Flashback: Kyoukai no Kanata

kyoukai2Kyoto Animation’s attempt to introduce us with their new style, action horror. Did this experiment turn out as they expected?

It seems Kyoto Animation is experimenting with different genres. Looking at the past of KyoAni shows they all seemed to be within the familiar romance and slice of life series. A sweet spot where KyoAni stayed for a long time and was comfortable with.

Free! seemed to be a serious attempt to engage new crowds with anime and generate more sales. Kyoukai no Kanata was supposed to be the anime to revitalize the image of KyoAni only being a slice of life factory. Kyoukai no Kanata had to prove that KyoAni was indeed innovative and daring. But Kyoukai no Kanata didn’t fully accomplish that mission.

KyoAni indeed stepped on unfamiliar territory with Kyoukai no Kanata. The blood was flowing and the action scenes were eyecandy, yet the show remained true to KyoAni’s style with its familiar character designs and narrative. They even couldn’t resist a true idol group performance, which was actually one of the better moments of the show. Showing that KyoAni is best in slice of life.

On the flipside, I appreciate KyoAni’s attempts to reinvent themselves. I am sure there are many other studios who would like to do the same, but don’t have the financial resources for it. Despite not being the best KyoAni series, Kyoukai no Kanata was a brave attempt.

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2 thoughts on “Flashback: Kyoukai no Kanata

  1. milesvibritannia says:

    I enjoyed Kyoukai no Kanata to an extent. It’s certainly different from a majority of other KyoAni stories and it was nice to see the studio explore some new territory, even a lot of the typical KyoAni tropes were still very much present. The visuals were great and the fights looked glorious as expected so if nothing else I can say I’m pleased about that.

    I found the development a bit disappointing though, and I think a large part of that is its runtime. 12 episodes may work for something like Chuunibyou, but Kyoukai no Kanata’s world has too much potential to be properly explored in such a limited time, especially when a decent chunk of it is spent on the silly moe aspects KyoAni is known for. The characters weren’t thoroughly explored either. I suppose Akihito and Mirai had some good moments together and the parallels they had in their circumstances were something I quite appreciated, though I do wish there was a bit more to their characters since most of their screentime is dominated by their base personalities rather than any great depth to them. More than that though, I was disappointed with the lack of characterization for the Nases. They were fairly likable and definitely help make the series interesting, but Hiroomi and Mitsuki didn’t display a whole lot of growth and weren’t truly fleshed out, hopefully if they make a season 2 for this they’ll get more time to shine.

    Kyoukai was enjoyable for me and I wouldn’t say I regret watching it, but I do wish it was given more time for development and depth. It seems like a lot of recent KyoAni series have been floating around the pretty good but not especially great range (and I’ve heard many others who would translate that as being around the terribad range, as much as I’d disagree) so I’m hoping that KyoAni will step it up and bring another solid story to the table. It might be a bit much to ask for, say, an After Story, but at least something along the lines of Chuunibyou S1 (I personally found Ren disappointing, enjoyable though it was) or Hyouka quality would be fine by me.

    • ninetybeats says:

      Kyoukai no Kanata left out a lot with the story. Mainly because I believe that KyoAni thought having a great introduction to the setting wouldn’t be needed. They started head on and left the viewer guessing what the story and world was about.

      On the moe, I don’t really mind actually:p I mean if it’s cute I don’t mind. Admittedly in the setting of Kyoukai no Kanata it wouldn’t really fit, because it had a more dark feel to it. I wonder what KyoAni will do next, the visual style is a winner for them so we won’t see that change any time soon.

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