Sunday, June 8, 2014

Breaking It Down: Kamui Senketsu

We all wish we had someone looking out for us. Hi, and welcome to the latest installment of Breaking It Down. Today, we're not going to look at a person. Rather, we're looking at a school uniform who looks out for his owner. Yes, today, I'm discussing the black and red sailor uniform who looks out for Ryuko Matoi, Kamui Senketsu.

Super-duper spoilers beyond this point. Turn back now if you don't want to be spoiled or burn up in the atmosphere.

Senketsu was created by Dr. Isshin Matoi at least 6 months prior to Kill La Kill's story, and was hidden in the rather spacious basemant of the Matoi mansion until Ryuko's wound woke him up and he put himself on Ryuko.  And so begins the tale of Kamui Senketsu, who would go through 3 wearers before the story ends. However, due to this, he has limited interactions with characters, only 2 of which can actually hear him.  That said, let us look at his interactions with other characters.

Senketsu's primary interactions are with Ryuko, and this is where we really see the protective side of Senketsu come out. Senketsu attempts to assist Ryuko in every facet of her life, from learning to fly in order to fight Nonon, to tracking her BMI, which Ryuko is NOT appreciative of.  In the early fights, he would inform Ryuko how much time she would be able to spend transformed.  As the series went on, Senketsu evolved both as a Kamui, and as a character, achieving true synchronization with Ryuko. Later on, after Ryuko ripped Junkestu off, Senketsu would achieve their ultimate synchronization in the form of Senketsu-Kisaragi.

Although relatively brief, Senketsu synchronized with Satsuki Kiryuin, with the common goal of stopping the Junketsu-fused Ryuko.  While not true synchronization, it was enough to bring her defenses down to let Mako Mankanshoku, with Senketsu, enter Ryuko's memories and snap her out of her funk and bring her to her senses.  Satsuki also revealed, near the very end, that she had been able to hear Senketsu speaking, though it is unclear how long that had been going on.

Even briefer than Senketsu being with Satsuki was his being with Ryuko's best friend, Mako Mankanshoku. The two characters able to get to Ryuko were indeed Mako and Senketsu, showing that it may be impossible for anyone to "truly wear" Junketsu, perhaps always requiring Life Fiber Override. There isn't much else to say here, so let's move on.

So we've seen how he interacts with others. But who is Kamui Senketsu as a person? The constant protection could peg him as a guardian angel of sorts for Ryuko, and quite possibly the entire world.  However, his perishing in the atmosphere could put an end to that. Constantly looking out for Ryuko and studying the opposition at times allowed Senketsu to change and adapt to what was needed to conquer a challenge, ultimately costing him his life.  Thus, he could be viewed as either a guardian or a martyr.

As mentioned above, I view Senketsu as Ryuko's guardian angel, and that is definitely true within the show.  From the minute he put himself on Ryuko, he was determined to protect her and guide her to her goal, whatever that may be.  Yet, his shortcoming could be that he doesn't always think outside the box, as each time he evolved, it was at Ryuko's prompting. He never acted without orders for the most part. Essentially, Kamui Senketsu is much more than a sentient sailor uniform, yet has his own limits on what he will do to protect Ryuko.

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