KyoAni’s moefest of the fall. …Or is it?
|A new season, and a new KyoAni series to watch! This time we’re back in the more comfortable realm of moe girls, and maybe some chuunibyou. I’m happy to join Karakuri, OC, and Miyu for this impressions post, too. Thanks for letting me join you, ladies!|
|Hi guys I’m finally back on Metanorn after a looooong hiatus to catch up on my studies!! It feels so good to be back, I’ve missed everyone ♡ Anyway, this is probably one of the most hyped-up shows of the season because KyoAni has finally, finally put their efforts into a fantasy series! I can’t say how excited I am to watch cute characters doing cute (magical) things c:|
|A lot of us have been looking forward to Kyoukai no Kanata this season. Kyoani shows tend to drum up a big crowd every time. How can you deny the beautiful animation? The moeblobs? The way they make hair look Herbal Essences commercials? All this and more lured me in enough to blog a first impression with the rest of the tag team group.|
|KyoAni still seems reluctant to completely ditch their normal style of character animation, but at least they’re being slightly adventurous by animating a fantasy story. …Though maybe they’re not really breaking out as much as I thought considering Mirai’s character. Anyways, on to the team’s thoughts~|
Is This the Real Life? Is This (just) Fantasy?
I found this show a bit disorienting. Perhaps it’s because of the recent success of Chuu2Koi, but it felt like I couldn’t get a handle on Mirai and Akihito’s world. Was this a delusional life they had? Is Akihito really half Youmu? Is Mirai really an outcast because of her clan? I mean, Mirai’s ability to control the form of her blood seems just like something someone would make up. And does Mitsuki know about all of everything? I guess I had a lot of “is this real? Nooooo, it can’t be. But maybe it is… Could it be?” as I was watching. And maybe it’s due to the closeness this has to Chuu2koi, with similar styles for the fighting, similar character designs, and even a similar theme. I guess that I’ll have to pick a side in upcoming weeks, whether I believe it or not (I’ll probably end up believing it, and there will be a big “None of this is real!” at the end just to spite me), but it really doesn’t seem that easy.
Afterschool Demon-Hunting Club
When streamers attack
It’s refreshing to see Kyoani diverge from the usual high school setting, even if only slightly. The big difference here is that there are dangerous monsters called youmu prowling around and dedicated warriors called Spirit World Warriors tasked with destroying them. The fun part is that not everyone seems to be in on this exciting, supernatural aspect to life. When the first youmu attacks Mirai in the middle of a classroom and then runs by some students outside, they show absolutely no alarm. Either they have nerves of steel and don’t find giant beasts barreling by them at breakneck speed to be worth noticing, or they simply cannot see them. The issues facing Mirai and Akihito appear to be something that they alone have to deal with while faking the most normalcy they can. I’ll be curious to see how they interact with the unwitting students, if they ever do.
The introduction to the world of youmu and Spirit World Warriors isn’t really an introduction…it’s a crash course. All we know is that the youmu are bad and the warriors are good, although the latter are prone to squabbling amongst each other. Being “the last of a clan” is cliche as hell, but I hope it brings up some inter-clan tension at some point so the enemy here is not just the youmu, but other clans trying to kill Mirai because she’s too powerful. We have yet to learn why the youmu exist, what they are, and why only certain people can see them. We don’t know a lot, but it’s as good a set-up as any for crazy fights and supernatural hijinks, and I think Kyoani wanted to focus more on the action for their opening episode to catch your attention without wasting too much time on explanations.
A Sharp Contrast
The bucket’s family had it’s revenge.
…It’s just not KyoAni without an moeblob, is it? Mirai is definitely a character. Her incompetence seems endearing enough (it never crossed the line into being annoying, thankfully), and yet, she does seem to have some sort of talent behind her. She managed to chase after Akihito no problem, as well as the jump over then fence at the beginning and cut through multiple inanimate objects. Mirai clearly could be a badass if she worked at it and it’s an interesting difference from how clumsy she normally seems. Her inability to do anything without tripping kind of got in the way this episode, but maybe once she kills her first youmu, she’ll improve? A bit part of her issues seems to be how scared she seems to be of youmu, and her lack of experience in an actual fight. Mirai did seem like she was attempting to gain something by killing Akihito all the time, so I assume some sort of change in her is coming. Of course, I don’t expect her to completely ditch her moe aspect, but I look forward to seeing her grow. …Or if she doesn’t do that (and all of the work shifts to Akihito), I at least look forward to the drama that the Spirit World Warriors will cause since they don’t seem to like Mirai’s family very much. You’d think they would all get along considering that they have a common enemy. Yay for organization politics. I’d assume that this will be a large issue in the anime, since they put so much emphasis on it this episode and gave Akihito so many warnings.
We were introduced to Akihito’s immortality rather abruptly (I mean, stabbing someone upon your first meeting, really, Mirai-chan?) and scarily, and this episode touches briefly on the repercussions of him being unable to die at surface level. Being able to heal from mortal wounds really quickly sounds fantastic and all, but it has to have serious repercussions on hindsight. Although now it may appear to be something very convenient to Akihito, it may turn out to be something that also brings him a lot of pain and suffering in the future. When Mitsuki was warning him not to get closer to Mirai, she had whispered rather ominously into his ear “only if you could [die].” And that gets us wondering if Akihito has ever really wanted to die – is there a situation in his family (being unconventional and all) or just the entire weight of the notion of being immortal that may lead, or has led him to thinking of dying before? Because although his being unable to die means that there may be no direct consequences on his life if he were to go against the wishes of powerful or dangerous people meaning him harm, it doesn’t mean that he can’t be emotionally attacked (e.g. by using the people around him as emotional blackmail), and this may prove to be something that can both save, and destroy him in the future episodes. At this point in time we don’t really fully understand his immortality yet, because does that only refer to his regeneration abilities, or does it also mean that he doesn’t age? Because the latter would most certainly result in another a whole bunch of other problems. Akihito sure appears to be your standard easy-going, boy-next-door kind of male lead, but I’m sure he has had to face discrimination and various forms of hurt from when he was younger – so it might all just be a facade. It will be interesting to see how KyoAni will reveal the different layers there is to him as a character, and I might just love him already! (…still, Mirai-chan is the queen of moe.)
I enjoyed the opening to Kyoukai no Kanata, even if I found it disorienting. I think the show has a lot of promise, and it’s got a lot of pedigree. The characters are likable enough, although there seems to be a lot more tension in this show and a lot less humor than we’re used to from KyoAni. I’ll definitely keep with this one, and hopefully it will be as enjoyable as the other KyoAni shows I’ve watched.
I love watching Kyokai no Kanata! It’s such a fun show to watch especially since it’s so visually appealing – KyoAni does wonders even if it’s not cute swimming boys with muscles. It was a rather jarring first episode, having thrown us into a mysterious fantasy-filled world while keeping the light-hearted mood of a slice-of-life series, but it does work (for me, at least) and I was thoroughly captured throughout the whole 20+ minutes. I already knew before the show started that this show was going to be a keeper for sure, and now I’m even more excited for future episodes to come! KyoAni, don’t disappoint me!
First off, let’s say what everyone’s thinking: holy shit this show looks beautiful. I’ve always wanted Kyoani to use their animation powers for good and not evil by something other than making girls look adorable when they run. That being said, there’s still a huge dose of moe to remind you that this is Kyoani and God forbid they don’t pack in as much cute as possible. Yes, Mirai IS super cute and Kyoani succeeds once again in making adorable characters. But this really distracts from the action-packed, demon-hunting vibe they’re going for. It feels like there’s a big disconnect between them wanting to make a show that’s cute with corny jokes and taking a real shot at creating a thrilling show with intense fights. It’s floating in the middle, and it’s not working when it doesn’t commit to either one. I’m worried this will be a slice of life show despite giving off the impression they were finally diverging from that. It’s still a fun show and I liked the first episode, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. Once again, this may be a pretty face without much substance.
This is certainly different from the KyoAni we’ve seen before, and yet, in some ways, the same. Though of course, we’re only one episode in. Overall, I’m really excited to watch this, since the action this episode did have was really nice (as expected of KyoAni), there’s the promise of more action in the future, and the characters all seem like they have a lot more to them then what we saw here. But of course, this wasn’t perfect. Mirai was okay this episode. But if she keeps doing things only halfway and thus making Akihito have to solve everything (in order to keep Mirai as the same moeblob she is), I can see myself getting tired of this pretty quickly. Of course, this is on the assumption that the characters are frequently dealing with youmu (or something). I have no idea where this plot is going or any future events, so this show might surprise me. Anyways, I also think a lot of things still need explaining, but hopefully Kyoukai no Kanata can answer all of the questions I have and live up to expectations.
Like we did with Free! last season, a different blogger will be covering this every week.
So look forward to seeing the first blogger next episode. No, we’re not going to tell you who it is.