Kyoukai no Kanata — Final Impressions

I wish I was in a better anime series

Win­ter Break is over, my next col­lege quar­ter has start­ed, and of course I’ve also fin­ished watch­ing Kyoukai no Kana­ta pri­or to that.

I must say that the con­clu­sion of Kyoukai no Kana­ta pret­ty much sealed my opin­ion of the series — that is to say, it has­n’t changed quite much. This post isn’t going to be as long as my oth­er Final Impres­sions posts because, hon­est­ly, there isn’t quite much to say about the series.

I'M TOTALLY BUZZED OUT RIGHT NOW

I’M TOTALLY BUZZED OUT RIGHT NOW

Kyoukai no Kana­ta pret­ty much takes the stan­dard “demon hunter” set­ting and does a real­ly mediocre take on it over­all. Is it a bad ani­me? No, but it nev­er real­ly did much to stand out — I mean, aside from KyoAni’s typ­i­cal moe side-dis­trac­tions, which hon­est­ly feels very awk­ward in this type of set­ting. The way KyoAni slipped in those ran­dom humor bits… just makes it feel like they belong in KyoAni’s usu­al slice-of-life shows (one par­tic­u­lar bit in the final — the  scene where Aki­hi­to and Mirai were yelling “Komochi Shishamo!” at Kyoukai no Kana­ta, was a fine exam­ple of this) and pret­ty much played a hand in this series’ pac­ing issues.

Instead of wast­ing their time on the ran­dom cutesy bits, why not take the time to clar­i­fy some of the hard-to-fol­low ele­ments of the plot? Espe­cial­ly since this was a one cour ani­me, where they real­ly should­n’t have been able to afford to waste such pre­cious time. That isn’t to say it’d be enough to make the qual­i­ty up-to-par — the large cast of char­ac­ters and, of course, the seri­ous por­tions and the style of humor that they used to approach this sto­ry seems like it would have been bet­ter off being a long-run­ner in many ways. While I nev­er did con­firm if the term “dark fan­ta­sy” was a genre mis­la­bel­ing by var­i­ous sites (who kept call­ing this a show based on a “dark fan­ta­sy” light nov­el), I do feel like the series could have stood out if it was a dark fan­ta­sy series. Amongst a sea­son, no, an era of ani­me filled with either shows that are extreme­ly light­heart­ed or shows that are extreme­ly hot­blood­ed (Kill la Kill, for instance), a 12-episode dark fan­ta­sy ani­me series would have been a refresh­ing change of pace.

It’s not like I don’t enjoy THE iDOLM@STER-essque scenes ani­mat­ed by KyoAni (episode 6), but com­pared to oth­er sto­ries from this genre like say, the Shaku­gan no SHANA light nov­els, GARO (live-action), Karas, or Ga-Rei Zero, I per­son­al­ly would­n’t rec­om­mend this to peo­ple for any­thing oth­er than the ani­ma­tion and the pret­ty char­ac­ters, which plen­ty of oth­er KyoAni pro­duc­tions offer. It just isn’t some­thing I can say is good enough.

Don't worry, I'll push the plot away!

Don’t wor­ry, I’ll push the plot away!

But, of course, Kyoto Ani­ma­tion. Moe moe humor is required, appar­ent­ly. While I love their ani­ma­tion and their slice-of-life shows to bits (though I real­ly would pre­fer more Key, Haruhi Suzu­miya and Full Met­al Pan­ic…), I don’t appre­ci­ate them insert­ing ele­ments from those shows need­less­ly into any genre that they’re able to touch, espe­cial­ly when it has so many inter­est­ing ele­ments to its uni­verse that could be expand­ed on and so much poten­tial in its large cast of char­ac­ters. This ani­me of theirs def­i­nite­ly had every poten­tial to stand out in the Autumn 2013 sea­son, but in the end, the direc­tion pro­duced a show that’s sim­ply OK. Is that enough to effi­cient­ly sat­is­fy some peo­ple? Sure, there are prob­a­bly those out there that will be sat­is­fied with what Kyoukai no Kana­ta has to offer, but for me? Absolute­ly not.

A better love story than Twilight

Admit­ted­ly, I do find the char­ac­ter pro­gres­sion to be rather sol­id — in fact, that’s what kept me watch­ing, because I want­ed to know where Aki­hi­to and Mirai were going to end up. How­ev­er, in the end, I was dis­ap­point­ed. The final was rather con­vo­lut­ed — I mean, there were a bunch of cool fight scenes, but there real­ly was­n’t much clar­i­fi­ca­tion with the plot and char­ac­ter moti­va­tions even though sev­er­al rev­e­la­tions were thrown at our faces all in one episode, and we’re treat­ed to a deus ex machi­na at the very end. Yeah, no. An OK ani­me series can sit well with me as long as it has a sol­id and val­i­dat­ed con­clu­sion — in fact, the well-exe­cut­ed end­ing could very well make an ani­me series stand out to me… but Kyoukai no Kana­ta’s end­ing? Haha. No. When you make an OK ani­me series with an ass-pull end­ing that I would rather for­get, you basi­cal­ly turn me away from acknowl­edg­ing it as worth a watch alto­geth­er.

Something is off here...

kay now it's hot

FYI: Twin­tails are bet­ter than glass­es

5 thoughts on “Kyoukai no Kanata — Final Impressions

  1. As men­tioned in your and my review, I agree that the moe and the com­e­dy was not nec­es­sary for this show. It looks as if they were try­ing to expand the demo­graph­ics for this show, but I think its the weak aspect of this show. If they focused more on the plot and set­ting, it will prob­a­bly be a bit bet­ter, but who knows.

    1. @chikorita157: I think if there was more focus on plot and set­ting, it would have at least got­ten an “aver­age” instead of an “OK” from me — though, as I said, I think with what they were try­ing to go for with its large cast, it would have been bet­ter off as a long-run­ner either way instead of a one cour. The humor *might* have worked in that case instead of point­less­ly detract­ing from the sto­ry, too (since the pro­por­tion would be larg­er).

  2. I real­ly liked Kyoukai no Kona­ta but I have to agree with you, that end­ing was just…meh. The series also seemed real­ly rushed to me. If it would’ve been longer I think it would’ve went from being just “Ok” to phe­nom­e­nal. It kin­da bums me out because I love this genre, the ani­ma­tion, fight scenes, char­ac­ters etc but it was­n’t giv­en enough time to real­ly devel­op imo.

    Also…GLASSES FTW, that is all.

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