#7 — Kyousougiga (2013)

I can accept this place as my home, just like any other.

Kyousougiga is many things. It’s the television directorial debut of Rie Matsumoto, who had previously worked at Toei Animation across a variety of the Precure franchise. It’s stunning, with amazing visual and audio direction as well as storyboarding and cinematography. Like many anime series and pieces of media in general, Kyousougiga is also a look at the idea of home and family.

“Home” in Kyousougiga is first established as the Mirror Capital, a drawn replica of Kyoto that High Priest Myoue created to escape the world with his family. But “home” is also the near-empty room where Koto meets her mother and sees her father’s face for the first time. It’s the hill where they watch the city and sunsets together. Or a ruined garden at the so-called end of the world, after a much-needed airing of grievances. “Home” isn’t a place but the people you love isn’t a new narrative, but Kyousougiga tells it so beautifully, with characters you want to root for, and the stunning visual setpieces that Matsumoto loves.

Kyousougiga also shows how various characters are bound by fates and circumstances that accompany the gifts they receive. Sometimes these gifts are from people they love. The original High Priest Myoue first regrets how his gift separates him from others, and then uses it to create a world for his family which he then attempts to destroy before leaving them behind in a fit of stereotypical “they’re better off without me” angst. Yakushimaru is saddled with Myoue’s responsibilities and an immortality he didn’t ever want. In fact, all of the siblings are saddled with existence. It’s how they cope with existing that’s the interesting part.

At the end of it all, Kyousougiga asks “What’s wrong with just being?” having already provided the answers to its wayward priest Myoue (and us) in the form of Koto’s rant moments before. “It sounds really nice when you say ‘I love you,'” she tells her father, Myoue. “But you have no idea what’s going on.” She then proceeds to attack him verbally and physically, listing off small moments of her childhood like watching sunsets, eating breakfast, and coming home five minutes early. Koto punctuates every instance with “That’s love!” There’s an underlying current of selfishness that Koto knows but won’t release. She wants her father here, so he should stay here instead of leaving while also passing off his problems to her and her siblings.

“Just being” is one of the most difficult things to do and Kyousougiga knows this.

Further Reading:

Rie Matsumoto at the end of all things 

Kyousogiga and What We Find There

Kyousogiga and the Strength of Koto’s Tears

I can accept this place as my home: Kyousogiga and me.

Needing to Know in Kyousogiga

Yakushimaru in Wonderland

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