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A Minor Miscalculation is a Kill la Kill Alternate Universe fanfic written by SbenLives.

Six months before Ryuko's journey begins, Nui Harime accidentally goes to the wrong address in her mission to kill Isshin Matoi, resulting in the deaths of Mako's parents and far-reaching shakeups for the entire cast.

All spoilers up to the beginning of Chapter 14 are unmarked.

Tropes for A Minor Miscalculation:

  • Abusive Parents: Ragyo, as per canon, is sexually abusive toward Satsuki. She also violently lashes out at Nui during a bath after hearing of her failure.
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  • Adapted Out: Satsuki's butler Soroi is not featured in the story.
  • Age Lift: Canon-wise, while his age isn't mentioned, Mataro wasn't much if not any older than an elementary school student, whereas here, he starts at 12 and ages up to 13 during the Time Skip.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Isshin is trapped in the mansion with a berserk Nui on the loose, and then is held hostage and tortured when Ragyo arrives.
  • Ambiguously Gay: As the story progresses, it gets harder to tell whether Ryuko has been mistaken for a lesbian by everyone who sees her with Mako, or if she's just stuck in a Transparent Closet and in firm denial of it. It's the latter.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Why Nui got the address wrong and was so convinced the Mankanshoku family knew about Soichiro is vaguely alluded to, but not in a deep enough way to put together, and nobody except her even knows it's a mystery.
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    • Why the seemingly normal Mako has become an Empowered Badass Normal with abilities to rival Nui (and the power to repel and turn Life Fibers to dust) is also uncertain, and no theories presented make complete sense.
    • Both of these are resolved in "Consequences". See The Reveal.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Nui loses one of each at the end of Chapter 13, courtesy of Ryuko's final attack. She later regrows them while escaping the mansion, though they don't look like human limbs anymore.
  • Anti-Hero: Isshin is a Cool Old Guy most of the time and has the noblest intentions, but he can cross into this territory in times of stress, most obviously in Chapter 13 when he orders Sanageyama to murder Tsumugu in the event that Ryuko dies in his charge. Later chapters have him slowly dipping into Anti-Villain / Villain Protagonist territory until The Reveal sends him completely over the edge of sympathy.
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  • Anyone Can Die: So far, Barazo, Sukuyo, Guts, Mataro, Gamagoori, Rei, Tsumugu, and Isshin have all been killed off.
  • Arc Villain:
    • Mataro serves as Ryuko's rival and main enemy during the lead-up to the Naturals Election. He doesn't live long after she beats him at the event, since Nui drops in and makes short work of him.
    • Rei Hououmaru is formally introduced during the Raid Trip, and becomes a prominent villain during the Grand Festival chapters and dies as that conflict winds down.
  • Author Appeal: The ending of Chapter 9 is an extended reference to Fight Club, which the author has noted is his favorite movie.
  • Ax-Crazy: Nui, as always. The glimpses into her thought process are not happy ones. It turns out that the Mankanshoku siblings escaping and bruising her ego is exacerbating this, driving her to hunt them down again. Unfortunately for her, she goes into such a downward mental spiral that Ryuko, Mako, and friends are able to defeat and capture her.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Satsuki, even more so than in canon. Despite being drastically outmatched on a raw power level compared to post-synchronization Ryuko to the point where she comes to respect her, she doesn't back down from taking the fight to her time after time, and even manages to best her in many areas.
    • Mataro is one of the weakest characters in the canon and has no special abilities to speak of, but through intense training and a Goku Uniform alone, he manages to fight Ryuko on relatively even ground.
  • Batter Up!: Just like in the canon series, Mako eventually gets a baseball bat as a weapon. Since she gets it with a Three-Star Uniform, this one is metallic, several meters in length, and contains several other weapons.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind / "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • What it takes to defeat Ryuketsu. After wearing her down to the point that she can no longer move, Mako somehow interfaces with her mind and draws out Ryuko's and Senketsu's separate personalities, helping the latter talk the former down from her rage and giving her encouragement until she's ready to stop fighting.
    • Satsuki also gets into a brief one with Junketsu when it tries to subdue her with visions of a peaceful life, and ends up rendering it brain-dead.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Early in the story, Nui enacts one by impersonating the spirit of the deceased Kinue and inflaming Tsumugu's hatred of Senketsu, knowing that he will inadvertently lead her to the Matoi household on his mission to destroy him.
    • Satsuki pulls a more complicated one a few chapters later by intercepting Aikuro's emergency call about Nui's arrival and capturing him, monitoring all further communications around the school to find out all she can about Isshin and Aikuro's rank, finishing off Nui while secretly slipping a Tracking Chip into her, and handing her over to Nudist Beach, anticipating that she will be brought to Ryuko's home rather than the headquarters for logical reasons. In the following chapter, she successfully tracks Nui to the mansion and threatens to murder Aikuro and expose their location to Ragyo unless either Ryuko or Mako agree to fill Sanageyama's spot in the Elite Four.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Ragyo and Nui still serve as the main villains of the conflict, while Isshin Matoi is ultimately responsible for everything that changes from the canon, including the deaths of Mako's family.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Satsuki saves Mako and Mataro when Nui has them cornered, making the demented girl retreat. Later, Tsumugu paralyzes Sanageyama just before he delivers a fatal blow, allowing Ryuko to best him.
    • Chapter 13 has six instances: Mako unveils hitherto-unknown powers and beats Nui away from Ryuko, Tsumugu jumps into the fray to heal a wounded Ryuko, Ryuko herself recovers just in time to keep Nui from killing Mako, Fighting Club member Seto Oda climbs the Naturals Election tower to throw Ryuko the other half of her Scissor Blades, Sanageyama intercepts Nui's charge as she did to him in the canon anime, and finally, Satsuki chokes Nui out after she's wounded and allows Nudist Beach to take her hostage.
    • In Chapter 20, Ryuko single-handedly assaults Kiryuin Manor to rescue Satsuki.
    • Satsuki, the Fighting Club (led by Mako), and Ryuko all arrive to save the day in rapid succession during "Severance."
  • Bi the Way: Mako is heavily implied to be bisexual in canon, but she outright confirms it when she sees Ryuko for the first time, thinking about her habit of ogling men and women alike. Later on, she develops an open crush on her.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Ryuko gains the ability to turn her arms into Life Fiber swords after her berserk transformation causes her to absorb the Scissor Blades.
  • Blood Knight: Jakuzure dips into this territory in "Slaughterhouse," following Gamagoori's murder and the brainwashing of Nudist Beach.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The opening chapters alone contain more detailed death than most of the original series, and this carries on for the rest of the story.
  • Body Horror:
    • Ragyo and Nui demonstrate this on numerous occasions. Ragyo gets it especially bad when she sews the Original Life Fiber's heart into hers near the end.
    • Also, just like in the series, Ryuko eventually fuses with Senketsu and becomes a Humanoid Abomination due to her sheer rage. However, it's far more grotesque and severe thanks to how powerful she is, including her bones and spine snapping, her skin melting into her blades, and something described as "not quite blood" bubbling up through her skin. The ensuing battle with her in "Roar" doesn't shy away from her horrifying nature.
  • Break the Cutie: Mako and Mataro, the Plucky Comic Relief characters of the original series, start this story with their parents brutally killed. It doesn't get any better for them from then on, especially not after Mataro dies and leaves Mako a Broken Bird for many chapters.
  • Break the Haughty: Thanks to the responsibility of housing two orphans and the intervention of the vastly more powerful Ryuko, Satsuki gradually loses control of her plans and her school. Her perspective interludes always reflect a great deal of stress and fear. By the time the Tri-City Raid Trip rolls around, she's managed to get more of a handle on things again.
  • Breather Episode:
    • The eleventh chapter, "Targets Neatly In A Line", contains little except dialogue, light humor, and buildup; the only violence comes from an unpleasant flashback to Mataro's training and a vividly hallucinating Nui accidentally killing Takiji Kuroido, the latter of which is swiftly played off for surreal Black Comedy. It comes between "Fists of Fanservice" (Ryuko's first fight with Mataro, the reveal that he has PTSD, and Mako getting enraged with Ryuko for the first time) and "Mayhem" (wherein Nui drops in on the second fight between Ryuko and Mataro and murders the latter in cold blood).
    • "Consequences" initially looks like one, following the characters recovering after the Grand Festival chapters. And then Mako finds one of Isshin's confession tapes.
  • Broken Bird: Mako turns into one after Mataro's death, losing much of her sense of humor and getting more hostile toward enemies. It takes the intervention of the Fighting Club remnants for her to find any joy in life again, and the battle with Ryuketsu to swing fully back around to her former self.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Early on, Nui pulls a Dead Person Impersonation on Tsumugu and tricks him into leading her to the Matoi mansion, making a note of its location for later. This is occasionally remarked on by Nui in later chapters, but it doesn't have any impact until Chapter 20, when Ragyo finds the coordinates Nui wrote down and ventures off to it in the next chapter.
    • The stockpile of confession tapes Isshin mentions to Ryuko in "Something Wicked" is discovered by Mako in "Consequences," leading to The Reveal.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Mataro disappears from the proceedings after the opening chapters, but eventually reappears as the new Fighting Club President, having trained in combat for almost seven months.
    • Chapter 13 reveals Sanageyama as one of these, having joined up with Nudist Beach after his second defeat and removal from the Elite Four.
    • The Fighting Club, now led by Seto Oda, reappears in "Severance" after going unmentioned since the Naturals Election.
    • Sanageyama becomes one again when he returns in "Picking Up The Pieces", after being absent since "The Aftermath". Satsuki is rightfully pissed at him after all of the things he missed, and he grows desperate to atone for failing her.
    • After being only occasionally referenced since Chapter 6, Junketsu reappears in Chapter 30.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Isshin Matoi was already this in canon, but it shows even more since he is alive during the events he planned. He's planted the seeds for two rebellions against Ragyo, set up circumstances to keep both virtually unaware of each other's existence, and purposefully inflamed an unconscious sibling rivalry in Ryuko and Satsuki to the benefit of both, all without even his closest allies knowing. Until Satsuki's hostage gambit in "The Aftermath" throws a wrench in everything.
    • As it turns out, he's more of a Manipulative Bastard than anything else.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Inflicted on Satsuki by way of Ragyo's escalating Parental Incest in Chapter 9, and on Nui by Isshin, Ryuko and Mako in Chapter 14. Satsuki is shown to have received the very worst of it during her captivity in "The Storm Arrives", and Isshin gets it just as bad several chapters later.
  • Cool Ship: The S.S. Naked Sun, once it's introduced to the story and before it's destroyed by Nui on its first flight.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ryuko adapts any available tactics to suit her opponent's quick defeat. Satsuki takes a page from her in Chapter 14 when, inspired by Tsumugu's Big Damn Heroes moment in Ryuko's battle with Sanageyama, she tricks Sanageyama (now a Nudist) into believing they will have a complex swordfight and instead uses her pre-battle high sword point to signal a cloaked Inumuta to take Sanageyama out from behind.
  • Consummate Liar: Isshin becomes one to maintain his various deceptions about Ryuko's parentage and his old identity. See Chapter 14, in which Nui's attempt to reveal the truths she has put together results in him spontaneously concocting a new web of lies involving Soichiro Kiryuin co-founding Nudist Beach and Ryuko's mother becoming an Ill Girl due to a lab sabotage that gave Ryuko her abilities.
  • Cool Old Guy: Isshin Matoi. Papa Wolf and calculating leader of La Résistance, but also willing to house a complete stranger because Ryuko asked nicely and completely open to the (ambiguously false) notion that she is in a relationship with that stranger. However, he starts to lose his nicer traits as the war grinds on.
  • Cooperation Gambit: Satsuki's decision to finish off Nui at the Naturals Election and give her to Nudist Beach for interrogation turns out to be this rather than a Heel–Face Turn. Having already taken Aikuro as a hostage, she slipped a beacon into Nui's throat while choking her out, and uses it to find Ryuko's mansion and releases her hostage in exchange for Ryuko coming with her to fill out the missing spot on the Elite Four.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Ryuko inflicts these upon Takaharu Fukuroda and Satsuki in her first visit to Honnouji Academy after six months of training. Fittingly, she is on the receiving end of one at the exact same spot much later, when she underestimates the newly-empowered Rei.
    • Nui's "fight" with Mataro Mankanshoku lasts mere seconds before she destroys his Goku Uniform and guts him, and the next chapter has her inflict one on virtually everyone, only being incapacitated by a few lucky hits, numerous Big Damn Heroes interventions, an eleventh-hour psychological breakdown, and Satsuki's impromptu betrayal.
    • The chapter after that has Satsuki handily defeating a squad of Nudist soldiers led by Sanageyama without taking a hit. And since her next move is to unleash a Xanatos Gambit on Isshin, Ryuko and Mako that results in Isshin's plans grinding to a halt, she can be said to have pulled this on the entirety of Nudist Beach.
    • Mako's duel with Jakuzure plays out completely in her favor, with her opponent failing to get hits in before she can and being utterly thrashed in return.
    • In Chapter 24, after Ryuko enters an Unstoppable Rage and becomes a Humanoid Abomination, she subdues Ragyo and Nui effortlessly and manages to hold them captive.
  • Darker and Edgier: Although nastier Kill la Kill fics exist, the opening incident and Ragyo's subsequent actions towards Nui definitely set up the story's gloomier than normal tone.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ryuko, Senketsu, and Jakuzure. Isshin also has shades of it when he's in the mood.
  • Dead Person Conversation:
    • Tsumugu starts talking to his sister's spirit during a period of self-doubt. Subverted by the end of the chapter, when she's revealed to actually be a disguised Nui.
    • Following her father's death, Satsuki has a short conversation with his corpse that she imagines his replies for.
  • Death by Childbirth: Isshin convinces Ryuko that her mother died giving birth to her, since the truth would collapse his schemes.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Usually subverted, as Nui and Ragyo tend to claim lives quickly, leaving no time for goodbyes. However, when Tsumugu is mortally wounded after taking Rei's last attack for Ryuko, he manages to get out a Final Speech to Senketsu and tells the unconscious Ryuko that It Has Been an Honor. And even then, he dies in the middle of asking the first in a series of last questions.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Aside from Sanageyama, who gets his own chapter and joins Nudist Beach after being defeated, the Elite Four are mainly recurring background characters with no fights to their name. Even when the Naturals Election comes around and they all take positions to battle Ryuko, the first fight is with Mataro, and Nui intervenes before any of the established Elites can take center stage. This eventually turns around when Ryuko takes Sanageyama's place and works alongside them, allowing them more time to develop — Jakuzure in particular becomes a primary character, while Sanageyama fades into the background.
    • In the series, Takiji Kuroido was, while not a major player in the main conflict, a recurring background antagonist with strong relevance in the backstory. Here, he makes one appearance, has no dialogue, and gets a hole punched through him by Nui in an almost forgettable moment. Though given the point in the timeline at which the changes start, he still carried out the first assassination attempt that resulted in Soichiro changing his identity.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Ragyo. She prefers women in general and molests her daughters regularly, but she had children with Soichiro, and her one true love is the Original Life Fiber, whom she refers to with male pronouns and identifies as Nui's father.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In "Slaughterhouse", Ryuko, a seriously wounded Satsuki, and the Sewing Club manage to cripple and nearly kill the Original Life Fiber, leaving only the deepest sections of its core alive before they're forced to flee.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: The first scene from Ragyo's perspective reveals that she is in love with the Original Life Fiber, and her molestation of her daughters is at least in small part about getting her frustration out over not being able to have sex with it.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During the first battle of the Naturals Election, Ryuko distracts Mataro from beating her by grinding against him and moaning in his ear. It works flawlessly.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The latter half of the battle with Ryuketsu / Berserk Ryuko takes place in the Aokigahara suicide forest, which even Satsuki thinks is terrifying.
  • The Dreaded: Nui is this to every protagonist, having slaughtered thousands of Nudist Beach soldiers in the past, killed the Mankanshoku siblings' parents, and made Satsuki's life substantially worse with her early assault on Honnouji Academy. Ragyo also counts, though fewer characters directly know what she is capable of until the second half of the story.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Mako turns out to be this, showing off special powers during the battle with Nui that explain her odd traits in earlier parts. The reason for this is unclear until she finds a tape on which Isshin confesses to using her in synthetic Life Fiber experiments.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Satsuki starts wearing a gauze eyepatch after losing an eye to Ragyo. It's upgraded to a standard black eyepatch when she pulls it off Isshin's corpse.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Sanageyama doesn't have his eyes sewn shut in this timeline — he has them removed completely to put him on Ryuko's elevated power level. Fittingly, he in turn contributes to Nui losing an eye in Chapter 13.
    • Satsuki loses an eye to Ragyo's torture prior to her rescue in Chapter 20.
    • At the end of the Grand Festival arc, Rei finds herself on the receiving end of a fatal Moe Greene Special.
  • Fanservice: In-Universe with Ryuko stripping down to her underwear before her first battle with Mataro, which is enforced so her opponent and his following can ogle her. The chapter is even called "Fists of Fanservice".
  • Fingore:
    • Nui breaks Gamagoori's hand and slices parts of his fingertips off while pursuing the Mankanshoku siblings. This being Gamagoori, it hurts his pride more than anything, and he's fine again after the Time Skip.
    • Isshin has his fingernails pulled off by Ragyo and Nui in "Downfall", but like other parts of his torture, this mercifully happens before the chapter starts.
  • Flash Step: Nui does this when she needs to cross long distances quickly, such as when chasing the Mankanshoku siblings. As "Maelstrom" reveals, this is also one of Mako's powers, and she does it regularly from then on.
  • For Want of a Nail: Every event in the story is altered because of Nui's address mix-up. "Consequences" reveals that the first change actually happened long before then, when Isshin became a Well-Intentioned Extremist rather than The Atoner he was in canon.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Nui is naked for several chapters after escaping from her Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Part of the Fighting Club doctrine, forcing Ryuko to indulge in this during her first fight with Mataro.
  • Groin Attack: Ragyo enjoys inflicting this when she indulges in torture, seen when she does unknown damage to Satsuki's labia during her three-day captivity, and lets Nui mutilate Isshin's crotch until he passes out. Thankfully, both of these instances happen offscreen.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Nui kills Sukuyo Mankanshoku this way and tries it on Mataro before he escapes, leaving a gruesome scar across his chest. When Nui encounters him again, she reopens the scar with one of his own hooks, killing him.
  • Hannibal Lecture:
    • Nui is fond of giving these, especially after she puts together Isshin's identity under interrogation. In Chapter 15, she delivers an especially cruel one regarding Satsuki's molestation that pushes Isshin to violently beat her.
    • Ragyo also indulges in a long one when she captures and tortures Isshin.
  • Healing Factor: Ryuko develops one during the Time Skip, whereas it only developed near the end of Kill la Kill. In a curious twist, severing her internal Life Fibers is less inconvenient and more easily healed, as she was trained with anti-Life Fiber weapons and her body grew accustomed to them. Major injuries to her human components, or those that do damage to both at once (such as her No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with Nui's tape measure, the first attack in the story that leaves her near-death), are repeatedly proven worse. However, the aforementioned tape measure is later revealed to have overtaxed her healing, causing the immunities to even out and leaving her more vulnerable than before.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tsumugu takes Rei's final attack for Ryuko, which leads to his death.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Isshin is depicted as a Well-Intentioned Extremist Anti-Hero who has been driven to horrible lengths to stop Ragyo. He even tells Ryuko at one point that he doesn't feel like there are lines to cross anymore. The Reveal in "Consequences" reveals how true this is.
  • Hooks and Crooks: Mataro's Three-Star Goku Uniform includes lightning-fast projectile hooks attached to chains as a signature weapon.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • Ragyo and Nui are obvious examples, but Ryuko also becomes one when she enters her Unstoppable Rage in "Downfall". It more resembles a glowing red Berserker Asura with Scissor Blade tentacles than anything else in the Kill la Kill universe.
    • By the time of the final arc, Ragyo has become this by sewing the Original Life Fiber's heart into her own, twisting and cracking her body to horrifying degrees until she can no longer even pass as human.
  • I Am What I Am: Senketsu makes this clear twice in quick succession, toward Junketsu and Tsumugu, who both consider him an abomination (though for differing reasons).
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Ryuko is run through by a hook-and-chain during her rematch with Mataro. Though her Healing Factor and general composition keep the wound from being fatal, it still inconveniences her and lets her opponent gain the upper hand.
    • Nui is run through with a Scissor Blade in Chapter 13. She reacts predictably.
    • Isshin is fatally impaled and pinned to the mansion's stairs by the transformed Ryuko's Scissor Blade tentacles.
  • Interface Screw: Ryuko's perspective after her transformation is bolded and written in first-person present-tense, and all of her dialogue is in capitalized bold text.
  • Kaiju: Nui gains the ability to turn into one after Ragyo, fused with the Original Life Fiber, hand-sews her a new uniform. She uses it to take down the S.S. Naked Sun.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: After the Naturals Election arc, Nui is chained up in the sub-basement of Ryuko's mansion.
  • Moe Greene Special: See Mutual Kill.
  • Mutual Kill: Tsumugu shoots Rei through the eye and blows off part of her skull as she mortally wounds him with the attack meant to finish off Ryuko.
  • No-Sell:
    • One of the first special abilities Ryuko learns is doing this with Senketsu's help. She can tank anything from punches and sword strikes to throat slicing and outright impalement in the right circumstances. Unfortunately, it's not enough to stop Rei's attacks after she's powered up by Ragyo.
    • Nui does this naturally to an even greater extent. In her first extended battle scene at the Naturals Election, she shrugs off dozens of punches by an empowered Mako and collaborative attacks from Ryuko without even developing a bruise, and being stabbed twice in the eye and enduring a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from various characters while impaled inconveniences her only slightly more.
    • In the middle of "The Storm Arrives," Gamagoori tries to assassinate Ragyo by stabbing her In the Back with one of the Scissor Blades and splitting her vertically in half. Not a second passes before she smugly regenerates and returns the favor.
    • After she turns into a Humanoid Abomination, Ryuko takes a full-strength uppercut from Ragyo without flinching in "Downfall." Two chapters later, she shrugs off an entire army's continued attacks, only being damaged when Mako targets her weak points and Satsuki inflicts a lasting wound on her for others to target.
  • Not So Stoic: Rei starts losing her cool in "Severance" as more and more Big Damn Heroes moments destroy her COVERS army.
  • Official Couple: Satsuki and Jakuzure are confirmed as a romantic couple during the Raid Trip chapters, and become open about it a few chapters later.
  • Off with His Head!: Barazo Mankanshoku gets his head cut off by Nui in the opening chapter. Twenty chapters later, Ragyo rips Gamagoori's head off after his unsuccessful attempt to carry out Satsuki's plan.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted with a shoulder injury in "Roar". Ryuketsu stabs Satsuki through the shoulder with Bakuzan before she manages to escape, and after warding the hybrid monstrosity off, she makes an impromptu bandage for it and starts to nonchalantly resume her duties. Moments later, she almost succumbs to the shock and blood loss, only being saved by an emergency transfusion and some stitches; the arm beneath the shoulder is unusable for the rest of the battle due to the destroyed nerves and muscles, and "Recoveries" makes it clear that even with surgery and Satsuki's natural endurance, it'll take weeks for her to have even slight use of her fingers again.
  • Papa Wolf: Isshin Matoi is a more subdued example. He might send his daughter out every day into "the third most dangerous place on Earth", but if anyone so much as doubts her in his vicinity (even if it's one of his most trusted lieutenants), he will rain hell down on them. It's clear that Ryuko is the only thing in his life he cares about as much as Nudist Beach's success. Which makes it all the more tragic when Ryuko is the one to kill him.
  • Parental Incest: Between Ragyo and her daughters, as always.
  • Pet the Dog: Ragyo's interlude with Rei in Chapter 21 is the most humanly affectionate she's ever been depicted, and seems to prove an earlier statement about Rei meaning only slightly less to her than Nui, her actual daughter. The following chapter also reveals that Ragyo never took advantage of Rei, despite their close proximity and Rei's willingness to go along with it. While facing down her staff and preparing to brainwash them, she wonders whether any of them mourned Rei's death, and is disgusted when she realizes they most likely didn't even pay attention to her.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Nui, even more so than shown in the series. She constantly thinks about "bathing" with Ragyo, has molested Satsuki in the past and wants to do the same to Mako, and gropes Ryuko's inner thigh during their battle while promising to reward her if she surrenders.
  • Pull the Thread: The sequence where Ryuko and Satsuki realize that Isshin is Soichiro and they're sisters starts with Satsuki poking holes in the minor parts of Isshin's story that don't make sense, leading the rest to unravel.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Ryuko becomes one for Tsumugu's sister Kinue, to the point that Tsumugu develops a serious enough protectiveness and loyalty to her to abandon his Fantastic Racism against Senketsu, defy his superiors on several occasions, and ultimately let himself die Taking the Bullet for her.
  • The Reveal: "Consequences" finally ties all of the long-running mysteries together with the reveal that Isshin, in a desperate attempt to thwart Ragyo's foreseen assassination attempts, set up an Orgy of Evidence that he was in Mako's house rather than his own, thus drawing Nui there in the first chapter. In doing so, he also experimented with synthetic Life Fibers on Mako's high-tolerance body, causing her to develop her powers later.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Despite being developed and set up as The Rival to Ryuko, Mataro gets killed by Nui after his second fight scene. His death is the first to be delivered on a developed character in the story.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Both Nui and Mataro undergo it following the Time Skip; the former from having her ego badly bruised for the first time, and the latter from PTSD. The former case manifests as a "veil" over her mind that keeps her from thinking straight - or at least how Nui defines thinking straight - while the latter sees vivid hallucinations of Nui everywhere, especially when he's hurt. Nui's case continues to escalate after her defeat and capture by Nudist Beach.
    • Later chapters make it clear that even Isshin is not safe from this. And as The Reveal proves, it started well before the story's beginning.
  • Seamless Spontaneous Lie: When Nui pieces together everything about Isshin and tries to reveal that he is Soichiro Kiryuin during her interrogation, Isshin instead spins a lie about Soichiro co-founding Nudist Beach with him before being assassinated in the car explosion he actually survived. He also uses the opportunity to connect it to the lie he already told Ryuko about her Life Fiber hybrid nature being the result of a lab accident that wound up killing her mother during her birth, "revealing" it to have been intentional sabotage in an attempt to kill him that also cost him his eye. Once Ryuko and Satsuki figure out a few logical inconsistencies with this story, though, he's forced to drop the facade.
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: Mataro Mankanshoku as the Pugilist, president of the Fighting Club, who assembled his ranks by picking downtrodden No-Stars and disillusioned higher-ups off their feet and recruiting them to his cause through sheer charisma and drive. His following is so devoted to his ideals that they almost resemble a Cult.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Ryuko lost all inhibitions about exposing her body when she synchronized with Senketsu, and so has no problem showering or going into her revealing transformation with others around. The only reason she has a problem with stripping down to her underwear for the fist fight with Mataro is that she is being forced to do it by a hormonal teenage boy.
  • Shipper on Deck: Senketsu desperately wants Ryuko and Mako to get together already, and makes a Running Gag out of snickering every time there's a moment of sexual tension between them.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The Mankanshoku family was the main source of comic relief even as Kill la Kill got darker. In the first chapter, Nui kills Barazo, Sukuyo, and Guts, and leaves Mataro with mental and physical scars that make him into a minor Arc Villain later on. Only Mako continues to serve up oblivious humor, and even then, Mataro's death and Ryuko's failure to prevent it do away with that for many chapters. Jakuzure's promotion to a major character thankfully alleviates some of this.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shower of Angst: Ryuko in "The Aftermath", while recovering from the events of "Maelstrom".
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Senketsu spends most of his conversation with Junketsu casually rebuffing the latter's attempts to describe Senketsu's purpose.
  • Slashed Throat:
    • Ryuko gets her throat sliced during her first real battle with Satsuki, but her Life Fibers quickly regenerate the damage and allow her to gain the upper hand again. Much later, at the end of the battle with the berserk Ryuko, Satsuki does it again to give Mako time to initiate her Battle in the Center of the Mind.
    • Nui also suffers this at Tsumugu's hands in Chapter 13, but being Nui, it's a No-Sell that barely affects her.
  • Slut-Shaming: Defied in Chapter 19: "Worst Cast Scenario" when Ryuko uses "whore" as a general insult.
    Rei: [...] you ought to avoid calling me a whore unless I offer to sexually gratify the entire Student Council for money. You deprive the word of its context, and therefore its impact, otherwise.
  • Spanner in the Works: Isshin's decades of planning threaten to collapse when Satsuki forcefully enlists Ryuko to join the Elite Four in Chapter 14.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Isshin Matoi, who was the Plot-Triggering Death of the canon series, is still alive during Ryuko's conquest of Honnouji Academy thanks to Nui's mistake.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Since Ryuko spent the six month gap before her arrival at Honnouji Academy comfortably training and earning godlike power rather than pursuing vengeance for her father's death, this is one of her central flaws. She is even more Hot-Blooded than in the canon series, but it manifests in Tranquil Fury and a complete unwillingness to acknowledge that she could ever be at a disadvantage. Senketsu tries to knock sense into her on various occasions, to no avail. This comes to a head in "Severance," when Ryuko refuses to retreat from Rei's barrage of attacks, unaware that she has been given a fraction of Ragyo's power. This earns her a crippling wound and leads to Tsumugu Taking the Bullet to save her, and causes her to eventually reconcile with her flaws and become more humble.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Gamagoori is alive when Jakuzure turns around after their apparent assassination of Ragyo. Two seconds later, she hears the wet thump that turns out to be Ragyo ripping his head off.
  • Taking the Bullet: Tsumugu pushes Ryuko out of the way of Rei's final attack, leading to his death.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Chapter 11 opens with a graphic flashback of Mataro getting his teeth beaten out by a stronger boy (later revealed to be Seto Oda, a future Fighting Club member who takes up the mantle of leader after Mataro's death) whom he picked a fight with in an attempt to become stronger, one of the more disgusting sequences in the story.
  • The Worf Effect: Gamagoori shows up to be beaten by Nui simply to show how much stronger the latter is. And he's later killed by Ragyo with ruthless efficiency at the start of the Grand Festival to showcase her own strength and ruthlessness.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Used frequently by various characters, mostly Ryuko and Jakuzure.
  • Time Skip: After the opening chapters showing Nui's slaughter and the immediate aftermath, the story skips ahead by six months and roughly syncs up with the original timeline. Following the Ryuketsu arc, the story skips ahead several weeks while Satsuki regains control of her arm and plans the final assault on REVOCS.
  • Took A Level In Bad Ass:
    • Thanks to six months of training and education under her father, which includes an early synchronization, Ryuko enters Honnouji Academy with about as much strength as she possessed at the middle of the actual series. Mataro also gets this after spending nearly as long training and building up the Fighting Club, and he's able to hold his ground against Ryuko despite her superior raw power. Too bad it wasn't enough to keep Nui off of him.
    • In her rage after Mataro's death, Mako turns out to be just as capable in combat as Nui Harime, thanks to her hidden Empowered Badass Normal abilities.
    • After being portrayed as Ryuko's lesser for many chapters and being repeatedly talked down as a pushover, Satsuki regains her canon levels of badassery in "The Aftermath" by enacting a complex series of Batman Gambits to give herself an edge over Nudist Beach, taking out a troupe of attacking Nudist soldiers in under seven seconds, defeating Sanageyama with cold pragmatism, and forcing a hostage scenario on the heroes that ends with Ryuko becoming her new member of the Elite Four. Ensuing chapters ramp up her competency until she's almost on Ryuko's level again.
  • To the Pain: Ragyo coldly lists off the various tortures she has inflicted on Isshin / Soichiro at the opening of "Downfall," and also states what she plans to do next before Ryuko blows the front of the mansion off and interrupts her.
  • Trauma Button: Satsuki is accidentally reminded of Ragyo's sexual abuse at several points.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Nui is in the throes of one from the moment Mako and Mataro survive her wrath, bruising her ego and causing her to lose some of Ragyo's affections. It hits its peak in Chapter 13, when her mind spins so badly out of control that Ryuko and crew are able to incapacitate her.
    • Rei goes through one at the end of the Grand Festival as she watches her seemingly unstoppable COVERS army collapse around her.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 12, "Mayhem", seems like yet another normal chapter until Nui drops into Honnouji Academy and disembowels Mataro.
    • The following chapter, "Maelstrom", is this even more so. The fight against Nui brings about the revelations that Mako is some kind of superhuman and that Sanageyama was recruited to Nudist Beach shortly after his second defeat. Aikuro vanishes shortly after sending out a distress call to Isshin, with the implication being that his call was traced. Nui is defeated, losing a leg and part of an arm in the process. Satsuki stops Ryuko from finishing Nui off, only to choke her out and hand her over to Nudist Beach for interrogation. And just as it's all wrapping up, Mako attacks Ryuko for her failure to save Mataro and indicates that their friendship is over.
    • "The Aftermath", immediately following "Maelstrom", keeps up the trend. Nui, immobilized and drugged, reveals that she has figured out all of Isshin's deceptions and tries to reveal them to Ryuko and Mako during her interrogation, forcing Isshin to add another few layers to his lie to maintain the secret. Satsuki is then revealed to have played Nudist Beach for suckers in the previous chapter by capturing Aikuro, monitoring communications to learn everything about the Nudist Beach command structure and Ryuko's relation to Isshin, and slipping a tracking device onto Nui that leads her to the mansion. Once there, she inflicts a Curb-Stomp Battle on Sanageyama's guard squad and forces Ryuko, Mako, and Isshin into a choice that furthers her goals with all outcomes; this leads Ryuko to agree to fill out the hole in the Elite Four, and Isshin reflects on his plans collapsing as she walks away.
    • "Bare": Ryuko and Satsuki finally put together that they're sisters, and that Isshin has been lying to Ryuko about everything. And earlier, Mako's mental state is revealed to be so fractured that she tries to fatally finish off Jakuzure after their battle.
    • "Something Wicked": Ryuko confronts Isshin about the truth, injures him, and unofficially leaves Nudist Beach behind in favor of the Elite Four. When Satsuki returns to Kiryuin Manor, Ragyo drowns her into unconsciousness and takes her prisoner, planning to interrogate her about her failures and suspicious activities. The next day, Ryuko gets to Honnouji Academy only to find out that Rei Hououmaru has taken control of it under Ragyo's orders.
    • "The Storm Arrives": Ragyo finally finds the coordinates of Ryuko's mansion that Nui received after tricking Tsumugu, and promises to visit the location after the Grand Festival. At the start of the Festival, the Elites attempt to carry out Satsuki's plan as Nudist Beach arrives, only for Ragyo to bounce back and rip off Gamagoori's head. Ryuko storms Kiryuin Manor and finds Satsuki missing an eye among other damage; when Iori's team arrives to pacify the Original Life Fiber, Ryuko convinces them to help her kill it permanently. And then Nui manages to escape her prison...
    • "Consequences": While recovering from the Grand Festival, Mako unearths Isshin's stash of confessions in his office and finds one labeled with her name. When she broadcasts it to the entire headquarters after some time listening to it, it's revealed that Isshin set up an elaborate ruse to point Ragyo's assassins away from his mansion just prior to sending out the message to bring Ryuko home; this ruse had him scanning Honnouji Academy for the student most attuned to Life Fibers (Mako), following her home, and setting up an Orgy of Evidence for REVOCS spies that he was using the building in addition to infusing synthetic Life Fibers into her to give the appearance of hybridization experiements. This was why Nui's address mix-up happened, and why Mako developed her powers.
    • "Downfall" is nothing but three game-changing twists in quick succession. First, Ragyo is revealed to have already arrived at the Matoi mansion and is torturing Isshin with Nui's help. Then Ryuko transforms into a Humanoid Abomination in her fury after "Consequences" and storms out of the Nudist Beach headquarters. Then she arrives at her mansion, forces Ragyo and Nui to stand still, and impales her father with a tendril, killing him.
    • "Chrysalis": The Naked Sun finally launches, and immediately gets swatted down by a Kaiju-sized transformed Nui, leaving the fates of most of its passengers unknown. While Nui corners a severely wounded Jakuzure, the main trio get to the top of REVOCS HQ only to find out what was being protected by the barrier: Ragyo, mutating heavily with the Original Life Fiber sewn into her heart.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
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