English: Beyond the Boundary
Synonyms: Beyond the Horizon, Kyokai no Kanata
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 3, 2013 to Dec 19, 2013
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.861 (scored by 105003 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Jun 21, 2014
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
May 26, 2015
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
Dec 18, 2013
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
Dec 18, 2013
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”.
Apr 20, 2015
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.
Jan 29, 2014
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.
Dec 18, 2013
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.
Feb 20, 2015
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
Feb 16, 2015
So here is my honest review for the anime.
Plot- Please google it. I wont waste time here.
Now getting to the important matter, the greatest thing about this anime is the growing love story between the two protagonist. I mean it has really a cute approach and yet feels mature. Though it is mainly an actioned centred anime, the romantic element doesn't look left out at all. All the characters are given equal detail and the animation is just GORGEOUS. Its an EYE-FEAST.
It has just the right dose of humour and the story is believable. Though the concept is nothing new or special, its the other elements that outshines the bleak plot.
This anime takes you to a journey of a different dimension where"YOMU" (Japanese spirits, gods etc exists). See its nothing new, but the perspective of the anime that the creators have developed is just great. Also thanks to the beautiful art, the anime is lively.
The anime also boasts some beautiful soundtracks. The OP and ED are both beautiful. (Listen to it even if you do not plan on watching it)
It has its flaws too. The story is somewhat unparalleled. If u miss even a single dialogue, u may want to go through it again to get a hook of it. Few episodes seems like a drag.
Finally i would say that its a decent anime that totally deserves a watch. The flaws can be easily overlooked by the animation quality and story development. I only wished if the story execution was better. Those who like action anime and doesn't mind a romantic touch, this anime is definitely for them. A perfect blend of humour, action and romance.
P.S- for those who have already watched it, two movies are coming for the series. The first one is basically a recap and the second one is a sequel. It takes place after a year in the KnK universe. Airing date- 04/15 read more
Dec 25, 2014
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
Feb 24, 2015
Now, I understand that this show wasn't the most original thing I've ever seen, at least in the first few episodes. But, as KnK progresses, I think it makes up for that by the pacing and planning in the story. It starts out very simple and starts to add on, kind of like building blocks. Many people stop watching by episode 3 for the "lack of originality," but I think the show really shone out in the last few episodes, making up for the weak beginning. Kyoukai no Kanata was also told in a way that made you feel like it was a lot more than 12 short episodes. Once it got down to business it was really good. However, some of the episodes (particularly episode 6) that really had no plot to the story and were completely irrelevant. Being the person I am, my favorite thing in the world is strong and well-paced character development, and I think these episodes should have been used for that.
One of the main complaints I have for this show is how all of the substantial male characters seem to have some sort of weird obsession. Akihito is obsessed with glasses. As someone who wears glasses, [at first] I was very happy that the show was bringing so much attention to that. But, as the show went on, Akihito's obsession beginnings to border creepy. Same goes for Nase Hiroomi, who is almost (if not) the same age as Akihito, and has a little sister complex. At first I thought it was fun to watch, but, again, as the show went on, it got pretty weird pretty fast. It kind of makes me sad, because Hiroomi had a lot of potential in his character. I feel as if his personality would have been way more intriguing if he wasn't constantly exclaiming how much he loved his little sister. On another note, one of the characters (a man named Fujima Miroku) was introduced as an interesting character. It got me believing that he was a bad guy, and though it was said that he was, everytime he came on screen, he was just a pain in the rear end.
My last point I am going to make is that the animation was just simply beautiful. It really helped the story move along graceful and the characters' movements always looked so natural and fluid. The fight scenes were really entertaining to watch, from Mirai conjuring her blood sword to Naze Izumi twirling around her staff-like weapon. The shots were great and very unique in portraying the characters as the story progressed. read more
Feb 15, 2015
Imagine you are on a roller-coaster, it starts, and moves towards the climb. You are sitting there all excited because it seems like this is going to be one hell of a ride. It goes all the way up, the scenery is beautiful, and then it starts to come down. You scream in excitement, but then halfway around the fall --- Zipppp, it stops and they tell you "That's it. Now get off."
That is how I felt when I first finished the first couple episodes of Kyoukai no Kanata.
But, then I re-watched the whole thing (Because my Spidey senses were tingling, telling me I did something wrong somewhere). Only this time, with a different perspective --- as a slice of life anime. See the first time I watched KnK, I didn't notice the slice of life written under the genre. So, I went in with a mindset that there will be a well structured and well executed serious story. But then the show seemed like it short circuited itself, and went haywire as more and more random plot elements were introduced into it. The main character started cosplaying as a maid or a bunny and then there was a musical number, and then it became a love story. That's when it hit me--- you are not supposed to take it as a serious thriller story or anything, you just enjoy the ride. Just like a slice of life anime.
So, just a heads up, go in expecting a slice of life anime and you will enjoy it. Though it isn't necessarily a slice of anime by definition.
Kyoukai no Kanata begins with our female protagonist, the cute glasses girl, Mirai Kuriyama standing on the edge of the rooftop of a highschool, doing, what seems like a suicide attempt. Now, our male protagonist, Akihito Kanbara sees her and, being the good boy he is, decides to try to stop her. And here is where something interesting happens --- when he gets there, she jumps, flies over the fence, lands in front of Akihito, and BAM!, stabs him right in the heart with a red sword. (Maybe not BAM, but. more like a swish... slash? idk) But later we find out that the guy is immortal (*sadist eyebrow raise* Interesting...). So apparently the girl is a spirit hunter, the last survivor of a special clan which uses their blood as a weapon. Now, despite being a slice of life anime, there is an overarching story, and the anime isn't episodic either. Also there is plenty of action to watch. Though some elements of the genre are there, like the above mentioned musical number and cosplay stuff (both of which will be annoying if you are expecting a serious atmosphere). I'll give further references when we get to the character part.
Done by Kyoto Animation, there is a certain standard that is to be expected from the anime. And Kyoukai no Kanata sits well above that standard. The animation is beautifully done. The scenery and the backgrounds keep the atmosphere of the anime in check with the story whether it be the action scenes or romantic ones or the dark ones. Though I won't say it is perfect, but it hits the spot when it needs to. The ending sequence "Daisy", needs a special mention, as it is one of the best animated ending sequences I have seen. Not to mention the song that plays along with it, they both suit each other perfectly. With that being said, the soundtrack does not disappoint. Its there when it needs to be and there are some good pieces in there that are worth listening to.
Moving on the character part.
The female protagonist, Mirai Kuriyama, as I mentioned, is a cute looking girl who wears glasses. She is your typical clumsy, rather shy, moe moe kyun! girl with a dark past who also has the ability to use her blood as a weapon. Being the air headed girl she is, she does her job by keeping the atmosphere light most of the time. I liked her character design. She has her own catchphrase too -- "Fuyukai Desu".
Next is the male protagonist, Akihito Kanbara, the half shade, immortal guy who also has some "personality" issues. Also he is the senpai of Mirai AND has a glasses fetish. (You smell that slice of life bro!) I was really glad that he wasn't made a dense character, and he realises his feelings for Mirai.
As for the side characters, there is the sibling pair Hiroomi and Mitsuki. With Mitskuki being the sadistic younger sister and Hiroomi being the Onii-chan with a sister complex (-_-). Also there is Izumi, the older sister to our sibling pair who is OP and seems to know everything and tries to do everything alone.
Overall it is a nice setup and it works just about fine to give you a nice experience. To conclude, this anime sits somewhere above average and is surely NOT disappointing. Just remember to watch this as a slice of life anime rather than a serious one and you will have no problem enjoying the ride. read more
May 18, 2015
The story of gifted young lady, who happens to be Spirit Warrior with unusual powers, that run in her family. She can use her blood to form a weapon or incapacitate her opponents. However, she is last of her family and is considered to be cursed. When she meets Akihito, who turns out to be kinda immortal due to his mom being a demon, things are gonna change. And we all hope that for the better.
This action supernatural romantic comedy, apart from being really nicely drawn, has good comedy, impressive action scenes and interesting mythology. Suspence and plot twist will get you, and you will root for the main couple, if you are a fan of the genre... of any of the genre included.
My personal favourite, is the episode, where they are hunting the paranoid leaky spirit on the roof. It is hillarious!
Anime is mainly focused on characters, so If you expect lot of action... you might be satisfied, but it really isn't the main theme here. I have to point pout great soundtrack, too. Opening and ending song were bound to end up on my mp3 player almost from the fisrt time I heard them. Also original music for the show is beautiful.
There you go! Kyoukai no Kanata might bw one of many pieces of this specific genre so familliar to any anime enthusiast. But it is in many ways outstanding anime. I highly recommend it. read more
Jan 21, 2015
But let me start with the good stuff. The story starts off pretty nicely and catches your interest as it is surrounded by mystery. The characters are definately the strongest point of Kyokai no Kanata toghether with its visuals. All the protagonists are enjoyable to watch and have nice traits that make them distinct and not soulless and mainstream. Scenes of humour and seriousness coexist in harmony. The action is stunning with epic battles that take advantage of the beautiful visuals.
Now the two weaknesses of the anime are the following:
Firstly it's pretty short. 12 episodes isn't enough for what KnK is trying to achieve. The world with the spirits and the spirit warriors which it is trying to present is lacking and many things remain unexplained or can be expanded on.
Secondly, in my opinion KnK's greatest flaw is its ending. Seriously, it's really bad. I am not gonna spoil anything but let me say that in the last 4 episodes nothing gets explained, random stuff happens for no apparent reason, we are not given any information about the antagonist, like what happens to him or what were his motives and in the final couple of minutes there is also a cheap surprise which is also not explained but they just put it in there for a happier ending I guess...
All in all KnK is a pretty good action anime with comedic elements that manages not to fall victim of any of the current trends (harem, fanservice...) and create something unique and enjoyable. Had its ending been decent it would definately get a 9/10 from me. read more
Apr 10, 2015
Dec 7, 2014
But the plot... There was so much the studio could have done and so little done with what they did present. To be fair, I'll start with what I think they did do right.
First, the main character, Akihito, is half-Youmu (basically a youkai/demon) and half-human. A hybrid protagonist is nothing new but unlike most he balances the time spent angsting about being a special snowflake and the time being a normal kid. His conflict was believable and well-handled. His relationship with the other characters was also realistic, especially with the Nase family, who are an elite Spirit World Warrior (or Youmu hunter) clan. They regard him as a ticking time bomb so there's none of the usual WE'RE ALL FRIENDS AND TEAMMATES!! WE HAVE YOUR BACK NO MATTER WHAT nonsense.
I won't say anything about Mirai besides the fact she has a cute design. There's so many ways you could interpret her character because of how the studio kept fumbling her characterization, rendering her nearly schizophrenic with how she behaves in each episode.
The plot is my main beef with this series. They had TWO conflicts they could have worked with, namely the protagonist and his half-Youmu nature and the entire Youmu vs. Spirit World Warrior conflict. And they didn't use either to their fullest extent. There were so many possibilities and ways to use this kind of setting, but they wasted an entire episode for fan-service and introduced mostly inconsequential characters while sidelining the main characters throughout the series.
Look, I've seen people excuse it with saying it could be easily patched up with a second season but most anime don't get renewed for another season easily, and if your entire first season depends on a hypothetical second season to tie up loose plot threads, you are not a good writer.
Watch it if all you care about is cute designs and nice animation. If you're looking for a plot with actual depth, look elsewhere.
All in all, enjoyable, but frustrating. read more
Mar 1, 2014
Intro: Kyoto Animation has developed a reputation over the years. They’re known for amazing animation, but they tend to focus mainly on slice of life shows with tons of MOE and basically cute girls doing cute things. They only recently stepped out of this rut (sort of) with the manservice show known as Free. But then again it played out like a typical Kyotoani show, but with guys. So when I heard they were making a show focused more on action, I was immediately skeptical. Did it impress me? Let’s find out.
Story: Kyoukai no Kanata takes place in a fantasy world filled with magic and monsters. These monsters are known as Youmu. Most of these Youmu are presented as terrible creatures that kill humans. Then there are humans called Spirit World Warriors who use magic to stop these creatures from killing people. The story follows our main character named Akihito Kanbara. He is an immortal half Youmu/Human hybrid who meets a Spirit World Warrior named Mirai Kuriyama. It continues from there as you learn about the world and how they live in it.
I have a huge problem with the story. It sets up this big and interesting world that you want to find out more about, and it’s barely explored. We don’t really find out much of anything about this world, which I was very disappointed with. I would have loved to see some other Spirit World Warriors and how their society works. It doesn’t help when the anime itself has filler episodes. They could have easily cut these two episodes out and gave us two for more world building or character development. And to make things even worse, the last few episodes have info dumping, which could have been fixed with two more episodes to work with. And the ending of the story contains an ass pull that is simply there to give it a feel good ending. And if you’re wondering, the characters aren’t much better.
Characters: One word description for the characters: bland. There are four main characters in Kyoukai no Kanata. Akihito Kanbara is an immortal half Youmu/Human hybrid who is open, VERY OPEN, about his glasses fetish. Mirai Kuriyama is a Spirit World Warrior who has the power of manipulating her own blood. She is also your typical Kyotoani Moe girl. Hiroomi Nase is a friend of Akihito who has a sister complex. Then there is his sister Mitsuki Nase who verbally abuse Akihito and her brother.
So you might be wondering about character development. My question is, what development? These characters don’t develop at all from what I remember. They basically stay the same the entire show. Okay, MAYBE there is a romance subplot that goes absolutely nowhere. The side characters do little to nothing to help the plot and there are times where I can’t even remember their names. There’s an antagonist that is extremely forgettable and character back stories that allude to something great but we get NOTHING.
Animation: This is Kyoto Animation. So Kyoukai no Kanata looks GOREGEOUS. From the movements to the colors and character designs. This anime is visually stunning. Action scenes are one of the shows biggest highlights and it looks freaking incredible. I didn’t notice the animation quality dip at all in this anime.
Sound: The only noticeable piece of music is the ending song. Aside from that, everything else is pretty hit or miss. Sure the music is fitting, but it’s pretty forgettable. The Japanese voice acting is fitting and they all express emotion where they need to.
Conclusion: Did I enjoy Kyoukai no Kanata? Well, sort of. I enjoyed the action scenes the most, while the story and characters just fell flat for me. I felt that the anime could have been something much greater than what it turned out to be. It fell to being a fairly average anime with great animation. That is what you call wasted potential. 3.5/5
Feb 17, 2014
“ Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
If nothing else, Kyoukai no Kanata was an entertaining anime. It was able to produce tears, surprise, excitement, and many laughs. The coherency of the plot may have been questionable, but nonetheless, the ride that the anime portrayed was over-exceeded any nuances with the direction of the story line.
The main issue that I had with KNK was the plot/story line. The first episode of Kyoukai provided substantial expectations about the nature of the plot. You have an immortal main character (Akihito Kanbara), and this mysterious arched four eyed cutie (Mirai Kuriyama) stabbing him in the stomach every chance she gets. You wonder why she is compulsively stabbing Akihito, and you start wonder whether she is some sort of physical sadist.
The mystery surrounding Mirai is enough to compel watching the next few episodes. Unfortunately, after the first three to four episodes, there is a sense that an integrant factor is missing from this anime. The location of this missing factor can not be exactly pin-pointed, but the direction of the anime did not seem to culminate to any substantive climax. It is like this anime prided in not taking itself seriously, and was being amused by our attempts to do so. However, in an attempt to reel us back in, the story took an interesting twist by showing us the back story of Mirai. This was probably the highlight of the anime since the episode molded and answered the ambivalent aura of the semi-seriously constructed plot that was been shoved down our pharynx.
The last few episodes did not leave us with any certainty which is not a necessary requirement for excellence, but the ending did leave a significant amount of abstruse quandaries unanswered. If I assume that there will not be a second season, then this ending, in terms of plot development, was sub par.
The art style of this anime was fantastic. The grandiose colours matched with uniquely drawn characters were enough to have me gaping at some of the scenes. For the most part, the animation was consistently fluid, and the action scenes were marvelously done. Every episode seemed sumptuous and fervent with sound and colour.
Speaking of sound, the background music was decent too. I do not believe that KnK has any stick-out-the-page musical piece, but the soundtrack wafted along with the majority of the scenes benignly. What did stand out to me was the ED of the anime, the way that the beginning of the ED innocently guided the final ending scenes of the episode into the first ED scene were done with potent aesthetics. I was amazed by the way Mirai was used in the ED as being alone, and extending her hand in front of her chest, aiming to have someone...anyone grab it back. You see people, supposed friends, just walk past her, giving her no mind. Finally, Akihito comes to her, and does not need to grab her hands, he just smiles at her. She smiles back. Amazingly done, I was not an initial fan of the ED, but it really grew on me after giving it a fair chance.
The characters of Kyoukai No Kanata had a tendency to be archetypal and paradigmatic. The variance of their comportment usually did not portray diversity. After a while, you get sick of the glasses fetish jokes given by the Akihito, the incestial jokes of Hiroomi loses shock value after the second episode, Mitsuki's jokes are uninspired and non-rememberable, and Mirai's unpleasantries showed no bounds of reason. I understand that the anime is restricted to 12 episodes, but at least there should be an attempt to diversify these character's personality instead of the blatant banality of creativity.
This is not to say that I absolutely disliked the characters. I found Mirai to be rather cute, and charming (in her own way). Her shy but honest ( and I use the term honest loosely) attitude grew on me, and left me wanting to see more of her, minus her annoying “This is sooo unpleasant” quote. I enjoyed her character design, it is not typical of an anime heroine, and she resembles the girl next door, or the girl sitting next to you in calculus class.
I found Hiroomi to be a comical character, most of my laughs originated from this guy. I just found his nonchalant demeanor to be hilarious, and I laughed at his initial incestial jokes, before they became repetitive and boring. I wanted the story to delve deeper into his background, and there were hints on his past (intertwined with Akihito's past) being shown, but at the end left me wanting.
Mitsuki turned out to be the most lacking of the characters. She was the standard paradigmatic witty beautiful arrogant but caring girl. Nothing more, nothing less. Her jokes were useless, let alone funny. Her strength was not substantive, and there episodes at a time where she was MIA....I mean it's like we were expected to not care for this character at all. Mituski existed in this anime in just the capacity that she needed to exist for Hiroomi's jokes to be relevant. Her character design was also non-inspiring.
My favorite character in KNK is by far Akihito. Despite his turbulent and dark past, Akihito still manages to demonstrate an exuberant comportment, and a fervent fetish towards girl wearing glasses. Though his jokes were hardly funny, I found Akihito's optimism to be inspiring and touching. The moment where he tells Mirai, “ I'm just like you....a monster.” was the most powerful moment for me in KNK. Though he suffered an abject past, he continued to make friends, laugh, and even fall in love. His maturity was refreshing for me to experience, and my only drawback is that I wished that he would have been more combat-inclined. There may not be any unique qualities about Akihito, his character type is rampant in modern anime, but that did not decrease my enjoyment of him.
My enjoyment of KNK was in a state of fluctuation between the first half of the anime, but strong near the end. The ambiguity in whether the anime should be taken seriously or as a comedy left me ambivalent about my enjoyment until a decision was made to take the second half seriously. There was a “filler” episode thrown in there that had me rolling in laughter, but after that episode, the plot became more dark and serious. Ignoring the nuances of the plot, I would say that this anime was enjoyable and has the capacity to be rewatchable. Overall, I give the anime an 8/10, and I would recommend KNK to anyone who is looking for a quick watch (that involves comedy, drama, and action) and isn't meticulous about plot details.
Overall: 8 read more
Jan 10, 2014
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.
Dec 20, 2013
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