Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Beyond the Boundary - Episode 2

Having persuaded Mirai to deal with the youmu in her home, this probably isn't the best time for Akihito to be spacing out in some kind of dark nightmare - luckily for him, she at least has enough presence of mind to save him from said youmu while he's away with the fairies.

However, actually catching the little begger proves to be rather more difficult, especially given Mirai's strange blend of razor-sharp precision and terrible clumsiness - indeed, she's all set to give up on catching the youmu entirely until she's reminded that there's money in it for her if she succeeds.  Even then, the prospect of delivering the final blow is one that makes Kuriyama freeze, only reluctantly finishing the job once her own life is at risk.

So, what does one do when one has defeated a youmu?  Luckily, Kanbara knows exactly who to go to when it comes to getting Mirai's "catch" appraised, although she's more than a little shocked to find that it's actually other youmu who are dealing in this business with Spirit World Warriors.  Ultimately it turns out that this job well done really isn't worth much at all, but with concerns about the aggression shown by this particular youmu coupled with warnings of the approach of a powerful being known as the Hollow Shadow there are likmely to be tougher times ahead, while Mirai seems determined to keep her distance for others due to reasons she finally divulges at the end of this episode.

I genuinely really want to like Beyond the Boundary - it looks great, the actions scenes (however brief) feel satisfying, and there seem to be some interesting narrative elements building up.  However, the series as a whole thus far has felt directionless - we jump from scene to scene with little to tether things together, characters are introduced in a half-hearted way and seem to exist as little more than talking tropes at this point in time, and most of the attempts at comedy are crowbarred in so clumsily that they frequently break any broader fascination with plot elements being discussed or whatever else is going on on-screen.  Whether it's the fault of the source material or not, I'm finding myself starting to actively dislike Beyond the Boundary at this early stage, so I really hope it can do something to pull me back from the brink.

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