. I am thoroughly, thouroughly amazed by how you look at Kill la Kill with a Roman Catholic perspective! Your reaction reminds me that a piece of art can viewed upon in many different ways, and that the point of view can by the viewer, too! Freaking nuts!

    Paradigm shift, ACTIVATE!


    • lol, I’m pleased with how much you enjoyed the article. I suppose that it’s been in the Catholic imagination since the beginning that everything might be turned to a spiritual truth. For example, St. Francis de Sales is famous for bestowing a spiritual interpretation on odd trivia and anecdotes.

      But, the master of this kind of interpretation is TWWK of I think of him as my “O-sensei,” actually. 🙂 Take a look at some of his articles if you enjoyed this one!


      • St. Francis did that, huh? Can you tell me some of those interpretations of his?


      • St. Francis de Sales seems to do it in all his works, particularly his Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God. As for his interpretations, the one which comes to mind is how he references aconite honey, which some people in the ancient world cultivated as a poison. He compares sin to this honey, saying that it is sweet to the taste but brings a bitter death.


      • Oh yeah, about TWWK, I am excited to read his posts later. I just checked his blog for a little while, but anyway, thanks very much for referring me to him!


      • You’re welcome!


      • TWWK says:

        You’re way too nice. I’m always excited to read your posts, which delve so much deeper into analysis than my own do!


      • Well, thanks! I do my best and occasionally come out with something good. But, don’t put down your posts: they cover an excellent variety of topics and ask deep questions about Christian life, making them always a pleasure to read.


  2. […] The Medieval Otaku looks to Kill la Kill‘s Ryuko Matoi to discuss the idea of a Christian falling into temptation before responding in faith. [Medieval Otaku] […]


  3. […] and looking at KLK through a more or less “Christian” lens has given some interesting interpretations of the […]


  4. […] The Medieval Otaku looks to Kill la Kill‘s Ryuko Matoi to discuss the idea of a Christian falling into temptation before responding in faith. [Medieval Otaku] […]


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