Beyond the Boundary

Alt title: Kyoukai no Kanata

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2013
3.926 out of 5 from 25,601 votes
Rank #1,294

In a world where supernatural beings known as youmu are hunted by Spirit World Warriors, Akihito lives an eventful life. He’s a half-breed from a human mother and a youmu father, and is immortal - a fact that saves his life on a regular basis, for his bespectacled classmate Mirai can’t seem to stop stabbing him in the chest. She’s a Spirit World Warrior with the power to control her blood, which she manifests into a sword; and with low self esteem about her abilities to hunt youmu, Mirai constantly uses Akihito as target practice. In hopes of being left alone, Akihito must now help Mirai gain confidence to take down sinister youmu.

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Story (2/10): So, let's get right down to what the actual story is.  Beneath everything else it's about Mirai and Akhito's growing relationship with one another.  They're both social outcasts in some way, with people hating Mirai for no apparent reason(other than that she's bat-shit crazy, but I'll get to that later) and though they claim to dislike Akhito and treat him like an outcast he's shown to have about five friends, which is quite a few.  The two of them get together to fight against the yonmu.  Now, tell me, does that sound cool?  It would be badass, you've got two teenagers, one of whom is a half demon invincible beast and one who can use her own blood as a weapon.  WHY DID THEY NOT MAKE THIS SHOW JUST THAT?  It would have been a serious, dark, action packed pile of AWESOMENESS!  That is what this show SHOULD have been.  Heck, if it had that kind of set up the creators could create an incredibly long running show and milk money out of their loving fans.  Well, somewhere along this line this simple idea, someone decided to change this show from what it should have been.  Why?   This show does not really need to be a school life anime, but the biggest issue this show suffers from along with that is poor writing.  It tries so so hard to be funny when it would be far better off as just a serious and darker show.  For example, at the very beginning of the first episode, Akhito gives a short speech about suicide.  While its relatively pedestrian, it's believable and quite likeable.  And then you see that Mirai is standing on the edge of the school, clearly about to jump off of the building.  So, Akhito runs up to try and stop her and save her life.(Let's not even mention the fact that he managed to burst through the building quickly enough to stop her from jumping in the first place.)  And what does he say?  Something along the lines of that she looks good in glasses and "I love glasses."  I'm sorry, what?  the topics the show covers are dark, but when it tries for levity in its setting and dialogue it just does not work for me. That being said, the dramatic moments can be alright.  However, the comedy in this show falls flat on it's face.  The lines are random at times and make the characters seem so out of character at points that it's frustrating.  For example: "My hands are on your waist." or "You made me kill the bucket."  What?  WHAT?  I understand I'm taking these quotes out of context, but it really doesn't make much sense in context either. Speaking of poor writing, there are times when the events that are happening are more confusing then the plot of Sharknado and paradoxes in Doctor Who.  The writing is confusing, there's hardly any real understanding of why things happen until the very end of the show, and the plot twists are either incredibly predictable or out of nowhere.  Somehow despite having random shit plopped in for the sake of it, the plot still manages to be incredibly predictible.  It falls down into a lot of overdone things. Going back to the idea of school life mxed with action: It has been done before.  There is a way to do it correctly, and that's to mix in aspects of the school and the character's experiences there into the show itself.  Take for example Angel Beats.  The characters are involved in different activities throughout the school such as playing in a band or student council, and they also interact with one another in the environment, they take tests and go to classes ocassionally.  It's not just a setting there, it's a full blown part of their world.  The way to create a good setting is to have the characters fully interact with it in seperate aspects of their lives.  Heck, even in Vampire Knight at times the school served as a plot moving tool.  In Beyond the Boundary it's simply used as a setting.  It's a backdrop for their lives.  There really aren't many instances where the viewer can feel like the whole school setting is necessary.  It hardly moves the plot as most of the time spent there is filler in the cafeteria or the pointless literary club.  It's really trying to be The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzymia there.  Why is it neccesary to have that club?  I don't know, it all feels superflous.  Almost all of the club scenes are filler or attempts at character development that pad the length of the show.  If the show really wanted to be a school life anime, it should have at least made the school itself feel more important and itnegrated into the plot and the lives of the characters. Oh, did I mention there's at least one episode that can be considered entirely filler?  Especially the pointlessness of the one with a yonmu on the roof of the school that spews bad smelling orange juice.  Yeah...  This is a PLOT-based 12 EPISODE show.  I don't see why it would be neccesary to have an episode like that.  The pacing is rather messy overall.  I wish that this anime had gone for the serious route, or at least put more effort into its humorous writing.  This could have been so much more!  So much more!  Even if it remained a copycat of things that came before it, it just needed better execution. Animation(7/10): It's pretty for the most part.  The action is alright, and it's a 2013 anime, so the appearance of the characters and the backgrounds is rather nice.  The detail in them is good, with enough to make it seem reasonable.  It doesn't push any boundaries though.  It's set in a school for the most part, so there aren't too many varied backgrounds.  The colors are nice however, so they're pleasing to look at.   Character designs are relatively simple.  For the most part, the character designs are quite beautiful and pleasing to look at, as is the movement. The action sequences were somewhat muddled.  It was difficult at some points to tell who was fighting who.  Just a note again on weapon and magic attack design.  Mirai's blood sword is an intresting idea and has a pretty cool design.  It's done to the point where it doesn't look gross, but it also doesn't look fake.  Unfortunately beyond that the abilities of the spiritual warriors that take down the yonmu in the show are relatively similar and somewhat stereotypical, especially with people who can make force-feild like thingies.  I forget what they were called.  Barriers?   Anyway...  The biggest issue I had with the show's animation is the yonmu.  It's like it can't decide whether it wanted to make them funny or serious.  I mean, the hidden shadow was somewhat frightening, but then there was the orange monster. It's basically a gigantic purple sphere with orange polka dots, one eye, and a cluster of normal oranges on it's head. The only thing it can do is spew orange juice.  How is that threatening?  The problem with them trying to vary the types of yonmu that could appear is that the show is so short that it made them feel like they were picked out of a grabbag of random designs.  It was like it was trying to create a bit of both, but it didn't really work for me.  It was just too short of a show to have that much variation.  It wasn't developed well. Altogether though, the animation is generally good. Sound(5/10): The sound is generally forgettable.  I can't really remember the opening, though to be fair my computer's been giving me issues and it's not the day after I saw this show.(It's been about a week and a half I think.)  Then again, I remember the Full Metal Alchemist theme song and I haven't seen it in a year.  The voice acting is just fine.  It didn't affect me in any way, but there really weren't any particularly frustrating or annoying characters.  On the other hand, there are some awkward lines that even the best voice actor really could NOT save.  The problem is, while their performance was satisfactory, it was like the rest of the sound in this show: forgettable.  Characters(4/10): Ah this oddly quirky bunch is an 'interesting' case to say the least.  I have two big issues with them: Lack of development and awkwardness. It feels like the writers confused quirkiness with character traits at times. First let's take a look at the lack of development of the characters in the show.  Often secondary characters can seem tossed off to the side or not feel as important.  This is the case for Ayaka and Ai, especially for Ai.  Some of the other characters are a bit underdeveloped, but these two were probably the least developed.  Another issue I have with the show is underdeveloped relationships between the characters.  While Mirai and Akhito's relationship was alright(After she stopped frickin' stabbing him like she thought she was Jason Vorhees.), other relationships in the show did feel rushed.  Specifically Mitsuki and Izumi(and Hiromi and Izumi, for that matter) had an underdeveloped relationship. Now let's get into the characters themselves.  They were written so awkwardly in some cases that they feel almost bipolar. Akhito: So, he's our literally imortal half-demon.  Why is he immortal?  So Mirai can use him as her personal punching bag!  Or... Stabbing bag!  I don't know what to call him!  There's also another reason later on, but meh.  At first I thought I might like him, but he becomes frustrating over time.  His awkward quirk is that he love him some glasses.  I suppose this would've been alright had he not been so weird about it.  Also, it seems to come up at the most akward moments possible.(Have I used the word awkward enough???)  This brings up the clear realization that these quirks aren't put into the actual narrative to advance the plot of the show.  They serve to create filler moments and scenes that pad the length of what's actually interesting.  Otherwise I suppose he's tolerable if not somewhat generic.  Mirai: Okay, so I'm going to be honest and say I really don't hate this character that much.  I definitely think she's eccentric and somewhat strange, but it's also weird that she seems to pop from being murderous to Akhito to being her usual shy self.  Beyond the forced humorous situations she does have a good personality.  The problem is that the show sets her up in a situation that would make most people think she's a psychopath.  I mean, first she tries to jump off of a roof, and then she continuoustly attempts to stab Akhito to death.  However, despite her poor writing she's based off of a good concept, and it does shine through. Izumi:  Izumi was one of the two characters in this show that I did quite like.  She's stoic.  Her relationship with her brother and sister isn't played out very well, but for the most part she's believable and interesting. Eh. She's okay, I guess.  She's definitely one of the most badass characters in the show, so I'll give her that.   Mitsuki:  So...  she's pretty much a bitchy leader of the literary club who's passive agressive and that's how she gets what she wants.  Hm... that doesn't sound familiar at all.  Hiromi: Okay, I have to admit that Hiromi really disturbed me.  Like, a lot.  He has a sister complex for one, and he and Akhito have a whole conversation about their weird fetishes...  He doesn't seem like a person who you'd actually ever meet.  He's like a bunch of random quirks plopped together, only having moments when he isn't completely ridiculous briefly... Sakura: Eh... She's tough but somewhat underdevloped.  Her character is generally bland and could use a bit of work. Ayaka: Once again, alright, but bland and underdeveloped. Ai: Somewhat generic, underdeveloped out the wazoo. Though there was one character I must admit I really did like.  That would be Miroku.  I loved that his insanity seemed sociopathic.  He was surprisingly quite fun, and I really loved him for that.  The crazy nature of the show worked in his design's favor.  Maybe I just have a thing for the crazy interesting type of character(I really do...)   Overall(5/10): This is a tough one for me.  I think it could've been a lot better.  The problem here for me isn't just what it is, it's what it could have been.  It should have been an action show.  Or a school life show.  Just not both.  The animators clearly had a good feel for it, as it seems to in shows like this, but... eh...   This is one you might want to actually check out if you're curious.  I could think of a lot worse ways to spend six hours.  It's definitely NOT the worst show I've ever seen.  Though, I would watch this after I would spend six hours painting my nails and toenails increasingly darker shades of pink, starting at the color of cotton candy and ending with the deepest darkest fuschia I can find and getting every shade from salmon to hot pink in between.


Dear KyoAni,You are 7 years late to the party. The fad of the supernatural chick teaming up with an immortal blunt boy died out years ago when people got fed up with Shana clones. Plus the fans are now spoiled thanks to Bakemonogatari while you have been reusing the exact same moe archetypes in all your shows. Guess now why your anime is not good. Beyond the Boundary is not a bad show in any way but then again it lacks everything that would make it go beyond the boundary of mediocre (yeah, bad joke, I know). It would definitely stand out if it was made 7 years ago, when Shana and Haruhi were still in fashion but after all these years of similar shows coming out one after another, it just doesn’t work. It feels like just another light novel adaptation about some dork boy with special powers teaming up with a cute girl and they go to fight monsters of the week. The creativity of this concept seems to be trapped within Endless Eight.But ok, this problem becomes apparent only if you actually KNOW it is an overused concept. Maybe if one tries to evaluate the anime on its own merits, it will be a fine watch despite its derivative nature. Sadly even then there is very little to look forward to. For starters, for a show that is about people creating swords out of their blood and fight abominations that plague humanity, it feels very dull. There is no tension at all during battles and you are never worried if the characters lose or somebody dies. In the tradition of KyoAni, the main appeal of the show is the moe and you are more focused on spacing out while watching it just for that. “Oh look at her being clumsy all the time! Look at her wearing those cute glasses and walking around in her cute stockings! Isn’t she adorable? What? Something about hunting murderous monsters for money? Whatever; I want her as my waifu.” Basically, the show fails to combine the cute factor with the supernatural one and feels like you are watching two completely irrelevant anime at the same time. There are lots of attempts to make the events scary, the backdrop stories tragic, and the character interactions interesting. Individually they seem to work but when combined they fail since the only thing you remember after it is all over is some klutz cute girl doing silly things. The lead boy being an immortal supernatural overfiend with the backdrop story of Sasuke, feels more like a cardboard avatar walking around in a dating simulation. The whole monster hunting feels like the gameplay of some generic JRPG. The reward for gathering monster trophies is there just so the heroine can buy a cup of ramen soup instead of something more… epic than that. There is simply not much depth in any of its themes and on top of that the pacing is so slow you are literally waiting 2 episodes for something remotely interesting to happen. And when that interesting thing happens, is basically seeing the cute girls being dressed as maids at a photoshooting.… or wearing yukata at the fireworks’ festival next to a guy with a sister complex… or being naked in the shower while a fat rat is dancing nearby... or seducing monsters by doing sexy poses while dressed as pop idolsAm I watching the family version of a hentai? I would even say they chose the wrong studio to adapt this title. KyoAni is good only at slice of life shows; it has no talent in creating tension through action scenes like J.C. Staff or Silver Link do. And before any of you yells “Oh yeah? What about Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai?” Well, even there you weren’t watching it for the tension; were you now? Although the battle scenes were spectacular, you always knew they are just a comical prank. Over here they are supposed to be real and serious… And they aren’t.If you are watching it for the visual porn and the cutsy factor, ok, you will definitely enjoy this show just for that. But if you are fed up with generic premises, dislike the off-sync atmosphere of this show, or you simply want something somewhat serious and deep, this is not the show for you in the least. Sincerely yours,Common Sense


When two people are brought together by the hatred received from others, are they cursed or somehow blessed? From the very beginning, I knew that I would enjoy this series. The story seemed interesting enough and the art looked amazing. But in the end, that's not why I ended up loving it so much...I fell in love with it because of the characters and their interactions with one another. Story: 8 One day, the main character Akihito comes upon a girl standing on the edge of a building rooftop. Determined to save her life, he rushes to the roof and loudly declares: "A girl who looks as good in glasses as you...simply should not die!" From the start, these two were already unknowingly connected, with the half human-half youmu Akihito and Mirai, having been born into a cursed bloodline, both being shunned by everyone around them. Through this mutual empathy, a friendship is born. In my opinion, the story isn't "cliché" or a "train wreck" at all. Yes, there could have been a little less filler and a little more story, but I believe that this amount of filler was necessary to establish the relationships between the characters as well as to help us get to know them a bit better. I personally feel this story is unique enough, especially considering the thousands of other anime series out there for which I couldn't quite say the same... Art: 9 The art was one of the best aspects of the series. I was extremely impressed with Kyoto Animation's high animation quality. Moreover, the art style is great! It's bright, it's colorful, and there's plenty of attention to detail, making the action scenes flow quite nicely. Each scene looked absolutely amazing...I couldn't get enough of them! I especially liked the characters' eyes: they were so colorful and detailed and pretty and... ...Ahem, were was I again? Oh yeah, the art style is great! Sound: 8 I really liked the opening theme song (Kyoukai no Kanata by Minori Chihara). I think it matches the anime's mood and the characters' situation. Not to mention it was kinda catchy. The ending (Daisy by Stereo Dive Foundation) was a bit more upbeat and still pretty good, though I still preferred the opening. Character: 9 I love the characters. They were all so diverse, making their interactions with one another quite unpredictable. 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. However, I do think certain characters (Mitsuki, for example) could have gotten a little more development. I mean, I know this is a short series, but some things could easily have been replaced with back stories or something with little to no substance lost. Enjoyment: 9 I loved this anime series from beginning to end and just couldn't stop watching it. It's funny, has romance, action, and magic, and it's fantasy. What more could I ask for?

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