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Ryūko Matoi

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Ryūko Matoi
纏 流子 / まとい りゅうこ
Matoi Ryūko
Ryūko Matoi close-up
• Characteristics•
Race Life Fibers Infused Human
Gender ♀ Female
Age 17
Hair Black w/ red highlight
Eyes Blue
• Professional information•
Affiliation Honnōji Academy
Occupation High school student
Rank No-Star
Uniform Kamui Senketsu (former, deceased)
Kamui Junketsu (formerly, while brainwashed by Ragyō)
Weapon Scissor Blades (former)
• Personal information•
Status Alive
Family Satsuki Kiryūin (elder sister)
Ragyō Kiryūin (mother, deceased)
Sōichirō Kiryūin (father, deceased)
Friends Mako Mankanshoku
Senketsu (deceased)
Allies Senketsu (deceased)
Mankanshoku Family
Aikurō Mikisugi
Tsumugu Kinagase
Satsuki Kiryūin
Student Council
Enemies Nui Harime (deceased)
Ragyō Kiryūin (deceased)
• First appearance•
Anime Episode 1
Manga Chapter 1
• Voice actors•
Japanese Ami Koshimizu
Image Gallery
Template
This is a keepsake from my father. And this Scissor Blade was left behind by the person who killed him. Now you're going to tell me who this Scissor Blade belongs to, Satsuki Kiryūin!

Ryūko Matoi (纏 流子 Matoi Ryūko?) is the daughter of Isshin Matoi and the main protagonist of Kill la Kill. She transferred to Honnōji Academy searching for the twin of her red Scissor Blade and the person who used it to murder her father.

It is later revealed that she was who supposedly died after a failed experiment to fuse her with Life Fibers and is the younger daughter of Ragyō Kiryūin and sister of Satsuki Kiryūin. [1]

Appearance

Ryūko is a seventeen year-old girl of medium height with mid-length black hair and a single left-swept red highlight on her bangs. Her blue eyes have peculiar gear-shaped pupils with eight grooves around the edges. Her outfit coming into the series is a simple white shirt with a red ribbon tie, a black miniskirt, white sneakers, and a black & white jacket with rolled up sleeves.

Her clothes are later replaced by Senketsu, a living navy blue sailor uniform. Her shirt (Senketsu's upper jaw) is a crop top with mid-length sleeves that bares her midriff. Her sailor-style collar with red stripes is tied by a multicolored scarf that also serves as Senketsu's left "eye." Senketsu's right eye is covered by a black "eyepatch" with an X-shaped scratch over it (perhaps emulating her father's right eyepatch). Her skirt (Senketsu's lower jaw) is held up by suspenders attached to a belt. Aikurō Mikisugi later provides her with a Seki Tekkō (赤手甲?, lit. "Red Gauntlet"), a red, finger less, left-handed glove with a built-in syringe designed for Ryūko to conveniently draw blood and feed it to Senketsu.

Ryūko's appearance changes further when using Life Fiber Synchronize with Senketsu. Her hair becomes even more feathery and is accented with vibrant red undertones and horn-like clips. Senketsu himself also undergoes a significant change in appearance after Synchronization; his "eyes" extend into wing-shaped crests jutting out from Ryūko's shoulders and his upper and lower parts transform into a black, skimpy suit of armor with red stripes. The top section of the armor covers Ryūko's neck, lower-jaw, arms, and upper breasts, and possesses a red, triangular ventilation grill centered on Ryūko's upper back. The top armor piece is connected to her skirt by three red strings (two in front, one in back), leaving everything between the underside of her breasts and her waist exposed. Her legs are also covered with thigh-height, high-heeled boots.

When Ryūko wears Senketsu Kisaragi, Senketsu's eyepatch is broken, revealing his hidden eye, his color scheme changes to orange and red, the head piece becomes more elaborate like a rabbit's ears, yellow energy bands form a skirt that looks like jaws around Ryūko's waist and her hair becomes blond.

Personality

SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow.

Ryūko has a relatively simple personality: fierce and stubborn. She fears little, which is demonstrated when she directly and disrespectfully addresses Satsuki Kiryūin, demanding that her questions be answered, and when she fights Takaharu Fukuroda even though she is clearly overpowered. Later on she is shown to be quite embarrassed when she is forced to fight in Senketsu's very revealing alternate form, though she overcomes her embarrassment in Episode 3 showing that while she is not afraid of fighting to her death, she is somewhat self-conscious.

She shows fierce determination in finding her father's killer. Her stubbornness was taken up to ridiculous levels when she managed to free herself from Ragyō's mind control by merely punching herself. This same episode, however, has one of few demonstrations of shock on her part, when Ragyō defeats Satsuki, rips out Ryūko's heart and reveals to be her mother.

When Ryūko is brainwashed after being forced to put on Junketsu by Ragyō, her personality changes to be wild and sadistic, destroying everything around her without reason. After she is freed she goes back to her usual personality, but is somewhat calmer and more mature. She also makes peace with Satsuki and is able to fight with her as a comrade, but is still having trouble recognizing her as her sister. Although, after Satsuki catches her when she is falling back to earth and welcomes her home warmly, Ryūko replies by calling her "sis."

Spoilers end here.

History

Ryūko's mother is initially presumed to have died after she was born and her relationship with her father, Isshin Matoi, was strained. Ryūko spent her early childhood living in the dorms of Ox Elementary School as her father focused solely on his studies. Without parental guidance Ryūko became a juvenile delinquent, constantly getting into fights and even going so far as to join a gang. Six months before enrolling at Honnōji Academy she received a message from her father and returned to her home only to find him bleeding to death with a red Scissor Blade plunged into his chest. Isshin told her up front that if she wanted to live a peaceful life, that she should get up and walk away, but if she wanted to 'fight' in his place she should take the blade, for as long as she had it she would surely be able to find his killer. Before Isshin could provide Ryūko with further information she caught sight of a shadowy female figure out of the corner of her eye wielding the other half of the Scissor Blade. Ryūko dashed outside the house but was unable to apprehend the fleeing woman. Before she could get back in an explosive device of some kind detonated and lit the house ablaze. Ryuko watched in horror, screaming for her father, but to no avail. Vowing revenge Ryūko became a wandering vagrant looking for clues behind the killer's identity and whereabouts.

Synopsis

SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow.

Episode 1

Ryuko arrives at the academy
Ryūko arrives at Honnōji Academy.
Ryūko's search for her father's killer brings her to Honnō City, where she enrolls in its academy as a transfer student. On her way to the school she encounters Mako Mankanshoku, who she ends up sitting next to in class. Mako informs Ryūko of the Student Council that rules the academy under its president, Satsuki Kiryūin. She immediately confronts Satsuki, showing her the red Scissor Blade used to kill her father, and is convinced by Satsuki's surprised reaction that she knows something about it. Ryūko is intercepted by council member Takaharu Fukuroda, who overwhelms her with the power of his Two-Star Goku Uniform.

Beaten and faced with the confiscation of her Scissor Blade, Ryūko flees to her old home near the city. As she laments her weakness, Ryūko is dropped down a trapdoor by her homeroom teacher Aikurō Mikisugi, who had followed her against her knowledge. She lands in a large basement atop a massive pile of clothes, the blood from her reopened wound seeping into it and awakening a Kamui—a living sailor uniform—created by her father. The Kamui springs to life and forcefully puts itself on her, craving more of her blood. Ryūko discovers that the uniform possesses immense power, and names it Senketsu.

Ryuko in Suit
Ryūko, wearing Senketsu, challenges Satsuki.
Imbued with Senketsu's power, Ryūko returns to Honnōji Academy and battles Takaharu again in a boxing match, this time overcoming his Goku Uniform powers with Senketsu's indestructible armored form, and destroying his uniform with her Scissor Blade. She reveals to Satsuki that both her outfit and weapon are keepsakes from her father, and once more demands Satsuki to reveal what she knows. However, she is fatigued from her battle and retreats.

Episode 2

Ryūko retreated and collapsed when she stepped off the tram heading down the tall mountain. When she awoke, she found herself in the house of the Mankanshoku family and reluctantly had dinner with them that consisted of questionable food. Ryūko reminisced how she first met the talking Kamui uniform and partnered with it after naming it Senketsu as in “Fresh Blood”.

Ryūko came to school along with Mako, and is invited to stay with the Mankanshoku family. They both found themselves under fire by the tennis club and its newly two-star Goku Uniformed captain, Omiko. Ryūko tried to fight back but found herself in trouble when she failed to awaken Senketsu. She escapes by falling into the sewers and by clinging onto her guitar case as she drifted along the current.

Ryūko awoke to find herself in the presence of her homeroom teacher, whom does not seem to be what he appeared. He extracted some of her blood with a needle, despite her excessive refusal, and showed her that Senketsu needed to be in contact with her blood to be fully utilized. Ryūko wanted answers from him but she first had to fight Omiko in a rematch and again rescue Mako.

After Ryūko saved Mako, who was being barraged by countless tennis balls, Ryūko somehow found herself fighting against Omiko in a tennis match, all due to some twisted logic of Satsuki’s minions, Uzu Sanageyama. She was able to win by using her scissor blade as a tennis racket, and with sheer force she blasted Omiko away, along with stripping Omiko of her Goku Uniform in the process. Afterwards, Ryūko was forced to fight Satsuki, and was nearly dominated by her skill with the blade. Ryūko was alerted by Senketsu that she was about to pass out due to blood loss, so she escapes along with Mako in an improvised cover of steam.

Episode 3

While meeting with Mako, she discovered a note that was pinned to Mako’s back, it was from Aikurō and it stated where they can meet. Aikurō told her about a term called Life Fibers, and how Isshin Matoi and the Kiryūin clan were the only two that knew of its full capability. She learned that Aikurō used to work as an assistant for Isshin and had infiltrated Honnōji Academy to learn more. She also learned that the Kamui’s awakened form was apparently the idea of Isshin, her father.

After spending another night at the Mankanshoku’s house, Ryūko went to school with Mako and found Satsuki waiting for her. Ryūko asked Mako to step aside for safety and readied herself to fight Satsuki, whom revealed that she had her own Kamui, Junketsu, and had already mastered it. The fight took place; Ryūko was absolutely overwhelmed by Satsuki. To keep Ryūko was nearly losing consciousness, Senketsu reverted back to its dormant state to stop feasting on her blood. Before the victor was decided, Mako intervened and her speech made Ryūko finally understand the true meaning of wearing Senketsu. She finally accepted the revealing form, and now had better synchronization with Senketsu. With strength anew, Ryūko was able to fight Satsuki on near equal ground.

When the fight came to an end, Ryūko declared to Satsuki that she will tear down her ambitions, utterly destroy them, and then will have Satsuki tell her about her involvement with her fathers murder. Satsuki accepted her claim and announced that from then on, Ryūko will be made the target of every club. Only when she defeats every opposing student in the school, will they once again fight one another, and if Ryūko wins that fight, only then will Satsuki reveal her involvement to the death of Isshin Matoi.

Episode 4

Ryūko had to participate in an annual school event called “No-Late Day”; where the students of “Honnōji Academy” had to go through 999 obstacles and get to class in time or risk getting expelled. During the event, she and Mako encountered a girl name Maiko Ogure, whom supposedly was injured during one of the obstacle courses. They decided to take her along out of kindness; however the girl betrayed them near the end and stolen Senketsu. Maiko revealed herself to be the Head the Trap Department, and she wanted Ryūko’s Kamui so she can usurp the control of the school from Satsuki. When Maiko tried to attack them, her mobility was restricted by Senketsu and thus allowed Ryūko to beat her up and reclaimed Senketsu. Afterwards, Ryūko and Mako learned that they were tricked once again by Maiko’s “fake school” trap; they were able to make it into the school in time by crashing into the classroom after commandeering a cable cart.

Episode 5

The episode starts with the arrival of a mysterious man with a red Mohawk, who makes his way to the terrace of one of the school block, and positions himself with what appears to be a rifle, aiming through the window of the adjacent block. He targets Ryūko Matoi, but is interrupted by the members of the gardening club who start a fight him. The scene then shifts, where its shown that Ryūko faces the biology club's members who have taken Mako as an guinea pig for a unknown experiment. After defeating the members of the biology club, Ryūko scolds Mako for being careless, but suddenly Mako is shot with numerous needles, sending Ryūko in a panic. The attacker is Tsumugu Kinagase, who tells Ryūko that Mako is only unconscious and that she will feel energetic when she wakes up. He then proceeds to attack Ryūko, and tells her to strip. Ryūko asks him if he belongs to a "Pervert club", but he tells her that he does not belong to any club and he stops Ryūko from transforming. Before he can finish Ryūko off, he is shot with a pin that pierces his hand, forcing him to retreat but not without warning Ryūko that he will fight her once again. The next day Ryūko and and Tsumugu fight each other, but he overpowers Ryūko, even when she transforms. After a fierce battle Ryūko reverts to normal form due to exhaustion. Tsumugu then tells that Ryūko should hand over the Kamui to him and that Kamui are murderous parasites which kill their user but Ryūko blankly refuses to which he proceeds to kill her, but Senketsu telepathically threatens Tsumugu that if any harm shall befall Ryūko he will kill him, leaving Tsumugu surprised. Nonon Jakuzure arrives with a plan to capture Tsumuge, but Tsumugu uses a smoke bomb to escape taking Ryūko with him. He arrives at Aikurō's house and they talk a bit, while Ryūko thanks Senketsu for saving her tells him that he is her friend making him pleasantly surprised.

Episode 6

The next day Ryūko confronts Aikurō demands to know how he is associated with the Mohawk man who attacked her in the school. At first Aikurō feigns innocence but after she shows him the picture of him and the man drinking he tells her that the person, Tsumugu Kinagase is a member of the Nudist Beach and that he was sent to fight Ryūko to test her abilities, but Ryūko does not believe his statements and leaves angrily. At the Honnōji Academy club research laboratory, a huge shipment of life-fiber arrives which is being used by sewing club president Shirō Iori to mass produce Goku uniforms. Athletics club president Uzu Sanageyama requests Satsuki Kiryūin permission to fight Ryūko to which Satsuki says that he will pay a price for his failure in defeating Ryūko. He assures her that he has confidence in his superior eyesight. The next day Ryūko finds a notice from Uzu telling her that he plans to duel with her. Uzu uses his armor the Blade Regalia and his special ability Higi Tengantsu to momentarily overpower Ryūko and do damage to her but she uses Sunketsu's torn piece of cloth to blind his visor, blocking his vision, giving her time to deal a finishing blow, defeating him. Uzu refuses to accept defeat and asks for a rematch resulting in him being bashed by Ira Gamagōri, who calls him a disgrace. After his defeat Uzu meets up with Ira Shiori, sewing club president and tells him to sew his eyes shut as he relied too much on them resulting in his defeat. He then goes to Satsuki who questions his resolve, but is impressed when he shows his sacrifice for his overconfidence. He faces Ryūko again and gets back at her for his current state using Shingantsu a upgraded version of his Tengantsu, viciously attacking her and coming close to killing her only to be stopped by the tearing up of his Goku uniform due to its inability to keep up with his sudden surge of power. Ryūko manages to escape but accepts the fact that elite four aren't show offs and that they are tough as they come.

Episode 7

Ryūko is attacked by three members of the acrobatic club who have split up and formed their own club so as to raise their star uniform ranking by defeating her. Mako tells her that if a club member forms his own individual club and becomes its president he will rise to a two star star status and if he/she manages to defeat Ryūko he/she will be awarded a Two Star Goku uniform. Mako also tells her that the more the star the more luxury the student is offered, giving Ryūko a idea as to start her own club and to make Mako its president much to her reluctance. As the club progresses so does the living and social condition of the Makanshoku's. But the family gets too carried away by its new-found grandeur and they become slaves to their materialistic urges greatly saddening Ryūko who resigns as the member. But Mako refuses and Satsuki uses the rift caused by their views as a tool to make Mako fight against Ryūko by giving her a Goku unifrom and telling her that if she wants to keep her social status as it is now she should fight Ryūko and defeat her, to which Mako agrees, shocking Ryūko.

Spoilers end here.

Powers and Abilities

  • Natural Abilities:
    • Remarkable strength: Ryūko is able to take on multiple One-Star students by herself, without the need to wear Senketsu, as seen on episode 1. Also, it appears that she is becoming stronger as explained by Senketsu. Even while only having the scarf, she is still able to defeat numerous students with new goku uniforms and ones with pieces of Senketsu. This strength increases after she finds out she is a life fiber hybrid. Without Senketsu she is able to destroy multiple covers with one swing of her scissor blade.
    • Life Fibers infusion: Ryūko is revealed as Ragyō Kiryūin's second child whose body had been infused with Life Fibers, despite it being perceived as a failure by Ragyō then. It is likely that her incredible potential and her natural ability to synchronize with Life Fibers was a result of this. Ryūko has also demonstrated resilience and superhuman healing on par with Ragyō herself. An example of this is shown when her heart is pulled out her chest by Ragyō; the heart is simply drawn back into Ryūko's body automatically and the wound seals itself.

Former Powers and Abilities

  • Scissor Blade (片太刀鋏 Katatachi Basami?) – Ryūko's signature weapon is one half of a giant pair of scissors, which she wields as a one-handed, single-edged longsword. The blade is capable of cutting Life Fibers, which are otherwise indestructible. Ryūko alternatively uses it as a makeshift tennis racket during her match against Omiko Hakodate. She obtains the second half of the Scissor Blade after snatching it from Nui Harime in Episode 22.
    • Decapitation Mode (武滾流猛怒 Buttagiru Mōdo?) – While using Life Fibers Synchronize, Ryūko can mechanically extend her Scissor Blade into a two-handed sword. Not only is the blade's length doubled in this form, but its strength increases exponentially and is able to slice far beyond its normal range. This ability is frequently used in preparation for a Fiber Lost.
  • Kamui Senketsu (神衣鮮血?)
    • Life Fibers Synchronize (人衣一体 Jin'i Ittai?)
    • Fiber Lost (繊維喪失 Sen'i Sōshitsu?) – After Ryūko defeats her opponent, she destroys their Goku Uniform, allowing Senketsu to absorb the uniform's Life Fibers, adding them to his own power. The Banshi is always the last one to go.
    • True Life Fibers Synchronize – After Ryūko invades the Great Culture and Sports Festival and fights Nui once more, her original Life Fiber Synchronize evolves thanks to her own self-improvement and she becomes completely one with Senketsu. In this state, Senketsu glows with intense power and they reach levels of strength and speed that easily overpower Nui Harime. After the final battle against Ragyō and Shinra-Kōketsu, Senketsu manages to send Ryūko back to Earth before he disintegrates completely.
  • Kamui Junketsu (神衣純潔?)
    • Life Fiber Override (人衣圧倒 Jin'i Attō?) - Ryūko is forced to put on Junketsu by Ragyō, which alters her memories, making Ryūko believe that she had been raised lovingly by Ragyō her whole life. As Ryūko is a human fused with Life Fibers, Ragyō believes that Ryūko, unlike Satsuki, is able to draw out its maximum power. Its appearance varies from Satsuki's version in that Ryūko's chest is covered, while she wears a hakama on her lower body. The back parts of her hair are now colored blue, although she retains the red highlight on her fringe. After Mako and Senketsu's final efforts to free her, Ryūko returns to her former self and rips apart Junketsu.

Relationships

Senketsu

At first, Ryūko was embarrassed to wear Senketsu due to the rather revealing appearance of his transformed state. However, she understands later on that the only way to be able to use Senketsu to his full potential is to wear him proudly and be open to him. Ryūko cares for Senketsu and considers him a dear friend, even to the point of saying that if Senketsu were to be taken from her they would have to pry him from her cold dead fingers. She was also very concerned when Senketsu was being washed very roughly by Mako's mother. Originally, she decided never to wear Senketsu anymore because she feels that she is a Life Fibers monster herself. After coming to her senses and separating herself from Junketsu, she has rekindled her bond with Senketsu.

Mako Mankanshoku

After Ryūko enrolled into the academy, Mako quickly became attached to her. At first, Ryūko felt slightly uncomfortable by Mako's excessive attachment, but with time the two grew to care a lot for each other and quickly became best friends. Mako is always cheering for Ryūko during her fights, and, as Senketsu cleverly noted, is the key to get Ryūko to relax.

Satsuki Kiryūin

Initially, Ryūko had a strong hatred for Satsuki due to Satsuki implying that she was the one who killed her father. This was proven wrong in episode 18 where it was revealed it was actually Nui Harime that did this. Her hate for Satsuki was changed near the end of episode 17, when Satsuki was revealed to be planning a coup d'etat behind her mother's back. Another relation between the two is that Ryūko is actually Satsuki's younger sister. Previously thought to have been disposed of after a failed attempt to fuse the then baby Ryūko with life fibers, it was later shown that Ryūko had actually survived and successfully fused with Life Fibers. In episode 22, Ryūko and Satsuki come to good terms with each other and team up to defeat Ragyō and the original Life Fiber. Eventually, Ryūko fully accepts Satsuki as her sister and bonds with her.

Nui Harime

Ryūko has a strong hatred towards Nui, especially due to her being the killer of her father. Ryūko was especially angry to see her, which eventually causes her blood to boil so much that she made Senketsu go Berserk. In Episode 13, however, Ryūko instead fears of seeing Nui again due to her fear of going into another rampage, which might leads to her death. In Episode 22, after bing released from being brainwashed, Ryūko cuts off Nui's arms and absorbs its Life Fibers, which leads to Nui going complete insane.

Ragyō Kiryūin

Head of the Revocs Corporation and Satsuki's mother. When they finally meet in Episode 17, Ryūko scorns her for her self boasting. This disdain, however, turns into seething rage when she learns not only that Ragyō is her mother, but that she has been fused with Life Fibers as a baby at her very hands. After Ragyō's defeat, though, Ryūko does show some consideration for her, and attempts to get her to surrender peacefully but Ragyō chooses to pull out her own heart and would rather commit suicide instead of returning to Earth with Ryūko.

Junketsu

In Episode 20, Ryūko fell victim to Ragyō's trap and was "worn" by Junketsu, Satsuki's former Kamui. While being worn by Junketsu, Ryūko's personality underwent a complete reversal: she became battle-crazed and bloodthirsty, turning against her own allies. Additionally, her strength and speed increased dramatically. After the mental control was dispelled, Ryūko felt furious and disgusted for having been forced to wear Junketsu, promptly and forcibly tearing it off.

Memorable quotes

I finally get it now. I need to get naked. Putting on a Kamui means becoming one with you! It means you becoming my skin! That's what it means to master wearing you! Isn't that right, Senketsu?!
—Ryūko finally accepts Senketsu
To hell with your opinion! I'll take my own path no matter what anyone else says!
—Ryūko's response during her fight against Nonon Jakuzure

Image Gallery

Main article: Ryūko Matoi/Image Gallery

Speculation

  • Ryūko's unique gear-like eyes (and possibly her single red highlight) are very likely side effects of her infusion with Life Fibers.
    • They're also possibly a reference to a character from the creator's previous work, Gurren-Lagann, in which Nia Teppelin had flower-shaped irises, which are further a reference to Nono from Diebuster.

References

  1. Episode 18

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