- Genre : Comedy, drama, spiritual, slice of life, romance, rabbits, magical girl
- Episodes: 10
- Studio: Toei Animation
This one is going to be a little different. Maybe you can tell already because I usually reserve this part of my reviews for a series synopsis and instead I’m already editorializing. You see, I just know I’m not going to be able to review this show. Not like I usually do. The series may have cracked me just a tinge. I’m not going to be able to just sit here and tell you about the themes and techniques of this anime and try to explain what I liked about it and why you should watch it. Which is a shame because I do really want you to watch it and love it and do a much better job than me advertising it to your friends so they can watch and love it too. And eventually, maybe this will somehow reach anime industry execs and they will make more shows like this and it will make me very happy!
But I can’t. Because I don’t have the talent or words required to explain myself here. The task is at once too big and too personal to undertake. Every time I try the notions just slip through my brain fingers and end up a messy puddle at my feet. That’s not going to do anyone any good. So instead I’m going to scale back this post to something I might be able to handle. I’m going to try to give you a general idea of what Kyousougiga is. Or at least, what it was to me.
Kyousougia is a story about the past and how it has coiled tightly around three siblings. Oldest and dutiful brother Kuruma is trapped by it, middle sister Yase refuses to let go of it while youngest brother Yakushimaru is hopelessly lost in it. The present is here and gone, while the future may never exist at all, but the past is forever. So you need to make friends with it.
It’s a story about a beginning and an end. And a warning to not waste your life waiting for either.
Kyousougiga is about families and how we have a tendency to turn into our parents, with all the good and bad that implies. About how those deep bonds can chaff and comfort in turn. Hurt and support us. Show us the way and blind us. And it’s up to us to make the best of it.
Kyousougiga is a deeply brutal story that highlights how unfair and uncaring the world is. How fickle and random fortune can be. It’s a series that doesn’t shy away from some of the more unpleasant realities of life and shows us how trauma can ravage a soul for years. It even delves into the tiny mundane tragedies of slowly becoming someone who you don’t quite recognize. Of growing apart and weary.
It’s a story about how deeply disappointing love can be.
Kyousougiga is a show about a spunky magical girl with an indomitable spirit and a gigantic hammer that is ready to tear the very fabric of reality apart to find her family and delights in each adventure she has along the way.
It’s a series that’s charmingly optimistic, never losing faith the people are generally good and as such, they will eventually accomplish good. That happiness is possible even in impossible circumstances. That there is a soft and brilliant dream waiting to comfortably cradle each dreamer in turn, we just need to keep looking until we find it.
Kyousougiga constantly references Alice both in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. And just like those classics (some of my favourites might I add), it takes up the themes of feeling helpless in a society that imposes its morals and views upon you but not knowing what to do about it, or even if anything should be done. In turn, languishing and rebelling against the status quo.
There is a song by Vampire Weekend called Ya Hey and one of the lyrics goes:
“The faithless they don’t love you
The zealous hearts don’t love you
And that’s not gonna change”
And it reminds me a whole lot of this show.
When I was in school I lost a parent and last year I lost my dog. This show made me miss both terribly and for that, I am very grateful.
Kyousougiga is an odd show. I think it will either resonate with a viewer or it won’t and I suspect it’s a very individual experience so you should probably watch it for yourself.
Also, it has really great ragdoll animation and fantastic colours. It’s only 10 episodes and I couldn’t keep my screencaps under 300. I tried, I just really like the look of this show.
But even better than that, is the sound design. It was masterful and atmosphere enhancing. Just glorious sound design that really elevated a number of episodes. I really liked the ED and OP as well. I’m going to throw them in here so you can hear for yourself.
Ok. I think I manage to shake all those feels off, it was getting a bit overwhelming there.
TLDR: I liked Kyousougiga A Lot!
Favourite character: Yase (but Myoue is a great name!)
What this anime taught me: Always listen to anime recommendations from commentators…
“I may not be your cup of tea but I could totally be your 10th shot of Tequilla”
Suggested drink: Hammer of the Gods
- Every time anyone says Sensei – take a sip
- Every time we see a rabbit motif – cheer!
- Every time anyone cries – cry too (it feels good once in a while)
- Every time any of the ladies resolve their issues through violence – take a sip
- Every time anyone refers to the outside world – take a sip
- Every time everything goes back to how it was – status quo
- Every time we see beyond the looking glass – take a reasonable sip
- Every time Yase turns into a demon – take a sip
- Every time we see Myoue’s prayer beads – take a sip
- Every time it’s snowing – get a blankie
- Every time there’s a fire – get some water
- Every time someone says “probably” – take a sip
- Every time my heart delicately breaks – take a sip
I really encourage you to watch this series. It may be a bit confusing for some and maybe you’ll think it’s a waste of time but if it resonates with you, there are a lot of treasures to takeaway. And then, you can go see my Pinterest board cause it is huge!
37 thoughts on “Kyousougiga Left Me Speechless”
I’m happy by reading your enjoyable article, Keep uploading more interesting articles like this.
I read that Post and got it fine and informative.
Now I have to go watch this!
Ya Hey is a fantastic song and that sealed the deal for me.
I’ve been more into stuff like Shokugeki no Soma, which is lighthearted yet takes itself seriously. It’s so I don’t drown in the feels but I think I’m ready to brave the feels for this anime on the strength of your recommendation.
Also, I think you should see Shokugeki no Soma if you haven’t already (I didn’t see a review for it).
I saw some episode but wandered away from it. No specific reason it just didn’t grab me as much as other shows I was watching.
I would really like to get into the magical girl genre and maybe this could be a good starting point great review.
It’s a great anime and I would recommend it but I think I may be the only person to call it a magical girl show. It’s not very representative. Why not start with Madoka, it gets referenced and spoofed a lot so it’s context for a lot of later works.
Since i like the Urobutcher i’ll take a look at Madoka whenever i get the chance thanx 4 the recomendation.
Another series likely to leave me in a puddle of tears and absinthe.
In the best way though
Sounds like I need to watch this show .
I don’t know how I convinced you but I’m super grateful I did…maybe it was the comments. Either way – win!
Sometimes its just nice to have a new show , theres so much newness this winter season . I do like the magical girl genre but it can be tough to find a good show in the genre . Have you checked out the new Magia record series ?
I have not. I sort of like how Madoka ended. It tied up everything I was curious about in a way I found really satisfying so I’m afraid to mess with that…It’s silly. I might check it out once the season ends or just play the game
“Because I don’t have the talent or words required to explain myself here. ”
You’re a lot more brave than I am. This series is way beyond my vocabulary. I hope to review it when I grow up. Before then, about all I can say is that I loved it. It produced in me a tone — I guess because I don’t have the words! It was a low tone that reminded me of a huge bell.
I really enjoyed reading this review. I think it’s a case study for your yesterday’s post, “In Defense of Subjectivity in Anime Blogging.”
Trying to write a strictly objective review of this series would miss so much!
Well this comment already sounds like a wonderful review. You just proved yourself wrong good sir
Ooh, I’m so happy with your reaction to the show. When someone watches a show your really, really, really like, there’s always that worry in the back of the mind, that they might not like as much as you. So happy you reacted like you did. (I also sort of guessed you’d really take to Yase; she’s awesome.)
Here’s the Dawnstorm story of Kyousogiga.
It’s late 2012. I’m in the fall season, and I’m looking for something short to watch. Not an entire series; I’m watching things seasonally after all. So I come across this strange word “Kyousogiga” in a list of anime. It’s not a full series, just a couple of OVAs and ONAs all of varying length, from 5 minutes to the usual 24 (I think, I don’t remember the details). So without knowing anything about it, I dive right in… and end up baffled and excited. There’s a girl wreaking havoc in a town with a translucent hammer (and the hammer has this thing inside which reminds me loosely of the nucleus of a monocellular organism). There’s a scientist type who throws a hissy fit over a lost customised remote control, and has men in black chase after it. There’s a quiet scene of the girl (sans hammer) training in a shrine idyll for… something, and it’s cute and contemplative. And my favourite: there’s this yearly ritual involving a station that I’m certainly not going to spoil. I had no idea how all those things tied together, but it was fascinating and engrossing.
Back then, I was active on the animesuki forums. Those forums held (and still hold) a yearly award, with a nomination phase (nominated by the community) and a voting phase. It’s hardly a coincidence that they hold it at the end of the year. Well, I’m not one to step into the lime light, so I wasn’t making threads about Kyousougiga, but in the course of a conversation, I suggested that maybe a category for “Best setting” might be a good idea. I was being sneaking. You see, I had no idea what to make of Kyousougiga, but I did know I was in love with the setting – and that was, to be honest, the main reason I stepped forward to suggest that setting. Because then I could nominate the little incoherent mess of a show for a category it definitely deserved to win, and maybe some of the people would get curious reading the title and check out the show? Well, the category still exists, and it’s all thanks to those early OVAs. (I was the only one nominating it for setting, but someone else besides me nominated the show in the category “fantasy”: yay.)
This is where it could have ended. But it’s 2013, I don’t remember when, summer probably?, and… and… they announce a TV series called “Kyousougiga”. I recognise the art… Really? REALLY? Out of all shows, this gets a TV series? You have no idea how excited I got over this announcement. I finally get to find out what this is all about (well, maybe – there’s no guarantee). Not to mention, more of it is a good idea in itself, even if it remains as baffling to the end. But I was also worried: what if it being such a mess is a main part of the appeal? What if there’s a story, but the show’d be better off without it?
What I didn’t expect was for the story to pack such a punch, to be so emotionally poignant. In the course of 10 episodes the story transformed from fun, whimsical, energetic adventure, to a story about connections, longing, anxiety, being overwhelmed and confused, and so on. On the one hand the show has vintage anime action, but on the other hand there are mundane scenes you don’t often get to see in anime, like the little sister (?) bitching to her big brother’s (?) girl friend (?) about how he’s just such a spoil sport. This show is just such a labour of love.
And it’s very densly packed with content. There were things that went over my head on a first viewing, and things that I didn’t even realise I’d missed the first time round. This is a show that knows what it’s doing, so that even if you don’t catch it all you just feel the general shape of it, and there’s plenty left for a second run-through. I’ve seen it three times now (or maybe three and a half times if you count the original fragments), and it got better with every viewing.
This is a show I started out really, really, really liking, grew to love and have grown even fonder since. It’s a very hearty recommendation. Defintely in the top tend of the decade if I made one.
You feel the shape of it. That’s a fantastic way to put it. I wish I had thought of it. Kyusougiga is deeply poignant and left me reeling on ore than one occasion. I am not particularly emotional, my feelings are cheap and light so when somthing makes an impact like this, it tends to stick with me for a long long time. I wil be rewatching Kyousougiga at some point.
I actually really liked mot of the characters but there was just something bout Yase that pulled me to her.
Personally, I don’t even have a favourite character in the show. They all have those moments where they really shine. And then that tour de force of an ending, where they twist around the twists until God himself is confused.
Oh yay, you watched it! Kyousougiga is one of my all-time favorites! I loved it from top to bottom so it’s awesome knowing you had a good time with it! ^_^
Kyousougiga is GOAT is now one of my mottos
This has my on my absurdly long watch list for a long time because so many people have said great things about it. Recently decided it was something I would watch in the near future (like yesterday), so I’m glad you wrote this 😁.
Oh yes! I want to read a Scott review of this show!
Oh no, there are the Irina expectations again.
Poetry need not be writ with words; it need not be writ at all. But it must–MUST–be lived! Beautiful review just resonating with heartfelt warmth. You’ve damn near outdone yourself, Irina!
Really. That means a lot to me. It felt so messy and I just never managed to uite alighn my thoughts so I gave up and just wrote them all down.
Great review. That looks like a fascinating series to watch. Those visuals look so stunning!
It was beautiful! If you have time, I hope you watch it. I would love to read your thoughts
Sure thing. I’ll let you know when I get to watch it.
Sounds ace – was it directed by Rie Matsumoto? If so, I think that’s even more of a reason to check it out 🙂
Yes it is. Tat’s actually the reason it was recommended to me in the first place.
Have added it to my giant list, awesome!
This really convinced me to watch this! It seems like something I might really enjoy! I wonder how I will react to it!
Based on your screencaps I really like the style so far!
I’m so glad to hear that. I do hope you like it. It’s pretty weird.