Beyond The Boundary Creates A World Of Beauty, Humour And Young Love

Beyond the Boundary Creates a World of Beauty, Humour, and Young Love

Back in November, I called Beyond the Boundary a must-watch of the season. Two weeks back I called it one of the top five anime of 2013. So now, let's break down in detail what makes Beyond the Boundary so great.

Good — Thrown into a Mysterious World

Beyond the Boundary Creates a World of Beauty, Humour, and Young Love

The world itself is perhaps the greatest star of Beyond the Boundary. Set in modern times, the world of Beyond the Boundary, is clearly a world hidden within our own. While we, normal humans, never see them, there are numerous Japanese spirits, monsters, and gods — called "Yomu" — which move through the shadows of our world. Some of the Yomu are human looking — or at least have human forms — while others look truly monstrous. Some even seem more like separate realities than anything physical.

But more than just having a compelling world is how Beyond the Boundary presents said world to us, the viewers. Namely, we are thrown head-long into the world and are expected to catch up on our own. Very little of the setting is explained through expository dialogue. After all, the entire cast of the series knows how the secret half of the world works — explaining it among themselves would be foolishly redundant in context. However, that is not to say no information at all is explained to us as Mirai — being a newbie to the area — is able to ask the questions that are vital to our understanding of the plot.

Good — A Tale of Outcasts

Beyond the Boundary Creates a World of Beauty, Humour, and Young Love

When it comes down to it, Beyond the Boundary is the tale of two characters: Akihiko, an immortal half-human half-Yomu, and Mirai, a Yomu hunter with the ability to control her own blood and use it as a weapon. While it does not appear so at first, both are outcasts due to their inborn talents. As a hemokinetic, Mirai is considered cursed and is actively shunned by the Yomu-hunting community. Akihiko, while objectively treated better by those around him, is no less isolated as those that appear to be his friends are really guards tasked with containing — or killing — him should he go out of control. Watching how their common outcast nature draws the two together into friendship — and later, love — is the emotional core of the entire anime.

Good — Offbeat Humour

Beyond the Boundary Creates a World of Beauty, Humour, and Young Love

Beyond the Boundary thrives on its own quirky sense of humour. Whether its Akihiko's obsession with girls in glasses or Mirai's constant quips about how everything is "unpleasant," there are a lot of laughs to be found amongst the series' dramatic moments. (And the supporting cast is no slouch in that department either.) All the comedy comes to a head around the series' midway point where the cast tries to kill a particularly annoying Yomu who covers his victims in a smelly bile when startled and can only be distracted by pretty girls singing pop songs. It is exactly as hilarious as it sounds.

Good — A Well-Built Twist

Beyond the Boundary Creates a World of Beauty, Humour, and Young Love

[Skip to the next section to avoid major spoilers.] The twist in Beyond the Boundary is not one of plot as much as it is of characterization. While both Akihito and Mirai are main characters, it is Akihito who we spend more time with. However, over the course of the series, we learn much of Mirai's past — enough that it seems safe to assume we know the motivations to all of her actions thus far. Except that while all her actions appear to stem from her being an example of the "talented but shunned" archetype commonly seen in anime, we eventually discover that everything she has done in the series had a completely different — i.e., far more sinister — motivation. In other words, the twist is built on our — and Akihito's — assumptions, and it brilliantly forces us to re-adjust how we view her and her role in the series.

Good — Beautiful Animation

Beyond the Boundary Creates a World of Beauty, Humour, and Young Love

Beyond the Boundary is a truly beautiful anime to watch. The characters and Yomu all have distinct and creative designs. And, while the backgrounds are often dark, attacks in the action scenes have a luminous brilliance that turn each fight into a visual feast. Moreover, the artistic design, mainly in how the various magics appear, are both striking and otherworldly. And like the summer season's Sunday Without God, Beyond the Boundary makes great use of sunsets and other transitional lighting to great effect. If you are aching for some eye candy, Beyond the Boundary is definitely the place to get it.

Mixed — You Have to Pay Attention to Everything

Beyond the Boundary Creates a World of Beauty, Humour, and Young Love

Of course, the other side of having very little straightforwardly explained to you is that it is quite easy to get lost if you aren't hanging on every word. Paying careful attention becomes even more important as the show goes on. This is most true in the final three or four episodes, where important information comes in a rush. Characters' true motivations and plans are revealed left and right, with scenes of otherworldly action coming in quick succession. For some, this may be one anime that requires a re-watch of the last few episodes in order for everything to make sense.

Final Thoughts

Beyond the Boundary Creates a World of Beauty, Humour, and Young Love

In the end, Beyond the Boundary is a great anime and truly one of the best of last year. It has excellent characters, a believable love story, an exciting world, and an offbeat humour that I personally could not get enough of. If you like modern fantasies, captivating settings, and beautiful art, Beyond the Boundary is definitely for you.

Beyond the Boundary aired on Tokyo MX in Japan. It can be watched for free with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.


Comments

    The ending itself was horrible though, at least in my opinion. Also the twist itself doesn't really have as much impact as it first seems and is ultimately unnecessary in the long run

      I thought it was pretty good. In terms of the ending, I was a bit confused - especially at the very last scene. If anyone else is confused, after some internet scouring, someone posed the theory:

      SPOILER.

      That the Mirai at the end of the series, was actually a yomu created by Akihito, seeing as she was his deepest desire. Not sure if that was what you're referring to, but I didn't pick that up at all (was a bit abstract).

      Last edited 08/01/14 8:26 pm

        Nah It was kind of explained prior to that.

        when the girl stabs him in the earlier episodes she dies, choosing to end her own life rather than killing him. The her you see on beyond the boundary, its just kind of a memory/not all of her, ie not real. So when they actually defeat beyond the bounsry she fades away with it.

    I just got bored. Was one of those mini plots each episode then something meaningful actually happening the last few again.

    I kinda lost interest in the story so I only watched the anime for the qt megane action :P

    It was a good show, but I'm disappointed with the story building. Idk.

    Thank You for that anime article. I watched Silver Spoon, Beyond The Boundary and The Devil Is A Part Timer.
    My favourite part out of Beyond the Boundary was near the end of episode 11 where Akkey gets the Youmu stone and runs off to aid Mirai, I loved how the songs fit in so well. The end song always came in at the right moments with its starting beats. Akkey's mother was also hilarious :3.
    This my 3rd Favourite anime after Angel Beats and Silver Spoon (1st,2nd)

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