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