Review : Kyoukai no Kanata

Kyoukai no Kanata was by no means a very ambitious project (or a very pretentious subject). It had a very linear and straight forward story-line which actually was very easy to understand, delivered with excellent animation and a proper adolescence romance development... is probably an understatement. But, saying that it was the best foreshadowing is also an exaggeration. And, Before I start I need to get this out of my way, I'm a sucker for "bespectacled beauties". Thus, this review is based solely on the anime and will not reference to the LN at all, This is me simply giving my opinion.


"The dark fantasy follows a high school sophomore named Akihito Kanbara. Although the boy appears human, he is half youmu and invulnerable to wounds because he can heal quickly. One day, Akihito meets freshman Mirai Kuriyama when it seems she is about to jump from the school rooftop. Mirai is isolated because of her ability to manipulate blood, which is unique even among members of the spirit world. Disturbing events begin to unfold after Akihito saves Mirai." It was a great concept. In fact, it was amazing, but poor delivery and plot development issues stopped it from growing into something great. Also, For the first few episodes, I was genuinely confused on what was happening. Although the main concepts were very easy to understand, I didn't know what Spirit World Warriors were, and any time something of the sort was mentioned, I didn't feel any immediate danger even though there clearly was, because the concept was not fully explained to me. I'm not sure if it was just my own stupidity or not, but after a while I caught on. Um Also, I couldn't tell what this show was trying to be. The Slice of Life aspect of the show was great! The comedy was great- I loved every scene of it. Then, after everyone had a nice laugh, they would switch gears and become really serious. Some shows can do that really well. But, this is not one of them. Because of this, I failed to feel any emotions towards the characters because of the conflicting genres. If they executed it better, I would have felt sadness, or extreme happiness. Don't get me wrong- I'm a softie. I've cried at shows that weren't even supposed to be that sad. However, they were basically forcing sadness on me, and I was hurting on the inside because I really wanted to be on my knees bawling, but I couldn't be brought to do that!


Although the fetishes may put some people off, I think that the characters were fabulous and interesting to watch. They were all so diverse, making their interactions with one another quite unpredictable. And, It was refreshing to have some personalities that were a little less "typical". As someone who has seen a reasonably large amount of anime, it's very difficult to find something different, especially character wise. Though, what I really liked was how no matter how dark the show got, the humor shown when the characters interacted always kept me laughing my ass off. Mirai, the main character, was, well, adorable. And it's not in a creepy or moe way. I loved her catchphrase of "fuyukai!" and the way she dealt with things. Mirai was a good person who had lots of unlucky things happen to her, but she finds a way to go on, and is also one of the strongest characters in the show. 

Akihito, her love interest and another main character, was also pretty likable. His obsession with glasses was kind of weird at first, but you get used to it after a while. He's a caring and persevering guy, and he truly loves Mirai, no matter how many times she tries to kill him... And, I also liked Mitsuki and Hiroumi, but their relationship was just a bit strange. Was it supposed to be slightly incestual? Was it comic relief? Or Was it serious? I'm not sure. Let's hope it was comic relief. Overall, The lead characters, Mirai and Akihito, had mysterious backgrounds which were explored through the course of the series and their relationship was developed as well. However, for the character development this was pretty much as far as they went. Some of the side characters were just kind of ignored for a larger part of the story. But, in the end they never explained the reasoning behind the motives of the side characters and that just left me feeling unfulfilled.

Animation and Sound

The artwork and animation was astounding and was really one of the strongest areas of the series, if not the strongest. I've long wished for a Kyo-Ani produced action show and this series provided it in spades, the colors were vivid and the action was so fluid. It is one of the greatest series that I've seen when it comes to animation. The shots were so beautifully colored and detailed and the sequences were so fluid and eye catching that it stunned you every time an action scene came up and the special effects came to effect. I really think that this was the main factor that made me continue this series, despite my consideration of dropping it.

For the sound, The music was incredible (especially the idol scene, I adore that episode). It added to the feel of the show and blended into the background, which was great. Also, Kyoukai no Kanata by Minori Chihara, the self-named OP for the series was a great way to start every episode. It started off very calm but leaded to an exciting verse and chorus, it was very similar to how the series progressed. Though, My favorite thing about the sound section, was the ED, Daisy by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION. Nothing sounded as good as the actual series transitions into the ED through the sound. Typically used toward the last episodes of most of the series, KNK used this transition into the ED frequently and it was very enjoyable.


To be honest, Kyoukai no Kanata is definitely one of my all-time favorites. 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 this anime 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! Also, There's one other thing that I wanted to say about this show that's utterly fabulous and that more shows need to take note of. KNK do world building by dropping the viewer right into it, expecting them to learn what's going on without spending valuable episode time with dull exposition about what's going on, it's a classic example of showing, not telling.

Overall, Kyoukai no Kanata stands at the basis of simplicity and is displayed as it is without sounding so deep or pretentious or dramatic. But, because it started at that very simple idea, because of great directing, multi-layer subtlety, and a very long foreshadowing, it entices the viewer to at least pay attention to a bit of exposition without feeding needless explicit argument for the sake of understanding. And As a fantasy darkness anime, you cannot be certain on anything. Just about anything could have been done for the final episode, and the way it was ended was great. I believe it's as Akihito would say a "bespectacled beauty" and it's my pick for a quality anime.



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