Spoiler break starts immediately! Don’t read if you don’t want to spoil Kill la Kill for yourself.
Update (25 Jan 2014): I have previously translated the 「閃」 in 「鮮血閃刃」 as “glistening”. This is incorrect. When an object “glistens”, it is shining because of its wet texture, due to the reflection of light on the liquid. A more correct word to use should be “glittering”. An object glitters when the object itself is shining from reflected light, as is the case for the blades on Ryuko’s transformation. I apologise for my inaccurate translation.
This is an absolutely amazing fight. It contains everything that I could ask for in a one-on-one duel: no outside interference, and the protagonist has to figure out a way to win against Gamagoori’s absolute defence.
His cloth armour is not part of his uniform, and contains no Life Fibres for Matoi to cut off. Also, the more punishment his armour takes, the more powerful he becomes. How do you break an impenetrable shield? You ignore it entirely, and attack from behind the shield.
By erupting a set of fresh blades from her existing battle attire (complete with Wolverine claws — I love that touch), we now realise that Matoi has the ability to adapt Senketsu’s transformations to produce slightly different designs. This is a very important discovery: remember how Matoi lost badly against Sanageyama’s second mecha transformation? I suspect that she might have to transform into a mecha herself in order to defeat him, and perhaps she might even need to handicap her eyesight to fight on the same level.
Don’t forget, that Satsuki Kiryuin possesses the exact same uniform that Matoi is wearing. Who knows what sort of transformations the both of them will take during their duel? I smell some Gurren Lagann proportions coming.
After several quiet episodes that focused more on character development instead of fighting, we are now returning to the relentless, full-blown action that made the first three episodes so damn exciting to watch. If this keeps up, Kill la Kill will be a hands-down winner for anime of the year.