Anime: Kyousougiga

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July–
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear–
Long has paled that sunny sky;
Echoes fade and memories die;
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;
Ever drifting down the stream–
Lingering in the golden gleam–
Life, what is it but a dream?

This ONA starts off with reciting the poem Life is but a Dream by Lewis Carroll. Yes, the famous author of Alice in Wonderland. To be honest many parallels can be seen between Kyousougiga and Alice in Wonderland. The crazy wonderland that they are set in, the chasing of the elusive white rabbit. There are similarities, but Kyousougiga is no animated version of Alice in Wonderland. It is distinctively Japanese in tone and style with numerous references to Kyoto as well as to Japanese culture.

It’s hard to describe Kyousougiga. There doesn’t seem to be a discernible plot and the audience is thrown down the rabbit hole most abruptly without any indication to context. But some form of story eventually emerges, although not completely coherent there is a plot none the less. For a show that is just 25 mins long, there are a variety of characters that fall into typical archetypes. Add to that the fast paced action of the show and it feels like you’re in a 100m dash with scenes flying past you and colours so vividly flashing by in a blur. It is perhaps the art and the animation that captures in this anime.

It reminds me of the beginning of summer wars when introducing the virtual world. It remind me of FLCL, how everything was so vibrant and loud. Yet it all flows together seamlessly and perhaps that is the saving grace of Kyousougiga.

There is talk of more Kyousougiga to come and that is good news, because this ONA was a beautiful indication of what Toei Animation can dream up. The wackiness, the puns, the flawless action scenes. If paired with a good plot and solid characters, this could really be something amazing. But for now, as a stand alone Kyousougiga is only a teaser with no head or tail. It is as if we too are chasing that elusive white rabbit, trying to make sense of the wonderland that is around us.

2 Responses to “Anime: Kyousougiga”
  1. Genki Jason says:

    I love this anime. It’s so brash and energetic and it’s so beautiful! I’m glad that there’s going to be more of this.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] from the creators. The design of the anime is vibrant and full of life, reminding me slightly of Kyousougiga. I love it. I love this style and the absolute crazy it is. Add to that a good plot and decent […]

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