Beyond the Boundary: A dorky highschool girl is the last hope of her clan to hunt down and kill all evil. Sure, you might have heard this plot before, but… has it ever looked SO GOOD?!
In A Nutshell
Mirai Kuriyama is the sole survivor of a clan of Spirit World warriors with the power to employ their blood as weapons. As such, Mirai is tasked with hunting down and killing “youmu”. One day, Mirai meets Akihito Kanbara, a rare half-breed of youmu in human form. From then on, the two form an impromptu friendship that revolves around Mirai constantly trying to kill Akihito, in an effort to boost her own wavering confidence as a Spirit World warrior. Eventually, Akihito also manages to convince her to join the Literary Club, which houses two other powerful Spirit World warriors, Hiroomi and Mitsuki Nase. Their misadventures will soon turn into a fight for survival as the inevitable release of the most powerful youmu, Beyond the Boundary, approaches.
Meet the Characters
Mirai is the female main character of the series. She is a first-year high school student. Mirai uses a carmine-colored sword out of her blood as her weapon of choice. However, overuse of this ability results in severe anemia. She isolates herself from others because she fears her ability might harm those she cares about. She has a blog where she usually posts her misfortunes and she says “how unpleasant” a lot.
Akihito is the male main character and he is in his second year of high school. He’s a half youmu-half human hybrid, a species that is very rare. This status makes him immortal, having the ability to quickly heal from any wound. Akihito has a passion for girls with glasses and so he often calls Mirai a ‘bespetacled beauty’. Even though he seems like a happy, out-going guy, Akihito is actually not that happy with his life as a hybrid.
Hiroomi is a third-year high school student and a member of the Literary Club. He has a severe case of “I’m obssessed with my little sister”, which is why he likes hearing her call him “big brother”. Hiroomi is very good at setting up cages and barriers against youmu, although his abilities make him very sensitive to the cold.
Mitsuki is Hiroomi’s younger sister and the president of the Literary Club. She is annoyed by her brother’s obsession with her and likes teasing Akihito. Due to her belief that Spirit World Warrior should live solitary lives, she has missed many experiences while growing up. Mitsuki has a rodent-like youmu called Yakiimo as a familiar.
A Brief History of Beyond the Boundary: the When, Where and How
Beyond the Boundary (also known by its japanese title, Kyoukai no Kanata) is a Japanese light novel series written by Nagomu Torii and illustrated by Tomoyo Kamoi. An anime television series adaptation produced by Kyoto Animation aired in Japan between October and December 2013. An OVA was released in July 2014 and a two-part anime film project called Beyond the Boundary the Movie: I’ll Be Here also premiered in March and April 2015.
The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America for streaming and home video release.
Why It’s Awesome
Supernatural and fantasy are two of the most explored genres in light novels. So much that it’s becoming harder and harder to get anime adaptations that feel innovative and that can grasp our attention despite using the same tropes. Beyond the Boundary doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table when it comes to its premise, but it still manages to execute plot points in a way that feels refreshing to the audience.
Sure, high school clubs are nothing that we haven’t seen before in anime, and the characters are not groundbreaking either, but the whole “we share the secret of having supernatural powers and saving the world” is always fun to see. In that regard, it works in a similar fashion to other urban fantasy anime like Noragami or Blue Exorcist, except that the characters still get to go to school with other regular humans and the romance has a very important role. The series also has some unexpected twists and turns in the middle of the season and it has something many anime of its genre lack: an unpredictable, up-to-your-interpretation ending. Beyond the Boundary is one of those anime in which while you might not think much of it while you’re watching it, you will be glad that you did once you’ve finished it.
The animation is everything you could expect from Kyoto Animation: the scenery and visuals are stunning and the action scenes are fast and thrilling. Regardless of whether you end up liking the direction the story takes or not, Beyond the Boundary is one of those series worth watching if only because everything just looks SO beautiful.