Beyond the Boundary is an anime series based on a light novel written by Nagomu Torii and illustrated by Chise Kamoi. The anime is produced by Kyoto Animation, and is directed by Taichi Ishidate. The series aired on Japanese television from October 2-December 18, 2013. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American license for Beyond the Boundary.
There are two main characters in Beyond the Boundary: Akihito Kanbara and Mirai Kuriyami. Akihito is an immortal, who was born from a union between a human and a demon known as a youmu. Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior who is the sole remaining member of a cursed clan that can manipulate blood.
At the beginning of the series, Akihito sees Mirai on the school roof and believes she’s going to commit suicide. When he runs up to the building and pleads with her not to jump, her response is to stab him with a sword made of her blood. Since he is an immortal, he is unaffected by this. He learns that Mirai lacks confidence when hunting youmu, so he takes it upon himself to help her gain the confidence she needs. Their lives become intertwined as the series progresses.
Mitsuki Nase and her brother, Hiromi, are members of the Nase family, which is responsible for overseeing the Spirit World Warriors. They are friends with Akihito are become tied up in the plot of the series. Their older sister, Izumi, is the one in charge of the family.
Ayaka Shindo is a youmu who serves as an appraiser for youmu when Spirit World Warriors bring in the stones of the youmu that they have defeated. Ai is Ayaka’s younger sister who manages the shop when Ayaka is unavailable.
During the series, we meet Sakura Inami. Her older sister, Yui, was killed by Mirai after Yui was possessed by the Hollow Shadow. Sakura has harbored ill feelings toward Mirai since Yui’s death and tries to kill Mirai to avenge her sister’s death.
The Hollow Shadow plays an important role in the first half of the series, and this is where Sakura is introduced and is a major focus. After the Hollow Shadow is defeated, the series changes its focus to Akihito and secrets concerning him and the youmu known as Beyond the Boundary.
When I first started Beyond the Boundary, it was a little slow to get going. However, by the end of episode three, the story finally caught my interest and convinced me to see the series through to its conclusion.
The story arc about the Hollow Shadow runs through episodes three and four, then episode five is a bit more light-hearted, and then episode six is complete and utter “filler.” Fortunately, the story arc about Akihito and Beyond the Boundary begins in episode seven, and then runs all the way through episode 12.
During the second half of the series, some revelations are made that really alter what was going on during the first half of the series. In some respects, I’m not entirely sure that I bought the 180s for the plot elements. From looking at the Wikipedia entry for Beyond the Boundary, it appears the anime doesn’t entirely follow the light novel, so these 180s may have been introduced by the writer of the anime so they could tell the story that they wanted to tell with these characters, or if the writer was having to make something up for the ending if the light novel wasn’t finished yet at the time the anime went into production.
When I finished the series, I concluded that while Beyond the Boundary wasn’t a bad series, it wasn’t a great one, either. I’m glad I was able to view it as a free stream and didn’t have to pay anything in order to watch it. I also didn’t enjoy the series enough to try to watch the two anime films that were released in 2015.
I have decided that at such a point Beyond the Boundary comes out on home video, I wouldn’t rush to buy it at full price. I’d probably add it to my anime home video collection at some point if I could get it rather cheaply through Right Stuf’s Holiday Sale or something like that.
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