“Beyond the Boundary” (“Kyōkai no Kanata”) certainly starts off strange enough. High school student Akihito Kanbara (blonde guy in middle) goes to save his fellow schoolmate, Mirai Kuriyama (red glasses) from committing suicide, as she is standing on the other side of the top-floor fence of the school building. Following his pleas not to hurl herself into the stratosphere, Mirai suddenly stabs Akihito with a sword formed out of her own blood. She is shocked to discover that Akihito is an immortal “half-youmu”: the offspring of a supernatural creature called a youmu and a human. Mirai herself is a Spirit World Warrior; a specialist who protects humans from being affected by youmu. She is also the last surviving member of her spirit hunting clan.
The series is how their lives become intertwined, as Akihito seeks to help Mirai gain the confidence to kill youmu…so that she may stop attempting to kill him as practice.
They are currently located in a photo shop that doubles as the exchange house and information center for the Warriors. You see, when you defeat a youmu, they leave behind what looks like a jeweled rock. That is worth money and you get paid for your services by the value of the stone. Ayaka Shindō (far right) runs the shop. Also out there battling youmu are Mitsuki Nase and Hiroomi Nase, a brother-and-sister combination (towards the left). They all meet in the Literary Club, which is also a great place to exchange information about youmu activity. Yeah, who would want to waste time reading books? Great cover!
Although the show has a serious flavor to it, there is one absolutely ridiculous episode in the middle, when they have to capture this youmu at school, but if they do it wrong, they are covered with a smelly goo. It is a nice change of pace, especially when things go sour with The Calm. The Calm is a time when the youma weaken, so you can think of it as Open Season, so everyone goes nuts, as they try to kill as many youma as possible, but a weak youma is still a dangerous youma.
As the show progresses, you see Mirai mature and become less of a wallflower and more of a confident person, despite the sins in her background. Also, you come to realize that those in authority are never to be fully trusted, as there are dark agendas afoot.
The only thing that bothered me (what? Only ONE thing?) is that the episodes are color named, “Calming Gold”, “Shocking Pink”, “Bitter Orange”, and that gets a tad annoying.
As far as a supernatural show goes, it’s in the middle. You never really feel you are in danger with these youmu, as they are more of an annoyance, but you cannot underestimate them and whatever havoc they might reign down upon you. Still, it is fairly straight-ahead and you never feel like you missed something or a part of the plot passed you by. If you liked “Kekkashi”, you’ll be interested in this one.
There is a five-episode OVA, done in chibi style, where the characters have to defend their actions or problems. It is completely silly and has absolutely nothing to do with the show, but much like the 26th episode of “Darker than Black”, it acts as a kind of release valve from the rather dramatic tension of the show.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Interesting artwork and approaches)
Plot 7 (Gets weak in parts)
Pacing 7 (Seems forced near the end)
Effectiveness 8 (Works well)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagaan”)
Overall 8 (Something a bit different)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Only 500 yen?