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Capital Confusion - A Guide to Kyousougiga
(Note: This post contains spoilers from the 2011 and 2012 ONAs, as well as the current run of episodes 0, 1, and 2)
Kyousougiga (Capital Craze) started its life as a single ONA in 2011, followed by a series of five shorts in 2012. It was confusing and unclear, but had some terrific visual storytelling and art, and left people wanting more. Finally, Kyousougiga comes back as a full TV show, and incorporates parts of those previous ONAs to tell the story more coherently. However, there still seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the story and characters, especially since things are told very nonlinearly, and because there are many characters who share the same name (there is a reason for this). In my attempts to figure everything out I came up with a pretty good explanation of where things stand thus far, using those previous ONAs and the currently aired episodes – Episode 0, which is a slight rework of the original 2011 ONA, and episodes 1 and 2 of the new TV show.
NOTE: Since a lot of this info is somewhat speculative and unconfirmed, I imagine a few of these points will be subject to change as new information becomes available, but I think the following will give you a pretty good understanding of what we know at this point, and also what we think we may know as well.
There once was a priest named Myoue - whom we shall call First Myoue - who had the power to bring things to life by drawing them and lived alone since his powers scared people. He drew an entire city named Mirror Capital (in Japanese it is pronounced "Kyoto" like the real city, but using the Kanji meaning "Mirror" and "Capital"). He also drew a rabbit that he named Koto to serve as the goddess of his Mirror Capital, but the rabbit fell in love with him. So a Bodhisattva (which is like a person who attained enlightenment in Buddhism, so in essence a type of demigod) decided to give the rabbit her body, telling her that her love for Myoue will be the only thing that could save him. The rabbit then became human-form Koto, identifiable by her rabbit ears. We will refer to this character as Usagi Koto.
The Rabbit Myoue created
The Bodhisattva on the left and Usagi Koto (The rabbit in human form. Note the black rabbit ears) on the right
So First Myoue and Usagi Koto get married and have 3 children:
- The Eldest son Kurama, who was created magically by drawing.
- The Second daughter is Yase and was also created magically.
- The youngest son is an adopted Natural Human named Yakushimaru.
Young Kurama (left) and Young Yase (right)
The drawings that brought Kurama and Yase to life (left) and Young Yakushimaru (right)
There are hints that Yakushimaru is adopted and was rescued from some horrific event (possibly the murder of his parents) by First Myoue. In one of the ONAs, Myoue can be seen carrying Yakushimaru away from some unknown horrific scene, and that is his introduction to the story, hence the implication that he is adopted:
So this family lives a happy life together, isolated from the rest of the world. But the monks of Myoue's order are none too pleased that he created all these beings, fearing that he is in league with occult spirits. In order to escape their displeasure, the family decides to enter the Mirror Capital – the sealed-off dimension that Myoue drew into existence – and live there. They enter using a special talisman key (this is significant later):
After a while of living in the Mirror Capital (time seems to work differently there. Some people age a few years but it is later stated that the Mirror Capital has been sealed off for centuries), Usagi Koto realizes that she will have to return her human body to the Bodhisattva, but instead of letting her go, First Myoue departs the Mirror Capital with her, leaving the three children behind. But before they leave First Myoue passes on his DNA to Yakushimaru, the human son, and he then becomes Second Myoue.
First Myoue passes his DNA to Yakushimaru, making him Second Myoue
Now there is a gap in the story during which 2 things happen that we know of:
1. First Myoue and Usagi Koto have a biological human child - That's the girl Koto (call her MC Koto).
2. First Myoue and Usagi Koto get separated somehow and she returns to her rabbit form.
Baby MC Koto
The three siblings in the Mirror Capital grow older and become the Triumvirate of that dimension. They are rivals but have some kind of pact because of their familial relations.
Adult Kurama (left) and Yase (right)
Second Myoue (also known as Adult Yakushimaru)
Now, back in the original world that this family came from is an organization called Shrine. It is some kind of transdimensional organization. I'm not sure of the purpose of it yet but it trains warriors so I imagine it is some kind of dimensional police. MC Koto is brought to Shrine as a child orphan for training and becomes the protégé of Inari, otherwise known as Kitsune (wearer of the Fox Mask).
Young MC Koto on the left and Inari (Kitsune) on the right
One night Koto wakes up from a bad dream and follows a black rabbit to a hidden room in Shrine where she sees First Myoue's drawing of Mirror Capital and the original Usagi Koto drawing. She sees Inari asleep crying and calling out Koto's name and puts 2 and 2 together, realizing that he is her father and Usagi Koto is her mother. So Inari is actually First Myoue. He also has those red eyes but nobody knows because only MC Koto ever sees him without his Fox Mask. So Inari is actually First Myoue, however, he appears much younger than First Myoue was when we last saw him. The reason for this is currently unknown. In any case, Koto continues training under Inari, whom she now knows as her father, and hoping to someday find her missing mother (Usagi Koto).
Inari without his mask
Then there is another time gap. MC Koto grows older, and now travels to the Mirror Capital to find her mother. We don't know how or why Usagi Koto is back in Mirror Capital, but we do know that Inari gave MC Koto the key you use to travel to Mirror Capital originally. Initially First Myoue uses it to take his family there, but then he gives it to MC Koto in Shrine.
Older Koto and the Talisman in her hands after she arrived in Mirror Capital
This next part is pure speculation on my behalf since we do not yet have real info on it: Inari and Koto each have 2 familiars - Inari's are black and white, and Koto's are red and blue. Koto's familiars are like her brothers (I guess Inari AKA First Myoue created them as well, and since his creations are considered his children, that would make them MC Koto's siblings.) Their names are A and Un and for some reason they occasionally have human form but are sometimes those wispy electrical ghost things.
Koto's Familiars in human form
There are more characters I haven't addressed here like Shouko, who works for Kurama, the shrine maiden who has been friends with Yakushimaru (Second Myoue) since childhood or his current girlfriend, but there is little info about them at this point and I imagine we will find out more later on.
Shrine maiden with Yakushimaru (Second Myoue) as a child and an adult. It seems that natives of the Mirror capital do not age, but Kurama, Yase, and Second Myoue do for some reason. Also notice that the old lady sweeping on the left side of both pictures did not age either, but in the later shot the city around the shrine is more developed.
Second Myoue's girlfriend
The dog. Is he important? I don't know, but since he was originally First Myoue's only friend, I have a feeling he is
I hope that helps clear up some of the confusion that this show caused people. It's really been quite terrific and I have already rewatched many parts to understand the small details. I also imagine some of this info is inaccurate or flat out wrong since it is only based on what we've seen so far. I'll try to come back and make corrections if necessary.