English: Beyond the Boundary
Synonyms: Beyond the Horizon, Kyokai no Kanata
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 3, 2013 to Dec 19, 2013
Premiered: Fall 2013
Source: Light novel
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.881 (scored by 128,083 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Kyoukai no Kanata is an animated series based off the light novel of the same name written by Nagomu Torii. (artwork: Tomoyo Kamoi) The series takes a new turn by adapting the style of dark fantasy in a modern time era involving a group of students whom seems normal at first but contains a dark secret. That secret being that some of them are not human but instead are gifted with abnormal abilities. They use those abilities to save people and combat against the youmu. Ironically, one of the main characters is half youmu but finds himself fighting on the side of humanity as he embraces his destiny.
Kyoto Animation is known for animating various titles with a school life setting but rarely ever incorporates the usage of actual supernatural themes into them with touch of darkness or despair. Series such as Hyouka, Chuunibyou, and the recently Free all never ventured into the supernatural zone that bought viewers to attention. Now finally in this show, there’s actual otherworldly elements that and fans should be grateful for. The initial premise also brings forth a promising start with its small cast of characters and plot. It starts out with an attempted suicide by a young girl named Mirai Kuriyama. After saving her, we witness strange events among its residents as the world they know it becomes a distorted by supernatural entities that threatens their very own existence.
The setting of the series takes place in a modern time era with the typical school life of our characters. Among our main characters includes Akihito Kanbara, a half-human and half-youmu with a gifted ability of regeneration, Mirai Kuriyama with the talent of blood manipulation, the spirit warrior Mitsuki Nase, and her older brother Hiiromi Nase. These four characters makes the ingredients of this show that give Kyoukai no Kanata its odd flavor. Most of them hardly connect at all with their lack of characterization. Almost all their conversations lacks any sort of dynamics but is instead replaced with irrational jokes, meaningless development, and overall a fragile depth. None of the characters stands out on their own either. Mirai is decorated with adorableness that is further evidenced by those noticeable round glasses, petite figure, and nerviness around others. Perhaps also colored as a natural klutz, there is almost nothing that stands out with her being part of this series. On the other hand, Akihito makes more of a presence but for absurd reasons such as his glasses fetish and preposterous humor. His relationship with Mirai is quite empty and can hardly be noticeable at all. In fact, there is hardly any romance between the duo nor any depth. They seem to exist the complete opposite together like oil and water. The Nase siblings aren’t any interesting either considering their constant bickering and Hiiromi’s heavily implied sister complex.
This series’ overall plot execution should be considered a travesty of justice. The plot has many holes that are left wide open thanks to the way of its execution. The way most of the characters are part of the series’ plot often ends in what I can see as rushed sequences. Conflicts are resolved abruptly without proper morals. Back stories seems interesting at first but overall lacks any depth or interest because it’s hard to relate to the characters. This is also shown with the way characters are designed. Mirai is a prominent example as her history with a certain character of the series left her with “scars”. However, her present character shows little to none of those scars until confronted directly. Even afterwards, her interactions with that character is seemingly blushed off as just another event in her past life; a rushed one at that as well. There’s also hardly any depth into the story except sticking with the concept of fighting youmu and saving people. This doesn’t always go in the way they want either with one particular episode that becomes an absurd parody with dancing aesthetics. Least to say, Kyouki no Kanata didn’t go beyond the boundary. It didn’t hit anywhere near home because of its poor writing and construction. There are backstories and reasoning revealed later on but to save them near its ending phases and makes viewers to wait patiently doesn’t cut out right.
Action wise, the series is executed well thanks to Kyoto Animation’s fluid execution. Scenes involving fighting are presented with rapid movements accompanied by its majestic atmosphere. Mirai’s rare ability also spills blood that marks the trace of its grim reality of dark fantasy. The youmu race also present a supernatural feel of explicit malevolence because of their existence; it is mentioned that youmi exists as result of negative emotions. Because of this, they spread that negative influence towards others.
Despite the show being dark and perhaps explores a more psychological side to its story, the series also contains comedy. Unfortunately, the presentation and delivery of that comedy is laughable in the wrong way. There is little chemistry in the way dialogues are delivered because the character interactions of this series lacks depth. Mirai’s character is generic with her annoying catchphrase that fits perfectly with its uninteresting style. The implied sister complex throughout the series becomes a distraction that’s hard to take seriously. And although the series avoid the typical beach episode, it doesn’t evade its poor parody or oddly coordinated fan service scenes. If the series wants us to take it seriously, then it should follow that pattern. But if it wants to make a few jokes here and then, it should at least make sense. Nonetheless, it follows down a path of despair with no decent delivery. I honestly don’t know what went wrong here. Perhaps it's because of the director Taichi Ishidate but he was known to deliver series such as Full Metal Panic: Second Raid that actually explored psychological of despair. Here, the direction is off and the timing is misplaced in many of its moments. Overall, it’s hard to take this show seriously despite its dark genre as it sometimes falls into the slice of life zone, other times with some story depiction ending in senseless solutions. You’ll see some of this yourself if you decide to give the series a try. It’s almost like dichotomy and becomes intolerable.
Thanks to Kyoto Animation’s production values, it’s safe to say that the series is saved in some ways by its scenery and visuals. The artwork for this show is magnificent with rich depth in terms of visual production. Most of the youmu gives off their threatening appearance that makes them a dangerous adversary for the Spirit Warriors. The character designs are typical with Kyoto Animation involved such as Mirai’s dose of moe. Mitsuki’s character gives off her coldness towards most of the others that is a reflection to the way she looks. Background wise, everything fits well and makes sense when the series decides to venture into the dark fantasy region.
The soundtrack is consistent with its tone. Because the series takes on a dark fantasy theme, it adapts a more eerie OST. Comedy wise though, there are moments when the OST loses balance of itself thanks to its poor execution. The action scenes incorporates good usage of its soundtrack especially with the intense atmosphere it gives off. Likewise, more emotional scenes makes decent usage of its OST to reflect the mood. Both the OP and ED songs also gives off a soft pacing for its mood. Mirai’s VA (Risa Taneda) plays her role well that fits the voice of a shy character. Others such as Mitsuki and Akihito also are consistent with their voice mannerisms.
Overall though, this series didn’t meet the expectations I had in mind. The initial premise had potential. Unfortunately, the characters becomes a major problem with their lack of characterization, interactions, and personalities. Most of the plot/arc hardly makes any sense especially with their resolutions. This doesn’t help by the fact that there is a improper timing with comedic scenes or dialogues. Instead, the dialogues usually falls apart with odd conversations such as involving the male characters’ fetishes. The technical aspect of this show is decent in terms of production especially with its powerful visuals courtesy of Kyoto Animation. The action scenes also makes up a decent base for shounen like battles with touches of dark fantasy. However, this doesn’t excuse the ultimatum of the show being mediocre.
As Mirai would write in her blog that she often gets flamed for, I would also say that Kyoukai no Kanata/Beyond the Boundary is best concluded with “how unpleasant”.
There is one thing I will rarely, if ever, do. That is give the show a rating before watching the entire show through. That doesn't mean that I don't have preconceived notions about the show and have some idea how I'm going to rate it. As a human being, I am flawed with the inability to look at something objectively from the beginning. That being said, I felt like I should take the time to address all the people somehow climbing over each other trying to stick his or her opinion down the throat's of other people. Here is my humble opinion: Kyoukai no Kanata was, at the very least, a show worth watching. Here's why.
Why do I rate it so? Most anime shows - at least for me - have some sort of glimmer of light that seems to catch my eye. (Of course this is for me personally, so don't be snapping on my words). There is something interesting that pulls me in that makes me want to watch the show. For me, originally, it was the story. Of course, that was just a preconceived notion I had; the story was interesting. Now, after finishing Kyoukai no Kanata, am I disappointed? Not really...though it is personal preference. There were parts I didn't like. There were parts I thought were well done. Was it perfect? No. It was still interesting to me though. There were issues with plot execution that made me a little sad, but that didn't make the overall show horrible. In my experience, there are shows far worse. Many many shows.
Well, KyoAni never fails to pull off at least semi decent art. Kyoukai no Kanata is no exception. To me, the art was colorful and fit well with the story. I won't go too far into it, but honestly, it looked good. Well, being KyoAni, the art was magnificent. The scenery was beautiful and the visuals blew me away.
This rating is probably a little high for some of you. But I really enjoyed the OST. It isn't the best, that's for sure, but it was beautiful enough for each scene the show had. And I really enjoyed the opening and ending. Of course, because the story itself was a little sketchy in its execution, the OST lost a little "oomph".
Okay, this part is entirely subjective. Everyone has his or her own opinion. But I thought that with the episode restraint, the characters all had at least a little development with some exceptions. I found it a little strange that all the main characters had such distinction from everyone else, but then again, it could have been worse.
In the end, each character was unique. They had strange quirks and it made the show fun to watch. Despite the show itself being somewhat dark, I was able to get a few laughs from the character interaction. I know that opinion is subjective in its own, but honestly, we all have our own opinions. To me, the character interaction was fun and made my Wednesday's more enjoyable. Watching the characters bicker was by no means unpleasant to watch.
The show wasn't a complete failure. In fact, I could only say that Kyoukai no Kanata was like the majority of the shows out there. Great in some ways, and rather not so great in others. But the show, in its entirety, was better than a lot of others things I watched. It probably wouldn't be anywhere near the best, but it was enjoyable to say the least. I had my laughs. I had my teary-eyed moments. I grew angry. I was sad. Though the show failed to pull me completely in one direction, I was able to get a wide array of emotions, and it was beautiful to me. The show was beautiful in so many ways.
All I can truly say is this: don't judge this show without finishing it. Feel free to disregard what I think of the show. In the end, everyone's review reflects his or her opinion. Even the most professionally written review here on MAL has some subjectivity. I don't condone that. But no one can judge how you like a show but YOU. And if you arrive to a conclusion based on what little you see, because you watched a few episodes, you may or may not be robbing yourself of a good experience. So many times, shows I find to be a good experience to watch happen to have controversial ratings. That doesn't mean the person reading this will find this show to be something they like to watch. Reading my review over again, I can say that it is a measly attempt at an objective review. So...
Here's what I'll say: don't reach a conclusion based on reviews or ratings. At least give the show a chance. Perhaps looking beyond such things you will find a show worth watching. Perhaps not. Only you can judge if this show is truly as [un]pleasant as others say it to be.
I wish you all the best in your pursuit of anime. read more
Kyuokai is not perfect, but it makes up for a lot of its flaws with gorgeous animation good laughs and a completely enjoyable ride the whole way through. The story of KnK definitely isn't original in the slightest to start off. Like everyone is saying supernatural girl meets immortal boy and they fall in love, and while people may whine that unoriginality just leads to a total shit fest I think that if something works and is enjoyable that's what matters the most, and while originality is always a plus (like in SnK's case) it is not necessary for a good anime.
Where KnK shines is in it's art and it truly is breathtaking. There are so many scenes that evoke emotions beautifully and really just make it an artistic masterpiece in it's own right. It's one of those anime that could be absolutely terrible and the art alone could save it. Luckily the rest is not terrible it's all at least acceptable.
The character's and character development are also high points in this anime. The characters all interact very realistically even if they are reused tropes. The animations of the characters face in a particular scene helps portray the emotions in that respective character in a very real well that leaves it so that there is no need for talking and there is a lot of silence in this anime that leaves the watcher to just look at the beautiful scenery which is where KnK shines the most and it definitely knows it does. The characters also develop so well having episodes where characters slowly become closer to each other instead of leaving it to be implied and that's a very good thing. (Funny enough a lot of people see these episodes as "filler" episodes, I do not agree, but maybe I'm just more optimistic and think Kyoani is smarter than that)
Another very enjoyable aspect of KnK is the level of mysticism it portrays and even if it is an overused overarching story it does a very good job at not feeling stale in the slightest. I believe it does this best through the soundtrack which is absolutely stunning and great to listen to.
Many people are shit talking the story in KnK and I believe that while it is partially justified it also partially isn't because KnK isn't linear. There isn't one story and it seems to fly by very fluidly instead of feeling like there is X arc then X arc it just feels like it passes very nicely. The pacing feels nice and it's overall just very enjoyable to get through.
In the end KnK is enjoyable, the art is great and the characters and story feel to flow very well. There are flaws and those are not to be ignored; however, it is DEFINITELY not nearly as bad as people like to think it is. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will feel satisfied at the end of it. read more
I really enjoyed this series but sadly I have to give it 8/10.
Well, it started really good, I was really impressed with the first 2 episodes. But then third and fourth episodes ruined everything for me. I couldn't understand what happened, why happened and how happened in those episodes. You'll understand what happened at fourth episode's end but I didn't get the thing about shadow thing (that youmu). I wanted to drop it but then I gave it a chance. Fifth episode had really good character developments so I continued, then a filler episode came but it was one of the funniest episodes I've ever seen. Then we got into the story about ''Kyoukai no Kanata''. To be honest 10th episode was awesome, I was really impressed. It was sad to learn everything was planned (to kill Akihito) and at first even Akihito and Mirai's friendship wasn't real. Then they loved each other :3 They've become one of my favourite ships :3 Uhm, then the finale... It was really sad but it ruined the story. If kyoukai no kanata go back to Akihito's body, why all that happened? And how Mirai came back at the end? I really don't understand but maybe we'll see it in the movie.
The most gorgeous art I've ever seen (after Fate series of course). Seriously the animations were the reason why I kept watching this series.
If there's something as awesome as the art in this anime, it's the characters. Let me introduce them to you.
Mirai: ''Fuyukai desu!'' One of the cutest female characters I've ever seen in animes.
Akihito: Cute blonde ''hentai'' guy with ''megane'' fetish.
Hiroomi: Another ''hentai'' cool guy who is a siscon. And he loves thouching Akkey's belly (to warm his hands)
Mitsuki: She's a really cute girl, a little silent and... That's it I love her.
I mean, they were original and loveable and character developments were really good.
So many funny moments (especially 6th episode). I love good actions with comedy (like Noragami) so, yeah I enjoyed it.
Overall: 8/10 read more
When news came out that Kyoto Animation was going to make a supernatural anime me like many others were surprised and excited. A supernatural show with great animation made by one of the most popular anime studios in japan? What could possibly go wrong with Kyoukai No Kanata? Almost everything,apparently.
The story is set in a fictional world where Supernatural creatures called Youmu exist. Youmu come in various shapes and sizes. Although most Youmu are harmless. Some could be hostile and dangerous. To stop these Youmu from harming humans there exists spirit world warriors, warriors with special powers who kill dangerous Youmu and keep balance to the world. The story revolves around Half youmu, Akihiro Kanbaru who saves a girl named Kuriyama Mirai, a spirit world warrior with the power to control her blood.
Sounds promising right? What went wrong? The first problem with Kyoukai No Kanata is its lack of direction. Kyoukai No Kanata is supposed to be a dark fantasy. But as the show progresses to the middle the show feels like more like a slice of life with a bit of comedy than a dark anime. The biggest offense is the idol episode. An episode that is pretty much a fan pandering episode in an attempt to boost sales. That may have boosted sales. But after that episode I really couldn't take this anime seriously anymore.
Apart from that there are also other problems with the story. But alot of times there is alot of unneccesary humor. I mean, a few laughs here and there are fine but too much just kills the atmosphere of the show. And it would have helped if the comedy was actually funny. But most of the comedy came up at the wrong time and felt forced.
The characters aren't much better either. There are 4 main characters of the show. Kanbaru Akihito, Kuriyama Mirai, Nase Mitsuki, and Nase Hiroomi. Kyoto Animations signature character designs look great. Mirai looks as cute as ever with her glasses and the others looked quite nice too. But looking deeper into them. They all feel one sided. Aside from her moe character design and clumsy personality there really isn't much to her. She doesn't do anything to stand out and I really couldn't relate to her at all. Akihito isn't good either. His glasses obsession is really annoying and pretty much the only thing that makes him different from other characters. The chemistry between them is also pretty lacking and one can only wonder if Akihito actually likes Mirai for her or for her glasses. The Nase siblings aren't remotely interesting either. So excuse me for not writing about them because there really isn't much to write about.
On a brighter note the Animation is quite detailed which is quite expected from Kyoto Animation. The backgrounds are all done beautifully. Character designs all looked great. The action scenes were also done nicely. But one small thing that I noticed is that Kyoto Animation is still slightly inexperienced in battle scenes. Although most of the movements were fluid some of the camera angles felt a bit awkward. This doesn't detract too much from the whole experience but I can't help think that with that amount of budget the battle scenes could have looked better.
The sound is also very good. Minori Chihara brings off an outstanding opening "Kyoukai No Kanata". An opening that fit with the show quite well. The ending song "Daisy" is also a very nice song done by Stereo Dive Foundation. The soundtrack also fit the show well. Everything from the action scenes to the comedy scenes were all fit with nice pieces. If only the story was as good as the sound...
Kyoukai No Kanata was a major disappointment for me. Not because of how bad it was. But because of what it could have been. Kyoukai No Kanata had alot of potential. But bad execution and bland characters stopped it from becoming something truly special.
Pretty simple overall. Boy meets girl, antagonist comes to town, boy has to battle against himself and the evil outside of him. The show's narrative likes one or two day time skips, and on a couple occasions I felt like the events of the fractured narrative were not completely justified. Namely something that occurs at the end of the final episode.
The lore of Kyoukai no Kanata is pretty engrossing, however. The different types of demons and exterminators make for quite the intriguing world. Unfortunately, a lot of this wonderful lore is left as mere fact with no explanation, but I understand that explaining the intricacies of a fantastical world risks becoming too deep and boring.
The characters are all over the place. Some characters are one dimensional, and stay that way for the whole series (Miroka and Ayaka). Meanwhile, others change significantly and we see their nature change (Sakura, Mirai, Akihito, Hiromi). Some have intriguing backstories, some of those stories (like Mirai's) are fully fleshed out, while some are left half explained (Akihito himself admits to not knowing what exactly he is) and some are left untouched (Izumi's mysterious past).
The show makes up for the lack of character development or explanation among all of the principle characters with the small cast's excellent chemistry and presence. Every character but a few gets a lot of screen time, and the interactions between the characters are hilarious to watch.
Production Values: 10/10
Vivid colors, fluid animation, memorable character designs, and an awesome OST. Pretty kick ass all around. Not much else to say.
Critical Rating: 8/10 My Personal Enjoyment and Thoughts: 9/10 (the score that counts)
Despite its faults in the narrative and character departments, Kyoukai no Kanata is one hell of a ride that soars where it soars, and is decent to good in its "weaker" areas. That's why it gets a nine: the character development, depth of narrative, plot holes, and explanation of certain backstories weren't all perfect, but they're much better than a majority of anime. If not for those minor faults, this show could've been an easy 10.
However, a 9 is not a score to dismiss lightly, and KnK earns that score thoroughly. The beautiful artistry, charming characters and hilarious chemistry between them, and the heart warming message of the show make it worth checking out. It's pretty much a diamond in the rough. read more
The story… It’s not like it’s badly paced, but it doesn’t seem to go into much detail regarding certain points and I was getting really frustrated. What are youmu? They have “types”, what do you mean they have types? Why would they have types? What do you mean, malice? Clearly not every youmu is like that, so why would you come to that conclusion? Organization? Jewels? What relates to what? Why do they want to do this? How can they do that? Powers? Beyond the Boundary? Hollow Shadow? Human youmu and idol judgment?! (And this still lacks questions, I’m saving you from the ultimate question list)
Tell me something already!!! By the way, what I wrote reveals nothing about the plot as it lacks its context so don’t worry. Anyway, you could see why I dropped it so early (but picked it up again). Sure, I didn’t have all those questions in the beginning but they kept piling up until even in the ending I barely get my answers. Even when they actually take the time to explain things to you, it will only be for the sake of making sure you know what’s going on and don’t you dare call that foreshadowing. They do add details to that explanation but those details usually only solve 1 out of 10 questions and tell you that “this is what happened”.
It might seem like I was taking the story too seriously or that it’s not for me, but I actually liked the concept a lot. The not-so-normal protagonist runs into this girl thinking she’ll kill herself and stop her from doing so because he loves glasses, only to find that she stabbed him right there! And the story unfolds… Seems abnormal for the most part, what generic protagonist has a love for glasses? The girl seems interesting and the plot is more than it looks so why wasn’t it good enough?
Well, one thing would be how long it took to get serious: Do you seriously have time for a filler episode when you have a limit of 12 episodes?! If you have time for that then answer all the god damned questions I have! And no, it doesn’t serve to “see how the group bonded” or anything, it was literally irrelevant to the story and other things… (Fanservice) But that aside, the humor was pretty bad. It’s only a matter of time that I get sick of seeing our protagonist get teased, made fun of and much more until I feel like killing certain characters.
Another thing would be its tendency to appear character-driven yet making the development of the characters lacking in various areas, the explanations, flashbacks and acts of change being way too sudden for me to actually think: “Wow, she came a long way from how she started.”
And then the ending happened. It was great, it was dramatic and it gave a message… Or at least that’s what it could’ve been if they hadn’t decided to leave an immense plot hole at the end for the sake of pleasing the fans of a certain character and a lackluster romance. It had the potential to be great and yet it was not. With that, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I mean, after so much I had to endure with all these questions they give me a plot hole like my family gives me Christmas presents?
I tried, I really tried liking all the female characters, I really did. No matter how many good things they started doing, the hatred was still in my heart. At first, the hatred was strong for the protagonist Mirai Kuriyama—Oh wait, Akihito was the protagonist, my bad!
At first, the hatred was strong on the female lead and obvious love interest Mirai Kuriyama. In the first episodes, most if not all of her actions made me want to break a table with rage. All of her mannerisms pointed right at the moe road while her personality was so quiet, unreasonably anti-social to the people that are holding their hands out for her and as she says:
不愉快です。If you want this to be grammatically correct in relation to this review then: 不愉快でした。
Her development throughout the story was so sudden that I didn’t even notice that it was there until I finished the show, even when the show itself was throwing it in my face and shouting it out as exposition. The romance between her and Akihito was barely there to the point of being barely relevant: they could’ve ended up as friends and nothing would’ve really changed. Her backstory was interesting but the reasons for her hateful personality were not because they were that generic. And then the focus on her and her feelings combined with the plot finally starting to pick up made me think that Akihito was less of a protagonist than Mirai.
But my hatred for Mirai wasn’t as strong as my hatred for Mitsuki Nase, Akihito’s friend (?) who is usually the one that starts my most hated joke in this show: Teasing and making fun of Akihito. In the first episodes it seemed like her only function and her only way to speak, it’s like she had to tease everyone, like a mechanism she had put up. It sure would’ve been more interesting if it were but unfortunately we have no such luck.
In later episodes she starts to show that she had more to that but the personality that she gained wasn’t interesting and it wasn’t even development, it was seriously showing more of her personality. She is also the first person to tie the story to its main plot because she belongs to one of the main factions in this anime but then again, we have a billion questions to ask about that faction.
Another character that I really hated was Ai Shindou, the ultimate loli of this show. She is such a loli that it is her only trait and the only extent of her personality. Because of this, I was getting sick of just being in her presence. At least give her a personality beyond being a loli, at least that! But then a ray of hope appeared…
Sakura Inami, a female character that had a certain amount of meaning to Mirai’s backstory. She seemed to have no hateful personality like Mirai or Ai and she had more to her than teasing Akihito while having a certain amount of backstory and development in the episode dedicated to her. Except that the backstory was a product of Mirai’s not-so-good backstory and her development was pretty fast too.
But there’s still her personality too, right? Yeah, that’s a big fat no. Her first appearance was so sudden that I didn’t even know what the hell was going on but in the first time we get to actually know her, she seemed like the quiet type of girl. Afterwards she became the quiet, blunt type of girl that liked Mirai a lot and spoke weirdly. Needless to say, I lost hope for the female cast of this series.
So after being trolled with a false ray of hope, I turned to the male characters: the light at the end of my tunnel. And no, I did not end up hating them this time. At first, I thought nothing of Akihito but the female characters were so hateful that I had no choice but to turn to him.
Akihito is a half-youmu with the power of regenerating so fast that it might as well be called immortality, and that is what he calls it. He also has a glasses fetish which I guess triggered his interest in her in the first place with the first episode. So, why do I like him?
Because I had no choice, okay?! Every girl in this show was so hateable that I had to cling to something and he was the closest thing to that!! I still have to admit that he's nothing special though, and it was misleading of me to praise him before. Welp, he did have to deal with every girl in the series, that sure requires quite the mental strength (at least for me)… But of course, there’s the romance. Frankly, it just seemed like they were trying to have Akihito relate with Mirai so bad, but failing because they were trying too hard. They were trying so hard to the point of even flat out telling us that they were similar.
The male cast of this series doesn’t end here since we have Hiromi Nase, Mitsuki’s older brother who just so happens to have a sister complex. He also graced us with the fabulous and wonderful nickname “Akkey” for Akihito. Yes, I found him to be hilarious. The sister complex was a bit weird but compared to the terrible, terrible jokes they had before, having Hiromi and Akihito talk about their fetishes and portraying it in a comedic way seemed way better for me.
Unfortunately, he also has to be the show’s resident exposition holder, having almost half of the information that this show explained to us, sometimes by him, sometimes by somebody else. The supporting characters also seemed to serve as representatives of their factions or exposition holders, while only two seemed to create conflict in the anime. Honestly, I wish they didn’t since it led to a bit of rage on my part.
For me, the characterization in this show can be resumed to this: Slacking off until realizing that it was almost over and adding something at the last minute, thinking that would be good enough considering the nice pink ribbon they wrapped them around with. Sprinkling characterization around characters won’t make them develop, no matter how pretty those sparkles look.
Art and Animation:
After all of that criticism above, let me tell you that the art and animation in this anime is absolutely great. My favorite character design… I have none but I have to say that Mirai’s hair was pretty and I liked it a lot. All the youmu that the main characters have to fight look like monsters of malice and yet the youmu that they don’t have to fight look like youkai, humans or lolis (because they’re a different category apart from humans, didn’t you know?), something that I cannot consider to be “good character designs”.
The animation is amazing. Right on the first episode, I could see that it was more fluid than with other shows and that the production values were definitely high here. All fighting scenes looked beautiful with all the lights but I think I would rather have to see their mouths moving than a close up of someone’s boobs or something else like for example their hands as if it were relevant to anything. It’s like faking foreshadowing except that the boobs were for fanservice!
There is nothing much to speak of in the soundtrack in my opinion. It’s more noticeable in action scenes and really serves its purpose: being background music. There was also this song in the anime that appeared in the filler episode that was pretty “meh” to me. The opening and ending of the anime though, those were pretty good. I especially liked the opening because of how dramatic it seemed to me.
If I were forced to pick my favorite voice acting performance, I would have to say it was from KENN who did Akihito. All the other voices were good or would destroy me ears from being too high-pitched if they dared screaming, especially Mitsuki and Mirai since luckily, Ai didn’t get to shout.
I don’t know why, but I always felt so down and demotivated while watching this, except when Hiromi and Akihito were involved and that one filler episode (Best ultimate weapon ever, how did I not guess that?). I would become depressed just from watching this show which made me unable to watch other anime. Because of this I had to finish this one in two days! I think it was because I was giving up hope on the anime or something of the sort, and knowing that my questions would never be answered I went to the emo corner.
Because of this, I also became a bit apathetic towards the show, except when it involved Akihito because he was the light Beyond the Boundary!
…Okay, I know that joke sucked.
In general, there was a lot of potential with this anime that was completely wasted by its vague explanations, plot holes, lacking characterization and irrelevant romance. All of these could’ve been executed properly, but it seems like the people behind this anime were too busy gift wrapping it with beautiful animation and art. All of the characters lack development and even when they do have development, it is so little and barely touched upon to the point of not even being noticeable. My dislike for all of the main female characters in this anime almost made me break everything apart in rage and the protagonist of all things was my salvation.
In other words, if you want to fully enjoy this anime, you should turn your brain off. With that done, you won’t have questions or doubts and you will only find yourself staring at the beautiful pictures… Except if you dislike most of the characters like me since I don’t think you’ll be able to ignore that. But if that’s the case, this anime is not for you.
The dark fantasy follows a high school sophomore named Akihito Kanbara. Although the boy appears human, he is a half youmu and invulnerable to wounds because he can heal quickly. One day, Akihito meets freshman Mirai Kuriyama when it seems she is about to jump from the school rooftop. Mirai is isolated because of her ability to manipulate blood, which is unique even among the members of the spirit world. Disturbing events begin to unfold after Akihito saves Mirai.
Ok...so KyotoAnimation created this anime. Seriously, why couldn't they just made this into a slice of life anime? Or something similar to the fillers like Episode 6 because it seems to me that that's what they do best. When it comes to dark story, it just comes off as laughably stupid. The first arc is pretty much an introduction to the word that they're in, the characters, the exterminators, the youmus and all that crap you need to know. Then there's the second arc which is the most stupidest and the most inconclusive arc I have ever seen. They tried to explain all this crap about who Beyond the Boundary is and why he's so dangerous than the last youmu who is the second strongest..Honestly, I don't even care anymore. Why is it inconclusive? Watch the last 2 episodes then you'll find out. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the show, especially the ending. The ending also felt rushed. Since this is a spoiler-free review, I won't mention the plot holes that the show left open.
The battle with the main antagonist also didn't last that long. How long is it? It only lasted for about 90 seconds. All they did is stamp in the OP song and make the fighting scene fit that OP theme song. How anti-climactic..
The story turned out to be a piece of dog sh*t but the filler and slice of life moments turned out to be one of the best parts of the show. You have the characters fooling around, the perverted little sister moments, the glasses moments, the club activities and of course, Episode 6. Where they did an Idol dance to defeat an eye monster. Honestly, Ep. 6 is the funniest episode in Kara no Kyokai. Because of the funny moments that I mentioned in this little paragraph, KyoAni should really stick to creating Slice-of-Life moments because that's where they do best. On the other hand, if they take out the fillers and actually develop the plot then we could have gotten ourselves a show with a great story.
This anime is, like I said, created by KyotoAnimation and if you know the company then you should know that their animation is one of the best in the anime industry. The animation looks great, the environment looks great and the character design also looks great. Especially Mirai. The actions scenes are, surprisingly, smooth. This is the first time I've seen a KyoAni anime with an action scene so it did surprise me. The Idol Dance scene also looks great. Their dances are smooth and it didn't really felt too choppy.
Most of my soundtrack rating comes from the OP and ED theme song. It's very rare this days to see an anime with both OP and ED theme song that are great. Welp, KnK has it. An OP theme song that has made it into my Favorites list and an ED theme song that has also made it into my Favorites list.
The OP theme song is "Beyond the Boundary" by Minori Chihara and "Daisy" by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION. All I can say about the OP theme song is..It's f*cking awesome! I just love the singer's voice and song's buildup. I also love the ED theme song. Now, that's what I call an Ending Song. The male singer has a soothing voice and the song is so...calm.
The show has an excellent Voice Actors. I can't explain why they're excellent because we all have our own interpretations of "excellent" but you have to watch the show by yourself. The VA that I love the most is Mirai's voice. She sounds so innocent and cute and her catchphrase is awesome.
I want to introduce the characters first before giving my own opinions about them. Akihito Kanbara is the main protagonist of the show. He is a second-year high school student. He is half human and half youmu and he has a fetish for girls with glasses. Mirai Kuriyama is a first-year high school student and she is an Exterminator. She has the ability to manipulate blood and can also create a sword using her own blood. Hiroome Nase is a third-year high school student. He is the eldest son of the Nase family and Mitsuki's older brother. He has a huge sister complex. Mitsuki Nase is a second-year high school student and she's the president of the Literary club.
What do I think about the characters? I love them. Akihito and Mirai's paring is great and makes the show funnier. I also love Mirai's catchphrase. "Fuyokai des" or "How unpleasant" in English. Whenever Akihito and Nase is paired, it also makes the show even funnier because of their perverted instincts. Mitsuki's personality seems like she is a person who doesn't really care about anyone and it also adds to the comedy of the shows. Comedy aside, you can see the relationship develop for both Akihito and Mirai and you can actually see Mitsuki care for someone. You can also see the characters working together when it's needed.
The side/supporting characters do have some major issues. They get introduced at one point to the show and then you don't get to see them again. Some make an appearance for an episode, disappear, and later appear again at the 2nd last episode or the last episode. Some of them are not in-depth and some of them are just downright useless. For example, Sakura got some focus on the earlier episodes but was later thrown aside when her conflict was solved. Her conflict was also solved way too fast. I guess, that's understandable considering that this is a 13 episode series.
The story may suck ass but that doesn't mean I enjoyed the show. In fact, I did enjoy the show because of its Slice-of-Life approach and the fillers. Pretty weird that I enjoyed the fillers a lot more than the actual plot itself. It should be the opposite.
Just like Mirai said. "How unpleasant". How unpleasant, indeed. How unpleasant the f*cking story is. However, if you can look past the crappy story then you might enjoy this show because of the Slice-of-life moments and the filler moments are great and hilarious to watch. Especially the Idol Dance Episode.
+Outstanding OP and ED theme songs
+Great Main Characters
+Slice of Life and Filler moments
-Useless side characters
-A lot of plot holes
-Filler are a lot better than the actual plot. It should be the opposite
-Mediocre and Unexplained Ending read more
The storyline isn't one that is revealed until about episode 6, so I recommend you watch until there to get a gist instead of dismissing it as any other typical anime.
Of course, this is just an opinion.
The plot is very intriguing, as well as some small plot twists that might not be considered. It's ok. BUT this is not it's best trait: The way they are able to convey the character's emotions and feelings to the viewer in many ways got me attached. Some episodes might be considered fillers, but in some way contributes to the plot and character development, this also helped the characters to have a stronger bond than most anime. The plot begins to become deep towards episode 11, and by the end of 12, you'd be asking what was going on. This causes you to be pulled in and also makes you want to watch the movie. (Spoiler) Mirai loses her memory and makes my feelings crumble, and Akihito just wants her to lead a normal life so he puts aside his past feelings for her in which makes me all the more interested. However, if slow-paced anime are a turn-off for you, you might not want to watch this.
We have Kiriyama Mirai's graceful fighting skills, yet clumsy social skills, and favorite "how unpleasant" line, Akihito's glasses fetish, Mitsuki's tsundere personality, and Hiroomi's sister complex. With this colorful cast and unique story there's hardly a lull in the anime.
In addition, the opening and ending song is the perfect measure of poignant and hopeful.
The story had some questions that needed answering, but it didn't take away the overall enjoyment of the series. read more
The final straw was Hiroomi and Akihito talking projecting their fetishes onto Mitsuki -- who I think is a pretty funny, smart and interesting character. Show me a topless minor and you better believe I'm getting the hell out.
The other great flaw was the writing which was pretty ham-fisted, but who knows what lies beyond the third episode. If only the girls were the main characters! read more
The show starts off in an unexpected way: A girl backflipping over a fence and stabbing our male lead in the heart. Extremely surprising, to say the least. However, he isn't dead. Akihito Kanbara is immortal so needless to say, being stabbed in the chest doesn't kill him.
And here we are introduced to our two main characters. We have Mirai, shunned due to her blood manipulation powers, and Akihito, existing as an immortal half-youmu.
So what's a youmu? Similar to Madoka Magica's concept of witches and Noragami's Phantoms, youmu are born out of the ill wishes and curses of people. Spirit World Warriors, of which Mirai is a part, make a living off of hunting them down. Since this isn't the first show to do this, it's not an original concept, but at least in this show if you're a good warrior you can make a lot of money killing these things (whereas in Madoka Magica and Noragami it's more of a charity duty; I know I'm skimming over details, but here is not the place to explain the plots of other shows).
However, Mirai dislikes drawing attention to her abnormal powers (I mean, she uses a sword made out of her own hardened blood. How badass is that?), so while she is a powerful Spirit World Warrior, she lacks experience and is pretty poor too, buying discounted food and struggling to make each month's rent.
Anyway, the story takes a while to get its feet under itself. We bounce around from arc to arc, each segment taking only a couple of episodes apiece, and finally in the last few episodes, we move to our main plot. I think there's two potential areas of improvement here:
1. Making the show longer, so to have each arc give us maximum impact (the Hollow Shadow arc? Ouch).
2. If there was no way to make the show longer, keeping the story focused on its central plot would have kept us from being detracted into side stories (like episode 6) and made the story more cohesive from start to finish.
Don't get me wrong, I liked all the little mini-arcs. But that led to the main plot feeling rushed and squeezed in at the last minute. I would have liked it to be more drawn-out.
We also have the enigma that is episode 6. I'm still not entirely sure what happened in development to lead to that. Still, it's an amusing episode to say the least.
Basically, some youmu that's worth a crazy amount appears on the top of the kids' school rooftop. They try to kill it, but that fails and they have to regroup. Long story short, their overly elaborate plot doesn't work, and the youmu gets away.
The stink that the youmu sprays on them apparently doesn't go away until they defeat it, and since they never do, I suppose the characters just smell really bad for the rest of the show. It's a weird little plot hole, but I enjoyed the episode and the insert song, so whatever.
Episode 6 serves as a nice break before we start moving back into dark fantasy, though this time it gets darker than it did before.
We also move into the main plot, which is somewhat confusing in terms of worldbuilding and leaves you to figure out stuff for yourself. It's weak on the technical side, but everything besides that is better in my opinion.
The ending of the show is controversial, since a lot of people say it was a cop-out and a gaping plot hole. The plot hole part may be true, but as someone who watched the show as it was airing, I can say that I was hoping above all else for that particular ending so I didn't mind when they gave it to us.
Also, we're getting a sequel movie pretty soon so I'm assuming we're at least going to get an explanation for this ending.
Overall, the plot isn't super original and it takes a while for the main story to get itself up and going, but I still liked the ideas the show presented, even if it didn't execute them all that well.
This show is done by Kyoto Animation, who normally does drama/slice of life/romance anime, so it's interesting to see them experiment with "dark fantasy," which is what Kyoukai no Kanata is.
The fighting animation is very fluid and nice-looking, and always a pleasure to watch. I didn't like it when I first watched the show, but rewatching it I think my past self was crazy. I also think the reason I didn't like it is because the fight animation only lasts a couple of seconds or less between cuts. So it's a bit jarring, especially after I was used to animes with drawn-out shots of action scenes. However, in between the cuts, the movement is very nice. There's also a lot of small details, from the dust that Mirai kicks up with her legs to the bubbles floating in her sword to the colorful sparks thrown up whenever weapons clash. The Cages made by Spirit World Warriors to contain a certain area also contain lots of colors and look very nice.
Backgrounds are a given. Gorgeous, as can be expected of Kyoani. Especially in the opening scene, a sunset from a rooftop, they are detailed and colorful and very nice to look at.
One thing that stuck out to me when I first watched the show, and one that I continued to notice rewatching it, is that they don't use the same shot for very long before switching. Live-action shows cut camera every time a character speaks, and this show does the same. I think that's because Kyoani has a lot of money and can afford to draw new shots for every second of the show.
Really, the only complaint I have is that sometimes during fights, and at some other seemingly random times, there'd be a lack of shading on the characters. I'm not sure what was up with that, but it was kind of distracting to move from the beautiful lighting and shading to a lack thereof.
The other complaint I have is the two-second shot of Akihito in the ED. The way he's drawn is reminiscent of the train wreck that is episode 9 of Mekakucity Actors. I'm not sure what possessed Kyoani to draw him that way. If you've seen the show, you may remember what I'm talking about.
Aside from that, both the OP and ED have outstanding animation. The OP has gorgeous backgrounds with amazing lighting and raindrops on a window that look realistic, as well as characters fighting and twirling weapons. The ED features textures and colors abound, as well as a lot of symbolism. The characters don't move around much (most of the ED is Mirai with her arm outstretched), but the backgrounds and other details are what make it truly special.
The opening of this show, "Beyond the Boundary," (not the most original title, but whatever) is sung by the voice actor of one of the main characters. The song's beginning and ending are kind of mellow, but the middle part is fast-paced and awesome. It's a good opening all around.
The ending song is called "Daisy," performed by Stereo Dive Foundation. It's also a pretty mellow song, but a very good one. I also love the "I never say goodbye" at the end of it, since I think that especially suits the show.
As far as OST, I really like the soundtrack of this show. It's kind of creepy and spooky, but appropriately bubbly and upbeat during the happier moments. One issue I do have is that they'd often recycle pieces too much. One time, they even finished playing one song and then just started it right over again (and I noticed this because I happen to have this song on my iPod, so I hear it a lot). I have no idea how many songs are in the total soundtrack, but I did notice the lack of variety.
And the insert song performed in episode 6, Future Star, is just as the characters describe it: sickly sweet but actually pretty catchy. It's a cute song.
This show has no dub, and I'm kind of glad since if it did get one it'd likely be an ADV dub and I dislike ADV dubs.
The Japanese cast does a fine job with voices and voice acting. I also found it surprising how Mirai's voice actor, Risa Taneda, voices Saki in Shinsekai Yori since the two sound almost nothing alike. Mirai has a very cute and high-pitched voice, but despite her voice, she portrays the proper negative emotions when it's needed.
What a strange misfit cast of dorks we have in this show.
There's Mirai Kuriyama, our protagonist. She's the moe cuteness obligatory in every Kyoani work. Glasses, skinny body, fluffy hair, high voice, the works. She has the catchphrase "How unpleasant!" which she utters whenever possible. But despite all the cuteness, Mirai is isolated due to her strange powers, and is unwilling to interact with others in the beginning. She also confesses early on that she has killed a person with her own two hands. That's a pretty shocking statement coming from someone like her, who hates killing youmu because of the thought of death.
Mirai is also apparently pretty clumsy, tripping over everything in the first episode, but despite her clumsiness, she is able to perform complicated aerial maneuvers (like backflipping over her school's fence) and fight confidently with her blood sword. It's somewhat contradictory.
And on that note, there's a lot of defying physics in this show without a reason why. But whatever, since a lot of animes defy physics without bothering to explain why.
Next we have Akihito Kanbara, our male lead. As explained, he's half-youmu, and has a powerful youmu consciousness inside his body, though luckily his human mind is in control most of the time. However, when Akihito's life is in peril, the youmu inside him awakes, and he develops a nasty tendency to attack everything around him.
Despite the fact that Mirai kicks off the show by trying to kill him over and over again, Akihito is sympathetic toward her and helps her hunt down youmu, buys her food, and even offers to help cover her rent. He's a pretty sweet guy to be so nice to someone who tried to kill him, but that's just his nature I guess.
We do meet his mother a couple of times, but she's pretty irrelevant and mostly fanservice. I would like to know about his father though, since they don't mention him once in the show. Same for the rest of the parents in this show, actually. We know nothing of Mirai's family or anyone else's.
The one thing I dislike about Akihito's character is his over-the-top glasses fetish. As someone who wears glasses, it made me happy to hear him talking about how pretty girls with glasses are, but his obsession with them borders on unrealistic. He's constantly trying to get the other characters in glasses and he has a weird obsession with Mirai since she wears glasses. Yes, those two are cute, but I think we could do without the fetishes. You can write a cute relationship without one of them obsessing over the other's accessories.
The other two main characters are Mitsuki and Hiromi Nase, siblings from the rich Nase family of Spirit World Warriors. Mitsuki is pretty apathetic most of the time, eating lollipops and calling the guys perverts. She's a Spirit World Warrior who specializes in Cages and has a catlike youmu as a pet. She also refuses to go along with her older brother's strange requests.
Which brings us to Hiromi. His fetish makes Akihito's look almost normal by comparison: He has a little sister complex, and is constantly trying to get Mitsuki to call him "Onii-chan," which she purposely avoids. I'm not sure why Japan loves incestual relationships so much, but there you have it.
To be honest, Hiromi's character would actually be pretty interesting if he wasn't constantly exclaiming how pretty his little sister is. He fights with the scarf he always wears, is a pro at Cages, and has an interesting history with Akihito. But alas, he's pretty much no more than a fetish creep.
As far as minor characters, we have Sakura Inami who I've heard is an anime-only character, but I'm not sure about that. She starts out with a personal vendetta against Mirai for spoilery reasons, but pulls the quickest 180 I've ever seen in a character.
There's also Mitsuki and Hiromi's older sister, Izumi Nase. She's got an interesting plot twist in the last episodes but it's unfortunately never capitalized on. Maybe we can get some more info in the sequel movie, but who knows.
Then there's Miroku, who in some ways is the villan of this story, but he's mostly just an interfering asshole.
There's several other minor characters, but none of them are relevant to the story to be honest. They're mostly just there and don't really have any outstanding characteristics.
As I mentioned, I watched this series back when it was airing. My friends and I had some pretty amusing predictions in hindsight, and there was a lot of yelling and crying whenever a new episode would come out (I'm talking the last few episodes, by the way). The light novels are not fully translated, so we were all at a loss for what would happen next.
So yeah, as someone who watched this and had no idea what would happen next, my enjoyment of this show was quite high. Even rewatching it, when I noticed a lot of problems, I still finished my rewatch in two days and enjoyed every minute of it.
It's not the best show out there, but it has great audiovisuals and a pretty interesting cast of characters despite their shortcomings and fetishes. The story is pretty good too, but I wish it'd gotten to its point sooner.
I think this show is a must-watch, especially for those fond of Kyoani's usual works, to see how different this one is. Though it contains slice of life elements, it's a far cry from their typical works and shows how heartbreaking and ruthless Kyoani can be (That movie preview? Brutal). And if you just like a plain old action anime, that fulfills this desire too, since there's really pretty fighting animation and some interesting concepts, even if said concepts don't get fully capitalized on. read more
The story starts with out main character Akihito as he has an unexpected meeting with Mirai, a member of the cursed-clan of the Spirit World Warriors. He subsequently gets stabbed by her. But as he is a half-youmu, he is supposedly immortal. That's all you need to know in order to understand the story.
The story is of the typical fantasy action sort, where the good group of warriors must fight against the supernatural enemies in order to protect the world, simple stuff. The Anime starts off a tad bit slow. The first few episodes or so are very light hearted and focus more on the comedy aspects and a bit less on the action. But then the latter half of the series gets more serious, where most of the episodes are spent on the fight between the Spirit World Warriors and the Youmu. Despite having no originality whatsoever, the story managed to keep me interested in it. It was mostly due to the way the story was told and its pacing. But, the ending could have honestly been better. It wasn't bad in any way, but I disappointed nonetheless.
Animation and Sound:-
The Animation is simply fantastic. Kyoto Animation did a splendid job here. Every single character is nicely animated with distinct traits. The action scenes in particular were mind-blowing. In short, the Anime's a visual treat guaranteed to appeal to everyone.
The OST is also great. There were different kinds of music for each situation, be it funny, emotional, intense and whatnot. The OP was somewhat generic for me though. But the ED made up for it. Simply loved it.
The Anime's strong suit is definitely its characters. The interaction between them is definitely the best part of the Anime. Akihito as a main character is very likable. He has a fetish for glasses, which was funny. He also has a sense of morality, which is showcased in some instances in the Anime. Mirai's more than just a typical cute character, which the first few episodes made me believe. She has a decent backstory and is also a great fighter as well.
As for the supporting cast, I'll start with Hiromi. He seems like the cool, cold-hearted character at first but that's far from the truth. He also has a huge sister complex. That combined with Akihito's glasses fetish made for some hilarious moments. But he is also a badass, which is shown multiple times throughout the show. Hiromi's little sister Mitsuki is somewhat underdeveloped though. Sure, her responses to both Akihito and Hiromi's respective comments regarding their fetishes were nice and all, but in the end, I didn't really feel much for her. As for the rest, they aren't exactly worth mentioning.
Enjoyment and Overall:-
I enjoyed the Anime for what it was worth. It had a great blend of action, comedy, emotional moments which made it worthwhile. Despite the somewhat lackluster story, the experience on a whole makes me recommend this. So in short, watch it without giving much thought to the story. read more
Kyoukai no Kanata was by no means a very ambitious project (or a very pretentious subject). It had very linear and straight forward story line which actually very easy to understand and very comfy to follow, delivered with excellent animation and a proper adolescence romance development ... is probably an understatement. But, saying it was the best foreshadowing is also an exaggeration.
For starters, the anime was built upon a very basic concept: human with supernatural power, hunting monster. Well, I can get the hunch of where all this 'generic' spouting comes from. But the foundation itself was built upon several layers, in which each layer redefine the rough concept and premise into its own unique traits. So, on the surface, it does looks like any supernatural anime which comes from before 2005. But, if we take a closer look, the show didn't follow the usual formula for a show which tagged: "teen, supernatural, fantasy, anime" in which I'll call it 'chuuni anime' for shorts. So, that was also explain very polar opposite receptions by fans.
The main idea behind the story is about seeking a new light at the other side of tunnel/boundary. Which is basically, what Mirai was trying to do. But of course its ot so easy as to flip the other side of a coin. There are also Akihito who has the same (more or less) state as Mirai. Yes, the story revolves between these two characters, starting from where their first encounter, their conflict, acceptance and longingness. This is one of very few shows which shows a proper teenage romantic development mostly due because they have a rather similar condition which makes them able relate to each other. That was the basic story concept.
The world was built upon nowadays era and civilization but with a little tweak, that there are monsters which lurking in the darkness, waiting to infect humans with its poisonous nature... or killed them, whatever bad effects they brought. All of this 'youmu' concept-building is shallow, weak, generic and so does the 'ikaishi' part. There are almost not enough explicit exposition in exploring both concepts, because its not your usual 'nerdy' chuuni shows which spouting something like 5 new vocabularies every 3 new episodes or so. The mixture of slice of life and supernatural in a sense is very pleasant, but in another sense was frightfully almost doesn't mix. The reason is maybe has something to do with this studio specialty, which is Slice of Life (SoL), and cute girls. The SoL part has more depth even when compared to any other SoL anime (let alone another chuuni anime). Their technique in mastering this particular aspect was just so excellently done. You could feel the atmosphere surrounding this show. Heck it does feels like watching someone bringing a mini-DV into 2D world. But this depth of exploring SoL side was a bit backfired. Every supernatural elements looks out of place. The youmu form for example, just looks like derived from a pok*mon game or something.
The storyline was very linear as I said earlier, but it doesn't follow the regular formula which says "beginning, middle, end". Rather, it straight forward jump into a start-middle scene which left some people confused and screaming "plot hole" out loud. Well, this is to be expected, since that was how it was... in the beginning. I even have this tingling funny sensation when watching first 3 episodes. Why did they leave plot hole so open, and heck even pointed it out. Then, I understand it was a foreshadowing... which was revealed after episode 8. Here's the problem: This show tried to bring forth a whole huge concept story on to the table, which is actually very rare thing to see since all we've got were per-arc episode(s) which doesn't entangled to each other. So, we're used to a scheme where: 1st episode doing foreshadowing, then following episode (or two) does the revelation... which you can see in every single chuuni anime... ever..., also don't forget the explicit spoonfeeding. This show does none of those thing. which is why for some people, watching this show was kinda tiring. It could be understandable since this show requires huge amount of observation span and very long patience... which not many people have. As a proof, a lot of people doesn't recognize 'Sakura Inami' in her first confrontation with Mirai despite all the clues being littered throughout the show. (sorry, no further spoiler).
The execution is a bit flocky sometimes, but in general still pretty decent. But of course you still need to be observant and use a bit of deduction thinking in figuring how the world moves. Since there are barely any explicit long-ass chuuni dialogue in this show (I didn't say none). In directional stand-point is still also very flocky. There are some good-standout episode (like Takemoto ones), but there are also very bad ones. The reason why the difference in directional execution was so glaring might because there are almost no clean-up from the general director. The reson is..., well I don't know.
The animation..., is the core of this show. I could talk for hours regarding this topic, but lets just make it simple. The production quality of this product is simply..., outstanding. Kyoukai no Kanata looks like a saint compared to any other action anime. Well, you could say I was exaggerating, but as far as TV anime are concerned, there are very few other action anime which have this kind of production quality, not even SnK (sorry titan fans). There are no reused scene (except that single one from ep 6), no still images (except it was used in succession to create a sense of complex movement (e.g. ep 2, when Mirai slashed zombie youmu form the sand), it has sense of impact and sense of weight (like several scene in EoE), It doesn't have black screen followed by flashing effect, It doesn't have badly produced CG sequence(s), it has terrific inbetweening, but it does however has some share of bad cuts. For example in ep 2 where Mirai swinging her blood without sense of direction and ep 3..., you know that infamous 'timber'. Also, I don't know why, it has several 'copycat' key frames (not reused, but done in similar style). You might felt that the action scenes were a bit short compared to any other action shows. That was because 3 minutes action in this anime = 8 ~ 15 minutes in any other anime. Action flow were so packed and almost gives no room for chanting or engaging in conversation. Even if it does, it still managed to perfectly fit into the timing between action cuts. It doesn't sacrifice the loss of quality for sake of having flowing animation, which is actually a big plus into the animation department. And, lastly of course the shiny Kigami episode. (inb4 idol dancing episode)
The lightning and several effects were movie-tier. And small quirk and gestures from characters were delicious seasoning in this already well-produced show. The music (BGM) were a bit hit & miss, but in general was good, the sound directions were flawless. There are several effect of sound where people talk outside the door is different from inside the door. It also have distinct variation, where people talk up-close or faraway, left or right direction. The voice act for each characters were also very good. Several hiccups sure, but it does gets better once you used to. Some people might not overcome them, but of course different people = different taste buds. The opening and ending song were also very catchy. More over this is also one of very few anime which are using Op/ED sequence in layering one of episode, which is actually very neat works.
And the ending..., THE ENDING, never forget the ending. By no means a satisfactory ending since it leaves so many questions and makes people a bit impatient. But as far as the main story concept was concerned, it was a...., well to be honest I'm not too satisfied with the ending too. Or maybe it was intentionally letting the viewer to interpret the ending as their imagination or their deduction just like Hyo*ka was.
Kyoukai no Kanata stands at the basis of simplicity and displayed as it is without sounding so deep or pretentious or dramatic. But because it started at that very simple idea, because of great directing, multilayer subtlety, and very long foreshadowing, it entices the viewer to at least pay attention to a bit of exposition without feeding needless explicit argument for the sake of understanding. At the end of the day, if you're someone who don't satisfied with action sequence in anime, if you don't want to exhaust yourself in complicated chuuni dialogue, if you're tired watching too many harem anime, or were just seeking for a nice, comfy action anime to spend on weekend or when you're tired from work/school. Kyoukai no Kanata does just that. I might advise to marathon it, at least it will eliminates the patience/impatience factor. But the observation will still there. read more
With a length of 12 episodes, Kyoto Animation's "Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)" brings us a tale of two young teenagers, whose hearts are filled with regrets and burdens placed on their shoulders. Their actions will determine the fate of humanity itself, and while at that, they will draw near each other as they learn more about themselves and come to terms with their hardships. It is an excellent story about two ill-fated youngsters with a fresh sci-fi twist.
Next, I will give you certain characteristics of the series that I find necessary to tell to those who are considering watching this series, as well as the premise. (TL;DR/Conclusions at the end.)
Story and characters:
The world is protected by Spirit Warriors, which have multiple powers to keep demon-esque creatures, called the "yomu" in line from attacking humanity. Then there's this certain Spirit Warrior girl with the name of Mirai Kuriyama. She is a Spirit Warrior, whose bloodline is considered cursed, that allows her to manipulate her blood as a weapon, such as a shield or a blade. This feature is considered cursed, and as a consequence, she is constantly isolated by the rest of the Spirit Warrior community. Akihito Kanbara is a hybrid of half-yomu and half-human. This uncommon mixture grants him the power to be immortal, although he is not a Spirit Warrior. He, just like Mirai, is another outcast of society because of the strange anomaly that he is.
The story is all about the burdens that these two characters, Akihito Kanbara and Mirai Kuriyama, have to carry; and the relationship between these two, that begins to grow and flourish as the series progresses. We are thrown into this compelling and exciting world with close to no information about what's going on, and much of it comes through dialog between the characters. This is all about showing, not telling. The bad side of this is that you can get easily lost if you don't pay enough attention, but the good one is that time is not wasted by explaining.
The narrative starts slow paced, with a focus on introducing the characters and their qualities, fetishes and catchphrases: It is more like a slice of life anime, with each episode having a yomu and being fought by the main characters, and in-between, we see how the characters interact as if they are living a completely normal life; but as the series progresses, the plot starts to gain momentum and delivers a well balanced dose of comedy, action, drama and a shot of romance, as these two outcasts begin to draw together. Near the end, the loose ends are being tied up and the hidden motivations explained, as well as the tension begins to rise exponentially. I have to say that by the end of the series, my hands were clinched as the narration becomes way faster and entertaining than in the beginning (I actually considered dropping it by the third episode). Some episodes focus more on side stories, rather than the actual storyline. Although they are enjoyable and entertaining, they do kill some momentum from the previous episodes.
While the series is itself more a drama series than a comedy series, there are a lot of laughs that can be found between the difficult events that lead to the climax. All the characters are excellently designed, all having a certain aspect of their personality that makes their interactions with one another really funny and enjoyable overall, being the episode 6 the pinnacle of the comedy in this series.
A big flaw I find in the series is that one of the enemy's goal or motive is never stated. It gave you a vague explanation of what he was doing, but didn't give a clear motive. Although at last he is not the main enemy, I would have liked some closure on him. (I won't say the name of the character, to avoid spoilers.) In a similar fashion, some of the supporting cast is largely ignored for big part of the series. Even though these slips, I consider the story and characters well designed.
Art and sound:
The art was astounding and is really one of the strongest areas of the series, if not the strongest. It is one of the greatest series that I've seen when it comes to animation. This series makes you want to take a screenshot of every scene and make it your newest wallpaper for your cellphone: The shots are so beautifully colored and detailed and the sequences are so fluid and eye catching that it stuns you every time an action scene comes up and the special effects come to effect. Nothing less than expected from a work by Kyoto Animation. I really think that this was the factor that made me continue the series, despite my consideration of dropping it. The music is also remarkable. Although it is not the greatest soundtrack I've heard, the OST blends well into the environment and the scenes. The opening and ending find I really fitting to the story and premise; as well as the insert song in episode 6.
Enjoyment and final thoughts (TL;DR):
At first, I wasn't really enjoying the series. It was really hard for me to give full attention and avoid being distracted while watching the very first episodes. But as the series progressed, the more momentum it gained and by episode 6, I couldn't get my eyes off it. (It specially is episode 6 a really hysterical one. It had been long since I had genuinely laughed with an anime series.) Despite many critics panning this series, I really liked it. I can say that this is not the best anime I’ve seen, but I don’t regret the time I spent watching it. But well, this is just, like, my opinion, man.
All in all, Kyoukai no Kanata is an amazing series. It’s got well designed characters, a captivating and credible love story, attention-catching premise, beautiful scenery worth a wallpaper, and fluid sequences. Although I believe the series starts slow and sloppy, if you like sci-fi, beautiful art and/or romance and drama, I highly recommend you this series, and please, don't reach any conclusion based on reviews, since everybody can have different opinions.
Art is superb, Story is above average if anything. Plot holes do not make the story bad.. they never said this would be the last in the series. Characters are very likable and have random, quirky interactions.
I suggest you watch this and decide for yourself instead of deciding because of some bad reviews. You could find that you actually enjoy this anime despite the anime elite's opinions.
Some guy was complaining about plot and rated Guilty Crown a 9...wtf.
- Sum Ting Wong read more
Kyoukai no kanata (also known as "Beyond the Boundary" in English) is a anime which was created by KyotoAnimation ("KyoAni") and was something along the lines of Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! but way more complex and these fighting scenes that you have seen in Chuuni had meaning and mythology to them. Now, usually when I review an anime, I try to look at flaws etc. such as: Animation mistakes, sounds/music, character. character development, character interaction etc. and while watching Kyoukai I haven't found as much as I was afraid to find. Honestly I shouldn't be surprised as before I have watched KyoAni's works such as "Hyouka", "Free!" etc. and I know they create great, if not amazing, work and sometimes even beyond that (get the pun?). However, not all anime is perfect and this might be reason why I was pleasantly surprised. You should know the overall story line etc. if you watched the anime, if you don't I would highly recommend for you to watch it first before continuing.
So let's star with the basic; Story.
Kyoukais story was something I have seen before but I haven't seen it handled well or at least not as well as Ao no Exorcist etc.
The story is simple, young boy named Kanbara Akihto meats girl, Kuriyama Mirai who tries to kill him but he turns out to be immortal. The story is shown that both of our main characters are what we call "monsters", inhuman creatures that are trying to push through life after tragic accidents (explained later in story) with one handling it well and other being scared by it. The two of them compliment each other and try to help each other in their little adventure with help of two siblings; Nase Mistuki and Hiroomi. The story doesn't have simple point A to point B kind of thing and this is what I enjoy a lot in anime, especially when it's done well like in many animes you may see. If you want to find out more about story, watch the anime or read up on it.
Although not everyone will agree with me on this part, but KyouAni animation is great but it is not the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I have seen animations from movies like "5 cm per second" , "garden of words" and way more to know that they are the most beautiful movies I have ever seen and I know that comparing these movies to KyoAni's work is unfair. But I have to say this; The animation in Kyoukai is detailed. Not only based on explosions and huge monsters (also known as "Yomu") but also on facial animation and body moments, and it is very beautiful. Sadly, Kyoukai didn't hit my "amazing" rank when it comes to the animation because, despite the details, it still had some animation flaws that went into fore-mentioned explosions and huge monsters and special effects etc. The music on the other hand, the music was fantastic. It was gorgeous and I love every single soundtrack it had to offer. The opening and ending were composed by both amazing artists and it sure was great to listen to it especially on a boring day of school at break.
Although the characters were very simple and not that much creative (not in my opinion at least), the style of KyoAni's added a lot of cuteness to them and a bit of badass which made them even better. If you want to find out more about the characters then search up or watch the anime. Now, here's the most important key in the whole thing; character interaction. I am one of those people who simply doesn't care if the animation is the most beautiful things the world or your music is breath taking (I will still compliment them), if you have characters, good or bad, with wonky character interaction I will be forced to point it out. Thankfully, this is the part where I don't have to do so. Kyoukai has great character interaction, especially with our main; Kuriyama and Mitsuki, who get along in one episode created just for that. The character development is also good, but I think it could've been done with more details.
For me, Kyoukai no kanata was a great anime where almost nothing was standing still and nothing was out of focus (and if there was, it wasn't that noticeable), like for example the magic behind the stone checking (or whatever it's called in English) or something along these lines. The story it self was good and it was just like the opening; it gave you an amazing ride with beautiful views for your eyes every time you were bored.
So in general, I would recommend this anime the most if you don't mind the huge amounts of blood and massive amounts of "moe"/adorable factors.
this is IKira-n
Signing out. read more
Story - 8/10
It's pretty dark at first. A girl with a cursed bloodline, with a dark past meets a immortal half-demon boy who's very powerful. The first meeting is kind of just "What the heck, Mirai?" but it gets better over time. The demons along the way are powerful, and of course like other animes, the main character goes to kill something, and the other main character goes to stop her/him. This story left some plot holes (an example of this: How did Mirai's bloodline/clan get wiped out exactly?) But I do believe the story was mostly for enjoyment.
Art - 10/10
Nicely done colors, extraordinary fighting scenes, and very good character designs, along with Mirai's kick-ass sword.
Sound - 9/10
The Japanese voice acting is quite decent, and I don't remember a time where they didn't express emotion. They sounded the way they needed to, whether it was bored or angry. I do believe there is no dub, although there is a fan-made dub with only two episodes out but as there is no official one I cannot rate a dubbed version. The soundtracks for this anime were decent, although the song in episode 6 (Future Star) is a song I got hooked onto it because it was really catchy. The opening had a nice singer, good lyrics, and I liked it. The ending, the same thing.
Character - 7/10
Some of the characters had a real change at times (example: Akihito's demon transformations or Mirai's personality in some ways), some stayed the same, and some were just.. there. Although there was depth put into these characters.
Mirai started out as a girl with a shy personality, but she opens up and is quite bubbly and energetic with a real appetite, but there was also some meaning and depth in her character. I cannot find a reason to dislike her. Akihito had some feeling put into his character, and did have a few things to him. The main one was his liking of glasses, and of course, Mirai has them.
This anime only had 12 episodes, but each character had a fair point of view and/or some type of backstory or story.
Enjoyment - 10/10
Look, I'll be honest. This is a anime where you can like both the main characters so much. In most animes for me I tend to dislike one of the main characters in a way, but for this anime I just truly loved both of the main characters and found the story neat and enjoyable.
Overall - 9/10
I do not know why it gets ratings like 5/10 as this story is very neat, and I think it is fairly done. The ending is predictable though, which I kind of bawled over (but I always do that at endings like these) but then you can wipe those tears away, darling, as this does go on a happy-like ending. read more
The story begins when our glasses-loving protagonist, Akihito, sees a girl on the roof of his school. He proceeds to make some monologue about suicide that seems like foreshadowing at the time but never really applies to anything later on as he calls out to the girl on the roof. The girl, whose name is Mirai, stabs him but fails to kill him as it turns out that Aikihito is immortal. Mirai is a novice "Spirit World Warrior," people who fight creatures called "youmu" that are invisible to normal humans. Mirai had heard that Akihito was an immortal half-youmu and decided to get some practice by using him as a "stabbing-bag" which Akihito obviously did not appreciate. The story continues on as Akihito and Mirai grow closer together, discover secrets about each other, and get caught up in the plans of both other people and youmu.
The story suffers from a few things. It poorly introduces the world of youmu and Spirit World Warriors by skipping over some important details and saving them for later. Despite an entertaining filler episode, it comes at a bad time and interrupts a side story which interrupts the main story which leads to some confusion for the viewer. It also has a bit of a cop-out ending with things being a little rushed at the end.
The story isn't all bad, but the good parts are mostly due to the relatively good main characters. The four main characters consist of Mirai, Akihito, and the siblings Mitsuki and Hiromi. Where the main characters hit their strongest points is in the sarcastic comedy between them. From Mirai's catchphrase "you're unpleasant" to Akihito and Hiromi's fetishes for glasses and younger sisters respectively to Mitsuki's disgusted sarcasm towards both guys, the characters never let the serious attitude of the story prevent them from being the normal sarcastic assholes that teenagers really are (or at least my group of friends is minus the fetishes). While their quirks may be a little overdone at times, they never become a hindrance to the story (well, not more than it was already doing on it's on). The minor characters are where some more noticeable issues arise. None of them get enough screen time to develop aside from maybe Ai-chan, and many of them are easily forgettable and hardly relevant to the plot at all. The few who are important are easily forgettable or just annoying like in the case of the obvious villain. Aside from Ai, the minor characters are basically all of the adults in the show and most of their designs are similar to the point where a few of them can be mixed up (this is one of the very few problems with the animation).
But onto the best part of this show. The fluid fight scenes, interesting character designs of the main characters (as long as you don't mind moe), and the beautiful scenery despite most of the show taking place in an average-looking Japanese town are what make the animation of this show top-notch. Even as far as KyoAni shows go, this one still stands out in this category (mainly due to it being one of the few with action sequences). One of the only issues is something which many anime have problems with: character designs become much less detailed when the characters are "farther away" from the camera. The soundtrack during the action scenes also adds to the intensity and makes them even more impressive. It also adds to the comedic/sarcastic moments and makes them even more of a pleasure to watch.
Story - 4/10
Animation - 9/10
Soundtrack - 8/10
Characters - 5/10
Enjoyment - 7/10
Overall - 6.6/10
Kyoukai no Kanata is an enjoyable show with excellent animation, a good soundtrack, but unfortunately suffers from weak minor characters and an inconsistent plot with some pointless side features that distract from the real story. It all culminates in a visually impressive ending but makes little sense story-wise. I hope KyoAni (which is one of my favorite anime studios) continues to make visually amazing action series, but it would help if they improved the story of their next one. read more
The story of Kyoukai no Kanata is about protagonists Kuriyama Mirai and Kanbara Akihito. Students in high school, both extraordinary in different ways. Mirai is the only living member of the 'cursed' spirit world warrior clan that is able to manipulate blood. Akihito is a half-youmu, half-human, making him immortal. The story revolves around these two and their adventures, and the even mysterious "Kyoukai no Kanata" or "Beyond the Boundary". Kyoto Animation deemed this anime as a "slice of life" but I think it is anything but. Setting aside the filler episode, episode 6, Kyoukai no Kanata very much has a plot that is driven forward through the whole series. The plot is never really slow, and is intriguing with each episode. Kyoukai no Kanata has many different subject matter and themes that get your brain thinking.
Kyoto Animation has always been known for their beautiful, flawless animation and character design. None of this is forgotten in Kyoukai no Kanata. The atmosphere is set beautifully, each character's movement fluid and realistic. Battle scenes are works of art. There is never a time during the series where I questioned the animator's abilities.
I am not one to pay attention much to soundtracks,. but I must say that the soundtrack work in Kyoukai no Kanata fit with the mood. The OST is well suited for the scenes they are played during, and add to the atmosphere of the scene. As well, the voice actors are always on par, and portray each character distinctly, with the correct feelings and dramatization.
For a 12 episode anime, I believe the main characters are developed fairly well. Mirai Kuriyama, first of all, portrays as a sweet heart in the beginning. She is a cutie with bubble gum pink hair and red rimmed glasses. Over the series, I was delighted to see depth put into her character, and she was ultimately likable. She is not the kind of protagonist that sits around and waits for things to happen. She does not rely on other people for help, and ultimately is strong on her own. Kanbara Akihito has his quirks. And it's interesting to see these little quirks in action. He has a thing for glasses, often calling Mirai a "megane bishoujo" (bespectacled beauty). As for the other characters, each had distinctions that make them different from each other. For a time frame of 12 episodes, each character gets a relative amount of screen time suitable to their role.
To be honest, Kyoukai no Kanata is definitely my favourite of the season. It has been a long time since I have found dual protagonists (Mirai and Akihito) so likable. The ever present plot, the senseless fluff, the jokes, the quirks, all of it tied together had me enjoying Kyoukai no Kanata all the way through. While it depends on the person as to if they enjoy it or not, I dare say Kyoukai no Kanata is worth it.
For all these reasons, I believe Kyoto Animation hit the mark with Kyoukai no Kanata. With the series finished and wrapped up, I can only hope for a second season to answer all the questions I still have. Kyoukai no Kanata is overall a superb anime that deserves a chance. read more