|Original airdate||October 3, 2013|
|English airdate||February 7, 2015|
|Episode director||Hisatoshi Shimizu|
|Animation director||Sushio (Toshio Ishizaki)|
|Insert themes||"Before My Body Is Dry" by Mika Kobayashi|
|Ending theme||"Sirius" by Aoi Eir|
"If Only I Had Thorns Like a Thistle..." is the 1st episode of Kill la Kill.
The episode opens at Honnōji Academy, a high school dominated by its fearsome five-member Student Council. Both the members of the Student Council and a portion of the student body wear powerful Goku Uniforms that grant them superhuman abilities. The calm of a school lesson is interrupted by Ira Gamagōri, searching for one who has committed a crime against the school. The delinquent, Suzuki, attempts first to flee, then fight using the One-Star Goku uniform he stole. His One-Star outfit is no match for Ira's Three-Star Outfit and he is promptly defeated.
The next day, a new figure arrives outside of town. Enter Ryūko Matoi, a delinquent transfer student who has been drifting from school to school searching for clues about her father's murder. As she makes her way to Honnō City, she has a brief encounter with Matarō Mankanshoku and his gang, who feebly attempt to mug her before she scares them into submission. Mataro is scared off by his big sister, Mako Mankanshoku, who then leaves for class herself - to Ryūko's confusion.
Shortly after her arrival at the school, Ryūko reunites with Mako Mankanshoku who outlines the basic hierarchy of the academy. Most students, including Mako, are no-stars who aren't permitted to wear Goku Uniforms and are restricted to the city slums. Other students are allowed to live in nicer districts depending on the number of stars they have. Exemplary students are granted one-star Goku Uniforms, club captains are granted two-stars, the Elite Four of the Student Council are granted powerful three-stars, and Student Council President, Satsuki Kiryūin, stands undisputed at the top of the academy's power structure. As soon as the opportunity presents itself Ryūko recklessly confronts Kiryūin stating that she is looking for the owner of the other half of a giant scissor blade she received from her father just before his death. Suspecting that Satsuki knows more than she is letting on, Ryūko lunges at her only to be beaten into the ground by the school's Boxing Club Captain, Takaharu Fukuroda using the power of his two-star Goku Uniform. Shocked and demoralized by her utter defeat, Ryūko beats a hasty retreat. Afterward, the school council meets and discusses what to do about her.
Far from the school grounds, Ryūko travels to her father's burnt down home, the place where he died. Without warning, Ryūko drops down an underground chute into a strange room and lands on a pile of old clothes. The fall reopens a wound she received from her fight with Fukuroda and some of her blood drips down into the pile of clothes beneath her. As she moves to find her way out she is stunned by a voice desperately asking for more of her blood. A living sailor uniform bursts from beneath the old clothing pins her to the wall, and envelops her, releasing a surge of unrestrained power.
The next day, Boxing Club Captain Fukuroda threatens to execute the girl Ryūko met the previous day (Mako Mankanshoku) as a means of drawing Ryūko out of hiding. Ryūko promptly intervenes and rescues Mako from her predicament initiating a rematch with Fukuroda. This time, using her Scissor Blade in tandem with her new uniform's powers, Ryūko manages to one-sidedly defeat him and destroy his Goku Uniform. Ryūko questions Satsuki again about the wielder of the other scissor blade and the episode ends.
- Aikuro Mikisugi
- Mako Mankanshoku
- Ira Gamagōri
- Satsuki Kiryūin
- Ryūko Matoi
- Mataro Mankanshoku
- Takaharu Fukuroda
- Uzu Sanageyama
- Hōka Inumuta
- Nonon Jakuzure
- “There it is...Honnōji Academy.”—Ryūko's first line in the series.
- “Wait...more...give me more...”—Senketsu's first line.