Anime X-Change 2020 – Kyoukai no Kanata: On Loneliness, Bearing One’s Cross and Finding Refuge

Kyoukai no Kanata - Mirai Kuriyama

Do I look like a normal person to you?

Kyoukai no Kanata or also known as Beyond the Boundary was a 2015 anime from Kyoto Animation and had been a fantastic experience for me as a viewer and someone who was touched by the story on a personal level. I have watched it to write a Kyoukai no Kanata review because the anime was suggested to me by K from K at the Movies blog as part of Jon Spencer Reviews‘ holiday community event Anime X-Change #animexchange.

Anime X-Change hosted by Jon Spencer Reviews
Anime X-Change hosted by Jon Spencer Reviews

 

Let me give you guys brief random talks about it before we proceed with my review. In #animexchange, two anime bloggers must recommend an anime to each other, a series that the other person hasn’t seen yet. And K is my partner for #animexchange, and I have recommended one of the best Chinese anime from my watchlist, guest what? It’s the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation or Modao Zushi, if you’re a fan of Chinese dramas, it is also known as The Untamed. I do hope that K will enjoy it.

Kyoukai no Kanata anime

On the other hand, K recommended Kyoukai no Kanata or Beyond the Boundary to me. Truth is, I am quite familiar with the series, I have watched it before but I wasn’t able to finish it till the end 5 years ago. So, I think this is a perfect opportunity to complete it and right after starting it again, I felt bad deep inside that I didn’t finish it before. Meanwhile, I am also glad that I could see its story from a different perspective, from the eyes of the mature version of myself. Thus, I am sincerely thankful to K for recommending this to me.

 

Kyoukai no Kanata Review

Let me start this review by giving you guys a short synopsis of the anime as follows:

They should never have met. They shouldn’t even exist. But when they come together, the entire world will change. The last surviving member of her clan, Mirai Kuriyama is cursed with the terrifying ability to control and manipulate blood, a power so heretical that she is shunned even by those with the ability to understand her “gift”. Akihito Kanbara is only half human, but while the monstrous other half of his lineage seems to have doomed him to a life alone, it has also given him near invulnerability in the form of rapid healing. Alone, their futures seem bleak, but when a chance encounter brings them together, it becomes clear that they share more than just an unexpected bond. Together they share a destiny and a mission that only the two of them together may be strong enough to survive. (Source: Sentai Filmworks)

 

First of all, Kyoukai no Kanata is an anime that touches a specific theme, and that is loneliness and a sense of detachment from the people around you. As someone who had been an introvert deep inside and a piece of an antisocial jerk, this anime really hits close to home. However, the anime also touches other genres like comedy, supernatural, and action. I must say it tries to display demon-slaying cliche in the surface and its hilarious humor while meticulously narrative the mild drama from its core.

Kyoukai no Kanata Akihito and Mirai
Kyoukai no Kanata main characters – Akihito and Mirai

 

Kyoukai no Kanata centers around two characters – Akihito Kanbara and Mirai Kuriyama. These two characters are easy to like because, at one point, they are the characters that reflected a part of ourselves. As someone who always felt like an outcast in my circle, this is a story where I could relate myself with. As someone who always felt left behind and doesn’t even want to open his heart to people, this anime means a lot to me. I am taking a look at this anime retrospectively, as I also reflect on my younger self through the behavior of the characters that I can relate to.

 

Kyoukai no Kanata - Mirai Kuriyama GIF

Personally, I see myself a lot in Kuriyama Mirai, someone who distanced herself and close her heart to avoid getting hurt. Someone who hates herself due to her own circumstances that she can’t control. She has the special abilities to use her blood as a weapon, thus other people, specifically Spirit Hunters thought of her clan as a cursed bloodline. Being shunned by people, that must hurt so much. However, her world had been turned upside down by the arrival of Akihito Kanbara in her life. The reason behind their meeting might be unfortunate, but it sure destiny enabled their path to cross.

Kyoukai no Kanata - Akihito Kanbara GIF

Akihito Kanbara on the contrary is like the total opposite of Mirai. Even the viewers can be fooled, he is such a flamboyant character who seems to be like by many on the surface. While he has people around him who he can get acquainted with, deep inside he loathes himself. As a half-human and half-dreamshade (demon-like creature), he is the vessel of the “shade beyond the horizon” and this is the reason why his friends and acquaintance also keep an eye on him. He houses a dreamshade with the potential to destroy the world, just like Mirai, he feels alone deep inside and treated himself like a demon, a loathsome immortal demon.

 

The story of Kyoukai no Kanata revolves between them and the sense of belonging they both found in each other. How amazing it can be that two souls who feel like they had been abandoned by the world found refuge in one another? That might have amazing. That might have been crazy. That must have been destiny.

Kyoukai no Kanata fight scenes gif

On the surface, Kyoukai no Kanata is still a demon-slaying anime, just like Kimetsu no Yaiba that have the Demon Hunter Corps, we also have here the Spirit Hunter Association, the Nase family, and various Spirit Hunters that made the anime an exciting adventure.

Kyoukai no Kanata - Mitsuki Nase
Kyoukai no Kanata – Mitsuki Nase

Kyoukai no Kanata - Hiromi Nase

Other secondary characters from the series are also unique and interesting on their own. Most of the time, they are also the main source of comedic relief in the anime aside from Mirai’s clumsiness and Akihito’s glass-fetish? I’m sorry, I can’t find the exact word to use, but it seems like Akihito’s will marry anyone or anything with eyeglasses in them. The Nase siblings, Hiromi and Mitsuki are also fun to be with, especially the sister complex of Hiromi, and the tsundere side of Mitsuki.

 

I am also captivated by Ayase and Ai-chan, as shades themselves, it is interesting how they are associated with humans. I want to learn more about them. Izumi Nase is also a peculiar character. The moments where she fights dreamshades or even Fujima are all beautiful.

Kyoukai no Kanata - Izumi Nase

Kyoukai no Kanata - Ninomiya vs Fujima

Mirai Kuriyama unleashed her cursed blood

Those fights are among the best animation that Kyoukai no Kanata could offer along with the animated scene of Mirai’s blood which I found hauntingly gorgeous and enthralling.

 

Now, if I have to ask myself if there is a certain scene from the anime that I would recommend for the whole world to see? That would be the gang’s performance from Kyoukai no Kanata episode 6 where they are fighting the obnoxious-looking plant dreamshade. Akihito, Mirai, Mitsuki, and Hiromi performed an idol-like singing and dancing along with Ai-chan. It’s amazing how that particular scene sums up their relationship and the walls that separate them gradually subsides.

Kyoukai no Kanata - Idol Dance

 

To share such a wonderful performance with my fellow anime fans, I have shared it below.

 

To wrap this review, here is the highlight of my thoughts about it:

  • Akihito and Mirai are two souls that fated to meet each other. To serve as a lesson, as an inspiration to one another in order for them to move forward.
  • There’s nothing as precious as genuine friendship and we have seen it in this anime.
  • We all need an onii-chan like Hiromi.
  • If you stumble upon a challenging scenario or opponent, performed a dance and song number in front of them. 🙂
  • Izumi might look firm and powerful on the surface, but she’s only human and could also give in to her weakness. Now, this made me thought “It’s difficult to be strong, as you have to hide your flaws and weaknesses in order to be the pillar that illuminates the people around you.”
  • Ai-chan is the cutest and most adorable thing we ever had from Kyoukai no Kanata.
  • The music. Yes, Kyoukai no Kanata’s music is beyond beautiful. Both the opening and ending themes are great. You guys should believe it if I said I didn’t skip them throughout the whole time I am watching the anime.
  • This is a signature work of Kyoto Animation that I will always adore along with Hyouka.

 

This is where I shall end my review of Kyoukai no Kanata. I felt grateful that I am able to re-discover this gem through #animexchange and K, this has been an amazing ride, thanks a lot.

Let me drop this gif that makes me a bit envious, we all need a friendship like this:

Kyoukai no Kanata

Kyoukai no Kanata

 

And if you guys haven’t watch Kyoukai no Kanata yet, let me give you a word from the phrase of Kuriyama Mirai: “How unpleasant!“. ^^

Alright, it’s the Christmas season already and I hope you guys are having a great holiday. See yah!

3 Replies to “Anime X-Change 2020 – Kyoukai no Kanata: On Loneliness, Bearing One’s Cross and Finding Refuge”

  1. Wonderful review, I really feel like you hit it out of the park. I think your review reminds me of all the reasons why I adore this series. Great visual representations throughout and a great analysis of themes, and the introspective characters.

    Really great review, I’m glad that it seems you enjoyed it. I have finished Modao Zushi and I don’t want to spoil the review that has not been written yet, but I think I have a lot of nice things to say about it.

    1. Hi K, thank you. I truly enjoyed this and I am grateful for your recommendations. Really appreciate it.

      And yes, I am looking forward to your thoughts on Modao Zushi. Will look forward to it too. ^^

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