Beyond the Boundary - Reviews

Alt title: Kyoukai no Kanata

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pikachu203's avatar
Feb 12, 2014

Beyond the Boundary copies a LOT of ideas that were done before.  We have the idea of a bossy mystical girl in a school setting ripped right out of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimya.  We also have a half-demon(sorry "Yonmu"... ugh...) half-human male protaganist *cough* Inuyasha *cough*.  We have generally not scary and uninspired monsters of the week from nearly every anime that has used them before.  We also have an unconventional weapon that looks almost exactly the same in two shows.  While both are badass in their own way, the one the main female protaganist from Beyond the Boundary uses is made of blood, and in Kill la Kill the main female protaganist uses a scissor blade of a similar shape covered in blood.  Odd.  I have to wonder what connections the shows have to one another.

Well, perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on it.  I mean every form of literature really is based off of other works.  There's no such thing as a real work that doesn't borrow anything from things before it.  No, though, there is a problem here.  When one builds off of an idea that was created in a past, they have to put something that feels original.  Beyond the Boundary just sadly doesn't work.  I may sound like I'm going to be incredibly nitpicky, which sadly I am.  Look, the point of nitpicking isn't to be a huge jerkface.  The POINT is that unless it's for the fun of making theories about something quite good, nitpicking is a bad sign.  It's something I have to agree with the Nostalgia Critic on.  We shouldn't have to nitpick a show.  We should be more focused on the characters or the narative or the action rather than tiny details in the background that are off.  So, unless it's for the sheer fun of it, nitpicking is a pretty bad thing.  It shows that the narative is, by nature, flawed.

God...  That was the longest intro ever.

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, which they really should've just called demons because they would've been a whole lot more frightening and cool if they just called them demons instead of pretending they were a unique creation that no one used before.  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?  Oh, anime watchers love it when there's a school theme.  Just look how wonderful these shows are.  Let's plop our characters into a school unceremoniously  and try to make do from there.  *Sigh*  WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE A SCHOOL-LIFE ANIME???  I get it, okay, I get trying to make the characters connect to people that like that genre, but all it really does is make it frustrating and poointless.

I've already touched on the idea that this show really does not 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?  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 being random shit, 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.  It also feels like there are quite a few plot holes.

I wish that this anime had gone for the serious route.  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, and once again it's seen that the female character designs follow the same idea as the ones in Attack on Titan where girls can fight without having to have huge breasts and skimpy outfits.  Once again, it doesn't bother me much, but it's nice to see shows willing to stray from such an overused trope.  The characters all apear to be human and based off of regular looking people.  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?  Also, Sakura's weapon has remarking similarities to the gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII.  *cough* It's the same thing *cough cough*.  

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.(Guys... PURPLE AND ORANGE DO NOT GO TOGETHER!!!)  The only thing it can do is spew orange juice.  How is that threatening?(I GET IT WAS TO BE FUNNY IT WAS JUST ANNOYING, THOUGH!)  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. 

What's with songs not always fitting the scene?  If you're playing music in a scene with an epic battle, play some EPIC music please!!  Eh...  Though I guess I can't complain that much here.  

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.

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.), but other than that 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.  NEXT!

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 breifly...

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 he was good looking and 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 craazy interesting type of character(I really do...)  Plus he's hot.  What?  I'm allowed to be shallow

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.

2/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
4/10 characters
5/10 overall
ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
Dec 19, 2013

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 idols
Am 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

3/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall
serumie's avatar
Aug 19, 2014

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?

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
AkiraKanbara's avatar
Mar 19, 2016

Kyoukai no Kanata, or as it is called, Beyond the Boundary, is one of my most memorable animes ever. I loved the story, the characters' personalities, the wonderful animations and soundtrack. It was an amazing anime overall.

Story: 9.5/10

I loved the storyline. It had quite a few mysteries that were solved as the story progressed, and even at the end, still left some things for the watcher to think about. Yommu are the "species", I suppose, of the demons that reside in the world, and Spirit World Warriors like Mirai and Mitsuki are the only ones capable of seeing them. They are said to be derived from the malice, hatred and ugly feelings that humans exert, which I think is a great concept(because bad things happen when people hate each other, so yeah...). SWWs like Mirai and Mitsuki(as I mentioned before) hunt them and destroy them, which gives them a stone that they can trade for yen at Ayaka-san's store. Mirai is the last survivor of her clan who can manipulate their blood, and she can form a sword out of her blood. Akihito is a half-yommu who is immortal and meets Mirai. That's where their friendship starts and grows into something more. The filler episode is honestly underrated- its purpose was to bring the group closer together, and it did that well. It was also meant to provide some light, fun events after some dark episodes. The climax people are complaining about at the end is an obvious lead-up to a sequel(which there is). Even if there wasn't a sequel, the ending was just fine on its own. The two lovers, finally together again.

Animation: 10/10

It was fantastic. Seriously, don't take it from me, watch the anime and just admire the amazing animations. The fight scenes were so well animated. Watch them now.

Sound: 10/10

Ah, the epic, memorable soundtrack. The opening and ending themes were unforgettable(seriously, anyone around me could tell I wasn't listening to them when they were talking to me), and overall the music in every scene suited the scenario perfectly. It intensified every emotion I was feeling.

Characters: 9.5/10

I LOVE ALL OF THE CHARACTERS. EVEN THE PERVERTED HIRO'OMI.

Akihito Kanbara: Main male protagonist. Cute(or you could say dashingly handsome), caring, and seemingly care-free(although he has a dark story). He has the best fluffy romance with Mirai and it's just so memorable. He becomes serious when it comes to his relationship with Mirai, and instead of the spite he felt towards her in the beginning, he ends up loving her instead.

Mirai Kuriyama: Main female protagonist. She seems innocent and kawaii in all ways, but is bad-ass when it comes to fighting. She, too has a dark history. Once again, I repeat- the fluffiness of her relationship with Akihito is heart-melting. She has a good amount of character development- she learns to open up to others and not feel like she can't be cared about.

Mitsuki Nase: She is one of my favourite characters. She's blunt, serious, and doesn't tolerate foolishness. I feel like she could've had more character development, but hey, that's why there's a sequel!

Hiro'omi Nase: He made me blush at some points(he is so perverted!!!), but he can be serious at the right times as well. He doesn't have too much character development, as these 12 episodes(and an episode 0, which I suggest you watch after everything) focus on mainly Akihito and Mirai, and the surrounding characters aid in their development.

Ayaka Shindou: SHE IS A- I don't want to spoil anything, but she has two forms, and... they're both awesome. I swear, she's more than 100 years old. Ok, ok fine. She's a wise kitsune with nine tails. There. I said it. She and her sister, Ai, run a cafe/photo studio/

Ai Shindou: KAWAII!!!

Izumi Nase: She is bad-ass, serious, mysterious, and knows how to play the game. That's all I gotta say.

Fujima Miroku: I'm not going to spoil anything, but... he's just so... mysterious and... charismatic. I like him as a character.

Overall: 10/10

If you like a bit of fluffy romance, a good amount of comedy, drama and violence(but not so much that it's overwhelming), thrilling fight scenes, a great storyline, supernatural powers and of course, charismatic characters, then I highly recommend Beyond the Boundary.

This is all just based on my opinion- what matters most is if you like it yourself after watching the anime. But now you have my POV on Beyond the Boundary.

9.5/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
9.7/10 overall
HasseRovdjur's avatar
Dec 19, 2013

This was apparently an entry that got an honorable mention (no winners...) in some kind of contest for light novels held by Kyoto Animation. If this got animated over the other entries, it makes you think how bad the rest must have been. Seriously, this was one of the worst stinkers of Autumn 2013 for me, and it had some stiff competition.

 

The show stars Mirai and Akihito, two boring persons surrounded by other, equally boring persons. They attend highschool and Akihito has a glasses fetish, while Mirai is a clumsy person with glasses that tries to kill him all the time. Good thing (no, not really) that Akihito is effectively immortal. The setting is basically Japan, but there are some monster thingies, youmu, that infests the place. They range from nuisances to being outright dangerous, but usually it's the former. Spirit warriors go out and hunt these because they're annoying creatures, and Mirai just so happens to be one, while Akihito is half-youmu. And no, I have no idea exactly how that happened, nor do I actually care.

 

This was all terribly uninteresting for me, given that the characters are flat and without any lasting impact whatsoever, and what plot there was about Mirai, her past and the guilt she felt were handled in a half-assed fashion, to put it mildly. There's some drama involving her past, and of course an overarching plot as well, but it's pretty fuckballs inane and is never really explained enough or expanded upon until it's too late so there is no sense of tension or drama about it. The ending is fittingly disappointing as well, equally rushed and inane. It was the most appallingly unsatisfying climax I've had the displeasure to watch since Diabolik Lovers (which was just last week...).

 

Since this takes place in a school setting, it automatically means that a lot of characters will interact with each other in light-hearted ways, and lots of conversations about "everyday topics", or something like it. Kyoukai no Kanata has some kind of insufferable twee hipster twist to it, making it even more lacking in substance than the most vapid of slice of life shows. The dialogue is probably meant to be snappy, but it's pretty grating and is either bad exposition, standard small talk or attempts at witticisms that always fall flat.

 

The comedic element is just painfully bad, and they actually spend a lot of time repeating the same few jokes ad infinitum, only making matters worse. I lost count on how many times I groaned at Mirai saying her catchphrase or the seemingly endless talk about fetishes. How unpleasant, indeed. And not only that, the comedy is even clogging up moments that are supposed to be serious, causing me to care even less as my annoyance rises to critical levels.

 

Then there's the fanservice –something I'm not exactly a fan of even in the best of works– that crops up now and then, more than usual in a KyoAni work, and it sticks out like a sore thumb, especially given that a lot of the cast look like they're tweens with very moe designs. Of course, it's not nearly as awful or excessive as Walkure Romanze or Wanna Be the Strongest in the World, but it doesn't even serve a purpose or fit in thematically like the fanservice in Kill la Kill at least partially does. There really was no reason to include it here, and the show was worse off because of it. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things since there's still plenty of things I did not like about it.

 

The so-called romance between the two is just awkward and devoid of any and all substance. Since nobody has any personality in this show, it seems like the only thing driving the romance is the fact that they're both main characters. Needless to say, this seems more like someone callously trying to appeal to a wider audience than actually thinking it would contribute to the story. Next time, please skip the inane, perfunctory “romances”, it will feel less insulting for everyone involved.

 

The only good thing about this show is the great animation, but it's generally wasted on shitty character designs (I hate KyoAni's current standard design with a fiery passion), shitty fight choreographics and shitty events that are seemingly engineered to cause me the greatest amount of annoyance. The backgrounds and visual effects were pretty damn bland too, though still highly detailed. I guess they were going for something different, but as usual when it comes to this anime, it backfired.

 

The sound was okay, with good effects and an OK soundtrack, barring the OP and ED. Those were crap, especially the ED. The voice acting was pretty annoying, with several nasally voices providing incessant whining, but how much that has to do with my loathing of the characters is anyone's guess. It sounded professionally done, at least.

 

So, all in all, this was by far the worst show Kyoto Animation that I've watched, a big waste of time, effort and money and a huge disappointment all around. If only they could have done a second season of Free! instead...

1.5/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
1/10 characters
2/10 overall