Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Beyond the Boundary - Episode 1

When Akihito Kanbara sees a fellow student looking all set to jump off the school roof, he does what anybody would do - rushes to the rooftop to coax her down.  In return, this bespectacled girl does what anyone would do in this situation - she jumps over the fence and stabs her saviour straight through the heart.

Luckily for Kanbara, he's no ordinary human, but rather half-human and half-youmu, which in turn makes him immortal.  Needless to say, the girl in question is far from normal too, and it turns out that she's a Spirit World Warrior - in fact, she's actually the sole survivor of a clan who can manipulate their blood at will (which makes me wonder how she'd fare in a fight with Ganta from Deadman Wonderland).  Thus, a beautiful friendship is born, and by that I mean that Mirai Kuriyama (for that is her name) spends her days stabbing Akihito at every given opportunity, much to his chagrin.

As Kanbara tries to learn a little more about this potentially lethal but largely clumsy girl and what motivates her to stab him so frequently, it turns out that for all of her powers she's actually decidedly terrified of the demonic youmu she possesses the powers to destroy - so much so that she won't return home to her apartment as it contains just such a youmu.  Despite his better judgement - and a stark warning from his childhood friend and daughter of the top banana in the Spirit World Warriors - it seems that Akihito is going to be drawn closer to Mirai as he chooses to help her out with her pest problem.

Ever since Kyoto Animation showed us glimpses during the course of Chuunibyou I've wanted to see them take on something more action-oriented, and it looks as though Beyond the Boundary might just be that.  Of course, this light novel adaptation also has no shortage of the other elements at which the studio are so proficient, with the clumsy Mirai being perfect fodder for their style.  Beyond its visuals its hard to know what to make of this first episode of the series - it throws some pretty substantial blobs of exposition our way one moment and references things without explanation the next.  Thankfully, it has a decent eye for comedy and makes sure you grow to like its characters in short order, which gives it time to sit down and build its narrative over the coming episodes - something which it can hopefully do without falling into the traps that the likes of Red Data Girl have stumbled into in recent seasons.

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