Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Bondary) first aired in 2013. It is a supernatural-romance anime that, while it doesn’t fall in with some of the biggest names in anime, it definitely has a claim to be moved higher onto the list of the greats.
Forged in Blood
For those unfamiliar with the anime, Kyoukai no Kanatai follows the story of Mirai Kuriyama. Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior destined to hunt and eradicated demon-like creatures known as Youmu.
When high-school student Akihito Kanbara spots Mirai on the roof of their school, he runs to help her. In a surprising end, Mirai turns and stabs him, revealing Akihito to be a half-youmu. When Akihito learns of Mirai’s nature of a Spirit World Warrior who, after some tragic experiences, has lost her confidence in killing youmu, the two become drawn to each other. Akihito tries to help her regain her confidence in killing Youmu.
In the meantime a budding romance between the two starts to blossom. In their friendship, Mirai also meets fellow Spirit World Warriors; Hiroomi and Mitsuki Nase. The bonds of the group strengthen over time but so does the never-ending threat of the youmu around them. Leading to an inevitable fight between the Spirit World Warriors and the strongest youmu out there.
Kyuokai no Kanata has a wonderful plot that keeps you engaged, right until the very last episode. It keeps the perfect balance between action, humour and romance that ensure the anime has enough for anybody. As someone who is not usually a fan of romance, I was definitely drawn in by this anime’s engaging and unique story. Not to mention the likeable characters leave me rooting for them very early on in the series.
Keep Your Tissues Close…
Be warned, the anime is a tear-jerker, particularly by the end, and if you go on to watch the film released later. As we get to watch the bonds between Mirai and Akihito form into something strong, we want nothing more than to watch things work out for them, even if a future together seems almost impossible. If the emotional romance side of things isn’t for you though, I can assure you, the fight sequences will not disappoint. In scenes that are choreographed down to the finest detail, whenever the team fight the youmu, it is fun and exciting. Not to mention Mirai’s weapon of a magnificent sword made from her own blood is just plain badass!
The anime series is short. With only twelve episodes and no more than the first season. There is no long-term dedication to the anime although you will want to watch these twelve episode all at once, like I did. Not because you have to – but because you’ll want to. My one irking complaint for the anime is its disappointing ending. Like a lot of anime, it is a great series that ends on a low note. I won’t give away the ending here, but suffice it to say, to me, it is a cop-out ending familiar to our screens, from anime to global live-action films, that never feels to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Akin to the “it was a dream all along” trope.
But even with this knowledge in mind, I would still recommend watching the anime. And good news! Because, since the anime first came out, fans got what they deserved and were granted an anime film, that served as a sequel to the series. It tied the whole story together in a satisfactory way and it does it right. However – be careful, because they made two. The first; I’ll Be Here (Past), being a shoddily done recap of the anime. It is I’ll Be Here (Future) you’d want to look our for!
How Does It Look?
Out of the series, you’ll want to take a look at the music episode, with a great dance number that spawned several amazing recreations and cosplays online. It is definitely worth scouring YouTube for these videos after watching.
And finally, I can’t forget to mention the anime’s beautiful aesthetic. I’m a sucker for great visuals in an anime. Every single frame is beautifully animated, lit in soft lighting with mixes of enticing pinks and oranges that is pleasing to look out. Cherry blossoms are of huge import to the anime. One scene in particular, in which the petals of the cherry blossoms pour from the trees like snow, will leave your heart warming.
I’d recommend giving the anime a watch. But don’t forget to look out for the film afterwards to get the whole picture!!
Doing a little of this, a little of that. If you see me holding a camera, run!