I’ve reviewed quite a lot of anime this year, but I have yet to get to any productions by Kyoto Animation. The studio, popularly known as KyoAni, created many otaku favorites, including Clannad, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and K-On. Their latest project, Beyond the Boundary (Kyoukai no Kanata), just finished airing on Crunchyroll (and other live streaming sources) today, so I figured I should review it.
The first thing I noticed watching this series is probably the sentimentality that is portrayed for the characters. From the beginning, we are acquainted with our two protagonists: Akihito Kanbara, an immortal half-human and half-youmu (some sort of spirit monster thing), and Mirai Kuriyama, everyone’s favorite moe meganekko, who also happens to come from a cursed clan of spirit world warriors. Kuriyama’s special ability (or curse) allows her to convert her own blood into a youmu-piercing blade. That’s right, her blood is a weapon!
Throughout the series, their awkward teenager relationship continues, as Mirai continues to hunt down some of the world’s most dangerous youmu and Akihito stands by to simply be a pervert with a glasses fetish. At least, that’s how it seems, until about halfway through the series, when they reveal what kind of powers an immortal half-human youmu like Akihito has.
I’ll refrain from spoilers, so I won’t discuss plot beyond this point.
After watching the 12 episodes that comprise this series, I felt the animation of Beyond the Boundary was complete. This is often a rarity for animated series, as some producers are secretly hoping for a continuing season later down the road or expect you, the viewer, to finish the story by reading the manga or light novel where the series was adapted. Beyond the Boundary gave us a solid ending, wrapping up the main plot and leaving a tiny glimpse of balance returning to the lives of the characters involved. The ending seemed a little rushed, as the timeline of a conclusion of several months had to be condensed to 10 minutes of broadcast time, but that’s to be expected. I suppose if you want to fix all the loose ties at the conclusion, I’m certain the manga explains it a lot better; but I wouldn’t know.
I personally liked the series, but one thing that does irk me is the fan base for it. I never thought I’d have to “unlike” a Facebook page, but I did for Kyoukai no Kanata’s page. Apparently one of Mirai’s catchphrases from this series is “Fuyukai desu,” which translates to “How unpleasant.” Mirai uses it to express her dislike of something that Akihito does, since most anime protagonists do outrageously perverted things, and he’s no exception.
Well someone on the fan page started posting a slightly similar phrase that, in English, sounds like “Fuyukai,” and pretty much means the same thing too, when someone is incredibly angry at someone else. The images were also shopped to include an extra emphasis on said bastardization of phrase. Clever, maybe. Annoying, far too much! It was very much “fuyukai desu.”
But I won’t let a fan base ruin the fact that the series was well-made. If you like KyoAni productions, go ahead and check out Beyond the Boundary for yourself!