Beyond the Boundary: Episode 4 – “Bitter Orange”

Episode Four begins with a slight backtrack to the end of Episode Three, where Akihito has jumped into the middle of a battle between Mirai and a girl who she refers to as Sakura. Since Mirai is weak from anemia, Akihito picks her up in order to flee from Sakura.

There’s quite an action-packed sequence that takes place here, where Sakura chases the two of them through a labyrinth that the Hollow Shadow created that’s based on their memories. At one point, they reach what appears to be a train station and seem to have gotten away from Sakura. Akihito asks Mirai who Sakura is, and she explains that she is Sakura Inami, the younger sister of Yui Inami, the girl she killed who was possessed by the Hollow Shadow.

Mirai sees a train go by and sees Yui in it. Mirai and Akihito get onto the train and try to find Yui. However, they reach the end of it and she’s nowhere to be found. A large hand suddenly pushes on the train, and they see a large incarnation of Yui. The incarnation of Yui grabs Mirai and holds her in her hand. A smaller incarnation of Yui suddenly appears. At the same time, Sakura appears on the scene. Just as hope seems lost, Akihito throws Mirai’s ring up to her, and she yells out that Yui isn’t here anymore. The large incarnation of Yui changes into the Hollow Shadow and Mirai attacks. At first, she thinks she’s defeated it, but it possesses Akihito.

After he’s possessed, Akihito wants Mirai to stab him to get rid of it. She hesitates, and Akihito reminds her that he’s immortal. After some more hesitation, Mirai stabs him and chases the Hollow Shadow out. Mirai is able to defeat the Hollow Shadow this time, but Hiromi, Ayaka, and Shizuku approach and tell Mirai to move aside. Mirai learns that when Akihito’s body is in an extremely perilous state, his youmu instincts awaken. The remainder of the episode focuses on what happens after Akihito’s youmu instincts awaken and the others trying to repel him.

For this episode, there was a pretty equal focus on both Mirai and Akihito. It turns out I was correct on who Sakura turned out to be. However, I didn’t expect the confrontation with her to conclude the way that it did. For Akihito, we got to learn a little more about him, especially in regards to his youmu half. Without giving away any “spoilers,” I will say that the way Akihito ends up getting his awakened youmu powers contained ends up being a rather predictable trope that appears not just in anime, but in other kinds of media as well. Oh well. Whatever works, I guess.

Right at the very end of this episode, there’s a hint dropped that there’s something going on behind the scenes that our characters don’t seem to be aware of yet. I have a feeling this will become an important part of the story as the series progresses.

By the end of Episode Four, I was a lot more interested in both Akihito and Mirai as characters than I had been earlier in the series. Also, the story of Beyond the Boundary has become more and more interesting with each subsequent episode. I’m really looking forward to watching Episode Five to find out where the story and the series will end up going next.

Additional posts about Beyond the Boundary:

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