Ryuuko Matoi is the main protagonist of Kill la Kill anime and manga.
Ryuuko is a wandering transfer student who comes to Honnouji Academy in search of the truth behind her father's murder. Her investigation sends her on a collision course with the academy's Student Council President, Satsuki Kiryuin, whom she thinks has the answers she seeks. Her only clue is also her Weapon of Choice, a giant red Scissor Blade left behind by the killer.
In the AWA fics, Ryuuko is a student at the AWA Academy and is part of Class 1.
In the XP4 fics, Ryuuko debuted in XP4 Heroes Coalition - Kick-Off!.
Ryūko is a seventeen year-old girl of medium height and mid-length black hair with 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. During her childhood, she wore a red collared shirt with a white skirt and white shoes.
Her clothing is 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, 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 reddish orange and yellow, 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.
Ryuuko has a relatively simple personality: fierce and stubborn. She fears little, which is demonstrated when she directly and disrespectfully addresses Satsuki Kiryuuin, 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.
Sometimes she can be shown calm, polite, content and warmly flattered. This is mostly seen when eating with the Mankanshoku family and Episode 7. She admires the way Mako's mother makes food and has kind manners. She later is seen telling Senketsu how fun dinner was with them because of how her mother died when she was young and her dad sent her to a boarding school, never knowing how a family dinner was like. Her flattery is highlighted in Episode 1 when Mataro tried to steal Ryuuko's wallet and mug her, she was cool with the intention of fighting, criticizing how street punking doesn't work for him and how goofy his gang was. After defeating them, she lets it slide by not fighting people who can't fight back. This is also seen with most opponents she faces when she often states the obvious.
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 Ragyou's mind control by merely punching herself. This same episode, however, has one of few demonstrations of shock on her part, when Ragyou defeats Satsuki, rips out Ryuuko's heart and reveals to be her mother.
When Ryuuko is brainwashed after being forced to put on Junketsu by Ragyou, 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, Ryuuko replies by calling her "sis."
Ryuuko is a member of the Heroes Coalitions and is part of the Squad of Excellence. She also attends Vanguard Academy as a student.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Kick-Off!
In Chapter 1, Ryuuko alongside her team, the Squad of Excellence and the Universal Guardians are seen in Peach Creek City taking on a large number of Emotionless. And after getting rid of the creatures, Ryuuko alongside everyone celebrated their mission's success.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Neo-City Diaries
In Chapter 6, Ryuuko and Satsuki Kiryuiin are seen having an argument with Alphonse Elric and Edward Elric in front of a water dispenser in the corridors of the Training Facility.
In Chapter 7, Ryuuko, alongside members of the Universal Guardians and Squad of Excellence, is present in the Mission Briefing Room in the Training Facility where Dr. Michael Pating brief them about their mission in the Halidom of Ylisse before departing.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Awakening
In Chapter 1, Ryuuko, alongside members of the Universal Guardians and Squad of Excellence, arrives in a forest somewhere in Ylisse and appears to be lost. They later came across Chrom, Frederick, Lissa and Robin and quickly befriends them. After having conversation about the Emotionless, both sides decided to work together to eliminate the creatures. They decided to camp for the rest of the night.
In Chapter 2, Ryuuko, alongside members of the Universal Guardians, the Squad of Excellence and Chrom's group, arrives in Ylisse and met up with Owain. Later, after Chrom decided to have a meeting with Frederick, Geo Stelar and Luna Platz, the rest decided to meet up with the Shepherds at the garrison. Later, Chrom and the others arrived and claims to have an announcement.
In Chapter 3, Ryuuko is having a conversation with Donnel, Lissa, Ichigo Momomiya and Ricken at the garrison.
In Chapter 4, Ryuuko, alongside her team, Lissa, Donnel, Ricken, Henry and Miriel, are seen walking around a forest somewhere in Ylisstol when they came across Nowi. Then Emotionless emerges from the dark before taking on and defeating the creatures.
In Chapter 6, Ryuuko, alongside her team, Chrom, Sumia, Robin, Owain, Gregor and Olivia met up with Basilio, Flavia, Lon'qu and Cordelia at East Ferox to discuss about the Emotionless when Raimi arrives and told everyone that the fort is being attacked by the Emotionless. Everyone fought the creatures and managed to get rid of them before heading back inside the fort.
In Chapter 7, Ryuuko, alongside Donnel, Nowi, Lissa, Ricken, Ichigo Momomiya and Ash Ketchum, are gathered at one table in the garrison having a conversation. Everyone watches Lissa and Nowi argue over Donnel, much to their amusement.
In Chapter 10, Ryuuko, alongside Ricken, are seen walking around the corridors of the castle when they came across the artifact room's door open with a strange figure inside. Ryuuko and Ricken confronted the figure and it lunges at them.
In Chapter 11, Ryuuko, alongside Ricken, are seen chasing after a strange hooded figure in the corridors of the castle when the others joined them. Everyone went after the figure and led them to a large grassy fields, and reveals itself as a Pokemon known as Hitmonlee. The Pokemon then revealed that he stole an ancient alien artifact called the Ara-Ka Cube inside the castle. Everyone watches in horror as Hitmonlee uses the alien artifact to summon a zombified version of Emmeryn and Phila, much to everyone's disgust. Hitmonlee then summoned a large number of Emotionless, forcing Ryuuko and everyone to fight. Ryuuko then witnessed Donnel activating his Gift.
In Chapter 12 & Epilogue, Ryuuko, alongside everyone, witnessed Donnel activating his Gift turning both Emmeryn and Phila back to life. After defeating the remaining Emotionless, forcing Hitmonlee to flee, life in Ylisstol went back to normal.
- Super-human power - Ryūko's strength, speed, and abilities far surpass that of an ordinary human. From the start Ryūko was able to take on multiple One-Star students by herself, without the need to wear Senketsu, as seen in episode 1. She became much stronger throughout the series, both on her own and in her synchronization with Senketsu. Even while wearing a scarf with only Senketsu's eye sewn to it, she was still able to defeat numerous students with new Goku uniforms enhanced by fragments of Senketsu with ease while riding on a motorbike. Her power has increases further when she comes to terms with her true nature as a life-fiber hybrid and thus stops thinking of herself within the bounds of human limitations. In her rage at finding out she is not human she was able to destroy multiple COVERS and free the humans therein with one swing of her scissor blade in episode 20, and also sliced several buildings apart from afar with one blow, all without Senketsu.
- 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.
- Scissor Blade – 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 – 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
- Life Fibers Synchronize
- Fiber Lost – After Ryuuko 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 Ryuuko 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.
- Ryuuko is the first character from Kill la Kill to be introduced in the AWA fics.
- Ryuuko's unique gear-like pupils (and likely her single red highlight) are very likely side effects of her infusion with Life Fibers.
- According to Shigeto Koyama, in the early concept designs for Ryūko, she had long black hair and an overall physical appearance similar to Satsuki Kiryūin.
- In the AWA fics, Ryuuko gains a small crush on Kenji Kazama which grew later on.