Kyousogiga – Episode 4

I’m guessing it’s time for a Yase episode. Eager to see how her own feelings reflect on those of her siblings – Kurama and Myoe each want out of the Mirror Capital for their own reasons, and I assume Yase will have a still different take. Let’s find out.

Episode 4

1:50 – The opening of this show has so much of the narrative locked inside of it – that image of each of them within their beautifully decorated little box pretty much says it all. Everything is lovely here, but the seams are visible on all the walls

2:28 – So many pretty images. I love Yase’s eyes


2:59 – It’s kind of strange to me that the same people who created that original ONA created this series. While the world is obviously the same, now all of these great whimsical details and ideas are actually used to underline the strong character focus, instead of just existing for their own sake. Which makes it less “hey, look at these cool ideas” and more of an actual story enriched by the wondrous corner details

4:28 – “Fun” seems like kind of a loaded term in this world. They exist in one giant playground, but only the outsider actually appreciates this

5:13 – A very resonant idea. Would you apply it to their memories? They’re all stuck in the past, and can’t throw elements of their old selves away. How central is the idea of letting go to the narrative? Would you apply it to these characters themselves? Kurama once offered the solution of having Yase and himself be thrown away in order to preserve the rest of the family – now they live in a place where nothing can be thrown away or forgotten

5:45 – That’s pretty nice 


6:22 – Damn this art style is well-constructed. Can’t get over what a good effect those jagged white outlines are

7:31 – If they were going for “it looks like they’re living in a book,” they nailed it 

Which kind of works with the structure of this whole story, and those ideas of entrapment and letting go. Nothing can be removed from a book – everything that has or will happen is all there, trapped in the same place as you flip through the pages. And this story does that as well, flipping back and forth through the similar pages and similar days of these characters’ lives. They live within a painted world, and no matter how pretty it is, that painting can never change.

8:04 – Speaking of things trapped within a preserving cage 

8:30 – Hard to say no to that face. Love her voice, too – this is definitely not the Kugimiya Rie I’m used to

8:32 – So much love for this show’s sets 


8:49 – Yase’s so great 

9:05 – Another great indicator of their static lives – the “station opening” is one of a set of regular events. What would normally be a marker of fundamental change is here just another regular holiday

9:59 – Ah, so Yase’s the one who doesn’t want to let go 

10:34 – What a Yase-ish storage system. Again, more great details revealed incidentally through the exploration of what makes these characters tick

11:02 – Man, these wonderful character designs 

11:40 – God, what a gorgeous idea. Preserving the tree from a precious memory itself as a marker of that moment, safe eternally in its own little box. This is the kind of vision anime is for


12:43 – Kurama, ever the pragmatist. And now we understand Yase. Man, this episode’s getting to me

13:55 – It is a very lovely cup 

14:19 – This is a great shot. Not really an inch of space wasted here

15:04 – Koto knows how important the smallest link to the people you love can be 

16:19 – More things anime is incredibly good at. This method of recalling memory comes off so naturally here


16:41 – And here it links. Yase’s the only one who doesn’t want to change and escape the past, and of course the mother she still longs for told her that was okay

17:01 – She isn’t, though. She’s still stuck in her mother’s shadow

17:59 – “Nothing important ever comes back once lost.” But Yase’s response isn’t to accept that as an inevitability – it’s to try and ensure she never loses anything important

19:45 – Kurama’s pretty great 

20:49 – All the pretty colors. Also, looks like we’re starting to move towards the conflict from episode 0. I still kinda wish it didn’t exist – I don’t need the show to give away a climax like that to get me invested in the first place. But I guess we’ll see how it goes – this show’s smart enough that it might not be that simple


23:06 – And this parade of days continues 

23:21 – They do have that much in common 

And Done

Oh jeez, the best show of the season had another great episode? Color me surprised.

So we got our Yase episode. Her feelings are certainly very different from those of her siblings – Yase expresses no discontent with the world they’ve been given, and in fact obsesses over preserving the past. She seems to feel no ambition beyond reconnecting with the mother who accepted her. They portrayed that wonderfully – that scene where she visited her archives definitely had me misting up a bit, and that tree was one of the best little details I’ve seen in a long time. The link between Koto and Lady Koto was made pretty clear through that doll, though the exactnature of the link remains clouded. And with that, each of the protagonists has been given their own establishing episode. I’m very excited to see where we go from here.

11 thoughts on “Kyousogiga – Episode 4

  1. I’m assuming that you never watched the 2011 or 2012 releases of this show. I’ve watched them and would strongly recommend against seeing those earlier releases before finishing the current series. Likewise, I would recommend against watching the original 5-minute trailer (which has footage that has not appeared anywhere else.) There’s a lot of cutting and pasting going on, and I’m becoming increasingly distracted by the subtle changes in tone, animation, character designs and even voice acting, depending on when the footage was made. I wish I could wipe my memory so that I could enjoy the current run as a single piece of work.

    • That’s interesting – as a new viewer it all comes across as cohesive to me, so I definitely wouldn’t have guessed they were taking bits and pieces from the earlier releases. I’ll stick to this version, then!

      • Yeah, it’s not really a criticism of the work. It’s an observation of how I’m reacting to it. The earlier releases were brief glimpses into this world, with the implication that a lot of stuff was going on outside the frame, so that I naturally started filling in the missing details in my head. So one builds up certain assumptions about what a character is like, what a character would do. And when the current run fills in more of the details, sometimes, the characters do unexpected things that go against those assumptions that have been built up. As for the changes in character designs, the visuals are elastic enough that it doesn’t really matter, except for the fact that I know a certain detail that only appears in the newer footage. It still works, but now I’m seeing the nuts and bolts of production decisions instead of being able to immerse myself in the story. It’s still a wonderful show.

  2. Ok, so I’m now fully caught up to this show, and all I can say is “Wow…”.

    Where the hell did this show come from? No, I don’t mean the older releases, because I know about those, I’m wondering where the original idea for this show came from(beside the obvious inspiration, of course). Because it’s scarily close to perfection for me. It’s like it borrows the best aspects from all of the shows I love. How? Who came up with this idea, who executed it, and how did they manage that?

    Oh, and the soundtrack is amazing. Last season, I applauded both Gatchaman Crowds and Uchouten Kazoku for mixing different types of music in their respective soundtracks, but Kyousougiga is just on a completely different level. It may not fit completely perfectly all of the time, but damn, this music is memorable!

    • Agreed completely on the soundtrack, and yeah, this was another show totally out of nowhere. It’s basically this director’s debut, too – she directed a couple episodes of Precure (the series composer/original creator is also listed as a big Precure person), the earlier releases of Kyousogiga, and this. Just one of those random gifts, I guess.

  3. I’ve been doing some random digging, and it turns out that Myoue is a historical figure.
    He founded the Kōzan-ji just northwest of Kyoto.
    Kōzan-ji is famous for one of its pavilions, the Sekisui-in. This building is clearly the model for Myoue’s home in Kyosogiga.
    The Kōzan-ji is also famous as the original home of the Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga, or Chōjūgiga, a series of illustrations that feature the playful antics of animals, most prominently rabbits, frogs and monkeys. It’s been called Japan’s oldest manga. 12th and 13th century.
    The place is in the mountains, and the photographs make it look gorgeous. Anime-induced history lessons FTW!

    • Wow, that place is beautiful. I guess we’ve got our setting, then!

      This show might force me to do a bit more Buddhism research myself. Kurama’s stuff last episode was already stretching the stuff I do know.

  4. This show kind of blindsided me this season, since I wasn’t expecting very much but now I love it.

    I liked that the scene of Kurama taking her doll wasn’t just him taking her doll; they showed how he was able to take it because she relented just barely when he said why he wanted to throw it away. That one small detail made the episode feel a lot more cohesive to me, and more like a story that was building up to something rather than a simple lesson learned for Yase not to alienate Kurama.

    • Same. Every season keeps surprising me with great shows I wasn’t expecting.

      I love the links between all the siblings in this show. You can really feel the weight of the history behind their interactions.

  5. I did not know there was an Episode 0, and upon watching it, I maintain my opinion that it is a better storytelling choice to skip episode 0 and go straight to watching Episode 1.

    I absolutely love this show! It reminds me of Uchouten in many pleasant ways.

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