Beyond the Boundary: Episode 2

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Recap:We learn more about Akihito’s past as he brings Mirai to claim the bounty on her first youmu kill.

Iro’s Thoughts:
Jeez KyoAni, I really wish you’d change things up. Alas, despite some truly pretty action scenes, this episode falls even deeper into the pitfalls of the last. Akihito is still dangerously boring as a protagonist, basically around to be The Regular Guy and giving everyone else a target to bash with unfunny snark. Mirai is still a few tacos short of a combo plate (sorry, I mean “cute and clumsy”), acting like a child half the time and melodramatically mysterious the rest. he aside with Akihito’s mother is a baffling and unnecessary opportunity for fanservice, and the actually relevant bit of exposition about the Hollow Shadow could have easily been fulfilled in a conversation with Ayaka.

I see now it was foolish of me to expect anything other than the usual KyoAni fare. Plenty of people enjoy this style of storytelling, but I’m not among their numbers. Good buddy Marlin is going to be taking over the coverage from here on out.

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Marlin’s Thoughts:
I was generally pleased with this week’s episode. The action was incredibly solid, as we would expect from KyoAni. It would seem all of those Chuu2 fight scenes were for training to make this kind of show. If this kind of quality can be kept up in every fight, then I believe the show will be worth watching for the mere spectacle alone. Beyond that, I also started really warming up to our main pair. Mirai was cute in episode one but this episode somehow managed to make her look like a badass and even more adorable in the span of five minutes. You can tell there’s a lot of history we just don’t know about yet that keeps her from being forthcoming, but her actions show just how earnest she is. Akihito is still a bit snarky for my tastes, but he’s gentler when trying to deal with Mirai, which shows that its probably more of a front after having to deal with Mitsuki for so long.

There was definitely a small amount of weakness when it came to the dialogue this week. Like a Joss Whedon production, I felt like they were almost trying too hard to be witty with each new line. Sure, if my friends mom sent him that kind of card I’d give him crap for it too, but the level of which they’re able to quip back and forth made it seem like a comedy routine more than a genuine interaction. I also wish the talk between Mirai and Akihito was a bit longer, and didn’t have her keep calling him a creep, but I understand that this is the beginning of the show. He needs to do more earn her trust before she can start to open up to him.

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While I wish Mom’s warning came with more of a visual showing of why we should fear the Hollow Shadow, especially considering this is KyoAni and we know they’re good for it. Still, the big bad is clearly established and this gives our heroes an excuse to be attacked by more creatures as we await its appearance. With Iro’s general displeasure for the series at this point, it looks like the reins are getting passed to me. Look forward to lots more Mirai screens.

Lifesong’s Thoughts:
That fight was beautifully animated, seeing what KyoAni can do with this kind of thing is fun. Now that we have a few more hints at what is going on I can say for sure that I’m not having any troubles getting invested in this.

Our protagonist’s mother gave me a good laugh, that is how you do an infodump right there! I’ll be interested to see how they fight this new youmu, assuming they don’t stay put anyway and what fun would that be?

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