It has been roughly a year and a half since the October 2013 debut of the Kyoukai no Kanata pilot episode and subsequent series. Yet, ever since the show aired, I’ve been unable to get this show out of my head. Why has this been the case? That is the question I’m going to try and answer here and figure out what exactly about this show has made it stick with me almost two years later. Is it the characters, the setting, the story, or the whole package? Maybe it was the catchy opening and ending themes? Regardless of the reason, it’s safe to say that this is one of my favorite shows of the last few years.
Kyoukai no Kanata or Beyond the Boundary revolves around Mirai Kuriyama and her pursuit of a youmu, or supernatural creature, called Beyond the Boundary. She is a special kind of Spirit World Warrior, as she is from a clan of cursed blood, which is what she uses to fight the youmu by forming a sword from her blood. She first meets the other main character, Akihito Kanbara after he rushes to save her from what looks like a suicide attempt. Mirai responds to this by stabbing Akihito in the chest and is surprised to find out that it doesn’t actually kill him. This is due to the fact that Akihito is half-youmu and is in a way, immortal.
The budding relationship between Mirai and Akihito is one of the best parts of the series and is a blast to witness. Akihito is constantly showering Mirai with complements and calling her a “bespectacled beauty”, which Mirai will follow with her frequented catchphrase of “how unpleasant”. The fact that they are opposites plays into how they interact as well. Mirai is more of a loner early on after suffering from a tragedy before meeting Akihito and also the loss of blood she can suffer from fighting with her cursed blood that can cause her to feel isolated at times. Akihito is more of an extrovert in the way he acts which clashes with Mirai in the very beginning. Through the first half of the show, you see the two of them butt heads constantly, but at the same time, make a formidable team in taking on youmu.
Of course, this teamwork and friendship is put to the test when Mirai eventually has to take on Akihito’s youmu side when it fully envelops him after his human side is severely weakened. Mirai has to cope with the fact that the youmu she has to fight is Akihito and how she can defeat his youmu side while saving him at the same time. She is successful, but this isn’t the only time she has to deal with this side of Akihito. It’s not just Mirai saving Akihito as he ends up also helping out Mirai when Sakura, the younger sister of one of Mirai’s childhood friends Yui, who Mirai ended up killing, comes back to enact her revenge. In the end, everything works out and Mirai and Sakura end up rooming together in the latter half of the show.
The second half of the twelve episode series deals with Mirai working towards her original goal of defeating the youmu, Beyond the Boundary. The viewer learns eventually that Akihito’s half-youmu side is actually Beyond the Boundary. The two of them are forced to face off yet again, but Mirai comes up with a way to save Akihito’s life by sacrificing herself and taking on Beyond the Boundary entirely. Mirai disappears from reality and Akihito is left without his half-youmu side. The final two episodes deal with Akihito finding a way to get back to Mirai and the two of them battling Beyond the Boundary together.
I think as I reminiscence about this show and write this piece, it has finally clicked with me what I can’t get out of my head about this show. It’s the relationship between the two dorks of Mirai and Akihito. I just sincerely want the two of them to be as happy as they possibly can. We get a sense of that in the last scene of the finale where Mirai has returned and Akihito meets her again on the roof of their school. Though, with the trailer of the latest Kyoukai no Kanata movie that takes place a year after the series having a line where Akihito says that he and Mirai cannot be together, that whole happiness thing has hit an all-time worry level.
There is also the fact that I find a lot of myself in Akihito and have even called him my spirit animal from time to time. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t seen another character push being such a glasses fetishist in such a way before. Besides that, he does have a lot of traits I see in myself and the traits in Mirai are traits I’ve found in girls I’ve dated before. So, clearly we are one in the same.
Of course I would be remiss to not mention the numerous other characters that are also great in this show. The other two characters that Mirai and Akihito interact with the most are the Nase siblings, Mitsuki and Hiroomi. Mitsuki is always repulsed by Akihito and Hiroomi while telling Mirai to stay away from them as they are pervs. Hiroomi has a sister complex and also calls Akihito “Akkey”, even though Akihito almost killed him before. The four of them are members of their schools Literature Club, though it seems, not many books are read in the club. The Nase siblings give you an interest dynamic with Mirai and Akihito, while also letting you see other sides of their personalities.
Kyoukai no Kanata is such a fun show that while feels as if it goes by too fast in twelve episodes is the right way to do a twelve episode series. There is also a bonus OVA that deals with events that happen before the start of the series, involving Akihito and the Nase siblings. With the forthcoming movie, I’ll Be Here, numerous questions arise, such as will Mirai and Akihito be able to overcome this next burden? For me, I hope by the time this movie is available for viewing on home video release (which will probably be next year almost, unfortunately) that at the end, those two finally get a chance to take a break from fighting and be happy with one another. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll probably find another column where I rant and rave about the ending of the movie! One thing is for sure, if you have yet to see Kyoukai no Kanata, seek it out either via Crunchyroll or by buying it when Sentai Filmworks releases it later this year. Maybe then, you will begin to understand why this show will stick with you well after you watch it.