Yuri Manga: Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora, Volume 2

February 20th, 2008

Let’s play a game, shall we? I’m going to review Volume 2 of Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora as if Kaon and Himeko were the protagonists. Pretend you don’t know they are not. Read it all the way through and then *honestly* commment about the series. Because my guess is, all you Kannazuki no Miko fans would LOVE Kyoshiro, if Kaon and Himiko were the leads, regardless of how junky it is. (Of course it’s junky. Kaishaku writes junk. It’s all they have ever written.) The bottom line is that you loved KnM for the Yuri kisses, not for the story, despite how awesome you say you thought the story was because the story made little sense and rape really isn’t romantic no matter how you’ve chosen to fill in Chikane’s motivation in your head. Since the Yuri in Kyoshiro is secondary, you all *suddenly* noticed that Kaishaku suck. ^_^

Here we go.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Himiko. She was very gentle and kind, and a very talented artist. Because she was so talented, she was recruited to attend an exclusive school run by the charming, but overbearing Ayanokouji Mika. Mika-sensei ran the school like a harem, taking various students, including Himiko, as lovers. But her true interest lay with a girl named Kaon. Kaon was tall and beautiful and powerful – because she was not human. In reality, she was the human form of a powerful weapon, an Absolute Angel. Himiko and Kaon fell in love, but they could not be together, since Kaon was Mika’s possession. They stole moments together and kisses here and there, but all the time they knew that Mika owned them both.

One day Mika commanded Kaon to kidnap a girl, which she did. But she was weakened in the attempt. The girl was immediately claimed by Mika as her own, and given to Himiko to take care of. But when the girl’s previous owner sent his weapon to take the girl back, Kaon was too weak to fight. Himiko kissed Kaon to giver her “mana,” the energy she needed to fight. But it was too late. The other weapon, named Setsuna, and her owner, Kyoshirou, took the girl away. Kaon was punished by Mika for failing, and she and Himiko were once again kept apart.

The next chapters follow the girl’s adventures as she is returned to Kyoshiro, but not left at peace. She learns that she too is an Absolute Angel, something that she simply can’t handle, having thought she was human all along.

And then, Mika and Kyoshirou’s crazy older brother shows up. Everything is about to change.

Ratings:

Art – 7 Orders better than usual. I wonder what happened.
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 7 Don’t forget that Mika is an EPL, too
Service – 7

Overall – 7

Admit it. If Kaon and Himiko were the protagonists, you’d love this story and wouldn’t be able to sit still waiting for Volume 3. Yuri fandom is willing, able and wanting to watch absolute crap (cognitive dissonance will assure us that it is good, as long as we liked it, anyway) as long as the lead characters are a Yuri couple.  ^_^

Kannazuki no Miko isn’t as good, and Kyoshiro isn’t as bad as you think you think. ^_^

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9 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes! I admit it. KnM was nicer to watch because of the Yuri couple.

    … oh well :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I watched it because I like Setsuna. She was sweet.

  3. Amanda says:

    I admit it too, I love KnM just because the Yuri romance =DDDD
    “Kyoshiro…” seems cool too, I really don’t care if the Yuri couple have a secondary role, I like Yuri no matter what tee-hee

  4. Neo_Hrtgdv says:

    I didn’t want to watch/read KtTnS. It never got my attention, KnM was a must for me because the Yuri openness (kind of rare in anime) so even though I enjoyed many parts of it (and disliked many more) I watched it. KtTnS, just like Tsubasa Reservoir Chroniles didn’t get my attention: really, those things don’t have that much “replay value”, so I guess that’s my comment about it :P

  5. Robert Kelly says:

    Actually, I wasn’t really sure that Chikane and Himeko were the main characters of Knm at first, what with Souma doing all the Orochi fighting himself and saving Himeko…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Nice, a strawmen argument.

    Actually, the real-life fans have claimed Kaishaku are bad writers since 2004, three years before KtTnS. Unless we got time machines, it seems KtTns had little effect there. Unfortunate – I agree that it would be very nice to bash fans had fans only started to dislike Kaishaku’s story ability since KtTnS.

    Then there’s the fact that, yes, rape isn’t romantic(duh). It’s just that nobody has claimed it to be – the fans generally call it “horrible”, not “sexy”. Much like no Noir/Madlax fan has claimed mass murder to be romantic.
    Characters doing bad things and trying to get redemption for it isn’t really a new plot device, it’s rather old.

    And, finally, Chikane’s motivations are actually canon. There’s a dialogue about it in the last episode, word for word.
    You’re giving KnM fangirls too much credit for such imagination. Copypasting is easier than making things up.

    Why do people like Kannazuki or Himeko/Chikane? Duh, that’s simple. For the same reason people like Haruka and Michiru(who, by the way, aren’t exactly the epitome of moral standarts, and I’m saying that as someone who had Haruka as her role model for quite a while of her life).
    Sometimes, a crappy story does not matter, because that isn’t what the anime is about. Sometimes, the story is just the background, the important thing being character interaction.
    As a friend of mine(male, into men, not women, so not a loserfanboy for Yuri) put it:
    “Kannazuki isn’t about mecha or orochi. It’s about Himeko and Chikane, and the trouble they go through – including that mecha bit”

    And this is how it gets enjoyed. Mostly not by loserfanboys by the way. Lots of those are still pissed about Souma not getting the girl in the end.

    You know, I really like your blog as such. It’s just that sometimes, you really get carried away with a grudge. Like every time you mention KnM fans. Did one of us run over your favorite couple in a popularity contest or something? :P

  7. Anonymous – I get emails every day about how fabulous and romantic the love in KnM is. And how beautiful it was. And how vile and awful and repulsive KnTnS is. I never ever make up “fan opinion” here. I base it entirely on the comments and emails I receive, as well as fan forums and mailing lists.

    I have no grudge at all about KnM. I enjoyed it for what it was – just like I liked KntnS for what it was.

    I just like to point out cognitive dissonance where I see it, because the idea that most people are blind to their own retconning amuses me. :-)

    You seem quite intelligent. I have no doubt that *you* understand Chikane’s motivation for what it is. Not so many, many other people who ignore canon for mental gymnastics and others who barely followed the story, but liked the kissing, so wrote in the rest in their heads.

    Let me assure you, no grudge intended. I’m not in the habit of holding grudges. Much too exhausting. Today’s post was a thought experiment, no more, no less.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Gee, isn’t a seven a bit too generous? I even thought KnM with Screaming Souma was more exciting than this. All in all, good review. I laughed.

  9. I found the Himiko and Kaon love story was much more tolerable in KtTnS. I think it’s because we see them so frugally. Less is more, as they say.

    Admittedly, on my first viewing of KnM, I was terribly disgusted. I couldn’t believe that the characters were so cliched, that a completely tired mecha plot was dug up, and I refused to consider Chikane’s little stunt with Himeko’s breast to be CPR in any form.

    I realise my mistake was trying to take this series seriously, because logic rang forth and said to me that this show (‘progressive’ as it was for portraying the emotional trials of young lesbians) was absolute garbage in comparison to other Yuri, mecha or even mahou shoujo anime. I corrected that for KtTnS.

    Himeko and Kaon are truly Himeko and Chikane done right. Himiko isn’t the ridiculously dense, clumsy, moe factor machine and Kaon isn’t the Ms. Implausible Perfection she was in KnM. They seemed more rounded, surprisingly, in a series that wasn’t even about them.

    It’s true, no-one will watch or read KtTnS because it isn’t essentially Yuri. I watched it, went in with expectations as low as Ohtori Akio’s morals, and enjoyed the heck out of it.

    I also happen to think that if KnM wasn’t done by Kaishaku and was made by say, GAINAX instead, it probably would have been well-received critically. It really didn’t have a terrible storyline and–once you get over the fact that writers refuse to flesh out these archetypes more–Chikane and Himeko are two likeable girls. It could have been a seriously psychological anime with some awesome mecha battles; a lesbian Evangelion, if you may. Sadly, KnM wasn’t. Instead it ended up coming off as horribly derivative and laden with inexplicable fanservice.

    Of course, so is KtTnS but this series is beyond help. And I like it for that :P

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