Kyoto 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.