Unknown to Ryuko for most of her life, she is the second born daughter of Soichiro and Ragyo Kiryuin. When their experiments on her older sister failed, they then attempted to bond Life Fibers to her almost immediately after birth. She was thought to have died in the lab, but she was secretly raised by Isshin Matoi, who was actually a disguised Soichiro.
She was sent to a boarding school at a young age and rarely saw her father, Isshin. One day when she returned home to respond to a letter he had sent, she found Isshin on the verge to death. Ryuko only caught a glimpse of the female attacker, and Isshin passed on the Red Scissor Blade that he had been stabbed with. Bent on finding this mysterious woman, Ryuko sets out in search of the owner of the other half of the Scissor Blade.
Ryuko Matoi (纏 流子, Matoi Ryūko) is the protagonist of the Kill la Kill anime series that was produced by Trigger. It's directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima. The character design was done by Sushio.
A tie-in manga series illustrated by Ryou Akizuki began on October 4, 2013 in Kadokawa Shoten's Young Ace magazine.
Major Story Arcs
Ryuko's search for answers led her to Honnouji Academy, and the student council president, Satsuki Kiryuin, recognized the Scissor Blade. Although, Ryuko failed to attack when she was assaulted by Takaharu Fukuroda, the Boxing Club captain, and his Goku Uniform. She ran back to the ruins of her home and fell through a trap door, into a large room. In this room she was attacked by a living sailor uniform that seemed to know her father. She named it Senketsu, and together they returned to Honnouji Academy to defeat the boxing captain, who had taken Mako Mankanshoku hostage. After her victory, she had to flee due to blood loss from activating Senketsu.
A few days after defeating the Tennis Club captain, Satsuki appeared to challenge Ryuko and wearing Junketsu, her own kamui. Satsuki was now grossly outclassing Ryuko but with no idea why. It wasn't until she understood that it was her hesitation about Senketsu transformed state that she was unconsciously rejecting him. When she finally allowed herself to fuse with Senketsu, the battle became an even and devastating conflict. Though ending in a draw, Satsuki challenged Ryuko to defeat all the heads of the student council. If she could, Ryuko was promised the answers that she was after.
After several victories, Ryuko found herself being attacked by a strange man who was after Senketsu. Tsumugu Kinagase tried to take her kamui from her, but Senketsu went so far as to try shielding her by sacrificing himself. Ultimately, Tsumugu refused to separate them after he realized how close the two have become. Uzu Sanageyama, one of Satsuki's Elite Four, openly challenged Ryuko. She won the battle and destroyed his Goku Uniform, but he returned with a new one for a rematch and had his eyes sewn shut. His sneses had so improved, Ryuko was unable to win and ran from the battle.
Not long after, Ryuko tried forming the Fighting Club and tossed off all the administrating duties to Mako. It created a rift between Ryuko and Mako, as Mako's duties was providing a better quality of life for her family. However, it was making them all cold and greedy. It peaked when Satsuki gave Mako and Two-Star Uniform to fight Ryuko. As a test of their friendship, Ryuko allowed Mako to strike without fighting back, and eventually Mako relented then gave up her uniform and status for their friendship.
First Annual Naturals Election
In the coming days, Honnouji Academy was thrown into chaos as Satsuki initiated the First Annual Naturals Election. This served as Ryuko's best opportunity, and she was able to challenge all of the Elite Four one at a time in a tournament setting. With each battle, Ryuko found new and inventive ways of using and evolving Senketsu's abilities. First was Ira Gamagoori, Houka Inumuta, then Nonon Jakuzure. The next rematch with Sanageyama was stopped before it could start by a strange young girl named Nui Harime, who destroyed Sanageyama's Goku Uniform by pulling a single thread. Most shocking of all, she presented the second Scissor Blade and admitted to being her father's killer.
Ryuko's rage completely took her over as she faced her father's remorseless killer, and despite Senketsu's warning was completely taken over. She lost her mind and transformed into a monster that was after Nui or anyone who got in her way. Satsuki attempted to stop her rampage, much of Honnouji Academy was destroyed, and Satsuki resigned herself to finish Ryuko until she was tackled by Mako, who was finally able to reach her. Some days later, Ryuko went to see Satsuki to find Nui. Instead, Satsuki took responsibility for sending Nui after her father for the Rending Scissors and his kamui. To Ryuko's surprise, she even thanked her. Her battles with the Elite Four provided the data she needed to improve her Goku Uniforms for completion of her plot.
Tri-City School Raid Trip
Ryuko struggled with going out of control again with Senketsu until she was inspired to rescue Nagita, but he turned out to be Nui in disguise. Her hesitation have Nui the advantage, and she shredded Senketsu to pieces. When she woke up, she learned from Aikuro what became of the shards of Senketsu, and he returned the Senketsu scarf to her. After rescuing Mako and reclaiming the kamui pieces in Osaka, she made her way to get the Seki Tekko, that was being held by Satsuki. After ripping the last piece from Satsuki, the two had an intense battle across Osaka. It took a desperation move, but she blinded Satsuki with blood to get her sword from her. The two were in a tense stand-off till Satsuki agreed to stand down. However, Nonon had already found and destroyed the Nudist Beach's underground base.
With the battle over, Aikuro agreed to take her to the remains of their base and finally explain to her all that he knew about this conflict. He told her that Isshin was the Nudist beach founder after leaving Ragyo's cooperation, and that Life Fibers are part of an alien species that were the cause of humanities evolution. She didn't like the idea of using Senketsu to kill his own kind. While flattered by her anger on his behalf, he still wanted to fight with Ryuko.
Cultural & Sports Grand Festival
Not long after, they discovered that Satsuki and Ragyo were putting their plan into motion. Aikuro, Tsumugu, and Mako joined them back to Honnouji Academy. However, as soon as they caught Ragyo's attention, Satsuki pierced her mother through the back and was declaring open revolt. In the following battle, Ryuko was possessed by Ragyo's Mind Stitching to fight Satsuki, but she managed to will herself free. Nui then appeared to try and provoke Ryuko and admitted that Satsuki lied about taking responsibility for Isshin's death. This time, Ryuko outclassed Nui in speed and power, but she was unable to defeat her when everyone was distracted by Ragyo's victory over Satsuki and stole Junketsu from her. Ragyo then proceeded to rip Ryuko's heart from her chest to see it was laced with Life Fibers. Ryuko was the daughter that Ragyo and Satsuki both thought to have died in the experiments.
Ryuko was rendered unconscious in the aftermath of Satsuki attempting to kill Ragyo by blowing up Ragyo stadium. Senketsu had dragged her out to the care of Aikuro. She was unconscious for nearly a month in Nudist beach underground base until she was awoken by the song of the COVERS. She however awoke in a rage to the discovery of her true origins. She saw herself as a monster and refused to ever wear Senketsu again, and she fell for Ragyo's enticement to return to Honnouji Academy. She threatened to kill anyone who tried to top her.
Upon arriving, she was met by Nui. After stabbing Nui through the chest, she revealed that she too was a child of Ragyo but grew in a womb of Life Fibers. This was all part of Ragyo's trap, and Junketsu was forced onto her. Her mind and body were now under the control of the Life Fibers, and she was sent to retrieve the recently rescued Satsuki on the Nudist Beach ship, the Naked Sol.
On the Naked Sol, she was met by Satsuki wearing Senketsu. Ryuko was on the defensive in their fight until she realized the opening between each of Satsuki's transformation. However, Satsuki proved to be the distraction so her Elite Four could capture Ryuko in a trap to remove Junketsu. Yet this would also fail since Junketsu had been fused with the Life Fibers in her own body. Nui and Ryuko were nearly ready to defeat Satsuki and Nudist beach until Satsuki broke the armor of Junketsu enough so Mako could force Senketsu into the wound. Together they were able to give Ryuko enough control to rip Junketsu from her body at risk of her own life. Now free, she was reunited with Senketsu, claimed both halves of the Scissor Blades from Nui, and sliced off both of her arms..Nui was rescued by Rei Hououmaru, and Ryuko was prevented from chasing after her, due to the injuries she had already suffered.
Life Fiber Rebellion
After settling their grudges and forming a strategy, Ryuko and Satsuki teamed up to face their mother atop the Original Life Fiber that was heading to Honnouji Academy. When Ragyo proved too powerful to face directly, Ryuko planned to fake her death and use that time to break into the core of the original Life Fibers. With a little help of Mako and the Naked Sol, Ryuko was able to destroy the core.
With Ragyo still to be defeated, Ryuko, Satsuki, Mako, the Elite Four, Nudist Beach, and the rescued Honnouji Academy Students rushed into their school to take it back. Although, Ragyo was there to greet them wearing Shinra-Koketsu, the kamui Nui had just completed. It had the power to freeze and depower all of other kamui and Goku Uniforms. Ryuko tried fighting without Senketsu, but was overpowered by Ragyo. She was rescued when Senketsu broke free of Shinra-Koketsu's control and broke its spell that repressed everyone's power. Ryuko and Satsuki defeated their mother together using the Scissor Blades, but Nui cut off her own head on Ragyo's command, merged with the Original Life Fiber, and then fused with Shira-Koketsu. Ragyo then ejected into space to activate the Life Fibers across the globe directly at her satellite.
With no other options, Ryuko absorbed all of the Life Fibers from Junketsu and the Goku Uniforms to create Senkestu-Kisaragi and follow Ragyo. In their battle, Ryuko reformed the Rending Scissors and took advantage of her regenerative abilities. She purposefully took the brunt of Ragyo's attack to maximize her and Senketsu's absorption ability to take over the Absolute Submission field of Shira-Koketsu. She took that power to free humanity from the Life Fiber's control. She offered Ragyo to return peacefully, but her mother ended her own life. Already falling apart from the power he absorbed, Senketsu pulled Ryuko back to Earth and shielded her on reentry. He was destroyed as he burned up completely, and Ryuko was saved when she was caught by Satsuki and everyone at Honnouji Academy.
Graduation from Ragyo
A few weeks later, everyone and Honnouji Academy was ready for graduation, but Ryuko noticed something wrong with Satsuki. At the graduation ceremony, a fake Satsuki and Elite Four attacked with the power of Life Fibers. They were created by Rei Hououmaru, who had captured the Mako and the real Satsuki. She activated the Honnouji Last Stitch Defense System, which turned the school into a giant robot. Ryuko fought as best she could without any weapons, but it was all too much. As she was falling, the Rending Scissors fell from space to her and were guided by the spirit of Senketsu. She grew the Scissor Blades to an enormous size to crush the Last Stitch Defense machine and free Satsuki and Mako.
With Honnouji Academy and the island sinking, Ryuko left with Mako and her family, and agreed to meet with Satsuki again soon. The Scissor Blades were left on the sinking island.
Powers & Abilities
Much of Ryuko's enhanced abilities comes from the Life Fibers that were fused to her own body as an infant in Ragyo's experiments. As they were nourished through absorbing more Life Fibers with Senketsu, her own abilities began to grow. The existence of Life Fibers within herself was completely unknown until Ragyo realized that Ryuko was was the daughter she thought to be dead.
Ryuko is a skilled sword fighter with an unknown level of training. Though originally unrefined, battle experience against stronger and stronger opponents improved her skill to even match the well trained Satsuki Kiryuin.
Life Fiber Regeneration
One of Ryuko's more unique abilities is in her body's ability to regenerate from damage. This is mainly due to the Life Fibers that were fused to her very body when she was experimented on as a newborn. The Life Fibers will react when the host body is in danger and quickly move to repair any damage. The more dramatic the damage, the stronger the Life Fiber's reaction. This makes Ryuko near borderline immortal, when it comes to injury.
Growing up mainly in a boarding school and alone led Ryuko into a life of getting in fights. Finding herself in a constant state of fighting helped to give Ryuko remarkable talent for unarmed combat through sheer experience.
Weapons & Equipment
Ryuko's weapon of choice is the Scissor Blade (片太刀バサミ, Kata tachi Basami) that was created by her father to counter the power of the Life Fibers, and is only half of the Rending Scissors. It was created by using super-hardened Life Fibers.
What Ryuko originally wields is only one half of the scissors. It was what was left behind by the killer of her father. Through extended use, she discovered that she can manipulate its size to collapse to the size of a small scissor that can be stored in her pocket. She even learned that the blade could grow.
Senketsu (鮮血, Senketsu) is a kamui in the form of a sailor uniform that Ryuko Matoi wears. Kamui are clothing that is made from 100% Life Fibers, a parasitic alien organism. Senketsu was created specifically for Ryuko by splicing him with her own DNA. As such, only she can hear his voice. She discovered him buried under the ruins of her former home. Though it normally appears to be a less-than-average school uniform, it can transform into an incredibly powerful suit of armor that boosts her strength and speed beyond the limits of a human.
However, Ryuko is less than happy with how revealing it can be when transformed. It was the reluctance that Ryuko felt while wearing Senketsu that led to rapid blood loss. It wasn't until she started treating it as part of her own skin that she discovered it required far less blood and gave her even more power. This ability is called Life Fiber Synchronize - Kamui Senketsu (「人衣一体」神衣・鮮血, "Jin'i Ittai" Kamui Senketsu). The power and size of Senketsu also increased after she learned to synchronize with him.
Senketsu Senjin (鮮血閃刃, Senketsu Senjin）is the first secondary transformation of Senketsu. In this mode, Senketsu becomes the blade. He's covered in spikes and gives Ryuko three long claws on head hand. It was first revealed during her battle with Ira Gamagoori and used it to shred away the defenses of his Goku Uniform.
Senketsu Shippu (鮮血疾風, Senketsu Shippū）is the second transformation to be revealed. Senketsu transforms himself to create propulsion jets at Ryuko's lower half and allows her to flight and incredible speed. This was part of Ryuko's idea during her fight with Nonon Jakuzure.
Senketsu Mubyoshi (鮮血無拍子, Senketsu Mubyōshi）is the third transformation where Senketsu essentially creates himself into a tuning fork. This was also used during the fight with Jakuzure to counter her sound wave attack.
Senketsu Shippu Senjin (鮮血疾風閃刃, Senketsu Shippū Senjin) is afourth transformation that is a combination of both Senketsu's flight and blade form. This technique was first used by Satsuki when she was wearing Senketsu to fight a mind controlled Ryuko.
Senketsu-Kisaragi (鮮血更衣, Senketsu-Kisaragi) is the ultimate and final form of Senketsu. On top of having vastly superior power, this also allows for flight that can escape the upper atmosphere and into space. This form was manifested when Ryuko absorbed all the Goku Uniforms of the Honnouji Academy students and Satsuki's Junketsu.
Finishing Move: Sen-i-Soshitsu (Life Fiber Lost)
Sen-I-Soshitsu (戦維喪失, Sen-i-Sōshitsu) is the finishing move Ryuko uses along with Senketsu and her scissor blade. After slicing apart her enemy's Goku Uniform, Senketsu then absorbs all the remaining Life Fibers into himself.
Kill la Kill (2013)
Kill la Kill (キルラキル Kiru ra Kiru) is the first original anime production created by Trigger, which was founded by two former Gainax employees in 2011. The series is directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, Trigger co-founder; and written by Kazuki Nakashima. The first episode aired on October 3, 2010.
Ryuko's first anime appearance was in Kill la Kill - Episode 1 "If Only I Had Thorns Like A Thistle…". Her character in the Japanese series was voiced by Ami Koshimizu.