When I took the solemn step of ripping the plastic overwrap off my Blu-Ray of Kyousougiga, once more collapsing the dizzying sweep of "things I could watch" into a single like-it-or-not choice, it was getting late in the "quarter" now closed. Rather than having to wrap up my then-upcoming summary of anime watched in those three months finding something to say about a mere waypoint in a longer series, I'd wanted to get all the way through something short. Out of what twelve-to-thirteen-episode series were ready to hand, I suppose what had got my attention about Kyousougiga in the first place had been the interest I'd seen at least a few other people show when Discotek had pulled that series out of the "not licensed over here" cracks that can still catch some newer anime. The company has made a go of releasing older anime with some show of care and skill, some of which I've watched with interest (even as I keep supposing I like not just "older anime" but being able to go back and forth between it and brand-new shows), and I was willing to suppose there had to be something about a newer series they'd also release. At the same time, though, I was aware I couldn't quite give a clear, attention-getting short summary of the show itself starting off.

On loading the first Blu-Ray, I found myself looking at a menu with "ONA Episodes, zero to five" and "TV episodes, zero to five," and wondered for a few moments just how the two groups related to each other. With the "Original Net Animations" listed first, I wound up supposing it would be best to start there. For some reason I never quite set down, though, I'd managed to form the theory the "TV episodes" would amount to the ONAs combined with little other change than new openings and closings, and it would be the ONAs that would continue on the second disc in the case.

"Episode Zero" threw a lot of things at me fast, with the eternal figure of a teenaged schoolgirl (named Koto in this series) rampaging across the rooftops of an old-fashioned city with a huge, rickety-looking tower at its centre, wielding a strange sledgehammer with bright-coloured balls (other bright shapes just drifted through the air) embedded in a clear mallet head. Other eccentric figures either tried to interfere or just commented on the mayhem, and it was more from the back of the case than anything else that I gathered most of them were somehow a family. After all of that, I moved on to the following ONA episodes, noting they were shorter than "TV size," but still not quite fitting things together in their takes on the assorted characters (although I did manage to pick up a few Alice in Wonderland allusions). I have to admit that having just finished Hyouka, which seemed to reward close study and contemplation, a second series with its own apparent take on "sort it out yourself" just seemed to feel to a bit much.

Plugging on to the end of the ONAs on that first disc, though, I did start to think the characters were becoming a bit more familiar and there was a bit of space to breathe among the action. On finishing them, I loaded the second disc, only to realise it was the TV episodes that continued on it. By now, there weren't enough days left in the month to watch all of them at a pace I'm accustomed to. I did, however, find a few things even shorter to watch and finish in that time.

As I finished my quarterly review, I did get to remembering Kyousougiga was open, and it did seem as good a time as any to watch its TV episodes. Their own "Episode Zero" seemed just the same as what I'd remembered (and I'd noticed a mild caution about starting there in an online piece I'd taken a chance on following up on, just to have a bit more to mention in my previous summary). From then on, though, all of a sudden the characters and their odd world or worlds were being linked together by backstory, material added around the ONA footage I'd puzzled over before. The "family story" and Koto's role in it (although a "girl mad scientist" who'd also caught my attention before now seemed the most major character not a part of the family) really was adding up to something interesting, although some of the characters did have more significant roles than others, with the reasons why established. I did take an odd interest in just how far into the series I could get while still noticing striking moments from the ONAs now surrounded by context; the final crisis and resolution was all-original, though.

While not everything odd or eye-catching about Kyousougiga was explained in the series itself, that might still have offered an invigorating reminiscence of "the days when anime was an overwhelming artifact from elsewhere." If "taking another look at something after a while" can be rewarding, I suppose Kyousougiga's own particular way of adding to itself provides a way to cram this into a space of unusual brevity, and made it more memorable for me. Of course, should anyone else just go ahead and start with the TV episodes I can't criticise that choice.