Kyoukai no Kanata

Title:Kyoukai no Kanata
Beyond the Boundary
Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: KENN
R1 License - Sentai Filmworks (ADV)
Akihito Kanbara is a high school sophomore in the literature club who believes himself to be a "Meganest", and although he appears to be human, he is actually half Yōmu, which makes him invulnerable to wounds, due to the fact that he can heal so quickly, and also immortal. One day, Akihito meets freshman Mirai Kuriyama when it appears as if she is about to attempt suicide by jumping off of the school rooftop. Mirai is isolated because of her ability to manipulate blood, which is considered heresy even among other members of the underworld, so she is shunned. Soon after Akihito saves Mirai, disturbing events begin to arise.
(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

[TV series, 2013, 13 episodes, 24 min; based on an ongoing light novel series with 3+ volumes since 2012; most intensely subbed anime of this season with four English groups working in parallel; licensed by Sentai Filmworks for streaming in 2014]
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 9 9 9 5 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:2788#1552]
By the looks of it, Beyond the Boundary was aspiring to be both supernatural action and high school rom-com with its focus on the developing relationship between Mirai and Akihito as both struggled with their lives due to their supernatural abilities. While the premise seems like an interesting on paper, the show's attempts to blend both the mentioned genres leaves it with quite a number of issues. The characters are mostly reduced to two-dimensional archetypes that don't get much in the way of fleshing out, a number of whom existing to have character types or fetishes that appeal to otaku interests. The attempts to blend comedy and drama with the situation that escalates with Akihito's powers clash rather poorly at many points, though there are some genuinely dramatic moments at points shown in the second half of the series when events escalate. In addition, the series has a decent number of plot holes concerning story and character elements, including a rather convenient and unexplained ending that develops just to make things happy in the end. The only genuine praise that I can give Beyond the Boundary is KyoAni's usual great animation with gorgeous scenic shots, great-looking character designs and fluid action sequences between Spirit Warriors and enemy Yoma. Beyond that, Beyond the Boundary is average fare that tries being a pair of genres that clash rather poorly with shallow characterization and a heaping number of plot holes that it doesn't bother to resolve.

Last updated Sunday, June 19 2016. Created Sunday, June 19 2016.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2788#628]
(Four episodes watched):

The most 'disturbing event' that arose as I watched KnK was how unimpressed it left me. I felt as if a tired idea was being pitched to me yet again: 'Hey! Disgusting, evil creatures called 'phantasms' exist! And awesomely cool supernatural (and super acrobatic) fighters called 'Boundary Wardens' are waging a secret war to contain them! Surely you would love to watch an anime about this, wouldn't you'? But episode one left me apathetic. The only possibly fresh thing about this premise (Akihito's immortal status reminded me of the situation in Monogatari) was the interplay between him and Mirai; the guy with supernatural abilities who, without a whole lot of enthusiasm, agrees to help train a naïve, insecure girl in how to do her job. But even that is kind of stereotypical nowadays, when you think about it. Actually, I was intrigued by the setup of a girl who seemed to be about to commit suicide--surely something serious and controversial had to come from that--only to have my bubble burst when it turned out that it was all a trick. I think this show might well have been better if the supernatural occult nonsense had been dumped altogether and the makers had improvised some sort of school romance. The conflict between phantasms and boundary wardens hardly summons an ounce of interest from me and the jokes make me smile rather than laugh. Maybe if KnK put comedy first and action second, it might work; but it looks like it will be the other way around.

Episodes two left me thinking that, again, the witty dialogue between characters is the strong point of the show, and I'm curious if any sort of romance will develop between Akihito and Mirai, but the general premise seems pretty lame. We aren't getting much of an explanation of exactly what 'phantasms' are, so it's hard for me to get engaged. They just seem like generic magical bad guys that were inserted so that there could be action scenes. In episode three the war against evil Phantasms still gets priority over the feelings of Akihito and Mirai, leaving me thoroughly unentertained and wondering if there is any point in my continuing to watch. This show seems to reuse the stereotype of 'socially inept, moe fighting girl and guy with odd powers', which we have seen a number of times already. Unless an interesting romance blooms between the two main characters (and soon), there doesn't seem to be all that much that is original about it. Maybe I will watch another episode, maybe not.

At the beginning of episode four it occurred to me that I might have missed an episode, because I couldn't remember what might have happened to bring the story to this point. But I decided that what was more likely was that the premise just left me so unenthused that I wasn't bothering to remember the story. And if that's the case, the show probably isn't worth watching. Apparently we are supposed to sympathize with Mirai and pity her, since her 'cursed blood' has left her an outcast; but there are plenty of people who are as bad off as she is and don't possess fantastic powers, so it was hard to do. I don't detect any sign of a major turnaround in the plot being imminent, nor any signs of interesting romance between Mirai and Akihito, so I decided to quit this show.

Last updated Thursday, November 14 2013. Created Saturday, October 05 2013.

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