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: 8.061 (scored by 10105 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisKoto and her brothers, A and Un are stuck in a strange city causing massive mayhem through the land called Kyoto but not the Kyoto they are from. They are searching for an atypical rabbit in order to return home. Koto, who is the eldest of the three, seems to have some sort of connection to this weird place ruled by a monk, a demon, and a priest.
Related AnimeOther: Kyousou Giga (2012)
Summary: Kyousou Giga (TV) Specials
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
Every once in a while, there is a show that reminds you why you love the medium in the first place. May it be through the narrative completely enthralling you, the story resonating with personal events or just because it strikes a chord and makes you emotionally invested in what is going to happen. Kyousougiga is that show, and to me it is something that you can only really find in this medium.
One of the first things to notice about Kyousougiga is that this is not the first Kyousougiga anime. The original was released in 2011 and was a 1 episode long ONA produced by Toei Animation and then followed up in 2012 with a 5 episode long OVA series made up of 10 minute long, seemingly unconnected character profiles. So, do you need to watch these two previous shows to watch Kyousougiga (TV)? Not at all, everything from the previous two shows is repeated and expanded upon in here with episode 0 being a straight up remake of the ONA and episodes 2-6 covering what were the OVA’s but in more detail. This however does not mean it is a straight up continuation, a lot of themes and story elements are changed entirely and is in all around different experience in the second half. This also means that fans of the original ONA and OVA’s may be disappointed in the drastic changes made, especially due to it being more exposition driven than the previous iterations but for the most part it carries off this new direction well.
The story is relatively simple yet undeniably complex at the same time, with a narrative that fluctuates between linear and non-linear story telling it essentially creates a jigsaw like plot that slowly evolves as the storyline progresses and the true nature of certain individuals and events come into perspective. What starts off with what is essentially an anime interpretation of the classic Lewis Caroll novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland quickly becomes something else entirely, because at the heart of it, Kyousougiga is a story about family and self-discovery yet at the same time so much more. This show borrows heavily from Buddhist ideology, the Choujuu-giga, the Buddhist tale of Hariti/Kishimojin, the history of Kyoto and is also very reminiscent of classic anime such as FLCL, Paprika and The Tatami Galaxy in its presentation and narrative. All of this make Kyousougiga a show that is surprisingly more complex than it appears at face value yet is completely enjoyable to someone who does not want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
The show does suffer in the second half due to its low budget as there are many scenes which rely heavily on exposition. This unfortunately makes the second half of the show very divisive but all the themes that were in the first half are still there and the story takes the utmost logical route possible for what it is. This however is still Kyousougiga’s weakest element but I feel all of things great about Kyousougiga more than make up for it. And no need to worry, the ending is also excellent and ties up all the messages and themes nicely while returning to the quality of the earlier episodes.
One major advantage that Kyousougiga has over other stories which deal with a character “going through the looking glass” is that the characters here feel like actual people with realistic motivations and characteristics and are not just an embodiment of the world in itself for the most part. A large aspect of the story just thrives on pure character development for the Council of Three which the story completely revolves around for the majority of the story and by the time that the true plot kicks in circa-episode 6 you do feel invested in these. That being said, there are a number of side characters that could have been implemented better, mainly for those that make up the entourage of Kurama and Yase such as Shoko and Fushimi and Myoue/Yakushimaru’s girlfriend who just seems to exist for some reason or another but for a 10 episode series it is done well enough for the majority of characters still to be memorable.
One of the major factors that gathered my interest in this show is art style. Needless to say it is excellent with a lot of focus on colour and lighting which really support the sporadic tone of the show. There is a lot of subtlety in the art itself such as Mirror Kyoto being a lot more vibrant and colourful than its real world counterpart which focuses on shading and almost washed out colours to contrast with the unique character designs. There is also an undying playfulness about the art as there are many scenes where the artists incorporate watercolour like elements to make them stand out or put emphasis on the backgrounds while never being in your face about these elements like a show such as FLCL would. The use of lighting and shadowing in this show is fantastic which really bring to the forefront the amount of detail that the artists put into every scene, and there is a lot of detail. That is what I personally think the show excels in, no nook or cranny is underutilised and every scene is filled with trippy, psychedelic visuals all the way through to ultra-realistic and complex structures and backgrounds.
However the same cannot be said about the animation at parts. Don’t get me wrong when it is good it is some of the best, but when it is bad it is very reminiscent of the infamous elevator scene in Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is one certain scene where Koto is standing at a station, unblinking, while CGI shenanigans occur in the foreground as well as the soon to be infamous “walking exposition” scene in episode 9 due to budget constraints. Luckily these scenes are few and far between but they do pull you out of your emersion at crucial points in the story. However, the shows particle effects used and the animation put into the action orientated scenes more than make up for it as they are gorgeous, everything from snow to dust flickering in the light looks realistic and really well down and really transform a scene where there is very little character movement to something very dynamic. There is also a reliance on CGI, and usually I absolutely hate CGI but here it is done pretty tastefully here. The majority of the CGI consists of indescribable light structures and computer generated people that are used to fill up space in mirror Kyoto or hanging ornaments inside the Council of Three Chamber, other than that it was relatively unnoticeable and fit the show pretty well.
Where this anime really shines is its soundtrack by Go Shiina. This may be the first time since Yoko Kanno’s work on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex that a soundtrack has been completely diverse yet fits the tone and setting perfectly. The pieces of music used in the show range from minimalist and melancholic Piano sonata’s such as the track “Promises in the Snow” all the way through to the track “Shoko” which is a strange mixture of Metal, Hip-Hop, Classical and Electronica which comes together surprisingly well. However, the real meat of this soundtrack comes from the absolutely incredible symphonic pieces which are very reminiscent of Joe Hisaishi’s work on Princess Mononoke and capture the emotions and events shown on screen incredibly well.
I wouldn’t usually talk about the opening theme of show, but damn, the track Koko by Tamurapan may be the one of best Anime OPs I have ever heard really, it captures the feeling of the show perfectly and is just is bloody good song all around. There is also the insert song “The Secret of My Life” which is not only a great track, but is used exceptionally well in the context of the show.
To me Kyousougiga is a masterpiece as it is everything an excellent anime should be. However, its budget really holds it back from being perfect and that is where the flaws really appear so I cannot give this show a 10 from an objective stand point although I personally think it does deserve it on enjoyment alone. The show is full of heart and passion and I really feel that the people who worked on this really did make the best of the resources that they had and with a higher budget this show would be perfect to me.
+ Absolutely beautiful art and soundtrack.
+ Great characters and a unique story.
+ Surprisingly deep and thought-provoking.
- The narrative and animation is weaker in the second half at points.
- Fans of the ONAs and OVA may be disappointed in the change of direction.
- Some side characters could have had better development.
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 ClubsINFERNO , Kitamura Eri Fanclub, Kyousougiga, Akira Ishida, The Gentleman's club., Kyouso Giga Fan Club
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