Beyond the Boundary | Review: Ep. 1

No Boundaries Passed

This show has too many names. Depending on where I look it’s either called Beyond the Boundary or it’s called Beyond the Horizon. Then there’s the Japanese name, Kyoukai no Kanata. I decided to go with the name used on Crunchyroll for simplicity’s sake, so Beyond the Boundary it is.

vlc 2013-10-03 10-09-49-77I’m a fan of Kyoto Animation. I liked Free! from last season and K-on! is one of my favorite school-life series.With that said, they do sometimes do shows that aren’t worth the the talent put into them, such as Tamako Market which is one of the dullest shows I’ve seen all year. While it’s still too early to tell what Beyond the Boundary will end up like, I hate to say that at the moment it’s more Tamako Market than I had hoped.

This is a boring and stale episode. You may not think it would be when the premise is about a boy with regenerative skills and a thaumaturge mage girl who a spirit world warriors, but that is unfortunately the case. Basically, the show plays everything safe and by the numbers. Meet Mirai, a clumsy girl who tries to put on a stronger front than she actually has in a very cute way. She obviously have some sort of crush on the dull and personality lacking main character Akihito ever since she realized that he regenerates his wounds after she stabs him, but she wouldn’t admit that, because anime trope.

vlc 2013-10-03 10-10-40-79

Don’t get me wrong, you can have a lot of tropes and follow them to every detail and still make a entertaining and good show. But Beyond the Boundary‘s first episode never does anything beyond just tracing stories we’ve seen before and doing so in a dull manner. It doesn’t help that they are trying to capture the charm of their earlier successful show Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions but miss the fact that Chu-2 had more going for it than cute shy girl who has, in this case imaginary, magical powers.

The episode is meant to simply introduce us to the world and the characters of the show. Mirai is explored the most and to be fair they do a good job of setting up her character, dull as it may be. The problem is that Akihito, our main character, is blander than the most bland visual novel insert-protagonist you can think of. Seeing what he does and following his life is just not interesting as it’s not a interesting view-point so far. I’m sure they’ll explore him further in later episodes, but if this is what they wanted to do, I would have recommended putting the show from Mirai’s perspective rather than Akihito.

vlc 2013-10-03 10-07-49-78The show is of course gorgeous and wonderfully well animated, as is common for Kyoto Animation. The direction is superb as well. There’s a chase-scene in this episode, one of the few moments that were not dull, that is absolutely fantastic in every way except that it’s criminally short. There’s so much talent on display here that I’m just even more sad that the show doesn’t utilize it as well as it should. People also really seem to love the opening theme, but I can’t say I even remember it. Maybe it’ll grow on me though.

First episodes are hard and can sometimes ruin a show no matter how good it becomes later. But I will be giving this at least two more episodes and hopefully the show drags itself out of the mediocre and dull ditch it seemingly crashed in.

Or maybe this will be the year where two Kyoto Animation shows manages to bore me to the point of frustration? Only time will tell, hopefully it’ll heal its wounds in the second episode.

Episode Rating: 2/5 – Beyond The Minimal.

Series Available on Crunchyroll

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