First Impressions – Kyousougiga

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I hope you got all that.

OP: “Koko (Here)” by Tamura Pan

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There’s nothing much new in Kyousogiga for those of us that have seen the ONA that started a bit of an underground obsession with this series.  Still, it’s well-worth watching even for those folks, because the material has never looked better – and visuals are a more important component of Kyousogiga’s success than just about any series in recent years.  I suppose the number of viewers who’ve actually seen that ONA is relatively small, so while I detest starting series with recaps as a rule, it was probably necessary here.

If you haven’t seen the ONA there’s a pretty good chance you’re utterly confused about what you just watched, but here’s the thing: even after having watched that ONA and the five mini-episodes that followed and taking time to digest, I still have very little idea what’s going on.  And in terms of blogging, I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t even attempt to explain it.  Hell, I’m not even sure I should attempt to describe it.  I think this is the kind of show that you simply need to experience – and yes, I use that word intentionally rather than “watch” – and decide for yourself if it does anything for you.

What is Kyousogiga?  It has elements of Alice in Wonderland, for certain, with strong additions of Buddhist folklore.  It has a setting of “Mirror Kyoto“, which is a kind of surrealistic re-imagination of the real thing (it’s a good year for that concept in anime).  It has Koto squared (Rie Kugiyama as a girl, Hisakawa Aya as the woman who might be the girl, her mother or someone else entirely), her non-human twin “brothers“, hyperactive A (Hidaka Noriko) and deadpan Um (Shiraihi Ryoko), the Monk who looks after them, Myoue (Suzumura Kenichi) and an enormous supporting cast. Most importantly for me, it’s easily the most interesting series visually that I’m likely to watch this year.  It’s endlessly, fiercely, spectacularly imaginative and fearless with the images it presents on screen.  This is a rare foray into late-night TV for Toei, my neighbor over on Ughigome-Dori, and they don’t disappoint – it really is a fantastic thing to see.

As for plot and character, I don’t really want to even dip my toe in the water.  There are very strong elements of FLCL both in the visual and narrative style here, though I’ve yet to find anything as compelling on the story side with Kyousogiga.  But there hasn’t been any series in 12 years that’s reminded me so much of FLCL (except arguably MGX, in quite a different way) and as that’s easily in my top 5 anime of all-time, even the suggestion is a huge compliment coming from me.  I’ve thought about what blogging FLCL would have been like, and I can’t decide if it would have been the easiest or hardest series ever.  I’m in that same boat here – my gut is telling me that this show is going to be a nightmare if I decide to cover it, but I’m sure as hell going to be watching it.

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ED: “Shissou Ginga (疾走銀河)” by TEPPAN

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  1. t

    yes, it's hard to understand the…illogical stuff that's going on. and as you said, that's way one needs to experience this show. very energetic, colorful and unique.
    I don't have any expectations for next episodes, I'll just stretch my back and enjoy this show. that's the..kind of anime of kyosogiga.

  2. e

    Ooh it's been a while since I watched this one. But I do remember the quirky colorfulness of it. Colour! I live on colour gimme colours *drools*
    This should be a fun ride and I'm lookign forward to the rest, both old and new material.
    Confession time: I've had FLCL in my watchlist – and HDD – for years now but I've always dodged it for unclear reasons :,D.

  3. M

    Careful, Gainax just unleashed their toddler on playground…

    Haven't seen much of the ONA, perhaps for the better – because the genuine perplexity I just experienced was incredibly gratifying.

  4. D

    I didn't find the story ridiculously hard to follow, it's honestly pretty simple. Alice falls down the rabbit hole, Alice is mistaken for a long gone goddess, people in charge attempt to bring the goddess out of Alice, goddess arrives on her own accord.

    But the way it was told was wonderful and really does keep you riveted. I'm a sucker for people taking simple tales and spinning them in an unorthodox way.

  5. I'll bet dollars to donuts that interpretation – certainly the most logical based in the illogic on-screen so far – is at least 75% wrong.

  6. i

    Yeah that was… that was worth it. That was just fun, just really fucking fun. No idea what was going on but it was fun, made me feel like a kid not a cynical adult. Yeah I think GE will find this more than a nightmare to blog simply because the words to describe it don't exist in modern English or any other language. I'd rank the first three premiers as Kyousogiga>Coppelion>Kyoukai no Kanata but overall it was a nice first foray into Fall.

  7. s

    To me Kyousogiga is only visually entertaining; sure my interest has been tickled a bit as to what the underlying plot of this series is, but if it isnt anything special, this series would end up only being visually entertaining for me. What makes FLCL so special to me is how it was as Poignant, intelligent, and allegorical as it was artful, surreal, and just a treat to watch visually; the marriage of all those things made a very fantastic package that has become timeless in the anime world. Im hoping Kyousogiga has that wit and layers to its writing along with the visual array of colors and zaniness that it displays but so far i have not seen it; its just visually intriguing so far, which is still a win in my book; i really want to see more.

  8. R

    I watched this one a while back and enjoyed it — loved the fun, colours, and energy. It did remind me of FLCL but felt that it was only scratching the surface. I also watched the mini-episodes and liked them — they didn't add much to the plot but gave the characters their stories, which is what I liked. Now that it gets a full series, I'm eager to see if it will excite me as a full-blown story on top of being a visual treat.

  9. Definitely watch the premiere, even if it is a recap. Different soundtrack, and it looks even better IMO.

  10. R

    Thanks Enzo. I just did — in fact, this one and KlK back-to-back. Now, I need to rest my eyes a bit…lol.

  11. S

    Hm. I didn't even finish this episode. So much fragmented information. Instead of feeling like I was thrown into deep water of information and trying to soak it all in, I felt disconnected. and bored. I'll give it another chance some other time.

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