Evan Burkey

Kyoukai no Kanata: First Impressions

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It’s a new show from Kyoto Animation. I’m going to watch it every week. Review over.

Kyoukai no Kanata
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Based On: Light Novel

Ok, you need to understand: I adore Kyoto Animation (aka KyoAni)’s work. They are easily my favorite anime studio (though Trigger is making a run for that top spot, more on that tomorrow), and I watch anything they put out. They’ve also been doing something really neat; KyoAni hosts an annual writing competition for people to send in short stories, and they’ve adapted several entries into anime series in the last year, specifically Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai (aka Chu^2), and now Kyoukai no Kanata.

Anyway, back to this actual review… the first episode introduces us to Akihito, who is half human and half demon-ish creature called Yomu. This mixed blood makes him immortal, and by bad luck he meets Mirai, a girl who fights Yomu using her own blood as a weapon. She then proceeds to try and kill him because he’s part Yomu… but he can’t die. So she tries again. And again. This becomes a daily routine, and is played up in a comedic fashion in that Mirai is extremely cute and clumsy, and the whole immortal thing kind of ruins her attempts anyway.

The comedy drops off about halfway through the episode and we’re introduced to some of the issues that Mirai is dealing with. Her blood abilities are considered cursed, and because of that she is shunned by other Yomu hunters. The last few minutes involve our two main characters trying to exorcise a Yomu, and a fight breaks out as we end.

There’s not a ton of action in the first episode, as most of it contains exposition but the short action scenes that we do get are absolutely stunning. KyoAni hasn’t done a serious action series since the days of Full Metal Panic, and the gorgeous delusion-battles of Chu^2 only whetted my appetite for over the top anime fight scenes from KyoAni. Let me tell you, these guys can animate some serious on-screen action. Add that to the adorable character designs and near-OCD levels of background detail, and you’re in for a visual treat.

While the plot was purposely vague, I am intrigued with where the story of Kyoukai no Kanata is headed, and must say that this show is on my must-watch list for Fall 2013. As a side note, the opening is also pretty catchy, check it out below if you’re interested:

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