Kyousougiga – 05


In the past, a young Myoue watches his house burning, lamenting his parents, and commits seppuku, but Myoue Shounin find him and brings him home as his son, later passing the care of the temple to him. In the present, Myoue waits by the station for his parents to arrive; Kurama compares him to Hachiko. A frustrated Myoue lashes out at Koto, but after spending a night alone, finds her at the station. They take a scooter trip to the fields outside the city, where Myoue tells Koto the rabbit she’s looking for is probably his (adoptive) mom, and asks Koto to kill him when they find her.

The Kyousougiga OVAs that ran last year were only brief tastes of what was to come, but they were enticing ones. Even a year and several dozen series since we last watched the fourth, the gorgeous environs at the end of Myoue and Koto’s scooter ride remain clear in our minds. This week represents the last of the material the OVAs previewed, in which we delve into Myoue’s story, which proves more complex than either of his non-human siblings. In fact, after keeping him on the margins for the previous four episodes, this episode establishes him as the unequivocal heart of the entire show. Everything revolves around him, and he’s the product of his father saving him from that fire. It’s not crystal clear whether Myoue Shounin saved ‘Lil Myoue’s life back then, or if he somehow resurrected him (that was a lot of blood), but we know Myoue would surely have died without Shounin, hence no show.

Myoue got a new life, new parents, a new family, and a new home; the parents left, and he’s lived in Mirror Kyoto for a very very long time ever since, waiting for them to return. We see Myoue’s increasing fatigue with his unending life, and when Koto arrives with the “beginning and end” his father promised before leaving, he apparently believe’s Koto’s presence to be the beginning of his end. They’ll find the rabbit – his mother – and then he’ll be released of his immortal burden, having lived a full and wonderful life—unlike that suicidal boy surrounded by flame. Up to this point the world was so wondrous and fun and peaceful that it never occurred to us Myoue would be ready to move on to…whatever’s next, but there it is. The episode closes before we can see Koto’s reaction to his asking her to kill him, but we wouldn’t be surprised if she wasn’t okay with it.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Next Week: A live-action tour of the temple that inspired the series. So lifelike!

Kyousogiga ONA

Armed with a magical giant hammer, a girl named Koto and her two brothers roam ‘Mirror Kyoto’ wreaking havoc. They’re searching for a ‘rabbit’ that will get them home. Their temporary guardian Myoe confers with Yase and Kurama, who together form the Assembly of 3. They believe Koto and their ‘mother’ Lady Koto are one and the same.

“I don’t really get it” says one of Koto’s brothers at the end of this frenetic visual feast. Neither do we, but we were surely entertained. With the Fall 2011 season fizzling out, here’s the first taste of something totally new. Sure there’s plenty of works one can list as inspiration, from FLCL to the upcoming Black Rock Shooter. But as a single, original, 26-minute one-shot, Kyousogiga has a style and energy all its own, combining the retro and the psycho.

The ambiguous ending leaves open the possibility of an anime down the road, but for now we’ll stick to what we saw, and also not worry too much about understanding all of it. Suffice it to say lil’ Koto is a bit of a hellraiser with her ludicrously oversized hammer; her brothers are equally bombastic, and Mirror Kyoto is full of psychadelic…stuff that never stops shimmering. Indeed, the ONA hardly ever stops moving, making the few moments that it does all the more powerful. It was a fun, if brief, ride.

Rating: 3.5