Kill La Kill IF Offers Insight Into Satsuki And Her Story, While Also Doing More To Highlight Her Importance

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Kill la Kill: IF is essentially a sort of dream game for fans of the series. It takes students of Honnoji Academy with Goku Uniforms and Kamui, then goes through alternate retellings of the events of the stories. What really makes it special is the campaign’s first runthrough. Satsuki Kiryuin is one the series’ most important players and is considered a protagonist alongside Ryuko Matoi. We have an idea of what she is capable of, what she believes in, and her motives throughout the series. However, here she gets even more development. Satsuki gets to be even more of a star and we can better appreciate her abilities, determination, and strength.


Editor’s Note: There won’t be any spoilers for the portions of Kill la Kill IF that diverge from the original series’ storyline.


When people first pick up Kill la Kill: IF, the game launches you right into Satsuki’s storyline. Kazuki Nakashima, who wrote the original story, supervised this retelling of the events. It essentially picks up from the end of the anime’s eighth episode, where Satsuki first announces the First Naturals Election, to choose the strongest students and bestow upon them new three-star Goku Uniforms. However, since this is being told from Satsuki’s perspective, there’s no guessing game about the purpose of the event. We don’t have a stretched out Sudden Death Runoff Election. She’s conferring with Shiro Iori while this happens and we know that it is all a test of the Goku Uniforms to make sure they are ready not for the Tri-Cities Raid Trip that would bring Japan’s schools under the Honnoji Academy.


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While this does take a lot of the mystery out of things, since we’re seeing everything that one of the people most in the know knew about in Kill la Kill, Kill la Kill: IF gives us more of an insight into Satsuki’s perspective and why she had this strength to rebel and fight back. We can see the horror when she realizes what Ragyo Kiryuin had hidden away. She has this awareness that Ryuko did not. Facing off against the big bads was something Ryuko ended up doing because it was a part of her quest to avenge her father. With Satsuki, we see that it is also because she saw how Ragyo had broken her family and how heinous plans were for the rest of the world. We can feel her fight for freedom and the pull there is for other people.


Speaking of other people, the Kill la Kill: IF Satsuki storyline is great at humanizing her. She is a very guarded character who doesn’t allow strangers in. (I mean, consider how well she was able to hide her agenda.) The anime gives us opportunities to see her connect with the members of the Student Council and we do have scenes where she there is clearly affection. For example, Nonon Jakuzure refers to Satsuki by her first name, due to them knowing each other for so long. She also shows her familiarity with the family by referring to Ragyo as “auntie.” With Kill la Kill: IF’s Satsuki storyline, there’s no need for pretense. She may not be going around smiling, but her affection for the people around her is clear. She expresses her concern for them and the strength she draws from their very presence. We see her unnerved and react when Nui Harime uses her Mind Stitching abilities to turn the people she trusts most against her. Considering a game doesn’t have the same amount of time as the anime to show growth and nuance, and indeed does skip over some plot points to get to the major events and battles, it is an effective way of showing her range in a brief amount of time.


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Most importantly, Kill la Kill: IF pays proper tribute to Satsuki in battle. We start out with the standard version of herself that represents her state and abilities in the first part of the anime. She wears Kamui Junketsu and wields Bakuzan. Since this is a “what if” storyline, certain elements diverge during The Great Culture and Sport Festival. (This originally occurred during episode 17 of the anime.) However, Satsuki still gets Bakuzan Gako and Koryu. This means that people can choose that option in the various Versus modes and have a chance to fight with them after a point in her campaign. But most importantly, it means she has a Junketsu Shinzui form.


In the original story, Ryuko gets a final form called Senketsu Kisaragi. It is a pivotal, incredibly strong version of her Kamui. While Satsuki was important, she didn’t have a counterpart due to the way things proceeded. Kill la Kill: IF gives her that equal footing. It unleashes Junketsu Shinzui both in its Story and Versus mode. She has that moment Ryuko had where we know, “This is it. She is all that she can be.” It influences her look and her attack, while still connecting to the same swordfighting skills she showed with Bakuzan and Junketsu’s standard form.


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So much happens in the original Kill la Kill. There are all kinds of character growth, both personally and in power. It takes time showing how people come into their own and expressing exactly how heinous some people are. Kill la Kill: IF uses its “what-if” scenario to condense things in a way that preserves many of the things that matter, but also packages it in a way that feels fresh. It especially does quite a bit of honor and service to Satsuki, a woman who is an incredible fighter and goes to great lengths throughout Kill la Kill to do what she believes in. By seeing things through her eyes, we can better understand why she fights and who she fights for. With this alternate story, we get to see her reach an entirely new peak. She has always been an important character who deserves a lot of credit for what she accomplishes, and Kill la Kill: IF might help people better appreciate that.


Kill la Kill: IF is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC. Demos are available for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 versions.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.