Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 9 – Kill or be killed

Kyoukai no Kanata mirai crying
Time to stab.

Reaching the climax.
Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 9 Review
Beyond the Boundary Episode 9 Review
“Silver Bamboo”
“Shiroganetake”
(้Š€็ซน)

The mysteries of the Nase family and its adversity that is the Society of the Spirit World Warriors are quite interesting to delve into. Even so, with the pacing aside, this episode really shows just how detrimental weak characters can be to vital developments in the story.

Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 9 Impressions

Then don’t say such a thing right before he’s going to get blasted in the face.

IZUMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Nase Izumi badass

TOO COOL.

VISUALS.

This guy…

Fujima Miroku

THIS GUY…

THIS GUYYYYY…

GETREKT.

Nase Izumi

Why is she so fucking awesome?

Shindou Ayaka youmu

Awww…

Nase Mitsuki

IZUMI WITH MEGANE… Oh gawd, I’m turning into that MEGANE FREAK.

REKT.

She’s just mad that Akihito is telling the truth.

Am I supposed to feel depressed?

Scared?

KILL HIM… MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH… MY PLAN WILL BE COMPLETEEEEE.

Kuriyama Mirai showering

Am I supposed to feel something?

Oh, so he’s a plot device now. K.

Not giving her much time, eh?

Kuriyama Mirai sad

This show makes me feel like I’m being a cold-hearted bastard. I probably am though.

LOLOK.

Whatever rank Miroku and Izumi are, the two fight fairly evenly face to face. Leaving the viewers in the dark, the two know exactly what the opposite party wants and there is absolutely no hesitation to even kill the other side. This shows the magnitude of this “Beyond the Boundary,” and just how important it is for both organizations. Then, we have Akihito turning into his overpowered youmu side which is exactly what Izumi wanted to happen. This trouble is a serious one, and Mirai is left in a situation where she must take a stance even if both choices are difficult. Beforehand, Akihito was always around to help solve her problems, but now that he is the problem, she has no real emotional support. The person that is most similar to her and understands her best is Akihito. Mitsuki and Hiromi may be friends, but their bonds have not really deepened to where she can rely on them for something of this caliber. However, that doesn’t mean she’s not influenced by the people around her. Whether she realizes it or not, because she doesn’t have Akihito around, words other people say can have a more profound impact on her especially when she is trying to reach out to find an answer. This is exactly what Izumi wants, a helpless girl with the power to do her bidding.

Nase Mitsuki headphones

LISTENING TO THAT IDOL MUSIC?

Nase Hiromi shirtless

HAWTNESS.

So, he got that from Akihito in the past and they’re not really going to show that much about it? They probably will in the next few episodes though.

THIS IS JUST ONE PART OF THE PLAN.

KEIKAKU DOORI.

KEIKAKUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

Dude, someone arrest him. He’s just trying to pick up girls.

Well, someone needs emotional support.

REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? STAHP IT KYOANI.

Inami Sakura

At least the colors are depressing.

KEIKAKU DOORI.

Well……………

Fujima Miroku

HE ACTUALLY GOT HIS HANDS ON THAT? What a terrible hiding spot.

Kuriyama Mirai depressed

DESPAIR?

Nase Hiromi cellphone

Yell moar.

Kanbara Akihito

Dangerous fireballs.

Damn…

You’re really going to kill him?

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO PROTECT THIS SMILE?!

Kuriyama Mirai light

WILL YOU?

That’s overpowered. Giant fireballs vs little bits of blood.

Kanbara Akihito youmu

He’s mad.

SYMBOLISM.

If anything, the final part always utilizes the instrumentals well.

Finally, the mystery is unveiled. Kanbara Akihito does indeed have part of the “Beyond the Boundary” within him. Does this mean that it was put into him upon birth? Didn’t his father give him his immortal powers? Could this “Beyond the Boundary” be something related with powerful youmu? These questions pop up, but Mirai is focused on just one thing. Manipulated and driven to a point where she must survive, Mirai has to push ahead and kill Akihito before everything gets out of control… But wait. Isn’t this scenario much like how she killed Yui? Does she even realize that she’s doing the exact same thing? Moreover, if she ever finds out that Izumi is involved… she’ll may very well go insane for the only person who accepted her in the beginning would be the person she didn’t really have to kill. Though, she’s pushed to such an extent and can’t really think clearly with all of these emotions clouding her mind. She’s always been impulsive anyways so it looks like things are just going as Izumi planned. A part of me wants Akihito to die off to see what would result. He hasn’t been that interesting anyways, and the potential that lies ahead beyond his death is probably greater than what he can contribute to the rest of the season anyways. Then again, killing off the main protagonist like this is very rare. Given what the tone of this show has been so far, I find it unlikely that we won’t see him again.

Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 9 Review

The visuals are astounding as usual, and the auras of mystery that surrounds Miroku and Izumi give a sense of excitement to the show. However, a large part of this episode is also centered around how Mirai is supposed to deal with this situation. Because developments like this is so character driven, it’s very difficult for me to feel anything towards Mirai and Akihito if they aren’t even good characters to begin with. Quite frankly, their struggle means almost nothing to me as I’ve said in previous episodes, the show hasn’t expanded upon their inner conflicts well at all. Akihito has been largely ignored and serves nothing more than a plot device in this episode while the feeling the show is aiming for is to clearly make viewers feel emotional about this desperate situation. But how can I feel such a way when he has been an uninteresting character that has almost no depth? If I’m feeling that it’s better to get rid of him to find out what happens as a result, then it’s quite clear that I have nearly no attachment to him as a character.

What about Mirai? Well, at the very least I can sympathize with her situation a bit more. The thing that kills her development for me in this episode is just how the dialogue is handled. Again, we see the delivery of cliche lines that make my eyes roll more than anything else. Yes, I know she’s a naive person that would deliver such lines, but the studio has a choice of not including them in the first place to portray it in a better light. The last section where she fights and reminisces to the past is perfectly fine. It’s not great, but it’s fine. I can also understand why she’s crying, but the thing is that because I am not emotionally affected, her tears seem melodramatic however fitting it may be for the situation. Moreover, what about her decision to kill Akihito? Exactly how did she reach this conclusion? Why don’t we really see into her mind until the very end of the episode? All we get is some crappy dialogue, but where is the thought give to this conundrum? Couldn’t they have added a soliloquy, some flashes to the past, or something like that before the final part of this episode? It makes her decision seem unwarranted and without proper build up. They are portraying, but this isn’t necessarily a good portrayal of her inner conflicts.

More than anything else, I’m looking forward to how things develop in the Nase family. Since Hiromi knows what’s going on and that Akihito’s death may be avoidable, we may see some interesting twists and turns. If it weren’t for the mysteries surrounding Izumi and Miroku, I doubt this arc would be nearly as interesting. It would have been more or less the same as the first arc. Seriously, look back to episode 4 and compare it to this one. Has Akihito changed at all in the span of five episodes? Has Mirai developed greatly in these five episodes? Izumi and Miroku aside, nothing much has really changed. We’re still left with shallow characters with some great visuals and an overall nice setting that is waiting to be exploited. I suppose in this arc they are at least taking advantage of the setting itself to drive the mysteries forward which is more than I expected. Still, many core aspects of the show leave a lot to be desired.

Kyoukai no Kanata Mirai and Akihito Wallpaper

NO SPOILERS PLEASE!!!

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  • sonicsenryaku

    I thought this ep did a lot of things right plot-wise….which is funny because a big complaint about this series was how it felt like there was no real plot. Things have taken a much more.interesting turn and I find myself more interested in what’s to come plotwise
    The only thing that bothered me while watching this ep was the character stuff because again.not a lot has been done on that front to make me feel engrossed in them.

    Unlike you though entrav, I didn’t feel absolutely nothing because I.thought they salvaged.a bit of the emotional punch in that silver colored fight scene in the end; it wasn’t much but it was enough for me to keep hoping that something nice would come out of it. While I think there was quite a few missteps in characterization in the beginning of the series…im not going to judge this last arc based on that…as of right now…this arc IS the series to me and ill make judgment based on the last 4 eps (seems lenient but fair). If anything …I got a lil something out of hiromi trying his best to find a way to not kill aki; we see him bromancing it up wit aki quite frequently so I thought he got some justified emotion even if it was just a little. Mirai has changed throughout the series but again we are told of her changes instead of feeling them. Regardless at this point I consider her the MC of the series n she’s turning out to b quite the badass in her shining moments (when did that chick learn how to fly)

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Plot-wise it is definitely moving in a clear direction which is very good as that was severely lacking before. I tend to be a lot more critical of things because… well, I have to steel myself to determine which shows are truly great and which shows are just good or average. As such, if a show manages to impress me emotionally, then it will be a signal of it being great. Then again, no matter how much I prepare myself, emotionally impactful scenes will still be emotionally impactful and this episode just didn’t hit me that hard. It’s just that I’m a bit desensitized to weak developments with how many I have seen and how many I have critically viewed. There are quite a few people who felt something this episode from the looks of various other sites so you’re definitely not alone.

      • sonicsenryaku@gmail.com

        I definitely see where ur coming from in that im sort of similar in that way: I tend to enjoy things very easily n while i can tell you every single detail on why i cant give high regards to a series that im enjoying, i can set aside those flsws so that they dont hamper my enjoyment (most of the time anyway). I tend.to be more critical about series that are trying to be more profound or aiming high in direction n story-telling. In other words, when a series is more ambitious n sets a bar for itself…I set my bar just as high n that’s when I myself tend to be more critical.

        With me, I came into kyokai no kanata knowing exactly what I was getting myself into and knowing the merits of its source material…its a decent light novel so for.me, the anime could only go up (I never expected that anime to be ground breaking or superb or great..just solid or at best good so im more lenient with it). While the anime adaptation never reached the emotional depth n overall quality I.wanted it to, i keep hoping that it can still salvage itself. I do agree that the emotional punch is lacking but I don’t think its completely absent though n hopefully the last 4 eps can capitalize on what lil emotion this series has managed to conjure up so far.

  • zztop

    I heard somewhere that one reason why Kyoani always has consistent,beautiful production quality in their shows is partly because of the large profits they reap from DVD sales, which allow for larger budgets to play with.
    But to get DVD sales, they always pander to their geek/otaku fanbase, which affects the writing quality as present in Beyond the Boundary. Is this true, entrav?
    PS. At this point neither Izumi nor Miroku are trustable. Trust no one, Mirai!!

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      The thing is that all of the studios creating anime are companies. Companies seek profit. Such is the nature of a company otherwise they would not even be able to survive. They will pander where they have to in order to survive, but that does not mean it has to be at the detriment of the show. For example, Free! is definitely pandering to a certain extent, but that didn’t make it a bad show. I don’t mind studios pandering to otaku because that’s how they live, but excessive pandering at the sacrifice of the fundamentals of an anime is not acceptable. As for KyoAni, I don’t really think they do it that excessively. It’s just that this time around the anime is really not that great. Heck, the sales are not fantastic by any means so whatever pandering they do won’t let this show reach Free! level sales.

      • Josh Herbert

        it is not looking like this will be a 25 episode series.

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          Yep. It was originally announced to be 13 episodes.

  • MgMaster

    So like,why didn’t they make Hiromi & Mitsuki the leads again?The mysteries surrounding the Nase family is definitely the best part of this show.Whenever I’m watching this I’m like “Yea,yea,Mirai & Akihito,you guys do your thing now get out of the way,I wanna see more about the Nase family.”

    Sure both Hiromi & Mitsuki(and prolly Izumi too) would need more work if they were to be the leads but KyoAni would also have more to work with.

  • Irenesharda

    I thought this episode very interesting. For we all knew Izumi and the Nase family were up to no good, but you really think that maybe they’re doing it for the good of everyone. However, you then think about what the really stand for and how they prize status and influence over all and how Izumi stated that she thinks ALL youmu are monsters…and you begin to realize who the real villains are here. The amount of manipulation at work here, from saving Mirai just so she can use her against Akihito, to sending out Hiromi and Mitsuki to observe Akkey without telling them why, to her subduing Akihito’s human side, just so he can go crazy and then twist Mirai up in order to kill him, with that will put the “Beyond the Boundary” in the Nase family’s hands, secure their overall status as THE authority on spirit warriors.

    This then begins to put another spin on the association that the juice-box drinking awesome dude is working for. Is he actually a red herring this whole time? Are they really the better of two evils here and they are trying to make sure Akihito and the “Beyond the Boundary” stay out of the Nase family’s hands and Akkey doesn’t end up sealed in one their walls.

    I actually proud of Hiromi and a little ashamed of Mirai. Hiromi took the time to investigate and find out the truth to save his friend. Mirai decided to take Izumi at her word and will just kill the boy she’s beginning to fall for just because someone says she must? Have a little faith, Mirai…

    • Josh Herbert

      why is he always drinking out of juice-boxes?

    • Laciie

      I’m fairly sure it was implied that Mirai was a hired killer (that small flashback, and Hiroomi’s words “You’ve been planning to kill him from the start.”), since Izumi saved her from the punishment for killing Yui.

      But otherwise, I feel that it was a very good episode, at least in comparison to the previous episodes. My friend and I were discussing this, but, we both agreed that the angst in this episode would be a million times better if the first half of the show was executed better, without spending so much time rambling about fetishes and other SoL/joke scenes (I mean, keep it to a minimum at least; this does have dark fantasy elements to it, I’d like it to stick to that) and actually focusing on character development.

      Ah, I’d also like to mention that I’ve been reading this site for a while but I’ve never commented on it, but I really like and enjoy all of the posts!

      • Irenesharda

        My understanding was that she met with Izumi later after the time in Akkey’s apartment and Izumi was just sealing the deal with her manipulation of Mirai. Izumi and Mirai looked like they were wearing the same things they are now, so I assumed it was just a small cut scene in time.

        As for her “killing him from the start” I thought that meant that she had decided from the moment Izumi suggested it to her in the beginning of the episode, to be the one to kill him. She’s never seemed to be deliberating over killing him before now, and has never really show much conflict before towards him as if she was hiding so hidden agenda and the guilt was eating up at her. No, she was perfectly fine with him until this episode, so that’s why I’m thinking that.

        • Laciie

          I was talking about the very, very brief flashback when Izumi and Mirai were standing on the roof together.

          But in any case, that’s too short a period of time for her to plan on “killing him from the start”; which is why I think that Hiroomi meant from actually, the very start, from the beginning of the anime and when they first met. Mirai suddenly stabbing Akkey in the first episode would also make sense. My assumption is that in episode four, she lost the confidence to kill him because she realized that they were similar to each other. But then Izumi reminded her of her job. The scene after episode five would also, in a way, make sense although I’m still not entirely sure what went down there.

          Then when she said, “I wish I had never met him” followed by (or was it before this line?) “If I knew this was going to happen” which could mean that, in this case, she wouldn’t have taken Izumi’s offer if she knew that she was going to get so attached to Akkey.

  • Josh Herbert

    excellent visuals.

  • Heizeru

    At first, I was reluctant to watch the episode because I read some of your review before actually watching it. (Oops.) When I did watch it, I was upset the whole time I watched it and I’m still upset now. It’s been so jumpy, as you’ve said (kinda), with the character development of Mirai and Akihito that Akihito’s death is like starting a story and saying, “never mind”. I would’ve liked KyoAni to elaborate on Mirai and Akihito being used as puppets, which can reflect on their lack of depth of character.

    On the other hand, the Nases are quite interesting – I didn’t expect Hiro’omi to know what was going on because it didn’t look like it at first. It’s nice to see him in the loop, and what will he do with this situation.

    Do you know how many episodes this season will have? I would have rather KyoAni spend time on character development and me getting to know the characters instead of killing them off so quickly (assuming this is what happens to Akihito). I felt stuff in this episode, but I was too annoyed than sad – I like getting to know the characters before the bad $#!& happens to them. The pace was too fast – too much happened and again, not enough character development. ARGH.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Again, I doubt they will actually kill of Akihito, but this is only one season long. 13 episodes. That’s what they announced at least.

  • Flaiboy

    Maybe the character development is weak because the source material is weak . . . ? I would like to hear Akihito’s mom address the issue of his lineage.

    I see this show as an average anime in an average season.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Could very well be because the source material is weak, but I remember some people said that they only had volume 1 and volume 2 was incomplete or something so a lot of it was added into the anime? Not sure though.

      It’s definitely an average anime, but I really don’t think this season is average. In the past year, I don’t think any other season has had as many shows that are at least decent. Granted, nothing really stands out that much, but many shows are 2-cour and take time to get started.

      • Flaiboy

        It seems unfinished source material lends itself to wandering plots and indecision about a shows purpose by the Director(s). Say what we will about a show like Sword Art Online, but at least the director knew where he was going to finish the series and how to get it there. I know the light novel itself is not finished, but the material used for the anime was.

        I understand your logic about what makes a season average. You and I just have different views about what makes it so. Because my time is limited I find myself losing interest in shows that are only decent, but I think we could talk ourselves silly about defining the descriptors about quality. What makes a season above average or better for me means that the season has anime of above average or better in it. If all it has is decent shows . . . well, for me it’s just an average or decent season no matter the number of shows of that quality.

        I feel that last season (fall) was a much better season than this one, given the shows I like to watch. For me it was above average.

  • โ“‘โ“โ“‘โ“จโ—Žโ“ขโ“โ“โ“šโ“”

    Guys, I think Mirai’s decision is based on the scene when Izumi asked Mirai to the coffee shop. Izumi might tell her something very important that Mirai stops hesitating. I’ll wait until the next episode is out to see if I am right.
    I think Izumi can stop Kanbara-kun if she wants. She can undo what she did to him and bring his human side back, so his youmu side step back.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Yep. She can definitely undo it, but she wants the “Beyond the Boundary” so…