All good things must come to an end. I think I’ll be able to take this one a little more gracefully than Uchouten Kazoku – at this point, it’s actually a nice feeling to see great shows finish strong. That doesn’t end our engagement with them – the best shows can be watched again and again, our relationship with them enriched by sharing them with others. Additionally, sales or no sales, Kyousogiga marks the creative debut of a great new director, which is always something to be celebrated. I don’t want this story to continue – it’s come back around to where it began, and I’m very ready for it to end well.
0:33 – Did somebody say ending where we began? Yep. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the best stories are little jewels where every facet reflects the whole, and each piece contains a part of the work’s full intention. If you find yourself writing something and asking “how should I end my story?”, you weren’t writing a story in the first place, you were just writing a series of things that happen. A good story’s ending is inevitable
3:17 – One thing he shares in common with Myoue. He apparently finds meaning in his life through the things he loves and feels inspired to protect. Which is a nice reflection of the idea of the Mirror City or family (which obviously are connected in significance) as a set of binding responsibilities – it’s the ways we’re tied to other people that reflect back and define us. It’s what we do for others that makes us who we are
3:42 – Great image. His eye the eye of the world
3:43 – And another great one. Always refreshing to see a show not afraid to play with visual style
3:57 – Mirrors and mirrors. You can’t help repeating your family’s patterns, sending your baggage on to your kids
4:31 – He’s still a child. Seeking direction or approval wherever he can find it, throwing tantrums, unable to express the love he professes in a constructive way. A shame he didn’t have siblings as good for him as Myoue’s were
5:40 – And then some even harder ones. At least Myoue reached this level of honesty – he knew his lack of purpose was a kind of self-hatred. The Monk is just like a baby – he feels discontent, and so he lashes out and breaks things. Our whimsical gods
5:51 – Ah, that’s so graceful. To his oldest son, the power to create. To his youngest daughter, the power to destroy
5:56 – This show is so gorgeous. I love the planet highlighted through her transparent hair
6:09 – Koto’s kind of stealing my job here. Defined by our children and family etc etc
6:24 – Koto’s expressions and design are so good. And jeez, could the Monk be any more of a sullen kid? Whining that the son who’s lived for hundreds of years desperate for his recognition “doesn’t like him.” This guy
9:10 – I hope you guys are taking notes. This is seriously some gorgeous narrative/thematic integration we’re getting right here. Family and the City, a cage until you realize it’s your reason for living. Though it doesn’t have to be siblings – the Monk found love, and thus his purpose, creating his own family just as he created his own world. The siblings were thrust into a family, and did not accept it willingly – outside of Koto, who’d never had siblings/a past, and thus happily embraced the chance to have a family for once, bringing the others together through her appreciation of what to them had become so inescapable it seemed a prison
Ahhhh it ties together so well! This is exactly what I was hoping for – not some meaningless battle, but a scouring and acceptance of the self – the family acknowledging each other and through that redeeming itself. Ah, gorgeous
10:38 – His expressions are fantastic. As is Koto’s sisterly concern
11:13 – Dear lord this show is pretty. It’s the lifestream!
…jeez, that reference makes me feel old
11:59 – Ah, so lovely.
Incidentally, I’m fairly confident this show has weeded out the popcorn crowd at this point, but yeah, this is how stuff like this resolves. The real “final battle” was last week – Myoue finding purpose in his own existence. This is a personal story – after the personal, the rest is history
12:06 – Did I mention I love this show’s diversity of visual styles? This one’s great because it actually stays close enough to the standard style to not seem like an emotional flourish – the lack of detail and flattened shading make it seem like they’ve entered a place that’s only really a rough sketch of a world
12:31 – They explained the animals! Holy shit. They were actually significant!
12:53 – Also, the narrator who opens each episode turns out to actually be the voice of god. That’s… that’s pretty cute
15:15 – But you’ve become so strong
16:52 – God this show
17:41 – Almost fanservice. These two make such a great pair
18:14 – Can’t go and selfishly kill yourself. Your family needs you
19:02 – His has been a very selfish love
21:05 – And gah these backgrounds. What a wonderful conception of the realms of the gods
22:40 – No easy answers here. You want a life purpose? Well, there aren’t any. Just gotta keep living
23:08 – “This here is all I have. I can accept this place as my home, like any other.” Really do love those opening lyrics. Home isn’t just a place, it’s the people you share it with
25:44 – Until next time
Welp. Gorgeous ending to a gorgeous show. Wrapped everything up wonderfully, full of beauty and heart and intelligence, a small personal story with endless humanity and resonance. Yeah guys. We got another one.
Not much to say – the show made everything explicit by the end there, and it expressed its messages beautifully, so what’s there to add? It’s nice to see the birth of another classic. I should have a review up soon, but I don’t think it’s any surprise this little gem’s a 10/10 and one of the best shows in recent memory. These are the shows I watch anime for. Hope you enjoyed the show, hope you enjoyed the writing, and hope you all know we all need each other out there. See you again soon.