Kyousogiga – Episode 9

Oh jeez, two episodes to go. Last episode made me a little worried about this series’ conclusion, but I’ve heard this one steers the focus back onto the family, so that’s a relief. It’s honestly kind of terrifying to me to watch a show as good as this one as it’s airing – as with my OreGairu writeups, I pretty much approach every episode praying “don’t screw up, don’t screw up” to myself. The easiest way for this show to screw up would be for it to forget its own strengths – its careful character focus and ability to build intimate family moments. And it wouldn’t be at all hard for the show to do this – finales naturally tend towards bombast, the original ONA for this series was bombastic as fuck, and the busyness of the conflict with Shrine and need to save the Mirror City could easily overwhelm the small character conflicts the show spent its first six episodes building. To stick the landing, this show will need to avoid indulgence and keep the focus on its fundamental emotional truth. Many shows feature a lot of busy stuff happening – few shows are able to make their events mean something.

Episode 9

1:55 – Koto showing off her badass poses.


3:05 – Ah. That explains a great deal. No wonder he looks younger. Efficient storytelling, too – we need this information, but they both know it, so they fit it in as an offhand jab

3:58 – It’s an interesting argument on the in-universe theological level, since we already know what a whimsical god they actually have – he creates life because he feels like it, and builds worlds that threaten the balance of reality to keep a single family happy and safe

4:07 – “Lord, for sixty-so years I’ve surrendered my love, to emblems of kindness and not the kindness they were emblems of.” It’s a pretty strong argument – the Shrine has built itself around protecting the world their god created, so how can their dogma supersede the will of that god himself? Poignant, too – this is far from a meaningless question in the context of our own world

Oh, here’s where that line’s from, by the way. If you like this show and rock music, you’ll probably like that album – it’s also obsessed with questions of meaning and determined to build its own mythology

4:28 – They’re using these minor characters very well. We’re all careless creations, and they deserve to keep their home as much as anyone


4:44 – Goddamn this show has a good visual aesthetic. This, Kill la Kill, Monogatari, Nagi no Asukara, Kyoukai no Kanata… we’re getting spoiled on the diversity of worlds anime can create

5:04 – This is a very good link. Koto considers herself the girl without a past – well, this world has given her one, and she’s not going to let it be taken away.

It’s pretty funny to see Koto being the adult of the family, here – her father simply rages against Shrine, but she lays out a friggin’ theological argument for the sake of the Mirror City

5:45 – Nice shot


6:33 – The father, the son, and the holy priest? Man, this show is playing fast and loose with its mythologies

7:14 – This is kind of endearingly rambly, though I don’t know if we need this much explanation

8:22 – Not sure Myoe wants to hear this. If his own father was this incapable of handling that responsibility…

8:48 – If you say so!


9:39 – More of life being largely an accident

9:55 – And more of the weight of family

10:46 – That is not what she said she did not say that you damn selfish god

Oh man, what a mean build that was. Nasty trick, Kyousogiga. What a whimsical, shitty god they have

11:34 – Never really a family man

12:32 – It only gets harder, Myoe

15:01 – And it’s all falling apart. Fortunately, Myoe’s hit his turn – he’s no longer living in the context of his father’s expectations


15:22 – Man this show is pretty

16:37 – Perhaps this is a more extreme case than most, but yeah. Having his parents back was never going to solve anything. The responsibilities they gave him have made him who he is – those can’t just be taken back now. And the expectation that all the loose ends they left you with will somehow be solved by their return echo that childhood inability to see a parent as a flawed human being – their actions have to make sense, so you hope that someday it will all be explained. And then you end up in a cave with your brother at the end of the world, wondering where it all went wrong

16:57 – Pull it together, little brother

17:00 – And he comes right out and says it

17:04 – Graceful way of putting it


17:41 – Ouch. Existing to comfort him, and ultimately allowing him to diffuse the weight of taking responsibility for his life choices. Strong stuff

19:23 – Well that’s beautiful. As was that scene between Kurama and Myoe – pretty much everything I needed as far as the show’s central arc goes. Gotta grow up sometime

19:49 – More pretty things

20:02 – Great shot transition. Straight from the beautiful panorama of destruction visible to the eye of the distant, uncaring god down to the bleak personal destruction witnessed by the son who must pick up the pieces


20:12 – Echoing her line upon Koto’s first arrival. The beginning and the end

20:28 – She knows what she wants. Now that you’re free, what do you want, Myoe?

22:39 – So yep, they nailed it. Completely – they shifted the Shrine conflict gracefully into Myoe’s personal conflict, and are wringing all the emotional truth they can out of Myoe’s acceptance of his own responsibility and desires. Beautiful stuff

And Done

That was an episode! Man, parents sure are good at fucking up their kids. Decking them in expectations and responsibilities, leaving them no room to make a coherent, independent self… we’ve got a whole lineage of fuckups here. The old Monk/God, breaking his father’s toys and generally acting like a selfish child… and our put-upon Myoe, eternally hoping the return of his deadbeat dad might lend some meaning to his life. But you’ve got to find your own meaning, of course, and your parents’ expectations often don’t make that journey any easier. Fortunately Myoe’s siblings are a little better at aiming him in the right direction.

Yep, totally satisfied with that one. It completely dodged the problems I was worried about, honed in on the show’s core emotional conflicts, and even neatly tied the old Monk/God’s motivations into the show’s central questions about family and the weight of expectation. Looks like this show can successfully juggle all its ideas after all!

8 thoughts on “Kyousogiga – Episode 9

  1. 4:07 How can the Shrine go against God?

    See, I also fell upon this point, and how differently we’d have treated it post episode – The God who created this world isn’t the God who set up the shrine, and set down the laws 🙂

    5:04 Family raging against Shrine.

    For the most part, they’re raging against their father, or trying to understand what’s going on. I think it’s mostly Koto doing the raging, and the calming down. If anything, I’ll say they’re relatively observers to her active agency, rather than adults versus children.

    7:14 “Do we need this much explanation?”

    If you’ve read my piece on the episode, then we definitely do. It’s necessary to show us just how whimsical this God is, which is related to the sub-theme of obeying your nature/role, but much more than that, it’s necessary for the whole big theme the show had had since episode 4-5 – following in your father’s footsteps, family as cycles without end is a phrase I’ve kept using for this show. Myoue follows in Inari’s footsteps, so Inari just following in his father’s footsteps, and also the setup for just how much Myoue is expected to follow Inari is very necessary.

    Also, the whole replacing your father is so very Greek-mythology.

    15:01 Fortunately, Myoe’s hit his turn – he’s no longer living in the context of his father’s expectations

    Hee hee, another comment that’s fun to get back to in the context of the episode after you’ve watched it all. Silly Bob, this show is all about how you can’t escape retracing your family’s steps, you think they’ll let Yakushimaru off this easily? 😀


    Big change in my translation. Paraphrasing it, it’s “We’ve only been there as a crib until you’ll be ready to take your own steps,” which also fits the visual crib motif we’ve discussed in the past, and which they get back to in a moment.


    The shrine was there less for Myoue, and more so we’ll finally get some understanding into Inari. In the end, Inari is just another son who had to take after his father’s demands and had spent eternity trying to escape from the responsibility, until realizing the only way to escape is to shift these responsibilities onto his children. Makes you think how his father got his role, or what will end up with Myoue, eh?

    Also, in the end, Inari’s return did give meaning to Myoue’s life, the one his father tried to instill in him when he left. The Council of Three had been a crib, but so had been the Mirror Capital – on one hand, it was there for Myoue to stretch his legs as a ruler, as a creator, as a God. I think the desire was that he’ll use the beads eventually to break out, and thus break the planes, and assume his father’s place, letting him be lazy and free. Well, he didn’t, so Inari’s return pushed him into the role he’d been destined to take.

    • Inari’s lengthy speech

      I’m not really convinced we needed all of that, though in retrospect I do think it works. I certainly didn’t need to be convinced Inari is a whimsical, thoughtless diety – pretty much everything he’s done so far has convinced me of that. But yeah, framing it in the context of his own father was definitely necessary.


      Yeah, that’s better. I suppose I’ll switch my translations for archiving purposes or something.


      Yeah, they used the larger context in the best way they could have – as a device to illustrate the central theme, not an independent conflict in its own right. They really stuck the landing this episode.

  2. I quite liked Inari back in episode 2, but man is he a dick now. Or rather he’s just a brat. Although I did laugh out loud at the “Time for explanations!” part. This episode, 2 and 5 are probably my favorites of the bunch. Really looking forward to next week despite not having a clue what’s going to happen next!

    Also, what was up with Inari kissing Koto? I kinda understood what he was doing with the sword, but the kiss lost me.

    • Yeah, this was a really good episode. Myoue’s seizing of the reins of his life was handled beautifully.

      Your guess is as good as mine as far as Inari’s kiss goes. It seemed to indicate a lack of real familial warmth/responsibility from him (she’s just a cute tool, not his daughter), and also visually mirrored Mom-Koto’s life-bringing kiss that brought Myoue back to life. What single inference can be drawn from that… I dunno.

  3. Hmm, normally when you do these posts I only see one or two lines of dialogue that were different from the CR subs but almost everything was different this time around and I feel like the CR ones made more sense (Guy already pointed out one of the big ones, especially since that idea that Kurama/Yase were there only to help Yakushimaru adjust gives a lot of credence to the “Inari is giving his powers to Yakushimaru/Myoue so he can ‘retire’ in a way”, the one about “Shrine’s dogma” doesn’t quite feel right either). And to get picky, next week is the finale and the last episode is 10.5, another special of sorts.

    • Yeah, I guess I’ll switch my subs. Commie are always a role of the dice – I feel their localization really works for stuff where the writing needs to feel dynamic, but they do tend to take a hatchet to subtleties in the original.

  4. This episode was pretty disappointing. It totally reduced Koto to a mere object. In the end all she did was help to set up the external conflict and trigger Myoue’s character development. Heck, they even highlight this by having Myoue declares she’s his beginning. Something relative to his character, an object. On a thematic level, It’s not all that different from how her father used her for his own purposes. But what about her, dammit? What about her own story? I signed in for that reason, not for this.

    • I wouldn’t count Koto out yet. She’s been by far the most active agent through most of the story – she pushed through into the Mirror City, she tried to fix the sibling relationships, she “rescued” their mom, she confronted the Shrine. She’s actively been pushing Myoue towards becoming a more full person, but I think Myoue needed an episode like this, where he’s forced to take responsibility for his own life. This felt more like Myoue catching up with Koto than rendering her irrelevant or a tool – I assume next episode will be pretty flattering to both of them, character-wise.

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