Last week’s column covered the series Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne (No. 140), in which the lead character is immortal. This week we look at a more series with another immortal lead character, although this series is more pleasant in tone.
Beyond the Boundary began as a series of light novels in 2012 by Nagomu Torii, and then became a 12-part TV series in 2013. There have also been a collection of online short animations, a prequel episode, and two films. It is a series where the visual aspect is seemingly better than the written story. The central heroine is particular appealing.
The story begins with a male schoolboy named Akihito Kanbara spotting a female student attempting to commit suicide by jumping off the school’s roof. Akihito runs to the roof to stop her, although the main reason he does this is because the girl in question wears glasses, which he has a fetish for. The girl in question, Mirai Kuriyama, jumps backwards and saves herself, but then unwraps a bandage around her hand, and removes a ring from her finger. A wound that was covered by the bandage bleeds, and the blood forms a sword which she uses to stab Akihito through the chest. However, he lives.
Akihito lives because he is not entirely human. He is half-human, half-yomu, a form of monster, unseen by most people, that is formed by human resentment. The monsters can take on various guises, including animals and people. Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior, a person who hunts and kills yomu. She is the one remaining member of a clan of warriors who are able to control their blood.
At first she keeps trying to kill Akihito, but later Akihito manages to make her change her mind, and instead tries to build up Mirai’s confidence as a fighter. The story then follows them as they continue to make more friends, Mirai becomes a stronger fighter, while Akihito tries to control the yomu part of himself. Most of all, they must prepare themselves for the arrival of a yomu that could destroy the entire world, in an event known as, “Beyond the Boundary”.
The best bit about Beyond the Boundary is the quality of the animation. The character designs are especially good, with Mirai being a particular draw. The Japanese have a word, “kawaii”, to describe things that are especially cute. With her big red glasses, pink hair and cardigan, Mirai fits the word “kawaii” especially. There are also plenty of moments in the show to make you laugh and the soundtrack is good too.
There are some issues however. The plot is at times sometimes seems confusing, at other times poorly written, and occasionally you find yourself drifting off. Also, you can only get the OVA preview in the American release, not the British one sadly.
Beyond the Boundary is a series which is best in terms of its visual aspect. It makes for a pleasant watch, even if some other aspects might be, to reference Mirai’s catchphrase, “unpleasant”.
Beyond the Boundary is released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Animatsu.