Kyousougiga – 5.5

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This episode only increases my affection both for Kyoisogiga, and the places and people that inspired it.

You can make a case that the mid-point of a series isn’t the best place for an episode like this, but I found it absolutely captivating.  It had nothing to do with the seiyuu (though it’s always funny to see the goofy way seiyuu act whenever they have to perform on-camera as themselves – and what was with that outfit, Yao-san?) and everything to do with the settings.  It’s not hard to see why Kyoto is such an inspiration for artists and writers and has been for centuries – the place is pure magic, like nowhere else on Earth.

I found this travelog oddly emotional, in fact – especially when it visited the Sekisui-in, at Kouzanji.  Part of it was the sheer beauty of the setting, but it’s also seeing that place and thinking about the scenes depicted there in the anime, which were such an honest and open testament to the power of love.  I think it’s also the fact that watching all this just hammers home the fact that Kyousogiga is itself a labor of love – a series that has a tremendous amount of thought and passion behind it.  It’s a beautiful story, beautifully paired with the history that forms its foundation and a testament to the dedication of people who really care about creating something great.  It feels as if you can see the line of inspiration that runs from the Chouju-giga to Kyousogiga as plain as day, a glorious representation of the relentless creative drive that’s always been a part of Japanese culture.

I have been to a couple of places shown here – to Chion-in, with it’s magnificent gate, and memorably to Kurama.  I spent much of possibly the most glorious travel day of my life at Kurama-dera, and had the unforgettable experience of seeing that main hall in the midst of Hatsumode ceremonies, with snow falling briskly, fires burning and Buddhist chanting as a soundtrack.  You can’t communicate the magic of these places in words and pictures (though Kyousogiga does a pretty good job trying) – you simply have to be there and experience them.  My next trip to Kyoto will surely include Kouzan-ji.

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11 comments

  1. s

    What a nice treat this was and im glad to see that you watched and wrote a post of ep 5.5 of kyousogiga instead of just writing it off (no pun intended….ok maybe a little). The fact that the producers want us to become more familiarized with this beautiful and enamoring setting of kyoto is a testament to how much they want us as the viewer to really understand their love of this enriching place and to convey that passion as an artform. It's as if they want us to feel the bond of the family that we are following along in this series, and show us this educational piece as a normal television run instead of saving this for blu-ray says a lot. The first 5 eps were really good (with ep 5 being great) and with this journey we have been shown, i think its safe to say that this bodes propitiously for future eps (if they care enough to show us their inspiration, then it just means that the remaining eps will be inspired pieces of brilliance…hopefully). Im expecting superb quality eps for the remaining half of this series…mono no aware all the way.

  2. M

    "what was with that outfit, Nakahara-san?"

    The special guest was actually the unmistakably groovy Kazuki Yao.

    Rather insightful and colourful episode. The seiyuu seemed genuinely invested too, after a stiff intro.

  3. Z

    Yes I think they really got into it once they decided to stop being tourist guides.

  4. n

    I guess they needed some time before going into the part that's not in the previous ONA. Anyway it was a nice filler.

    I love the op song btw. It's kinda like Etsuko Yakushimaru but with a more straightforward and touching lyrics.

  5. C

    I literally had no idea it was possible to fall in love with a pair of windows before this episode…..

  6. Z

    It was great when special guest Yao-san showed up. What a dude.

  7. K

    I am confused isn't the Sekisui-in part of Kozanji temple?

  8. Yes it is, in the Takao area. A longtime target I've never made time for (Kyoto will do that) but if I'd seen Kyousogiga before, I'd definitely have made time for it.

  9. t

    it was really good.
    I am not a fan of japs live action (yeah, not quite fit the pure definition, but let it be..it's live action that way or another) but actually it was more of "behind the scenes" or some "documentary" of kyosogiga. which made it interesting. all those places, history, details..really put me into this. it felt like kyosogiga itself. yeah, the anime is different, but it still gave the feeling of kyosogiga, just from another perspective.

    there were moments when the 2 woman kinda bugged me with irrelevant talking..sometimes they were kinda inhibit the pace..but in the end it was lovely to have this ep. also in the end we also got quite insight that make us feel closer to kyosogiga and understanding the setting and the inspiration for it.
    moreover, it demonstrated something we experience within the anime – the move between the world – the mirror world and the anime-real-world. and now we got the real-real world..so it's quite intriguing IMHO

  10. K

    What really stood out to me were the two windows of Enlightenment and Delusion. Before, it was just a well animated scene. It's not until being enlightened about the meaning behind the windows that you appreciate the significance of that particular scene. Sekisuiin was beautiful. I'm really interested in seeing what it looks like in autumn and spring.

    Aside from the typical "fake" overreactions and a shameless Malebranche advert, this really puts into perspective and lets you appreciate the cultural depth within Kyousogiga. I would have simply written off the frog/rabbit/monkey as simple decorations if I haven't learned about Choujuugiga.

  11. K

    This has certainly corroborated the sincerity of creators of Kyousogiga. It's rather overwhelming knowing that the historical homage manifested in the series wasn't simply there for Kyoto's facade, but also for the depth, artistry and aesthetics of the medium. Furthermore, the timing of this detour's release is seemingly perfect considering that we're already done halfway of the series, and it somehow prepares us to appreciate more of what they're about to depict.

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