Some Thoughts: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 2 – 6

Recap on: Ultramarine, Moonlight Purple, Bitter Orange, Chartreuse Light and Shocking Pink

Kyoukai no Kanata episode 2-6

meeeKyoukai no Kanata! I did seriously think I’d have a load of positive things to say about this anime, with it’s incredible, quirky and creative style and scenery, the intriguing plot and the way it handles each episode… Things were going well, until episode 6 rolled round. Oh… Dear. Take the “Pink” out of the episode title “Shocking Pink” and you will see what I think of the episode in just one word! … And it’s not in a good way.(Just a quick note before I commence writing this post: I am very sorry about my recent absence from the blog! I have been so busy with school and work and all the rest, and I still will be pretty much until later on next year. It is such a shame since I love writing for the blog but I do have to prioritize school first at the moment. Therefore, you can expect a few late posts here and there, but I will try writing as regularly as I can!)

So, Kyoukai no Kanata… Let’s wind back a few episodes and start with episode 2, shall we? Justin started off with a first impressions on the series, and I’ll carry on from there. So in episode 2, we see Mirai finally defeat the youmu she began to chase after in the first episode that had been inhabiting her house for a while now. It was quite nice to watch, I suppose? Although this episode certainly took a more relaxed approach after the confusing first episode (not really confusing first episode, but it took us a little while to get to grips as to what was going on), it was mainly used so we could meet the “supporting” cast of the show. At this point, none of them particularly caught my eye, because it all seemed so… Ordinary? Even from the main characters, there was not really anything interesting about them that pushed me to the edge of my seat because I was so desperate to learn more about them. That being said, this IS the second episode, so we still have time. We also got to see and learn a little more about the whole Spirit World Warriors and Society, and what happens to these youmu after they’ve been killed. It certainly put my mind at rest since I had a little trouble keeping up with the pace of the first episode. There’s no denying though they do pace the episodes fairly well and handle them quite well. It isn’t like they actually point everything out to you and say “Look, we kill the youmu and collect the stone and evaluate it and give you the money” just straight to the viewer, we watch from their perspectives and learn through their experiences. One thing that is bugging me already is the pathetic humour in the episodes, mainly coming from Akihito… He has a bit of a bland personality, if you ask me. Sure he isn’t too bad, and I do like the fact he always sticks by Mirai, but that is mainly because he’s such a pervert.. However, why is it that the main protagonist in every anime now happens to be the stupid funny pervert that says the funny perverted things because it’s the funniest damn thing on the whole planet earth. So funny. I do hope Akihito does manage to prove me wrong, because I am intrigued by this anime. So even after the slightly more relaxed pace of episode 2, Mirai makes a revelation and I think… Episode 3 really helped shine a light on the other side of Akihito.

In Moonlight Purple, we learn of a dangerous youmu that is approaching the town where Kyoukai no Kanata is set in. I didn’t really know what to expect what the youmu would be like, but I was honestly surprised. It was a really gripping and interesting episode, for me, and it really showed the creative side of all the brainboxes working away diligently at Kyoto Animation. It really made me look forward to episode 4, whereas I didn’t feel that way so much with the former episodes. Of course we get the same old ridiculous humour coming from Akihito and now his best friend Hiroomi, although Hiroomi seems to have more of a thing for little sisters than glasses… I guess when I first saw Hiroomi in episode 2 I expected him to be quite mysterious and quirky, and I hoped he’d rise above Akihito’s perverted remarks about flustered Mirai and her glasses, but sadly, he just joined in. The worrying thing is, is that Hiroomi seems to have a thing for his actual little sister, Mitsuki (even carrying around a bookmark of her to use)… Dear god. He’s beginning to sound a lot like Kyousuke from Oreimo, now… Anyway, the one positive thing about Akihito is that – despite him probably only doing this since Mirai seems to be the perfect girl for him – he doesn’t give in to Mirai. Even after her “mysterious” revelation she made last episode, he wants to be her friend, and he wants to prove to her that even if she is different, she can be accepted by people. He wants to prove that to her by… Befriending her, I suppose? That’s the only positive thing I can seem to think of him at the moment… Also when the Hollow Shadow arrives, and clumsy and weak Mirai decides to go after it, Akihito wants to defend Mirai and ensure she stays safe. Although he may always be drooling over her and her glasses, I think deep down somewhere, he would consider her a friend, and not merely just a bishoujo. I did find it perculiar though that Mirai suddenly up and decided to chase after the Hollow Shadow, because she is too weak! She struggles and holds back from even wanting to kill a youmu. I understand though that it is because of her past, but she can’t even defeat the weakest of youmus, so how will she be able to even make a dent or a stab at the fearful Hollow Shadow?

… And she actually… Managed to defeat it in Episode 4? What. Okay, so I guess it partially was also Akihito who helped her out, but still. I love how the two work as a pair, when they’re not squabbling and the like. The way they through the mysterious Sakura off guard as they ran through the labyrinth, when he cheered on Mirai to defeat the “fake Hollow Shadow that actually wasn’t the Hollow Shadow because it was too easy to kill (seriously, I was so annoyed and disappointed at first)”. I loved the creativity of the labyrinths that Kyo-Ani constructed of the Hollow Shadow. At first I was puzzled as to what was going on but then when I twigged it, it actually reminded me a lot of Puella Magi Madoka Magica! It was very quirky and strange, and at the moment it felt like we were really peering into Mirai’s mind… The fact that she killed Sakura’s sister, even when she was so hesitant not to but absolutely had to because a youmu had possessed her, well… You could just never comprehend or empathize with how much she hated living each day remembering she killed really the only person she had in her life (but now she has Akihito, what a lucky girl~)! It’s when you see the poor upset Mirai crying in the bloody rain, it was so heartbreaking. You could see Akihito really wanted to go give her a hug, and you know, after we see him in his youmu form, going absolutely berserk, you can truly see that… Even though you think “there’s no way they could be so similar!”, they actually are. They’re always alone, they don’t have anyone, they’re not normal people, nobody will ever want them… But, they both have each other, and they don’t realise that actually… People out there do seem to care for them. It was good seeing the true emotions of them both, really. Mirai wasn’t merely the pathetic moe who couldn’t seem to do anything of any use, and Akihito wasn’t the “b-baka hentai!” that we all thought at first. It was at this moment that I thought the pair of them would change, for the better.

Although to be honest, episode 5 proved that people will never change their ways, even after truly tear jerking and emotional scenes, as seen in the latter part of episode 4! But, it was great we could see more of Mitsuki in this episode. Mirai sadly had her card taken away from her which pretty much allowed her to receive money from the youmu stones. Since it seemed like fate was pushing Mitsuki and Mirai closer together, Mitsuki offered to help poor (literally poor) Mirai to find a part time job in which she could earn some money for the time being. To be honest at the start I didn’t like Mitsuki: She generally just came across as being rather blunt and rude at times, but I felt like we saw another side of her today. What really irked me about this episode were the ridiculous fanservice scenes in this episode… eg: the “nudes” from Ai (seriously, you’re an innocent little girl, you shouldn’t be having nudes taken of you)! There really just was no point in it… It had absolutely no relevance to the storyline or plot at all. Yes sure, I guess having a bit of it is okay and if it’s very subtle, but this was full on and to be honest, it wasn’t even funny… It was just rather “just get on with it”. It felt like Kyo-Ani had to force the fanservice in there, since Kyoukai no Kanata has been getting pretty “poor” reviews in contrast as to what people anticipated it’d be like. I didn’t really know what to expect… To be honest, there was no point in it, and therefore I am a bit disappointed by it. However, I am glad we learned that Mitsuki was actually a nice person at heart. She had always declined going to the fireworks festival, she would always be alone, as a Spirit World Warrior. I don’t really understand that though… I mean, she still had Mirai of course! To be honest, the whole idea of that is just bananas. You’re alone but… You have your other Spirit World Warrior friends? You can all stick together like a little family, surely? Anyway, it was good to see she finally caved in and showed her sensitive side, and I think out of the whole show she may just be my favourite character… Sure, the fireworks show was a little cliche, but it wasn’t too bad nonetheless.

Now… Episode 6 was rather disappointing, in my opinion. Kyo-Ani seem to be rather bad at humour. Good at animation, but bad at humour. I started off the episode thinking “Hm, this could be good”. We had only really seen the more serious youmu fights and of course… By the looks of it, there were the more bizarre and strange youmus too. The repetitiveness of the episode though did begin to drive me bonkers. The fact that they failed every time… Couldn’t they just finally be successful half way through the episode and be done with it, it would have been a lot better and they could have moved onto something more constructive to the storyline. It was supposed to be a little gag, much like the classroom scene in Angel Beats where all of the Afterlife Battlefront do everything it takes to disrupt the class. It didn’t take up the whole episode, but it was funny whilst it lasted. Yet again, more completely useless fanservice too. At this point, it was really annoying me. Why did they always have to exploit Mirai when it came to fanservice? Because she was the most vulnerable? It was really, aggravating, and yet again Hiroomi and Akihito just kept giving me reasons to put them in the bad character book. Even at the end, with the whole ridiculous over the top dance routine, they had to end with “Who’s going to go after the youmu?”. DID THEY NOT EVEN PLAN THAT AT THE BEGINNING?! I mean, let’s face it, Hiroomi and Mitsuki are from the most prestigious family and come across as being quite intelligent to me, so did it not ever occur to them at once during the whole process “so let’s plan who will get the youmu at the end!”. To be honest, it wasn’t even funny at the end when they all were flooded back away from the roof again… It just felt like a complete waste of an episode. It was funny the first time, a little bit the second time, but… Kyo-Ani are disappointing me at the moment. I’m hoping that the next 7 episodes we will hopefully see some better plot development, and less of the unnecessary fanservice. Please and thank you.

5 thoughts on “Some Thoughts: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 2 – 6

  1. I think you’re the first blogger i know to actually understand why Kyokai no Kanata is getting mixed reviews: it was the expectations by so many people who saw that kyoani was doing an action series. The thing is, not many people knew about its source material. But just hearing that kyoani was going to use its animation talents to work on an action series was what had everyone hyped regardless of their lack of knowledge of what it would be like. I had read the LN, and the impression i took from it was that it was OK at best and mediocre usually. It seemed that the anime wanted to give the source material a bit more depth, but for everything it did better than the LN, it added just as many things that dragged the LN down from being taken as a serious take on the dark fantasy setting. I knew what i was getting myself into, and after the first ep, i felt that the series had potential to be really good even though it had its misteps. I think ppl were under the impression that by the dark fantasy title, kyoani was tackling material on the level of Shin Sekai Yori, and that’s where i feel like a lot of the disappointment is coming from.

    I knew why kyoani chose to adapt this LN; it’s in their safe zone so there wasnt any risk in doing it (aside from the recent backlash). What they didnt take into consideration was the fact that a lot of ppl would be looking at this series as kyoani truly stepping out of the “moe” category. But then they saw mirai (who isnt that bad to begin with; ive seen worse)and all their hopes tanked dramatically. The anime has potential to be good; the writing is decent, the animation great (of course), the direction needs to be tighter but the only thing this series has left to do is make a statement for itself as to why it should be considered a really good series and in my opinion, it still can with its remaining 7 eps, but it has lost all its leeway to make mistakes. Ep4 and 5 were good and ep 6 was a fun mistep but the remaining series needs to get back on track quickfast. It cant make anymore detours from her on out….the series needs to kick that dark fantasy setting into overdrive and give us some good character development before its 13-ep run

    • Oh wow, really? It surprises me that not many people have worked this out already. I know Kyo-Ani is one of the most well-known and prestigious anime production companies out there: Almost every anime fan knows about them or has watched one of their series. Because they’re so well-known and popular for their cuter series such as K-On! and Clannad (which were huge successes even overseas) whenever Kyo-Ani announce yet another anime, everyone is so excited to see what it could possibly be. Kyoukai no Kanata pretty much was the most anticipated anime of this season, in my opinion. I know for a fact most people are watching it… And I do still think it handles the episodes well and flows quite well too, but… It’s really not going anywhere. The past few episodes seem slower than usual because it’s been more of a SOL style. Nothing wrong in that, of course, but sometimes the viewer focuses so much on that they actually forget the real storyline and everything gets jumbled up. I haven’t read the LN but if people did and I go by what you said, perhaps we wouldn’t be so disappointed by it. In all honesty, Kyo-Ani have released true masterpieces (Hyouka is my favourite anime of all time, which was produced by them!), so it’s kind of hard to keep maintaining that level of quality… Even if Kyoukai no Kanata already had its flaws from the LN, Kyo-Ani still had the chance and the potential to change it and make it so those SOL episodes didn’t take up the whole 20 minutes. I don’t know. It’s disappointing because we expected so much because it was quite a different genre compared to what Kyo-Ani are used to tackling, but right now I don’t feel too optimistic about what the future episodes will bring for us.

      • Honestly, just giving my thoughts here. I’ve only read the first two chapters of the first book of the LN, since that’s all that’s translated so far (not sure if sonicsenryaku can read Japanese and knows more of it than me, so take this comment with that in mind). That said, I actually really liked what I read. The humor was ok, and the build up on the dark fantasy setting was actually something I found great, specially at a certain part of chapter 2. A part which actually wasn’t adapted on the anime. Which brings me to my main point here, KyoAni didn’t simply improve some points and dragged the series down with things like SoL and fanservice focus. In my opinion, neither of those is actually true, though episode 6 certainly wasn’t to my liking. My main problem is how the plot has been handled so much more straightfowardly in the anime. They cut out really interesting scenes that would potentially look awesome animated, actually replacing them by things that while not bad, were definitely not on the level the scenes they chose to foregone could have been, and most aggravatingly, they cut out concepts that would have given the story a whole other level of depth. It seems like KyoAni really didn’t manage to completely branch out from their usual genre and decided to tweak the story to fit it. Which is honestly quite reasonable of them, business-wise. After all, they did the same with Chuunibyou. Both of them are LNs published by the studio itself, so KyoAni tried to take the advantage it has in vertical integration for full profit on the shows: the anime sales and the boost in LN sales that comes from it. Changing things and having two slightly different plotlines actually plays into this, since if you want to see how the original plays out, you’re forced to read the LNs. Still definitely not something I’m happy with. That said, though, Kyoukai no Kanata is still one of the shows I’m the most interested in this season.
        Oh, yeah, good post, Lucy^^

        • I know what scenes you’re referring to; for example, nino’s introduction was handled much better in the LN and im a bit disappointed that they left out the battle scene in the school where mirai shows off just how badass and top-tier she is compared to hiroomi, mitsuki, and Nino. In the LN mirai’s nuaces were quite different in that there was a certain edge to her when she was involved in battle versus her in a normal setting (her clumsiness is still in the LN’s). Honestly, the comedy in the first 3 eps was hit or miss and like lucy mentioned, they could have eliminated that completely and took the series in a more grittier direction; to which i think it would have benefited. Here’s my opinion about adaptations: if you’re going to change something, you better damn well make sure that you are changing it for the better. Eliminating things that kinda got in the way of the story-telling like the hit or miss comedy (or at least to lessen it; though honestly its not that bad, but i can still do without it) would have improved the narrative; that i would consider a change for the better because you would arguable have a deeper, more poignant anime.

          The anime’s decision to add Sakura as an anime original character to add further conflict for mirai was a way to improve the series. Having mirai struggle financially through life was a good idea and a way to improve the series. Having Akihito be responsible for Hiroomi’s scar was a way to delve into deeper character moments. These are the things i feel the anime had done better than the LN. The problem is that the series never truly capitalized on these good ideas, and that’s what i mean when i say that it had misteps. Instead it tried to capitalize more on the slice of life comedy and they didnt need to go that route, especially since the dark fantasy part of the series is the selling point. Still, im in the camp that believes that this series had a solid start, and with 7 eps remaining, it still has a chance to be a really good series. They just cant afford any more missteps. I still think this is a solid series, but arguably this series would have been much more remembered and emotionally gripping had kyoani decided that an emotionally gripping tale was what they wanted to tell with kyokai no kanata and just went completely with a dark fantasy tone through and through; with just a tiny bit of slice of life elements.

      • The show is still solid in my opinion; its just a shame to me that the unneeded parts in the LN were kept in (at least in my opinion). Those moments ok, but i can definitely do without. My favorite production from Kyoani has to be “the disappearance of haruhi suzumiya”. Im not that enthusiastic when it comes to the series but the movie was excellent and its such a shame that its taking them this long to make the intrigue and dissociation of haruhi suzumiya into movies (dissociation and surprise arguably being the best and heaviest of the LN’s and very deserving of movie adaptations). Hyoka is indeed a beautiful series that i found to be really good and a step up from what Kyo ani had gotten into the habit of producing up to that point.

        To make this short, if i was to give you my opinion of the kyokai no Kanata LN’s as a piece of literature, honestly the writing is mediocre and the characters not as fleshed out as they should, which was why i was happy when the anime tried to give mirai more back story and try to tell a somber tale. The thing is, it still can. There is a line in the second pv where mirai questions if akihito will always be by her side. Im assuming she’s about to go through a point in the story where her world might come crashing down on her and i feel that could push this series from just being solid to being really good. & eps left kyokai no kanata; dont waste a single one.

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