De-isolation and decluttering oneself in “Magic! Kyun Renaissance”

Warning: There are heavy spoilers for Episodes 1 and 2 of the anime “Magic! Kyun Renaissance” in this analysis (mostly for Episode 2 though), so if you haven’t seen up to the end of Episode 2, I highly recommend watching them first before reading this analysis. 

It’s been quite a while since I wrote an analysis of an anime, mainly because my focus for analysis centers on literature like the “Black Swan” analysis and so on. However, I couldn’t help but be interested in Episode Two of “Magic! Kyun Renaissance,” specifically about how decluttering one’s space (whether that be physical space or in the mind) and de-isolating oneself can motivate the artistic inspiration of the individual.

In Episode 2 of “Magic! Kyun Renaissance,” it starts from the end of Episode 1 where Kohana is one of the people chosen to be on the executive committee for the upcoming Hoshi Festival, a festival that celebrates all the arts at the school Kohana has just transferred to. Kohana goes to her first council meeting, but only her and another guy called Ichijoji end up attending the meeting, because no one else is there. Frustrated, Ichijoji asks the teacher supervisor if they can replace those who didn’t come to the meeting, but Kohana decides instead that she can get the others that weren’t there to join them at the meeting. Ichijoji isn’t impressed, and so he tells her to start with finding Aoi Suminomiya, a student who specializes in calligraphy, in order to discourage her efforts of getting the others to the meetings. Ichijoji already knows that Aoi isn’t exactly the type to be enthusiastic about… anything. The reason Ichijoji tells Kohana to look for Aoi now is because it was revealed at the end of Episode 1 that Kohana and Ichijoji’s families are actually rivals, something that Kohana wasn’t aware of until then, and so Ichijoji wants to make Kohana look as bad as possible in front of the rest of the school by giving her opportunities that are likely to end in her failure.

Meeting with Aoi Sumonomiya in his private studio initially doesn’t go well for Kohana, as Aoi is initially disinterested in going to the council meetings. Aoi’s reason for not going is because he’s trying to find the right words to writ, but he can’t exactly figure out what he wants to write. Aoi has let the focus on trying to find what he exactly wants to write consume him, hence why he’s been skipping council meetings, classes and even neglecting himself to the point of not eating. Kohana checks out the numerous drafts that Aoi has created, seeing spiky sparkles from each one, and even organizes them according from least spiky to the spikiest-looking sparkles.

To explain about the sparkles that Kohana sees and why they appear in the anime, it’s that anyone involved in the magical arts in this anime is able to see sparkles when one is making use of their artistic talent. For Kohana, sparkles appear when she makes flower arrangements. For Aoi, it’s when he does calligraphy. When Kohana mentions how spiky Aoi’s sparkles are, Aoi is surprised that he has been unable to see them ever since he entered the school and now struggles to regain sight of the sparkles again.

What I think the sparkles are meant to represent is the artistic potential and personality that comes from each person. Everyone’s sparkles are different, partially due to their own unique personalities and partially because of their differing art styles. Being unable to see any sparkles at all, in Aoi’s case, is caused by the clutter and isolation he himself has created while trying to find inspiration for his work. When we first see Aoi and his room in the episode, it’s completely messy. Ink is everywhere—on the walls, the floor, even the windows—and the papers of all the past drafts are tossed about and completely unorganized. This is meant to give a visual representation of how cluttered Aoi’s own mind has become with trying to grasp inspiration for writing what he wants to write. His literal self-isolation from everyone else in the school gives him the focus he needs to work on and develop his art, given all the drafts he has, but at the same time it’s blocked him from getting any outside inspiration for his work due to how lengthy this isolation is. As he keeps hitting dead ends in his calligraphy, the more and more discouraged he feels, and that discouragement also clutters his own mind and blocks any more inspiration he could potentially grasp.

Kohana starts trying to help him out with this situation by literally decluttering his entire studio over the next few days to a week. Aoi often shows his calligraphy to Kohana during this time, as she’s the only one out of the two of them that can see the sparkles that emanate from his calligraphy, in an attempt to see how he is improving. The room is completely clean by the end of the week or few days, and Aoi seems taken by the bright light that shines through the now-clean windows. He tries out his calligraphy again, but…it’s still not quite what he wanted to write, much to his dissatisfaction. Kohana can’t help but wonder what Aoi could be lacking at first. His studio is completely neat and organized now, so that can’t be the issue. But then it hits her—Aoi has interacted with almost no one for so long other than Kohana herself. What he needs is inspiration gained from seeing others do their own work. Seeing others utilizing their artistic abilities is a great way to get inspiration easily.

Kohana creates a flower arrangement for Aoi, hoping to give him the inspiration she needs by doing so. At the end of arranging the flowers, Kohana overhears him drop his calligraphy tools, staring at her flower arrangement in awe. When she asks him if there is anything concerning him, Aoi immediately replies that he is now capable of seeing the sparkles that come from Kohana’s arrangement. Inspired by her work, he writes the words ‘Bright Light’ in calligraphy and places it on the wall just behind her flower arrangement, and the sparkles from both artistic works conjure a grand vision of a meadow, with a flowing stream and lush plantlife. As the vision eventually fades, Aoi notes that the piece he created is still not quite what he wanted to write….but, he’s more encouraged to keep trying this time, rather than despairing, and je thanks her for the inspiration she gave him through her own art. The following day, Ichijoji is surprised by Aoi and Kohana present at the meeting together, showing that Aoi is no longer completely isolating himself.

What can be gained from this episode of “Magic! Kyun Renaissance” is how decluttering helps one gain inspiration because it allows room for new ideas, and de-isolating oneself can be a great thing for your own creativity seeing how Aoi was inspired by Kohana. By taking the opportunity to see others at work and clear their own space, one can find the inspiration to develop their own work as well.

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