Beyond the Boundary (Kyoukai no Kanata) Episode 8-12 Review

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So, did you stick with Beyond the Boundary for its finale like I did? If you didn’t, that’s unfortunate, but also, it’s okay. Beyond the Boundary isn’t doing anything new with storytelling or action or characters, it is, however, doing all of those things really well. The acting is believably subtle and rarely over-the-top or grating, which is always nice, and the story wraps up with a satisfying, if not slightly underwhelming finale when concerning the rest of the cast of characters found within.

The bulk of the cour was centered on Kuriyama and Akihito, naturally, and their struggle with Akihito’s youmu side. Something called ‘the Calm’ was also about to affect the citizens and Akihito greatly. Essentially the Calm reduces the abilities of youmu, and Akihito could lose his immortality while the Calm is in effect.  This is where the majority of the climax starts building, and we’re introduced to more of what the series title actually means. Obviously, I won’t spoil anything here, so if you’re eager to check out Akihito and Kuriyama’s tale, I won’t be responsible for ruining it for you. Just know that it gets a but convoluted, and they do try to jam a lot in the final two episodes that could have been stretched over one more episode if the series had managed to be a 13-episode cour.

Izumi

Beyond the Boundary excels at the character development, and although it’s not full realized for the entire cast, Kuriyama and Akihito certainly get the most and fruitful development (they are the main characters after all). Like I previously mentioned, the rest of the cast could have gotten their due diligence with one more episode, but I’m content with what was provided. I guess I could always turn to the light novels and gather more intel that way should I so desire. Oh, and the animation for Beyond the Boundary continues to be stellar throughout. KyoAni Animation really doled out the cash for the fluid fight scenes (as quick and sparse as they are until the finale) and really are jaw dropping at times. They really paid heavy attention to small details, and it really helps make the watcher care about the visual production even more. Yes, I know, I can be really lovey-dovey when it comes to my anime eye-candy, but when it looks this good, I can’t ignore it.

If you do plan on finishing or starting Beyond the Boundary, remember that it does start off slowly, and although the characters are nicely refined, they take some adjustment if you’re not used to that style. KyoAni Animation really did a great job telling Akihito and Kuriyama’s tragic tale, and when Sentai Filmworks brings its stateside next year, I’ll be hard pressed not to add it to my collection. It’s not a show for everyone, and it’s not breaking new ground, but it’s a great 12-episode series that you can breeze through in a weekend and never feel you’re wasting your time doing so. It is on Crunchyroll, and all episodes will likely be fully available to free members by the time you’re reading this,  so get on over there and discover one of the last great anime series of 2013!

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