This is me, basking in my victory as the blogger covering Kyosogiga for The Cart Driver. Hopefully this won’t be another Maoyuu or Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music… where I just stop giving a shit. Thankfully, there’s plenty here to discourage that unfortunate course of action.
It’s hard to talk about Kyosogiga without referring back to the OVA—not out of laziness, but because the series is doing its best to contextualize what the fuck went on with its manic predecessor one step at a time. And it’s doing a pretty good job. The first episode introduced the world in a charming folktale-esque manner, proving that some substance can be derived from thirty minutes of flashing lights and squealing children. And now, the second is doing its best to fit Koto into the world the only way it knows how—by having her bury her face into prominent cleavage and beat up squealing children.
In the OVA, Koto is just another piece of Kyosogiga’s wonderfully impenetrable package. All she really does is fly around, causing wanton property damage with her younger siblings without much reason. It’s fun to watch, but there’s not much sense of her as a person. She’s just a mass of flesh that dedicates its time to slightly inconveniencing a world where nothing can truly be inconvenienced for long. This isn’t necessarily bad, since the OVA is more about looking spectacular than delivering on an emotional level, but it’s difficult to grasp why she had to be there in the first place. But then she smiles and who could stay skeptical at this face?
The beauty of this episode is that it doesn’t retroactively change her personality from the OVA to fit what it’s trying to build. Instead, it builds around what was shown before, humanizing her without losing the violent streak that she so prominently displayed. Hell, her disregard for the physical well-being of those around her is one of the most adorable displays of recurring off-screen violence known to mankind. She also has a soft side that shows itself often, replacing the physical vulnerabilities of childhood with emotional ones.
In the end, Koto still isn’t the most engaging personality in the world. But by paying her formative years some attention, the overall Kyosogiga package begins to feel much more cohesive and human. It’s now possible to parse specific motivations and character dynamics on more than a speculative level. I’m still not completely sold, but if the presentation is this solid throughout, I can see this series doing great things. And if not, at least it’ll have lots of bright colors to distract from its shortcomings.