Yes, I waited for the recap so I’d have an excuse to be late on the final post. Again, fuck Christmas.
Ordinarily, I don’t bother to watch recap episodes for what I hope are understandable reasons—namely I don’t like watching what I’ve already seen before, super condensed and without another perspective to liven things up. But when a show puts out a recap after it finishes airing, and with commentary from two of the main cast members, I admit it piques my interest. It means that somebody important looked at the finished product and thought “Maybe we need to explain the ‘Daddy Myoue being God’ thing a bit better, along with everything else. Also it has to be Rie Kugimiya doing the explaining so that handsome devil Inushinde will get some enjoyment out of it.”
I’m kind of glad I waited a week to write on the Kyosogiga finale, because I still don’t have a handle on the finished product, and how it stacks up with everything that came before. Watching the recap helped somewhat to put everything in perspective, though Rie Kugimiya could have probably offered more insights than “this is a funny moment” without sounding heavily-sedated.
Despite generally being alright, I didn’t really warm up to the final episode. It was a little too much explanation regarding the show’s world, without finishing fleshing out the characters to any meaningful degree. It’s better than being given no explanation at all, like in the OVAs/ONAs, I guess, but if I have to be spoon-fed details, I’d rather they be related to the characters that I like, and not the wider universe that hasn’t really had a position of importance until an arbitrary point toward the end.
Similarly, the sudden import of the three crudely drawn animals is rather jarring. Part of this has to do with the fact that Daddy Myoue’s past wasn’t explained or alluded to once, so suddenly throwing something in toward the end comes across as sloppy. A little (non-exposition heavy) acknowledgement, either of Daddy Myoue’s past or of the presence of the animals, would have gone a long way toward making this scene go down easier.
The series tries to embellish its main plot with extraneous, needlessly convoluted details that weigh down the series’ final moments. It didn’t do a great job at making every element an important component of the show, and tying it back to the larger family. Kyosogiga could have easily gone without giving the cosmos-spanning bureaucracy such a prominent role in the narrative. So much of the family is neglected in order to develop a world that doesn’t really need to be built up any more. While each element is fairly well thought out, the series is less capable of subtly weaving them into the overarching narrative.
If there’s one thing that the finale does well though, it’s providing closure for Myoue’s antipathy toward being given a second life. Watching the recap immediately after the finale gave me an appreciation for how far Myoue came along, and how his character is the pivot around which the show moves. Whether it’s explicit or not, the series does a phenomenal job at fleshing out his constant struggle with himself, without having it steal focus from anybody else. In this one important regard, Kyosogiga is perfect.
For once, actually watching a recap episode helped me piece together my thoughts on the show a bit better. I do think that Kyosogiga put too much energy into deliberately obscuring important details.
Despite having serious focus problems toward the end, Kyosogiga is still a remarkably strong show. It has some faults that are hardly negligible, but it pulses with enough energy and genuinely heartwarming moments that its most glaring flaws are easy to overlook. It’s a story that could have shifted its priorities a bit more so that the finale didn’t end up a cluttered mess, but it kept its core of Myoue love strong enough to persevere. And, of course, both Kotos were simply precious.