Yet another dang post on Kyousougiga.
This is the fifth of my entries into 2017’s rendition of the 12 Days of Anime aniblogger project. For more about the project, read appropriant’s introductory post. Please also check out the spreadsheet containing the work of all the bloggers participating!
A Tale of a Certain Family’s… Despair?
This year, I rewatched Kyousougiga for the first time since its airing in 2013. I expected to like it even more than the first time, and I wasn’t disappointed. The show truly is as magnificent as I believed it to be—and that confirmation felt wonderful. “Oh,” I thought. “What a beautiful thing this is, and what a joy it is to be a person who can appreciate it as such.”
After I finished the show—and finished drying my tears over Koto’s joyful laughs her family reunites at last—I was trying to think about the show in new ways. The family theme is obvious, but somehow I felt there was still something there I hadn’t fully grasped. Something shaded behind the richness of the obviousness of love, forgiveness, and life. And then it hit me—Kyousougiga is about the validity of existence. The entire family drama and resolution is precipitated by Inari’s profound ennui, Lady Koto’s departure is resultant from her so-called “borrowed” existence, and the world in which their children live is a burden to Kurama, a inadequate replacement of better times for Yase, and torture for the suicidal Myoue.
It is only Koto, betraying her assigned role as destroyer, who upsets the existential woes of her family through her sheer desire to not simply live, but live with. Koto, through her loves, impels her family to overcome their collective despair and gives them a reason to exist… Wow. As Koto says, “That’s what love is!”
It made me happy to like Kyousougiga, realizing all this. And that’s a feeling I have about many (all?) of my favorites: I like that I like them. Or maybe another way to put it is that I like being the kind of person who likes Kyousougiga. I would want to be the kind of person who likes a show that says family can be a wonderful thing, that forgiveness can be found amidst hopelessness, that simply being alive is worth doing. What a wonderful color this show has! And to discover those hues undimmed from their radiant first appearance… well. I am running out of words to express how happy I was.
Do I discover anything new about the color I seek by reaffirming I love something I believe I did?
I suppose I believe so. After all, it was in finding things like Kyousougiga that I began to discover this “color” that now forms the core of my desires. Thus, to see that the foundation holds gives me clarity. The old love persists in a new year, the continuity of affection continues on. And as 愛 (ai) exists, its effects will likewise linger in my heart and my mind, not limiting me to the past, but pointing me toward the future where new love can blossom in the soil prepared by a show I love. To remember Kyousougiga in something new is to allow the love of one thing to nurture the love of another. To wit, love does not drift away, only breeds more love.
Another wonderment: What shows that you love have prepared you to love other things?
7 thoughts on “ Kyousougiga, An Old Love in a New Year”
I would say that Your Lie in April helped me realize the potential that anime has when it comes to storytelling and the emotions that it can convey. As my first anime, it perfectly demonstrated that, and it made me eager to watch and learn more about this wondrous and, at the time, unknown medium.
My Neighbor Totoro helped me learn that I really like slice-of-life stories. Tanaka-kun is Always Listless and Flying Witch further cemented my preference for this genre later on. I love to experience characters that I really like just hanging out and enjoying their lives with each other. I would like to believe that it also helped me in loving Yuki Yuna is a Hero and the Washio Sumi Chapter movies all the more.
The insanity and the badass nature of Gurren Lagann introduced me to the style that is Gainax’s, and Studio Trigger by extension, and helped me appreciate and like Space Patrol Luluco, Kill la Kill and Inferno Cop more. It, along with Kill la Kill, may have been a factor in me loving the Symphogear franchise too.
Watching My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! during the summer 2016 season helped me appreciate This Art Club has a Problem! more, since both anime were made by studio feel., especially when Ryo Araki’s work appeared. This is true for Tsuki ga Kirei too.
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU also made me so happy to watch the anime adaptation of Wataru Watari’s other work, Girlish Number.
I enjoyed watching Keijo!!!!!!!! despite my initial aversion to it, and I feel that it, along with Under the Scope’s video on Nisemonogatari, was a big help in me enjoying and respecting the Monogatari franchise this year. It’s one of my favourite anime now.
I should also mention Spice and Wolf, Wolf Children, Shirobako, Toradora!, Psycho-Pass, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the Haruhi franchise simply for reinforcing my love for anime.
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Heyyy I started this show just yesterday. I guess I’ll come back to read this after I finished it.
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Aw, Kyousougiga. Was it 2011? I don’t remember. Anyway, I clicked this innocuous looking OVA with the strange title having no idea what I was about to watch. After finishing it (it was rather short), I still had no idea what I had just watched. There were others of varying length and watched them all. The longest was the most conventional and coherent, and the only one with a contemplative mood, and I had no idea idea how it connected with any of the others I’d seen. I remember nominating Kyousougiga for the “best setting” category in the animesuki choice awards that year.
Then, if it was 2011, around two years passed and heard this little show would get a TV adaption. The familiar mix of excitement and trepidation that it loses its puch once it makes sense. I needn’t have worried.
It’s definitely about existance, though I’d say it’s more about the joy of existence than its validity. You know I’m an atheist, but there’s something about “Sabbat being for the people” in the way Koto threatens to destroy it all should the beaurocrats insist on rules that ruin everything. Basically, existance needs to be made worthwhile to be valid. (And you don’t just sit around and mope.) Life is risky, and reducing the risk doesn’t make things more worthwhile. What a wonderful anime!
(Time for a rewatch?)
I still need to get around to watching the OVA. It’s on the excellent BD release that Funimation put out here in the States, but I just haven’t got around to it.
Joy and validity perhaps go hand in hand? In any case, the grandfather’s line, “What’s wrong with just being here?” struck me deeply on my rewatch and that’s where that idea came from.
Interesting line. To me, existance is so basic, it’s beyond validity. Or differently put: if something doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter whether it’s valid or not, and if something does exist it’s the thing itself that’s either valid or not (should you care about validity and have standards), not its existance. Or maybe it’s possible for something to be valid, but not it’s existance? That makes my brain hurt.
Anyway, if it’s possible to end something’s existance then that becomes a choice.
The OVAs are mostly covered in the TV series, but there’s some content that I’ve been dearly missing (the only episode I like clearly better in the OVA is the one where “useless” things float away).