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Natural Selection (AO3 Link) is a Kill la Kill Alternate Universe Fic written by LordGinger.

The story is an Alternate Universe Fic where Ryuko survived the Life Fiber implantation experiment as a baby, and was subsequently raised as a Kiryuin alongside Satsuki and Nui, becoming conditioned to see humanity as beneath her as well as becoming the bearer of Kamui Junketsu, with her elder sister, Satsuki, forced to oppose her in her rebellion against their family.

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Not to be confused with the Half-Life mod of the same name.


Natural Selection provides examples of:

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  • 20 Minutes into the Past: The fic is set in the same year that the show came out - 2013, as shown in Chapter 7 when Nui pulls out her Ace Custom, limited run phone...an iPhone 6.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Satsuki and Nudist Beach escape Honnouji via the vast underground systems after Nui arrives.
  • Act of True Love:
    • Satsuki gives up two potential chances to kill Ryuko and remove one of REVOCS's most powerful players outright in their battle, simply because she wants to explain her actions, save her sister and repair their broken relationship.
    • Misguided and ultimately destructive as it ended up being, Junketsu working around the Mind Stitching Ragyo inflicted on Ryuko to try and recover her personality, despite an emotionless husk being far more useful to the Life Fiber's plans.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Since they have a lot of wealth, the Mankanshoku family acts much like they did when they went through Acquired Situational Narcissism in the anime, only at all times. Nonon even calls them Z-tier celebrities who shamelessly get involved in as many controversies as possible for the sake of attention.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Much of the canonical nudity and fanservice is toned down.
    • Ryuko with Junketsu, while the least stripperiffic of the Kamui, is described as covering Ryuko on every inch of skin here instead of exposing the sides of her body like in canon.
    • Nudist Beach of all groups. While the splinter faction of the Naked Nudists dress only in the black straps of their canon outfits, regular members are described as wearing standard paramilitary gear.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The story skips over the Monster of the Week battles of the early episodes of the anime and cuts straight to the Naturals Election and the greater plot against REVOCS.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • In canon, Satsuki and Ryuko didn't learn they were sisters until the 18th episode of the anime. Here, they grow up together from the beginning.
    • While Satsuki and Nonon's friendship at the beginning of the story is similar to how it was in the series, prior to then they had a falling out. Canonically, they remained best friends throughout their lives.
    • Canonically, Ryuko and Mako were best friends. Here, they become girlfriends prior to the start of the story.
    • In canon, Ryuko and Nui are bitter enemies after they first meet. Here, they enjoy a sisterly relationship.
    • While Nui was treated as Ragyo's daughter in the main series, she's officially adopted into the Kiryuin family here rather than treated as separate from them, with even Soichiro seeing her as a daughter.
    • Mako and her family all loved each other in the anime, but thanks to their Acquired Situational Narcissism from Mako becoming a Three-Star and reaping the benefits in this story, her relationship with them is far colder, if not outright broken.
  • Adapted Out: Senketsu doesn't exist in this story seeing as Satsuki and the Life Fiber Hunters don't find him in the ruins of Isshin Matoi's home and Satsuki has to create her own Kamui from scratch. Subverted, as it is revealed in Chapter 20 that Doctor Matoi has been working on him within Nudist Beach's headquarters instead, although he wasn't finished until recently.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Ryuko shortens Junketsu down to "Jun", both when speaking to him externally and internally.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: Great focus is given to Satsuki and Ira trying to patch up Nonon after her fight with Mako, and Satsuki's vast amount of wounds from the Naturals Elections becomes Aikuro's and later, Dr. Matoi's immediate concern as they escape Honnouji.
  • And I Must Scream: Any student wearing one of Nui's Goku Uniforms is subjected to this. They can do battle at a higher level than usual, but when they get hurt beyond the point a normal person would drop out of a fight, they are compelled to keep on going. Students are described as fighting on with broken limbs, tears welling up on expressions fixed in hate.
  • Anger Montage:
    • Chapter 19 ends with Soichiro Kiryuin trashing his office in a drunken fit after hearing about the extent of Ragyo's abuses of their children via a wiretap in Satsuki and Nonon's prison cell.
    • After Ryuko's Mind Stitching and subsequent rewiring by Junketsu, she takes her anger for Satsuki out on a proxy, destroying Satsuki's bedroom and possessions with Sorority.
  • Arc Villain: Ryuko for the first thirteen chapters, with Nui becoming this for Chapters 14 to 22.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • Satsuki's entire argument with Ryuko in Chapter 18 has her asking so many of these that the younger Kiryuin shuts down. Chapter 19 continues this with her asking this to Ryuko regarding Ragyo knowing about Mako:
      Satsuki: Mother has never denied you anything before. So why are you so hesitant for her to know about the one you love?
    • Chapter 19 also has Isshin ask a series of these to Junketsu. While he tries to ignore it, it's clear that they deeply affected him.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: The other half of what Satsuki has to say to Ryuko in Chapter 18, throwing a barrage of them at her after Ryuko accuses her of not being real family.
  • Artistic License – Child Labor Laws: Thirteen-year-old Satsuki worked on a REVOCS factory floor to earn enough money to buy Ryuko a Cool Sword for her twelfth birthday when Ragyo refused her an advance on her allowance. The entirety of that sentence should inform you as to the state of the Kiryuin household.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Played with. Ira and Nonon spend a good deal of time essentially performing reverse engineered surgery to get the Biology Club's victims into a state where they can be transported, despite neither of them being trained in anything more serious than first aid. But they do spend hours making sure that each and every action they perform is necessary and won't kill the girls on the spot, and promptly hand them over to actual medical professionals at the earliest opportunity, complete with all of the Biology Club's notes so that they have all the information they need to make informed decisions and undo the damage caused. That, and it's noted that none of their efforts would be possible if not for the existence of Life Fibers in the first place.
  • Author Appeal: The author is of the opinion that Nui would look better with her hair down, and takes pretty much any opportunity to portray her as such.
  • Badass Family: Subverted. Yes, the Kiryuins are all badasses in their own right, but they're all at each other's throats in one way or another.
  • Badass Normal: Ira and Nonon, given that they're only using Anti Life Fiber equipment, but can stand up to and defeat Two and Three-Star opponents.
  • Battle Couple: Ryuko and Mako form one during the Naturals Election when the Safe Zone gets attacked by the other clubs.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The Kiryuin family. All of them are exceptionally glamourous and are the wealthiest, most powerful family in the entire world.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Of the Kiryuin sisters, Nui (overtly feminine who puts on a veneer of class), Satsuki (intelligent leader and tactician), and Ryuko (thrives off fighting and violence) respectively.
  • Beauty Is Bad: The Kiryuin family (exception being Satsuki) fit this to a T. They're all regarded as exceptionally beautiful and they're all either psychopaths or sociopaths.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted in general, with every character getting their fair share of injuries. Satsuki tends to rack them up more than the rest of the cast. Played straight with Ryuko and Nui, who tend to power through whatever damage they take and come out untouched. Also justified in their cases since both of them have healing factors that patch up whatever damage they take.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Where do we even start with the Kiryuins? Ragyo is an abusive harpy and setting up the Earth to be destroyed, openly playing favorites with her three daughters and controlling their lives when she's not sleeping with them. Soichiro is in open rebellion against her, fighting against his own guilt at letting things get to this point. Satsuki, the eldest daughter, is the main target of her abuse and cannot escape her guilt at letting her younger sisters suffer as well, all the while putting the weight of the world upon her shoulders because she feels she's the only one who can put an end to her mother. Ryuko, the second daughter, a Half-Human Hybrid and lab experiment turned into a weapon against humanity who cannot see any wrongdoing in her actions even while a city burns all around her. Nui, the youngest daughter, is an Artificial Human molded into torturer and killer for company profit and who actively enjoys her acts of sadism against those who cannot fight back.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Even with all that happened between them, Satsuki is still very protective of her little sisters. It's telling that even after everything that happened between them, her immediate instinct upon waking up and seeing Ryuko captured by Nudists is to try and save her. She was also thoroughly pissed when she learns that Isshin took Ryuko's blood while she was unconscious to finish creating Senketsu.
  • Big Sister Worship: Growing up, Ryuko practically thought the world of her sister and loved her with all her heart. Despite her being named the heiress to the Kiryuin Conglomerate, she was fully convinced that Satsuki was far more deserving of it than she was. Nowadays however...
  • Blade Lock: In Chapter 21, Maiko and Houka negotiate the terms of her assistance to Nudist Beach while engaged in a Tailor's Dagger to scepter lock. She nearly overwhelms him in the test of strength, much to Nonon's amusement.
  • Body Horror:
    • When Gamagoori defected and tried to fight Ryuko, she responded by beating him within an inch of his life and flaying the skin off his back.
    • Unlike in canon, we get a taste of what the human experimentation of the Biology Club might have looked like. Exposed organs, disassembled bodies and relocated limbs are mentioned, the victims kept alive and held together by Life Fibers.
    • In Chapter 13, "Killer Queen", the makeshift Kamui is considered this by Ryuko and Junketsu, with the narration noting that the stitching bleeds and that the single rheumy eye cannot stop weeping pearlescent tears.
    • In Chapter 15, Nui visits Uzu in the Honnouji medical bay. Displeased with his inability to fight, she feeds Life Fibers out from under her fingernails and into his skin, pouring them into his eyes and throat. He's saved from whatever fate she had planned for him purely by dint of the fact that Ryuko likes him.
  • Bold Inflation: Transferring the show's subtitling into text form, the story will usually follow up a character description with a title written in bold capitalized letters, aligned to the middle of the page. For example:
    HONNOUJI ACADEMY STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT – RYUKO KIRYUIN
  • Boss Subtitles: See Bold Inflation above. Everyone of note in the story gets a title. Even some of the weapons get their own titles, such as Ryuko's blade, Sorority, and Nui's rapier, Fleur de Mort.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted by Ira, who keeps track of his ammo and is shown reloading from time to time, but played straight by Houka's Spymaster Regalia.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Ryuko goes through a number of restraints during the story, to the point that Satsuki points out that cuffing her is mostly a symbolic gesture rather than an actual impediment.
  • Bridal Carry: Nonon gets to be carried like this a couple times. Once by Satsuki when they're investigating Matoi Manor, and once by Ira when they're escaping Honnouji. She's not pleased either way.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In Chapter 7, the Reebok CEO pissed himself while he was being tortured by Nui.
  • Bullet Catch: In Chapter 14, the Anti-Life Fiber bullet, which ended up being Too Awesome to Use in canon, is fired at Nui...who proceeds to catch in her teeth.
  • Cain and Abel: Ryuko and Satsuki respectively. Ryuko is a sadistic tyrant who wants to viciously murder her older sister. Satsuki, while willing to kill Ryuko if need be, still holds some hope that the sweet little girl she grew up with is still in there somewhere.
  • Cardboard Prison:
    • The prison that Nudist Beach holds Ryuko and Nui in is this essentially. The only reason they don't escape is because they're both play along prisoners, and it's made exceptionally clear that they could easily walk out if they wanted.
    • Discussed between Ryuko and Satsuki regarding Ragyo. Ryuko asks if, rather than kill their mother, then maybe Satsuki could just find a way to imprison her instead. Satsuki retorts that she'd be more willing to accept that option if a prison that could actually hold her even existed.
  • Central Theme:
    • Abuse, particularly familial abuse, and the effect it has on people. Everything that goes wrong in the story is a direct or indirect result of the way Ragyo has raised her children, to the point where they now turn their blades against each other, their love poisoned by her manipulations. Furthermore, abuse isn't shown as a single act, but a corruptive force in and of itself, ruining every interaction the Kiryuin children have with others, to the point where the entire city of Honnouji is what it has become as a result of Ryuko's own abuses of the populous.
    • Power vs Humanity. The stronger members of the cast have traded in basic empathy, decency and consideration for others for pure strength and dominion over their fellow man. Even Satsuki, who is firmly on the side of good, has difficulty seeing eye-to-eye with those she considers beneath her power level. Uzu's POV sections have him considering this as well, pondering on whether his desire for better battles and swordsmanship will one day lead him to a place that he no longer enjoys the fight and looks down on those he once fought alongside. Nudist Beach's more extreme elements are in the process of trading in their humanity in their desperation to attain any sort of ability to put them on an even keel with REVOCS' best. By contrast the No-Stars, those without power, are shown to be wholly decent folk, with Mako, the former No-Star given power by the system, managing not only to keep her moral compass but also doing her best to assist those who haven't been granted the same opportunities as herself.
    • Who has the right to the world, and who has a right to life? The Life Fibers are responsible for humanity's evolution and the modern-day version of Earth as it is, but refuse to live in harmony with the millions of species upon the planet due to their entitlement that the Earth is theirs to devour and because their reproductive cycle requires the death of the planet. Humans, by contrast, are the current apex of life and have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, which is for the betterment of every other species on Earth, but only have control of the planet because they were set up to own it. Neither is willing to submit to the other because doing so will most likely be the extinction of the weaker species, and because both need the Earth to carry on their lifestyles.
  • Challenging the Chief: The Naturals Elections are a monthly contest to decide who leads Honnouji on every level, from Club Presidents to Student Council President and council. The Life Fiber Hunters enter with the aim of converting the city back to its original purpose, and while Satsuki does get to fight Ryuko for the fate of the city, it's Ryuko who's still in charge when it's all over.
  • Chastity Couple: In spite of Ryuko's upbringing, Ryuko and Mako don't engage in anything more risqué than cuddling and kissing. Junketsu even questions Ryuko about her lack of consummation, much to her embarrassment.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Ryuko drops one in Chapter 23 in frustration at the implications of what the Life Fiber War has done to the relationship between her and her sisters.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Nui's job as Grand Couturier involves her going to companies that refuse to sell up to REVOCS and 'convincing' those in charge to change their minds. She also does this to Ira after he's captured, though much of it takes place off-page.
  • Colony Drop: During her match with Gamagoori, Maiko manifests an enormous meteor to crush her opponent. Unfortunately for her, Gamagoori manages to catch it and stop it dead in its tracks.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Nui chimes this one out while hunting Satsuki in Honnouji's sewers. It's effective enough to have Satsuki checking every direction around her, in case Nui comes out from the floor or walls.
  • Compensating for Something: Ryuko taunts Uzu with this line when Satsuki first introduces them to each other.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Ryuko throws a few heartbroken questions at an unconscious Satsuki after their battle, though it's later revealed that Satsuki wasn't completely out cold.
  • Cool Car: Aikuro's Naked Shooting Star gets some James Bond style tricks, including an oil trap, a grappling hook and later, a submarine mode. It's also a very cool sports car.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: Invoked by the Mankanshoku family. They tend to ride out the Naturals Elections by bunkering down in Mako's mansion and partying through the event with select guests.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Subverted. The flashback that shows where the timeline changed has Soichiro trying to revive baby Ryuko this way, and it's shown as a desperate, futile act that cracks the man's psyche when one of her ribs breaks. It's only thanks to the newly implanted Life Fibers in her system that she wakes up at all. He does perform it correctly though, only using two fingers to compress the chest without mouth-to-mouth contact.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Satsuki and her Life Fiber Hunters are a very small version, consisting of only three members (Herself, Ira, and Nonon).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Generally speaking, anything that tries to fight Ryuko or Nui will not have a fun time.
    • When Gamagoori activated his Scourge Regalia and attempted to stop Ryuko, she easily defeated him with a single blow.
    • Pretty much all of Ryuko's fights in the Naturals Election encompass her either casually slaughtering the other students or just plain beating the crap out of them.
    • Sanageyama easily kicks the other athletic clubs collective asses while in his War God Regalia.
    • Inumuta's first Sudden Death Runoff battle is against a nameless mercenary, implied to be Tsumugu in disguise. Needless to say, the mercenary doesn't last long.
    • Nonon's fight with Mako doesn't go well for her at all. Mako's perception alteration basically caused Nonon to just stand around and get beaten down for much of the battle.
    • Similarly to Ryuko, Nui spends the entirety of her introductory chapter killing anyone she lays eyes on without much effort, be it Nudist or student. Ira suffers yet another one-hit loss at her hands but is allowed to live, since she has other plans for him.
  • Darker and Edgier: The story is a shade darker compared to the original series. Ryuko's Honnouji is built upon monthly death battles, injuries are described in a little more detail and backstories tend to be grimmer, with Ragyo's abuses casting a shadow over Satsuki and Ryuko in particular.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Ryuko is mentioned to have one with Ira's face on it.
  • Death from Above: The Aeronautics Club attempts to blow up the Safe Zone's walls with an airstrike from their bomber plane.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • Mako ends up being one of the All-Loving Heroine, Token Good Teammate, and Positive Friend Influence. She's an absolute sweetheart who's the only morally decent person on Ryuko's council and is actively trying to be a good friend to Ryuko to hold off her bloodlust. However, being all this and serving The Caligula at the same time doesn't really work. While she does a better job than the rest at managing Ryuko's lack of sanity and normal morals, it's not very significant and there's still a lot of bloodshed and killing. To top it off, her status as the all-loving heroine while simultaneously serving the villain is inherently contradictory, as it requires that she be complacent in Ryuko's atrocities for her attempts to change her ways to even remotely work. In their battle, Satsuki even calls her out on this and that for all her kindness, she comes across as having a very twisted moral compass since rather than stop all the violence and death, she instead ignores it and builds a safe haven within it.
      Satsuki: I am curious, Mako Mankanshoku. How skewed must your moral compass be to stand in the wake of mass murder, and spend your time not fighting it but instead building a model garden of society while the world burns around you?
    • Satsuki isn't without her own flaws, as she deconstructs the Smug Super. She's one of the strongest and most intelligent people in the world and her interactions with Nudist Beach show just how confident she is in her abilities. This causes her a lot of problems, as her smug and arrogant attitude towards them just left her wanting for a powerful ally and the resources they have at their disposal because she felt they couldn't compete with her at her level. To top it off, all her assuredness in her abilities is more of a façade, as she's spent her whole life forcing the burden of stopping REVOCS on her shoulders alone and it's left her with many deep rooted issues of self-loathing since all her efforts to stop her family have accomplished nothing.
  • Deconstruction: Of The Social Darwinist. The story really goes out of its way to rip apart this mindset of the Life Fibers, which all comes to head in Chapter 19 with the conversation between Soichiro/Isshin and Junketsu, which heavily highlights the flaws of this. As pointed out, there is so little life in the known universe and Life Fibers depend on sentient species for food and nourishment, otherwise they sleep for incalculable periods of time. Earth was for all intents and purposes the perfect breeding ground for them, as they could have formed proper symbiotic relationships with a naturally replenishing species, providing humanity with strength while they in turn provided them with the energy they need to survive. Instead, they parasitically feed off their life force and await the opportunity to devour them all at once simply because they see themselves as an apex species and everyone weaker than them as prey. To top it off, once mankind dies, the odds of the Life Fibers finding another species to feed off of is slim to none, which means the next time the Life Fibers slumber will likely be the last, and all of this just because they refuse to coexist with a race they deem inferior to them. So not only is their darwinistic worldview flawed by design, it's flat out self-destructive.
  • Defector from Decadence: Gamagoori originally served Ryuko on Satsuki's orders when she left the academy to her. While he did his best to tolerate her growing psychotic tendencies, her slaughtering innocent No-Star students and their families was too far.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Ryuko allows Satsuki to wound her with Bakuzan-Gako and Koryu to figure out how they are able to halt Life Fiber regeneration, quickly coming to the understanding that Satsuki needs to cut her from both sides in order to do permanent damage. She also uses this in the same fight by letting Satsuki impale her hands so she could disarm her of the blades.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Mankanshoku family are largely reduced to being part of Mako's background rather than playing any significant role in the plot like they did in canon.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Averted. The sexual abuse Satsuki was subjected to by Ragyo is depicted as horrific and having caused her a lot of trauma. She even calls out how depraved and sick it is to Ryuko in Chapter 18. In Chapter 19, when Nonon and Isshin/Soichiro learn about what Ragyo did, they're equally, if not far more repulsed. Nonon openly expresses her desire to kill Ragyo after learning about it while Isshin drinks himself into a stupor.
  • Drink-Based Characterization:
    • Used with the three sisters. Satsuki favors her usual calming but bitter tea, Ryuko drinks straight black coffee, and Nui orders sugary, overly complicated coffee with more cream and chocolate than actual drink.
    • Mako is usually seen sipping on sweet drinks.
  • Dynamic Entry: Ryuko drops into the war for the Safe Zone by falling from the sky through the Aeronautics Club's bomber plane, stealing its engine and the bomb meant for Mako in the process. She walks out of the dust from the impact crater as said bomber plane crashes to earth and explodes behind her.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: While the Safe Zone's population is primarily comprised of No-Star students and their families, One and even Two-Star students will opt to have their families be protected behind it's walls for their safety while the Naturals Elections are on.
  • Evil Laugh: Ryuko indulges in these often, as does Nui with her usual giggling.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: After Nui loses an arm in her fight against Uzu and Tsumugu, she tries to make an overdramatic show of lamenting it, only to be constantly interrupted as they know she's playing around.
  • Faking the Dead: Besides Soichiro faking his death and becoming Isshin Matoi, this is one of the ways Ragyo manipulates Ryuko and Nui; by creating a narrative taking advantage of Satsuki's self-imposed exile from Japan. After staging a car accident and funeral for their sister, she ensures that the reality of Satsuki's rebellion against the Life Fibers will feel even more personal and targeted against them when she turns up 'alive'.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Background characters can go pretty violently, from friendly fire incidents that leave ruptured guts spilling out to Ryuko tearing a man vertically in half at one point.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Kiryuin family really looks down on humanity due to viewing them as a cattle race. Ragyo drilled it into Ryuko and Nui's skulls how inferior mankind is to them. Nui, when thoroughly pissed off, even refers to them as "worthless human worms".
  • Fastball Special: Ira uses himself as a platform so that Satsuki can springboard off him and gain access to a pillar during the Sudden Death Runoff qualifiers.
  • First Love: Mako is Ryuko's and vice versa. Having been raised in a house of casual lust and screwed-up values, Ryuko's still coming to terms with what being in a proper relationship actually entails both physically and emotionally while Mako struggles with how to reconcile romantic feelings for someone with utterly alien morals.
  • Flashback Nightmare:
    • While it's not treated so much as a nightmare as it is an unpleasant memory, Chapter 4 opens with Ryuko waking up from a dream about the last time she saw Satsuki before her sister's disappearance.
    • Satsuki gets a similar moment in Chapter 15 when she falls asleep in the Naked Shooting Star, dreaming of the meeting between herself and Ira's family after she arrived back in Japan.
  • Flat Character: Contrasting Senketsu and even Junketsu, Satsuki's false Kamui, Fukusei, doesn't have any personality or role in the story beyond being Satsuki's Kamui, and even then, it's destroyed by Ryuko in the very same chapter it's introduced in.
  • Flat "What":
    • From Maiko in Chapter 4 when Mako says this:
    Mako: Ogure, please don't die! No-one needs inspiring that badly, even if things have been a little down lately!
    Maiko: What.
    • And again from Nui in Chapter 26, right as the lights go out and Mako delivers one of trademark speeches to Ryuko.
  • Flipping the Table:
    • In Chapter 19, Soichiro Kiryuin's desk is the first victim of his rage against his office.
    • Played for Laughs in Chapter 23, when Ryuko Rage Quits a game of Shogi between her and Uzu by flipping the board over.
  • Forced to Watch: Chapter 16 shows us the first time Ryuko and Junketsu met...from the perspective of Soichiro, who can only stand by and feebly reassure young, terrified Satsuki and Nui as their sister is consumed by the Kamui.
  • Formerly Friendly Family: Satsuki, Ryuko and Nui used to get along very well like loving sisters should, until Ragyo's machinations and abuse drove them apart and onto opposite sides of the Life Fiber war.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The main point from where the fic deviates from the canon story-line is after the perceived failure of Ryuko's Life Fiber implantation experiment. Soichiro tries to bring Ryuko back to life against Ragyo's wishes, giving her the time to come back as a perfect Life Fiber hybrid. As such, she isn't thrown away and is raised alongside Satsuki, and later Nui.
    • What led to Isshin Matoi's survival in this story was that he tricked Nui using a body double so that she would assume that he worked himself to death. He's made aware of her arrival and sets this up thanks to his increased contact with Nudist Beach and keeping notes on the way all three girls are growing up under Ragyo.
  • Fright-Induced Bunkmate: It's mentioned off-hand during one of Satsuki and Ryuko's arguments that Satsuki would often keep her bed open should her sisters need to climb in during the night.
  • From Bad to Worse: Chapter 13, "Killer Queen". Ryuko throws Ira to a pack of Two-Star students for the chance to become the new Disciplinary Chair, proceeding to trap her and Satsuki within a cage match. They fight, with Ryuko coming out as the victor despite all of Satsuki's planning. She's betrayed and incapacitated by Houka, putting her out of commission as well, but just as he's calling in Nudist beach to save the situation, he's stabbed from behind by Nui, who gleefully takes to the stage to put a stop to that. Cue Chapters 14 and 15, in which Nui runs rampant; causing complete havoc and trolling, terrifying and torturing the cast as she goes.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: Maiko's desires to be queen of Honnouji entail this. She doesn't want to change the system, merely instate herself as queen and rule from the top with an elite guard of uniform-empowered students, ending the Naturals Elections so that no-one else has the chance to take her off the throne in turn. After Ryuko is captured by Nudist Beach, she puts this into practice straight away, deploying the Disciplinary Committee as 'peacekeeping' forces to place Honnouji under her thumb.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Soichiro is this, given that he named his second daughter Ryuko ('abandoned child') after Ragyo almost tossed her out. As revealed in Chapter 23, this trait is actually hereditary, as both Ryuko and Satsuki are shown to also suck at giving things creative names, much to Nui's chagrin.
  • A God Am I: The Kiryuin family has a mindset that sees them in divine terms. This is reflected with the color white, which, according to Nui, is "the colour of Heaven and their messengers". Ryuko even refers to the red strands in her hair as a mark of her divinity. Ragyo takes this Up to 11, as her endgame is to reign supreme under mankind and the Life Fibers as their goddess.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In Chapter 13, Satsuki only activates Kamui Fukusei after Ryuko figures out how she disabled Junketsu's Life Fiber regeneration and disarms her during their fight. She even apologizes before she grants it her blood, as from this point on, she starts fighting to kill instead of save.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal!:
    • Ryuko's fighting style when not flat-out overpowering anyone unfortunate enough to face her. Thanks to her Life Fiber biology, she's willing to take what should be crippling damage to figure out an opponent's strategies, their capabilities or just to intimidate them.
    • In Chapter 15, Tsumugu is brought back from having his neck snapped thanks to an infusion of Artificial Life Fibers. He's just as surprised as Aikuro that he's still ticking.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Houka describes Ryuko as this word-for-word. Given Ryuko's complete synchronicity with Junketsu and mastery over her own Life Fibers, it seems she's achieved a level above even other Life Fiber Hybrids.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In Chapter 15, the story cuts away right before Nui starts her Cold-Blooded Torture of Ira.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • Ryuko uses her own disembodied head and dismembered arm as weapons after Satsuki cuts them free during their battle.
    • Nui's whirlwind slaughter through the Naked Nudists involves kicking one of their number into four others.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Mako's first move in her fight with Ryuko is to kick her in the groin so hard it sent her flying through multiple buildings.
    • Nonon's fond of inflicting these in general, either herself or getting Marika to bite between the legs.
  • Group Hug: At the end of Chapter 22, the Kiryuin sisters engage in one, finding peace for the first time in years.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: A random mercenary is bisected by Ryuko at the start of the Natural Selections.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Satsuki and her Life Fiber Hunters do not play ball with Nudist Beach due to disbelief in their abilities, and even Nudist Beach's more moderate members seem to think that Satsuki is as bad as the rest of her family, not helped by the above attitude.
  • Hereditary Homosexuality: Ragyo Kiryuin is a Depraved Bisexual while two of her daughters (Ryuko and Nui) are Psycho Lesbians.
  • Hive Mind: The Life Fibers all communicate with each other via this method, with even Ryuko connected to it, as she's felt their pull and influence since she was born, though the influence waned over the years. After Nui undoes her Mind Stitching, she severs herself from the hive mind so she can find the truth for herself.
  • I Call It "Vera": When Ryuko receives her birthday sword, she and Nui excitedly bounce edgy names for it back and forth. She eventually settles on 'Sorority'.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In the same vein as the original anime, each chapter is named after a song, usually British or American Rock music but with no hard and fast rule.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • Downplayed. The phrase is never used, but Satsuki refuses to go all-out on Ryuko for most of their fight, even pausing the match a couple times and offering to explain herself in the hopes of bringing her sister back around to the person she knew before. To this end, she only targets Junketsu with her most damaging attacks, trying to disrupt their connection.
    • Played far straighter in Satsuki's fight with the mutated Ira. After she undoes a vast amount of the Life Fibers controlling his mind, she puts herself into a situation where she can talk to him face-to-face and reminds him of himself, causing him to effectively surrender so she can finish the job and free him completely.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Ira picks out the flaws in Nui's disguising herself as Satsuki by her lack of injuries from the Naturals Elections, her poor attempts at lock-picking, and her mocking his sexual preferences. Not that Nui cares much, as she only bothered taking her sister's form to screw with him before she starts torturing him.
  • Indy Ploy: Satsuki admits to Nonon in Chapter 17 that her plan throughout the last few chapters was mostly just her making things up as she went along.
  • Interspecies Romance: Ryuko is a Half-Human Hybrid and she's in a romantic relationship with Mako, a human.
  • In the Back: Nui introduces herself into the story by stabbing Houka through the back and out the other side. Thankfully, it was actually a trap manikin set up by Maiko.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Houka thanks Ira for his service to Honnouji before he goes off on an assumed suicide mission to try and stop Ryuko from destroying the slums.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Ryuko takes particular issue with Satsuki's treatment of Kamui as little more than mindless weapons, including referring to Senketsu only as 'it'.
  • It's Personal: To say that Ryuko has an issue with Satsuki abandoning the family and rising up against the Life Fibers is an understatement. It's so much this that she changes the final battle of the Naturals Election so that she can deal with Satsuki on her own and even brandishes Sorority, the sword Satsuki gave her, just so she can use it to kill her.

    K-Z 
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Nui accidently pulls one of these on Satsuki during the invasion of Osaka. Seeing four Nui copies with minor differences, Satsuki assumes that Nui is playing a Shell Game with her copies, and that the real Nui is taking a direct path to sneak into the Nudist Headquarters under a disguise. As it turns out, Nui is actually amongst the copies, as her real objective is to break Satsuki's will by forcing her to fight the mutated Ira, who Nui has sewn Life Fibers upon and driven mad.
  • Knockback Slide: Ryuko sends Satsuki sliding back with a heavy hit during their fight, giving her enough space to synchronize with Junketsu.
  • Knockout Punch:
    • Ira delivers one of these to the Biology Club President when he protests the dismantling of his experiments.
    • Ira himself suffers one at the hands of Nui when she tires of hearing him talk after she's beaten him in the Safe Zone.
  • The Lady's Favor: Gender-flipped and Played for Laughs. After Satsuki's emotional confrontation with her father Soichiro, Ira loans her a handkerchief. Nonon immediately makes fun of him, invoking this trope.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: During the Naturals Elections, Ira and Nonon give up a day of hunting Club Presidents to save a group of girls kidnapped and experimented on by the Biology Club, handing them over to the Safe Zone. As it turns out, Mako was also looking for said girls, so not only does she do everything in her power not to go out and fight them there and then (against Ryuko's orders), she pays them back extra by allowing Nonon to receive treatment in the Safe Zone after their battle in the Sudden Death Runoffs, pouring honey in Ryuko's ear so she'll go along with the act of mercy.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Averted. While the Winner's Final of the Sudden Death Runoff should have been a fight between Satsuki and Ira, Ryuko rightfully assumed that they wouldn't battle each other at full strength (if at all), and so skips straight to the Grand Final, throwing Ira out of the arena and battling Satsuki herself.
  • Literal Disarming: Nui relieves a Nudist of his arm and knife when he comes at her from behind during her fight against the Naked Nudists.
  • Little Sister Instinct: Both Ryuko and Nui have this for Satsuki.
    • Ryuko towards Satsuki growing up. She once beat up someone when they made fun of her older sister's eyebrows.
    • Nui, both in the past and present, is very protective of Ryuko. Upon hearing about the above incident, her first instinct was to rip hairs from the boys Ryuko and Satsuki had brawled with and set about making voodoo dolls. In the present, there are no measures she will not take to rescue Ryuko from Nudist capture.
  • Logical Weakness: As in Space Patrol Luluco, it's noted that Life Fibers are made out of thread. As a result, they must be flammable in some capacity. Doctor Matoi even builds a gun to take advantage of this fact.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Ragyo tends to try to get rid of undesirables via this method. Isshin muses that she either has a rather limited playbook when it comes to removing enemies from the board, or her ego and control of the planet simply causes her to not bother thinking of any other ways in getting rid of people.
  • Man on Fire:
    • The rift between Satsuki's Life Fiber Hunters and Nudist Beach began after Nonon accidently set Doctor Matoi on fire while making fun of a Nudist Fiber Burner. Given the group's Sins of the Father attitude towards Satsuki and her disbelief in the group's skills, this was the last straw for any amicable relations.
    • Kaneo Takarada sets a Two-Star student's uniform on fire using a Nudist Fiber Burner during the battle for Osaka, the student immediately hitting the deck to try and snuff the flames.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Ryuko and Mako respectively in their relationship, with Ryuko being aggressive and grumpy while Mako is kindhearted and loving.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Ryuko closes out her fight with Satsuki by whipping her around by the ankles for a good ten seconds, more as a victory lap than anything else.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Averted. The deaths of thousands of No-Stars and their families is treated with anger and shock by all but the person responsible.
  • Mook Horror Show: Nui tears through Nudists like paperchains, laughing all the way at their attempts to defeat her. Even getting shot with the Anti-Life Fiber Bullet does nothing to slow her down at all.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Discussed In-Universe regarding Ryuko's burning of Honnouji slums. Ira and Houka are convinced she's gone too far, Uzu expresses distaste but can see a practical reason as to why she did it, and Mako thinks she can still come back from the brink.
  • More Dakka: The worldview of the Shooting Club, complete with their Club President, who sports a massive triple-barreled Gatling Gun in place of her right arm.
  • Motif: If the word 'human' is mentioned in the story, expect it to be paired with 'only' or 'merely', reflecting the gulf in power between those without Life Fiber enhancements and those with. Used liberally in regards to Satsuki, who is the only pure-blooded human in the Kiryuin family.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Satsuki and the Life Fiber Hunters have to go through an entire horde of One and Two-Star students as they ascend the mountain of Honnouji at the end of the Naturals Elections.
  • Murder, Arson, and Jaywalking: Maiko desires revenge on Nui due to Nui enslaving her underlings, undermining her authority and constantly being smug over the first two points.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Discussed. Dr. Matoi ponders if the reason that all three Human-Life Fiber hybrids are awful people is because of the Life Fibers in their systems, or because of the negative influence of Ragyo Kiryuin.
  • Neck Snap: In Chapter 14, Nui kills Tsumugu by twisting his head all the way back until his neck breaks. He gets better.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
    • Of the Life Fiber Hunters, Ira is the nice, Nonon is the mean, and Satsuki is the in-between. Ira tends to act like an honorable knight with a strong devotion to justice as well as Satsuki. Nonon is by far the most sarcastic and blunt of the three and gives no quarter when dishing out insults even at her own teammates (usually always with good reason). Satsuki, while devoted to her mission of saving the world from the Life Fibers and is polite with her fellow teammates, is also incredibly stoic with a strong case of Good Is Not Nice.
    • After Nui undoes Ryuko's Mind Stitching, the Kiryuin sisters become this, with Satsuki as the nice, Nui as the mean, and Ryuko as the in-between. Satsuki makes her goals to stop Ragyo and the Primordial Life Fiber from ruining anymore lives clear and acknowledges her failings, Nui still advocates for them and remains ignorant of their shortcomings while admonishing everyone else's, and Ryuko acts as a mediator between the two and is trying to find a middle ground, even while going about it in her typical manner.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: At the end of their fight, Ryuko smashes Satsuki out of the air and into the cage wall, coming out of synchronization and laying a barrage of left-right punches that keep bouncing Satsuki off of the wall, which she follows up by tearing the clothes off Satsuki's back, grabbing her by the ankles and thrashing her about until she loses consciousness.
  • No-Sell: Most attacks thrown at Ryuko and Nui might as well not have bothered, but special mention goes to the Anti-Life Fiber bullet, which Nui catches in her teeth and proceeds to mock Tsumugu over. Bare in mind that this was something that was supposed to kill her outright, yet it fails miserably.
  • No Such Thing as H.R.: Oh they do exist, as Nui confirms, but given how much death and murder happens at Honnouji and REVOCS, it's pretty clear that they absolutely suck at their job to the point where you have to wonder why they even bother having a Human Resources department in the first place.
  • Not in My Contract: Inverted. Kaneo Takarada, who famously keeps the people of Osaka at his beck and call by paying them fat stacks of cash, refuses to let the men under his direct command perform a Heroic Sacrifice for him, informing them that they aren't paid enough to do that.
  • Odd Name Out: As revealed in Chapter 13, the makeshift Kamui that Satsuki cobbles together using Dr. Matoi's prototype designs is named Kamui Fukusei (Replica), ditching the -ketsu moniker used by the rest of the outfits.
  • Official Couple: Ryuko and Mako's relationship is at the heart of Ryuko's half of the story.
  • Off with His Head!: Satsuki beheads Ryuko the same way she did to Ragyo in the anime. Much like with Ragyo, this doesn't take.
  • Oh, My Gods!: How Ryuko, Nui and Junketsu go about things, given that they worship the Primordial Life Fiber, with Ryuko and Junketsu often saying "Great Mother".
  • One-Man Army: Many examples, but Ryuko and Nui certainly take the crown on this. Anytime they're pitted against massive waves of enemies (such as Ryuko against the other students in the Naturals Election and Nui against Nudist Beach), expect a one-sided slaughter that does not go the army's way.
  • Open Secret: Pretty much everyone is aware that Ryuko and Mako are a couple to the point that it's a favored topic of Honnouji gossip rags, but it's not brought up in their presence because doing so guarantees that Ryuko will beat seven hells out of them at best or horrifically kill them at worst.
  • Opposites Attract: Ryuko is a foul-mouthed, crude, moody, bloodthirsty tyrant, while Mako is a loving, cheerful, passive girl. Needless to say, they are as opposite as you can get, but they're clearly shown to love each other all the same.
  • Patchwork Fic: While the majority of the story is rooted in Kill La Kill canon proper, Doctor Matoi's thoughts in Chapter 16 note that Life Fibers will burn when exposed to a high enough temperature. Burning Life Fibers to death is how the Life Fiber planet in Space Patrol Luluco was defeated.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Ryuko is a vicious Blood Knight who communicates in abrasive grunts and is suffering from the heartbreak of being betrayed by a close family member. Mako is a cheerful Nice Girl doing her best to survive in a world she is not equipped to deal with. Mako helps kindle the sparks of Ryuko's humanity, and Ryuko helps Mako become strong enough to protect the people she cares about.
  • Positive Friend Influence: Satsuki hoped that Gamagoori, Sanageyama, and Inumuta would be able to help ease Ryuko into becoming her own person and stave off her family's and the Life Fiber's influence. Needless to say, that plan failed miserably.
  • Present Tense Narrative: While the story is mostly written in the past tense, Chapter 16, 'I'm Your Villain', is written in the present tense. It's used to show that Soichiro is being bombarded with a greatest hits of his greatest failures, the past feeling like the present as he comes into contact with Satsuki and Ryuko for the first time in thirteen years. Chapter 22 is written the same way, as Ryuko's Mind Stitching comes undone and her life flashes before her eyes.
  • Punch a Wall: Done a couple of times. Once in Chapter 11 by Satsuki in a flashback as she reflects on her failures regarding her sisters and needs a distraction, and once in Chapter 19 by Nonon as a way to de-stress after hearing about Satsuki's history of abuse.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Satsuki informs Nui of Ryuko's attachment to Mako.
    Satsuki: Careful. She's very attached to Mako.
    Nui: Is. That. So?
  • Punctuated Pounding: Ryuko ends her fight with Satsuki by rocking her back and forth with heavy-handed punches, each one puntuated with a cry of "Bitch!"
  • Pushed at the Monster: Both the Naked Nudists and the Two/Half Uniform wearing students are thrown at Nui to buy enough time for Satsuki and Nudist Beach to escape Honnouji with Ryuko in tow.
  • Pyromaniac: The Kiryuins love burning things to the ground. Ryuko set fire to Honnouji's slums twice, and Ragyo not only destroyed the hospital where she was born, she also burns down rival companies that offend her sensibilities.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Ryuko gets her long awaited fight against Satsuki and beats her handily, noting how cathartic it is to defeat her treacherous sister. She's promptly turned on by Houka in her moment of weakness, captured by Nudist Beach, shipped halfway across the country and has Junketsu stripped from her body.
  • Rags to Riches: The Mankanshoku family, due to Mako's ascension to the student council. As in canon, the wealth has gone straight to their heads.
  • Recap Episode: Done In-Universe. Mako rapidly sums up the events of Chapters 10 to 14 for the sake of Nonon, who'd been out of commission for the duration of those chapters thanks to her loss to Mako during the Naturals Election.
  • Redshirt Army: In order to slow Nui down, Houka, Maiko and Shiro equip a pack of students (who happen to be after their heads at the time), with specialized uniforms and tell them that they can be promoted if they can stand up to her. It ends about as well as battles against Nui usually go.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ryuko and Junketsu respectively. While both share an equal amount of blood-lust and sadism, Ryuko is far more hot-headed, reckless, and impulsive while Junketsu is more logical, calm, and inquisitive.
  • Religion of Evil: Ragyo runs one dedicated to the Life Fibers. As seen in flashbacks, Ryuko first donning Junketsu was practically a religious sacrifice to an evil god. Soichiro's narration even calls Ragyo the head priestess of her clan.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Pretty much the entire Kiryuin family is trying to pull this one on Satsuki for her 'crime' of leaving the family and working against the Life Fibers. Soichiro too, sensed that he was about to fall victim to this, cutting his ties early so he could chose the manner of his 'death'.
  • The Rich Have White Stuff: The Kiryuins in general, with Ryuko's estate decorated in white from top to bottom and everything she wears being white in some way or form. Ragyo in particular is so dedicated to this trope that she purchased, then destroyed Apple Inc. for their overuse of the color.
  • Roofhopping: The horde of Nui copies that descend upon Honnouji travel like this, swarming the rooftops to clear the city in seconds.
  • Say My Name: It's a Kill La Kill fic after all. But in particular, the climax of Satsuki and Ryuko's fight:
    Ryuko: I will kill you here and now, Satsuki Kiryuin!
    Satsuki: I see. Then I shall bury the sister that is lost to me. Prepare yourself, Ryuko Kiryuin!
  • School Swimsuit: As shown in Chapter 13, Kamui Fukusei resembles a horrifying version of this trope.
  • Secret Relationship: While Ryuko and Mako's relationship is treated as an Open Secret by those at Honnouji Academy, Chapter 19 reveals that Ryuko has kept it hidden from Ragyo and she's extremely hesitant to let her mother find out about it. It's also shown that even Nui was unaware of their relationship until Chapter 21 where Satsuki points it out.
  • Sex for Solace: Ryuko and Nui mutually engage in this after Satsuki's staged funeral.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: One of the flashbacks shows Ryuko very distracted by Mako's sodden appearance when the latter ends up on her doorstep having walked through a storm.
  • Shameful Strip:
    • Happens between Chapters 16 and 17 when Nudist Beach forcibly removes Junketsu from Ryuko. She's less shamed by her nakedness as she is the indignity of being placed in such a situation by mere humans and having her friend endangered.
    • Averted by Satsuki, who has no issue with stripping down and changing in front of an armed guard when she's taken into Nudist custody in Chapter 15.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The Mankanshoku family only appear as background elements to Mako's characterization, and even then there's very little levity to be had; see Broken Pedestal.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the same vein as her Fight Club Uniform in canon, Mako's Three-Star Platinum Regalia is a Jojos Bizarre Adventure reference, taking its imagery and powers from Star Platinum.
    • Ira's power armor and weapons are based on those used by the Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000.
    • Houka's Spymaster Regalia takes a lot of inspiration from the Pandora Devil Arm from Devil May Cry 4, particularly its Argument form.
    • Nonon's tools of the trade (Yo-yo, shoulder mounted laser cannon, Bo Staff) and general dress sense are taken from the way the Black Sisters from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fight in their Parallel Works short "Kittan Zero".
    • Maiko's Empress Regalia and fighting moveset is taken from the Dissidia Final Fantasy version of The Emperor from Final Fantasy II, complete with energy traps as well as a Limit Break in the form of a Colony Drop.
    • Honnouji Academy has a Tankery Club.
    • This exchange in Chapter 7 being a reference to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
      Mako: Are they attacking?
      One-Star Student: No ma'am, just approaching!
      Mako: Menacingly?
    • Tsumugu's Rousing Speech to the members of Nudist Beach as they prepare to fight Nui and capture Ryuko is one to Hellsing and Alexander Anderson's speech to Iscariot during their Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • Artificial Life Fibers are described in a similar manner to Armstrong's nanomachines from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Lampshaded by Nui, who finds the idea of such things distasteful and claims them to be plagiarism.
    • Chapter 3 features Aikuro hypnotizing a One-Star student with the light coming off his nipples, which is played out like a Jedi mind trick from Star Wars.
      Aikuro: You don't need to see our identification.
      One-Star: I don't need to see your identification.
    • Mako's recap speech to Nonon includes a quick reference to Watch Men
      Mako: Then Inumuta was like 'I called in Nudist Beach thirty-five minutes ago'
    • When Shiro Iori takes to the battlefield in Chapter 21, he uses the mechanical arms of his Tailor's Regalia to extract and crush Banshi out of Goku Uniforms in a way that is pretty much Zandatsu, complete with the "bullseye" one-liner.
    • The Karate Club President that Aikuro fights in Chapter 21 is blatantly styled after Ryu from Street Fighter, complete with an attempted Hadoken.
    • After Junketsu is repaired, he comes together with a cry of "RESURRECTION!" like Gill from Street Fighter III
  • Showdown at High Noon: Ira vs the Shooting Club President ends in a quick-draw, signaled by a body falling from a balcony.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Used frequently to describe broken bones and other injuries.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Satsuki vs Uzu ends with one of these. Satsuki deals him a blow across the chest, Uzu splits her bottom lip and collapses to the ground. It's considered a fair exchange.
  • Sleep Cute:
    • Ryuko and Mako tend to cuddle up in a very darling way when they sleep together. We also see them do this in a flashback when Ryuko was comforting Mako after she ran away from her family.
    • As shown in one of Soichiro's flashbacks, Satsuki, Ryuko and Nui used to be very comfortable sleeping in a pile of blankets together, the elder sisters doing their best to keep Nui warm.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Ryuko attempts this in a misguided effort to get closer to Mako. While she's encouraged to go along with it by her family, Mako can't escape the idea that something is fundamentally wrong about the situation, and ends up pushing Ryuko away. The rejection was the catalyst not only for the second burning of the Honnouji slums, but also Mako getting in on The Masquerade of the Life Fibers and wanting to help Ryuko out of her own misery.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: As the Deadpan Snarkers for Honnouji and the Life Fiber Hunters respectively, Houka and Nonon physically cannot have a conversation with one another without trading barbs back and forth.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • It's revealed in Chapter 14 that Doctor Matoi managed to evade Nui's assassination attempt, much to her annoyance when she's informed of this.
    • Suzuki, the Uniform Thief from the first episode. In canon, he was stripped by Ira and his corpse hung outside Honnouji Academy as an example. Here, Ira intervenes before Maiko can bestow a similar fate.
  • Spent Shells Shower: The Shooting Club believe in More Dakka, and as such absolutely drown the apartment complex and attached roads they're fighting Ira at in mountains of spent casings.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: While her options at the time were limited, Satsuki's decision to stay in the fight at Honnouji and lead Nui's copies through the sewers despite having open wounds leads to said wounds becoming infected.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The story switches POV from character-to-character in each chapter. For example, Chapter 5 starts with Satsuki's perspective, then it shifts to Nonon's, then Maiko's, and finally Ryuko's.
  • Tanks for Nothing: The Tankery Club are put out of commission in a second by Ryuko, much to her own disappointment.
  • Team Pet: Marika, a robotic monkey Nonon built to replace her former pet, serves as this for Satsuki's Life Fiber Hunters.
  • Tears of Blood: Shed by Nui's first on-screen victim, when she removes the needle that was blocking the pain he should have been feeling. She quickly puts him out of his misery, having concluded their 'business meeting'.
  • Take That!: A quick shot taken at Apple. Nui's thoughts on her iPhone 6 are that it looks exactly the same as the previous model, and that she can't see what all the fuss is about.
  • Teenage Wasteland: Every position of authority in Honnouji is fought over by teenagers for the right to rule over other teenagers and their families. The only adult member of staff mentioned is Aikuro, and he's an undercover spy for Nudist Beach posing as a teacher.
  • Through His Stomach: Gender-flipped; one of the ways Mako tries to open up a friendship with Ryuko is by introducing her to Mankanshoku-style croquettes. She also pulls this on Satsuki while they're in Nudist Beach's custody, as a way for her to get closer to her girlfriend's sister.
  • Time Abyss: By Junketsu's reckoning, the Life Fibers are far older than the entire human race, and will continue on far after the end of humanity, to the heat death of the universe.
  • Tournament Arc: The Sudden Death Runoffs of the Naturals Elections is an eight-man bracket, with the top four finalists forming the student council. Ryuko uses the format to throw Satsuki against her strongest fighters (Uzu and Mako) and prevents any fights with a conflict of interest. The Winner's Final should have been Ira vs Satsuki, but at that point Ryuko skips to Grand Finals and enters the fray herself, disposing of Ira and dropping a cage around her and Satsuki.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Generally played straight, but subverted in Satsuki and Ryuko's fight. Satsuki takes advantage of Ryuko's state of ecstasy during her Life Fiber Synchronization with Junketsu to wound the latter, removing his left eye and putting the pair on the backfoot. Later in the same fight, Ryuko is so shocked at the idea of a rogue Kamui existing that she allows Satsuki to complete her Life Fiber Override without a similar penalty.
  • True Companions:
    • The Life Fiber Hunters are a tightly knit group. Ira shows strong devotion to his fellow teammates (especially Satsuki), and while Nonon may give Ira and Satsuki a lot of snark and back sass, she deeply cares for them and a lot of her crude remarks are usually well intentioned. Satsuki also looks out for her team and will fight for them come Hell or high water, doing everything in her power to save Ira from what Nui turned him into.
    • Besides Ryuko and Mako's loving relationship, the REVOCS scion is also true companions with Junketsu, having bonded with him since she was four. Ryuko offers to help Ira on the grounds that she'll get to see Junketsu, while Junketsu did everything he could to save Ryuko from Ragyo's Mind Stitching, despite how that turned out, ultimately going against the will of his entire race just to save the only person he truly cares for.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: In Chapter 17, Satsuki awakens in the Nudist Beach underground base with her clothes exchanged for a hospital gown. Of course, as she'd only been wearing a military jacket and nothing else beforehand, she actually ends up less exposed for being imprisoned.
  • Undying Loyalty: Takarada's men are shown to be fiercely loyal to him. Even when he points out that they aren't paid enough to fight and die for him, they all stay by his side and keep fighting to protect their city.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Downplayed. Ryuko and Mako are a couple, but while Ryuko is The Caligula, Mako is at worst an Anti-Villain, with her only villainous quality being that she serves Ryuko.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Because of Ragyo's manipulations of her daughter, Ryuko's view on her family is a lot more saccharine than it truly is. From her perspective, they were a loving family that Satsuki betrayed. When Satsuki's POV is shown, it's shown that Ragyo was as abusive as she was in canon and subjected Ryuko to Mind Manipulation. When Ryuko briefly sees Satsuki's view of the night before she left, where her sister stated she was proud of her (something she claims she's never once said to her ever), she's left utterly baffled.
  • Use Your Head: Due to having significantly tougher skulls than regular people, Ryuko and Nui are prone to taking advantage of this to throw an opponent off guard. Ira also favors the old Glasgow Kiss from time to time.
  • Villain Episode: Chapter 14 and 15 feature Nui's POV for the most part, and are focused on her running amok in Honnouji and everyone else having to react to her sudden presence.
  • Villainous Incest: Ragyo had the sisters, Nui and herself sleep with one another in differing configurations on a regular basis, under the guise of both a religious ceremony and a ritual to increase Satsuki's affinity to the Life Fibers. Particularly, Satsuki is called out for not wanting to engage in this practice, a mindset Ragyo puts down to a lack of Life Fibers in her system.
  • Violence Is Disturbing: While one-on-one fights between characters are shown in the usual fantastic and exciting way as in the show, Ryuko's one-woman massacres against the No-Stars are delivered in the utmost seriousness and with the same reactions that any such mass murders against a civilian population would be.
  • Watching Troy Burn: Used twice with both of Ryuko's burnings of the Honnouji slums. The first time with Ira, Uzu and Houka, and the second with Mako.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 25, where not only do we learn the full scope of Ragyo's plan to betray the Life Fibers to make herself the goddess of Earth, humanity, and the Life Fibers, but Isshin reveals himself as Soichiro Kiryuin.
  • Wham Line: Averted and played straight in Chapter 19.
    • Averted with Junketsu calling Isshin Matoi by his true identity, Soichiro Kiryuin. The whole thing is treated like it's not a big deal. Isshin even questions if Junketsu knowing who he truly was is supposed to be some grand revelation. Played straight when Junketsu reveals the same information to Ryuko, who is suitably shocked at the revelation.
    • Played straight when Junketsu realizes and reveals that the reason behind what Ryuko became is a result of Mind Stitching.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Inverted in Ryuko's mind. From her perspective, humans are little more than insects and she couldn't care less how many she kills, be they innocent or otherwise. Inumuta even compares her actions to a human child burning ants under a magnifying glass. Meanwhile, anything that happens to the Life Fibers or those connected to them like her family is seen as an inexcusable offense to her. When she saw that Satsuki created a false Kamui, she was so disgusted with what she did to the Life Fibers that she actually vomited. She even goes as far as to compare it to if she decided to make a dress out of stillborn babies. Even after her Mind Stitching is undone, she admits to Junketsu that she still isn't wholly convinced that they aren't either cattle or bastards.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Satsuki does not take kindly to the knowledge that Senketsu's creation was only possible thanks to Doctor Matoi stealing bodily substances from Ryuko while she was in the grasp of one of her blackouts, nailing the doctor with a gut punch and informing him that under no circumstances is it to happen again.
    • Satsuki herself is on the receiving end of one of these from Ryuko in Chapter 23, concerning the disrespectful and dehumanizing way she's been treating Senketsu up until that point.
    • Nonon and Ryuko both lay into Soichiro after learning how he set up a young Satsuki to potentially assassinate her entire family, as well as burdening her with the task of saving the world.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • While most chapters do incorporate flashbacks, they're usually at the beginning and only encompass a small part of the chapter. Chapter 16, however, is primarily a flashback chapter set from the perspective of Soichiro Kiryuin/Isshin Matoi.
    • Chapter 22 is a large flashback chapter going through Ryuko's entire life since the memories that were locked away as a result of Ragyo's Mind Stitching are being restored.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: It's implied that increased exposure to Life Fibers is why the populous of Honnouji are so willing to go out and fight tooth and nail (and do worse things to their fellow man) in the Naturals Elections despite the high death toll.
  • The Worf Barrage: Chapter 14 has Aikuro shoot Nui with an Anti Life Fiber bullet specifically designed to kill her. She catches it with her teeth, rendering it useless.
  • Wretched Hive: Honnouji from top to bottom. All forms of crime, especially wanton murder, are heavily prevalent, the entire place is ruled by The Caligula, and Life Fiber experiments that result in all kinds of Body Horror happen in the background. As Ira puts it, what was once meant as a shelter from the madness consuming the world is now a den of Life Fibers consuming everyone within and driving them mad.
  • You Are Too Late: Houka alerted Ira and Uzu at the first possible opportunity, and it still wasn't enough to stop Ryuko from committing mass arson.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Satsuki notes that Ira must be concerned for her safety before her fight with Ryuko because he refers to her only by her name without honorifics, a habit she's been trying to encourage but he's still hung up on.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: While it's not said to the individual in question, Soichiro reflects that it's such a shame that, for all the powers and abilities that Nui has, all Ragyo wants from her is a murderer for hire.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The impetus for Satsuki's exile. After Honnouji's completion, Satsuki became undeniably aware that Ragyo had used her for her abilities to her fullest, and would soon expose her as a traitor to the Kiryuin family, regardless of any actual evidence. She decided to flee before her mother could summon her home.
  • You Have to Burn the Web: Ira uses his Power Fist's lightning function to burn down a spider-web trap that Maiko tries to use to contain him in Honnouji Academy.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: In a flashback, Satsuki is shown to be fascinated at the concept of a justified parental argument between Ira and his mother, on the grounds that, should she have ever raised her voice to Ragyo, she would have earned the back of her hand at best and had it forced between her thighs at worst, such is Ragyo's disdain for being talked back to. The only circumstance in which she can imagine being able to truly shout Ragyo down is one where her mother is already defeated as a last act of gloating.
  • Zerg Rush: One-Star students tend to attack like this. Most notably, the sheer horde that throws itself at the Life Fiber Hunters as they seek to enter the Sudden Death Runoffs.


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