Synonyms: Kyousougiga (TV), Kyousogiga (TV)
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 10, 2013 to Dec 19, 2013
25 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.031 (scored by 13784 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisHidden within Kyoto is the "mirror capital" where youkai and humans live together and no one ever dies. It is protected by three people—Kurama, Yase, and Myoue—as they await the return of their parents, Myoue Jonin and Koto. One day, a young girl named Koto (same name, different spelling) and her little brothers A and Un wander into the city from a different dimension looking for her mother. A mecha-geek with red eyes, it's not immediately clear whether she's human or youkai. Her arrival upsets the long peace that had ruled the city.
Related AnimeOther: Kyousou Giga (2012)
Summary: Kyousou Giga (TV) Recaps
Characters & Voice Actors
A journey into Kyousou Giga is an experience like no other. It is perhaps, out of all things, most analogous to wandering in a circus, stumbling upon the Hall of Mirrors, and coming back having witnessed a sensational light show. In other words, Kyousou Giga is a show that stands out for its use of exuberant visuals; it displays a charm that is unique and impressive.
However, looks can often be deceiving, and thankfully, this is not the case for Kyousou Giga. Admittedly, the beginning seems bizarre; lots of random, unrelated events occur spontaneously. Nonetheless, a darker narrative, which Kyousou Giga skillfully weaves with its initially lighthearted tone, later takes center stage. And not only does Kyousou Giga manage to blend these heterogeneous elements together, it does it very well. It’s like seeing a constellation of fireworks as they meander into the air, only to explode in a colorful harmony. And never before have fireworks looked so beautiful.
Set in the Mirror Capital, Kyousou Giga begins with the Council of Three. The Capital is a painting originally created by a monk named Myoue, who, gifted with supernatural abilities, can give life to anything he draws. Lady Koto, by way of Myoue’s magic and an encounter with a bodhisattva, transforms from a drawing of a black rabbit to a human, and later confesses her love to Myoue. Myoue soon reciprocates Lady Koto’s affection, and creates the Capital, as society became increasingly intolerant of his supernatural acts, to escape from reality and to foster their family. Their family is composed of three children; Kurama and Yase, created from Myoue’s drawings, and Yakushimaru, a human being. The Council of Three are the three siblings who, after the sudden disappearance of their parents, took over the Capital. One day, as Yakushimaru is observing the Capital, a lightning storm comes by, bringing in its wake an eccentric girl called Koto, who’s searching for a black rabbit.
By a storm Koto arrives, and what a storm Koto will leave. As it turns out, Koto is a catalyst for trouble and chaos. Almost every scene Koto lands on is bound to be marked by havoc: wrecked either by her whimsical tendencies or her monumental, destructive hammer. The first half of the story does an excellent job of establishing her impulsive character and the second of fleshing it out. Particularly, as the central mystery of the black rabbit is slowly unveiled, Koto begins to gain a sense of belonging. As she searches for something that’s missing from her heart, the Capital becomes her compass, her guidance, and her home. Every character she stumbles upon gradually shapes who she is, and by the end, Koto has found the ultimate bliss. Thankfully, this development is paced properly and thereby blossoms naturally.
Koto also brings about excitement to those surrounding her. Acts of kindness and acts of joy, Koto’s true talent lies with her ability to inspire change by way of her impetuous acts. Her interactions with other characters, through thick and thin, effectuate in the development and characterization for said characters. For instance, one of Yase’s notorious temperamental outrages is stabilized by Koto when, after a duel of fists, Yase is able to calm down and reflect upon the kindness around her, a kindness of which Koto offers to those who need it the most. Afterwards, although Yase does not show it immediately, she begins developing a faint, more sympathetic aura than before. Subtly, she matures from a sprout to a flower.
On another note, Kyousou Giga also enriches its narrative by paying homage to Japanese folklore and Buddhist tales. And it does so excellently. Extrapolating on folklore such as the “Moon Rabbit” or “Scrolls of Frolicking Animals," Kyousou Giga breathes life into its mystical characters—imbibing the cultural significances that are entailed by said folklores. It is as if Kyousou Giga is taking inanimate legends and rendering them into contemporary art form—as if to yield the perfect balance between faithful “adaptation” and its own creative license. Luckily, this means that even side characters—many of whom are caricatured and used as a comic relief—are given flair from the past: colorful spirits that roam around nonchalantly under Yase’s rule, anthropomorphic animals that speak human tongue, and so on. Even an ordinary motif such as the recurring paper-cut crowds from metropolis can make for a great enhancement to the vibrancy of the Mirror Capital.
The presentation is, by and large, a combination of unique visual designs and stellar direction. When likened to Koto’s wackiness, the Mirror Capital is portrayed to be full of mundane follies and mischief. Moreover, Kyousou Giga is able to, in tune with its aesthetics, construct a universe supernatural in concept, but down-to-earth in essence. There's nothing quite like the way that Kyousou Giga fills its canvas: covering it initially with unearthly shapes and vivid imagery, only to be animated by a brush that conjures lifelike wonders. The end result is an unbelievably vibrant piece of work that is both pleasing to the eye and immersed with depth. Of course, this is not without the help of backdrops that depict all four seasons of the year; from the bountiful nature of the spring to the scathing effects of the wintry snow. Similarly, the OST serves its purpose well. Powerful during action scenes and minimalistic when needed to be, the OST complements the elegant animation.
A prominent theme in Kyousou Giga is the importance of familial identity. Many characters evaluate their self-worth entirely upon the status quo of their family, and for the Council of Three, who have a dysfunctional family, that is very little. Beautiful as it may be to see Koto develop her own take on her identity, it’s perhaps more joyful to witness the subtle transformations that overcome the three. Through trials and tribulations, they find that family is more than a superficial tradition to live by. To be a family means to make mistakes. To make silly decisions, to argue about frivolous matters, and to spend time leisurely: this is what a family does. It, akin to all things in life, isn’t perfect, and Kyousou Giga tells us not to hinge or weigh ourselves based on mistakes of the past or decisions made in the future. It tells us to live freely in the present, as Koto does, and to see the silver lining in the clouds.
Much of this is expressed via the lighthearted mood of the series; the comedy and the playful tone. Koto's whimsical actions and her buffooneries, more than the purpose of entertainment, resound the central theme of living capriciously. Without Koto, the Council of Three would’ve spent eternity waiting; without change, the present stagnates. Koto’s greatest tools to inspire change are her hammer and smile. All this is to remind us to live life to the fullest, joyfully.
Kyousou Giga is an impressive anime. Rich in folkloristic imagery, wildly creative in direction, and breathtaking in visuals, Kyousou Giga is certainly one of the best anime in recent years. Even with action, drama, and fantasy, it is able to harmoniously blend these elements together without homogenizing its creative, distinct flavor. Be it fireworks, a painting, or a Hall of Mirrors, Kysousou Giga is a work that deftly conveys its messages by way of its memorable characters, narrative, and production. A journey into Kyousou Giga is an experience like no other. read more
Kyousougiga is like a book you randomly stumble upon that you end up reading until you finish it in one-go. Amidst the wide array of classics, bestsellers, and other popular books, Kyousougiga as a book would stand out quietly, waiting to be discovered. And for those who do eventually discover it, Kyousougiga rewards them with a refreshingly original and beautifully heartwarming story.
One peaceful night, a tomboyish girl named Koto accidentally crashes down into the “mirror capital” named Kyoto while chasing a magical black rabbit. In this weird city that models itself after the old medieval Kyoto, Koto discovers her three long-lost siblings that have been trapped in the city for a long time, waiting for their parents to come back. Follow Koto as she tries to mend broken family ties and reunite the family once more, all the while getting into all sorts of trouble.
A fitting description of Kyousougiga would be that it pleases the eye as much as it pleases the heart. Initially, you’ll be drawn in by fantastical world reminiscent of a Japanese version of Alice in Wonderland. The stunning and almost otherworldly sceneries and other eye-catching visuals (like those you would see in a fantasy game) give the show a certain charm unique to its own. You’ll then be drawn in a second time by the heartwarming story of the love and rebirth of a family, in which each family member undergoes some sort of maturation and self-discovery.
Before I get into the family members, it’s worth mentioning that Kyousougiga has quoted lines directly from Lewis Carroll’s poem, “Life is but a dream.” The poem is basically about the inescapability of time and the “loss of innocence” children experience as they transition into adulthood. I mention this poem because all the characters, both the children and the parents, go through this “loss of innocence” and move on to become more mature over the course of the anime. What makes these stories somewhat bittersweet but also emotionally satisfying is that the anime dedicates an episode to explore each member of the family to really help viewers understand their thoughts, their personalities, and their actions. Even as a 1-cour, Kyousougiga doesn’t rush the plot but rather focuses on the characters to build an emotional connection between the viewers and the characters. As some of these characters start to change and discover more about themselves, one can’t help but love the characters even more. The fact that the character designs are distinctively creative and unique help to further stand out the characters and give them identities like none other.
Now, it is a surprise (certainly a relieving one) that Kyousougiga managed to air 10 episodes. Considering the premise of the show and the fact that the five ONAs released beforehand were rather random and perplexing, Kyousougiga was definitely at risk for not even making it to a 1-cour. Moreover, Kyousougiga's lack of budget shows in some parts of the animation, especially when the show literally copies and pastes whole ONA episodes into its episodes. The newly animated episodes are definitely well-made and beautiful to look at, but towards the end there is more dialogue than action rather than the reverse. In addition, the dialogue is rather lengthy and drawn out, slowing down the pacing and overcomplicating the story.
However, Kyousougiga makes a genuine attempt to make up for its flaws. Too many times I see 1-cour anime giving up on wrapping up the anime well and ending it quite abruptly without explanations. In the case with Kyousougiga, however, the dialogue towards the end actually helps explain and make sense of everything. Sure, it takes at least twice or thrice of watching to understand fully, but once understood, viewers will realize that Kyousougiga wraps its complex story up so well that it is almost frightening that they did it in just 10 episodes. As for the animation, I understood the budget situation so I didn’t mind it at all.
In addition, what makes this anime even better is the anime's attention to detail. It is full of symbolism, subtle details, references to Buddhism, and allusions to Lewis Carroll’s, “Through the Looking Glass.” All of these components are actually really important for the show because knowing some of the background knowledge about Buddhism or analyzing some of the symbols and details leads to a deeper understanding of the characters and the plot. For someone who loves to challenge himself to really get to the heart of what the show is trying to say, Kyousougiga was like a gold mine waiting to be struck.
To end, here are some miscellaneous components that made Kyousougiga better:
Music: The soundtrack was the icing on the cake. With music ranging from classical to electronic, there is a wide array of soundtracks that fit the overall uniqueness of the anime. The opening song, “Koko” by Tamurapan, and the insert song, “The Secret of My Life” by Aimee Blackschleger (who sang DOA for AOT), are also still two of my most favorite songs, regardless of genre. The opening song fits perfectly to the anime because the emotionless vocals coupled with a cheery tune gives the song a feeling of melancholy and a sense of longing for loved ones.
Special episode: Usually, special episodes are unnecessary summaries with pointless commentaries. However, the special for Kyousougiga has proved me that some specials are worth watching. In the special, the voice actors visit places in Kyoto that were used as models for the setting in Kyousougiga, and in the process they went over some important background details that actually helped me understand the show better. The anime’s attention to detail was a pleasant surprise for me, and made me appreciate the anime even more.
P.S. If you have any questions regarding Kyousougiga, leave a comment on my profile or send me a message!
Kyousougiga has more action than Mawaru but these animes share several similarities:
- Unique sceneries and colorful animation trace an intricate plot that starts as utterly confusing, until the end where explanations finally arrive and the riddles are solved.
- Both are plots filled with symbolism, rabbits, a fruit that connects two people and Alice in Wonderland references.
- The main message is "bonds" and the true meaning of family where a character disappears and returns later; also it is presented an unconventional affection between two siblings.
Great soundtracks and Voice acting...and there are many other similarities which are not mentioned here due to spoilers.
M.P. has more depth and more well developped characters, but Kyousougiga does an excellent job in just 10 episodes. Iif you enjoyed one you will probably enjoy the other.
Both are wierd stories, packed with action, humor, and the most important: symbolism. If you liked one, you will certainly like the other!
Similar director approach in terms of animation, backgrounds, and puzzling but solid story with characters bearing the fate their parents chose for them. Quirky but at the same time cheerful and creepy, it's a rare mix ,well shaken.
Both of these shows are colorful, weird, and in turns both funny and tragic. Also starring: great soundtracks and loads of symbolism, most notably the fruit of fate/life/something. Introducing red eyed black rabbits!Featuring Alice allusions!
These series have a heavy focus on symbolism and imagery. They can be extremely surreal at times and have an easygoing feel which belies more serious and sinister events behind the scenes.
Kyousou Giga and Mawaru Penguindrum are both anime series with a strange sense of fascination.
They have an unique sense of artistic background with its colorful cast of characters. The approach that both series takes is peculiar but is packaged with amusing dialogues, powerful characterization, and engaging story. Both series also has a sense of supernatural elements involved in them along with colorful imagery/allusions.
If you're looking for a series with an unique style, then look no further.
Although the two stories are different, they're executed in a very quirky style. Both involve a different world and have colourful art. Not to mention that both animes have rabbits with black fur and red eyes. ;)
Both have plenty of frantic exaggerated action. The kinds of things we wouldn't see from regular people and yet there are emotions that are deeply familiar. A sense of belonging, wanting some place to call home, universal kinds of longing in all the craziness.
The same whacky humor, you don't know whats going on unless you watch the episodes a couple times and then are still confused. Over the top humor, over the top characters, over the top everything.
FLCL and Kyousou Giga not only shares similar artwork and backgrounds but also with its explicit presentation in terms of comedy, action, and fun. The main female characters from both series are similar with their explosive energy and personality.
More so however is the comedy from both series. The dialogues are catchy and provides feedback of fun that also balances itself with emotional scenes. There are also elements mixed in that is quite eye gluing with the way it presents itself.
Very similar art and direction styles, with a lot of crazy action and bright colors, and both containing stories that deal with growing up. FLCL is more focused on one aspect of growing up and is a bit faster-paced, while Kyousou Giga is more focused on family. Somewhat similar music in certain parts. Can't see any reason why a fan of one series wouldn't be a fan of the other.
Both series solve their other worldly problems by using blunt force trauma.
So, first of all Im going to say that when I was introduced to the 2012 ONA of Kyousougiga, I said to myself "this will be the new FLCL". Not in terms of popularity, but in just how it plays out. You are so over run with awesome and mystifying things that you find out later have a point and a deep emotional appeal. I was just so happy the first time i saw it (and ATT it was only at Ep 1 of 2012 ONA) that the Mirror Capital became a place I could fantasize about.
Total fantasy is what diverges this concept from FLCL. Kyousougiga might actually just be going out even farther.
Gynax uses a lot of experimental angles and shots that I dig as far as the artwork goes. Someone also said that there were "too many rainbows" but really there are a lot of colors that match and/or are complementary in terms of color theory and diadic harmony. This art style is what I like to call "scenery porn" because it makes mental masturbation happen from watching Kyousougiga. You dont have to know whats going on to like it because of this. However, its not vain. Its not all scenery porn and shiny things. There is a plot with substantial connection to my imagination.
Opening Theme"Koko (ココ)" by Tamurapan (たむらぱん)
Ending Theme"Shissou Ginga (疾走銀河)" by TEPPAN
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
AnimeYO! [AnimeYO!] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Related ClubsAkira Ishida, Kyousougiga Fan Club, The Gentleman's club., INFERNO , Kyousougiga, Kitamura Eri Fanclub
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