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Kill la Kill la Kill All Nonhumans

February 2, 2014

killlaalienSo yeah, the latest episode of Kill la Kill laid down the law. Barring another big surprise before things end (Which wouldn’t surprise me.), we got the scoop on what’s going on in this show. Said lowdown puts us in a bit of a conundrum here. Yeah, there’s some bad shit going down, but without said bad shit, we would be.

The life fibers are aliens. They came to Earth to use humans as sustenance. To do so, they created a symbiotic relationship with humanity. Instead of merging directly with prehistoric man, they “covered” these ancient creatures to gain enough energy to continue living while not killing their hosts. These “covers” became the basis for the human concept of clothing, and once the life fibers ceased to use us as a regular food source, we maintained this genetic memory and continued to wear clothing. It turns out that this symbiotic relationship accelerated human evolution, and humanity as we know it is the result of this alien tampering.

This is the sort of shit you see in ancient alien theory and Lovecraftian horror. We humans are the result of outsider tinkering. If these aliens didn’t alter out evolutionary process, we likely wouldn’t be “humans.” We could still be naked apes smashing stuff with rocks and twigs. Or maybe civilization would be several thousand years behind the current schedule, and we’d be in some Bronze Age like era. Or maybe we would have gone extinct long ago and “humanity” would have never existed. Regardless of the what ifs, what remains is that in these scenarios, we pretty much owe it to the aliens for making us who we are as a species.

But these ancient aliens rarely seem to have altruistic reasons behind their actions. At best, we’re just a curious experiment to be observed and dissected destroyed like a kid playing with an ant farm, and at worse we’re something to be harvested and exploited an enslaved and exterminated.

It makes humanity even more of a contradictory creature. We’re fueled by our free will and self-deterministic nature, but our reason for being has been wholly determined by a more powerful outside force.

It’s the classic “creator fears the creation” issue. Satan and the angels resented God, so some of them rose up and were cast down to Hell. Frankenstein creates an artificial man, who resents the creator, and the creation causes the creator’s death. Mankind creates elaborate AIs, and said AIs turn into Terminators and The Matrix. The catch is that in most of these situations, we root for the creator. We are God’s children, so we root for God. We are Frankenstein and Neo and Sarah Conner, so we root for the humans to defeat the inhuman creation.

This is obviously the reverse. In Kill la Kill, we’re the creations rebelling against the “superior” creator. But you notice that we always end up rooting for the humans. Ultimately, these stories aren’t really about the fear of the creator being destroyed by his creation or vice versa. It’s about humans kicking ass, because hell yeah we’re humans and we should always win.

These stories are always crafted in such a way where the human is the one in the right, while the nonhuman creator/creation is the one in the wrong. There might be some hubris on the part of the human, but hubris is one of those noble faults that mighty Greek heroes get to enjoy. “Yeah, Soandsoaclese might have been arrogant enough to go Cyclops-poking, but he is still a great hero worthy of rooting for against the gods he angered!”

Isn’t that basically what the Tumblr crowd would call “human privilege?” We always craft out stories so that the thing that isn’t us is this horrific monstrosity out to get us. The zombie apocalypse is such a horrible thing because it turns us into the other. And then we feel obligated to make said “other” into a flesh-eating ghoul.

So yeah, Nudist Beach is against these Life Fiber things because they’re that evil alien other. Or, at the very least, the series has led us to assume that the Life Fibers are that evil alien other. But have we really seen the Fibers themselves do anything terrible? All we’ve seen is a bunch of fucking rich humans exploiting them to their advantage. Yeah, they’ve kinda hinted at the idea of the Fibers pulling their strings, but is that really the case? Or are we just filling in the blanks with our assumptions that alien = evil?

I don’t know, maybe Nudist Beach is wrong. Maybe the problem isn’t the clothing. Maybe it’s the assholes wearing it, and this is all an excuse to blame the other for the faults of us.

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