Who is Satsuki Kiryuin?

Satsuki Kiryuin is the president of Honnouji Academy’s Student Council and the ruler over the surrounding territories. She has absolute authority over the academy. The students hold her with reverence as she leads them with an iron fist. She also assesses the students’ abilities, holding the authority to assign the powerful Goku Uniforms to those who are worthy.

SOURCE: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/JbGEv


She possesses a natural charisma and is a skilled leader. Satsuki will do anything it takes to succeed in her goals.

Her rival is Ryuko Matoi, a woman who acts as an obstacle towards Satsuki’s ambitions as she tries to find out who killed her father for revenge against them.

Satsuki wields the sword Bakuzan, which is made of a special material. This material is able to even cut through Life Fibers. She also owns a kamui called Junketsu.

Ambition: The Foundation of a True Leader

SOURCE: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/JbGEv

Ambition – A strong desire to achieve something. For example, Ryuko Matoi’s ambition was to seek revenge against the people
who were linked with her father’s death and learn about her past.
Ambitions are goals that all of us have to some degree. But the more difficult the ambition, the more work and dedication you have to put to achieve the taste of true success. To be a true leader, you need to have ambitions and commitment. Those facts right there summarize Satsuki Kiryuin’s mindset in a nutshell. Her ambition was to overthrow her mother, Ragyo Kiryuin and thwart her plan to take over the world with Life Fibers.
So, with such an ambitious goal in mind, her sacrifices, her leadership, and her calculative nature with planning ahead were purely genius. Major respects for her commitment.

Sacrifice: The Obstacles for a True Leader

SOURCE: https://kr.ign.com/video/7445/kill-la-kill-the-game-if-satsuki-kiryuin-vs-ira-gamagoori

When a leader has to make certain decisions, they have to sacrifice certain things to achieve their dreams.

For Satsuki’s case, she made an extremely tough choice in giving up her body image and privacy, to the masses to extract more power from the Kamui, and become an even stronger entity. It’s not easy for females to stand in front of tons of males whilst being scantily clad in public.

Many people would shame people like Satsuki in real life or even in anime. To be looked at from a lusty gaze makes it more difficult to commit to such a sacrifice.

But Satsuki didn’t care. For her ambitions and success, she would’ve sacrificed all her femininity in the world and expose herself in front of thousands, since those are just minor obstacles that block her path towards achieving success.

Foresight: The Calculative Nature of a True Leader

SOURCE: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/530087818624799150/

As I mentioned in the second slide, Ryuko Matoi was a person who was thirsty for revenge. And she saw Satsuki as the primary antagonist to her tragic tale. She wanted Satsuki to reveal everything and she was going to defeat her to get those details.

Satsuki was not willing to comply that easily. So instead, she (along with the Elite Four) provided tons of obstacles for Ryuko to conquer so that she proved her worthiness of fighting Satsuki.

The big twist is, when Satsuki betrayed Ragyo and sided with Ryuko, it was revealed that she never intended to seriously harm Ryuko. In fact, she always saw Ryuko as a tool/ally that she could help get stronger, as she would have been an extremely useful asset to take down Ragyo and her plans.

This shows that Satsuki had excellent foresight, and a cunning nature to turn a weakling into an asset. And she gave it her all (like fighting her right till the end).

Leadership: The Skills Needed to be a True Leader

SOURCE: https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/1006317-kill-la-kill

For Satsuki, her level of ambitions not only defined her high level of desire, but also defined her entire personality in a nutshell.

But to be a successful, confident leader and guide thousands of people at Honnouji Academy, she needed to be able to apply her ambitions on to others and motivate them to work harder, train harder and showcase trust with her, to make the overall goal of conquering Ragyo and changing the world to be a genuine reality.

Leadership needs teamwork, and Satsuki could not conquer such a massive task alone.

So, a young Satsuki would handpick her ‘Elite Four’ (strongest of the lot in respective categories). She would build an empire together which was later known as the Honnouji Academy with their help.

With her confidence, her charisma, her strength, her rewards (Goku uniforms) and more, Satsuki won them with her tyrannical leadership (more discussion on that later on) and gained strength in numbers to assist her ambitions!

Dictatorship: The Influence of Fascism on Satsuki Kiruyin

SOURCE: https://comicbook.com/anime/2019/01/27/kill-la-kill-the-game-if-satsuki-new-form-first-look/

With the knowledge of this post as of now, we are aware that Satsuki was not just an ambitious leader. But rather a cunning and passionate figurehead that wanted to conquer Ragyo Kiryuin.

But let’s talk a bit more about how Satsuki ran the ship and the power system at the Honnouji Academy.

Firstly, it’s interesting to note that Japanese pronunciations of “fascism” (“fassho”) and “fashion” (“fasshon”) are extremely similar.

Therefore, she implemented a fascist government. And when observing a rank of a student/soldier, it depended on what the student wore (relating to fashion).

Satsuki’s fascist structure was tough on no stars. It was effective in building a large following who supported her into tough battles at the end. All due to a pun!

The Facts of the World! (Satsuki Kiryuin ’s Opening Speech)

SOURCE: https://taylorramage.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/contradiction-is-truth-the-divine-illogic-in-kill-la-kill/

“Fear is freedom! Subjugation is liberation! Contradiction is truth!
Those are the facts of this world, and you will all surrender to them,
you pigs in human clothing!”– Satsuki Kiryuin

If there is a scene that makes Satsuki looks like the most badass and breathtaking character out there. It’s the scene where Satsuki utters her first lines to Ryuko and all the viewers. Her confidence, her dialogue and the way everyone in the anime just is in utter silence as Satsuki spoke. This made her truly stand tall as a leader.

When I think more about the context of the quote, it feels like a description of Satsuki’s life in a genuine sense where she subtly hinted her real feelings as well as thoughts on the ‘clothing’ situation.

  • Fear is freedom: Fear of her mother and the evolution of Life Fibers. So Satsuki is using that fear to build Honnouji Academy for fighting for freedom.
  • Subjugation is liberation: By subjugating Ragyo, the people can be free from Life Fibers and be liberated to wear whatever they want to wear.
  • The contradiction is the truth: Anyone whose beliefs contradicted Ragyo were actually telling the truth from Satsuki’s perspective.

The way Satsuki foreshadowed what she was really going through and what was to come from her first lines of the entire show was brilliant and fit her character so well.

Final Thoughts

SOURCE: https://dataportdoll.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/kill-la-kill-episode-18/

So, in conclusion, there is no doubt in my mind that Satsuki Kiryuin is one of the best anime characters I have ever encountered.

She truly was a leader that had so many traits that I find admirable and even inspirational to me in terms of how I should approach my life in terms of working passionately and constantly to achieve my ambitions like she eventually did.

Not to mention that Satsuki is incredibly badass, a quote goddess, mysterious, has amazing development and finally, was a terrific leader. She showed a lot of commitment to fight the war she was destined to fight in.

And the ending to her long journey as a leader against clothing was incredibly satisfying to watch. Nice to see her grow, her bonds with Ryuko grow, and the society she built unite and battle against the Life Fibers.

From what I’ve discussed, she truly was a fantastic leader for sure.

If you liked our character analysis on Satsuki Kiryuin, we’ve got more for you! Here’s our analysis of Arataka Reigen from Mob Psycho 100.

The Satsuki Kiryuin character analysis is presented by Tejas Suresh (IG – @jasanime)

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