Kyoukai no Kanata (Kyoto Animation) – Genre: Fantasy, School, Supernatural
Episode 01 – “Carmine”
Wow, I don’t even remember the last time KyoAni did anything that wasn’t strictly slice-of-life in an everyday high school setting, but here we are with their latest work for this season, Kyoukai no Kanata. Based on a short series of light novels, the anime follows the adventures of several mysterious and exceptional high school students with equally mysterious and exceptional abilities.
Our main character, Mirai Kuriyama (CV: Risa Taneda), introduces herself as a member of the Spirit World Warrior clan, a group whose members apparently has the gruesome ability to manipulate blood, namely their own. Using their powers, they hunt down spirits known as youmu and kill them before they can possess humans. Despite this disturbing power, Mirai is actually a pretty docile and simple-minded girl and hasn’t even killed a single youmu yet. Just in this first episode, Mirai’s innocence, ineptitude, and airheaded honesty make her a very a likable character.
Next, we have an immortal half-youmu, Akihito Kanbara (CV: Kenn), who might be a little too into girls with glasses. Even though he thinks Mirai’s cute, he still gets annoyed with her attempts to kill him. Knowing that he won’t die, Mirai uses him as practice so that she can become more confident in her ability to take down actual youmu. I’m pretty curious about Akihito’s character. How exactly does a half-youmu come about, and how has he come to terms with his immortality?
The third main character we have is Mitsuki Nase (CV: Minori Chihara), who I’ve already decided is my favorite character of the series if not just for the fact that she looks like a sadistic Mio Akiyama. But I digress. Not much is revealed about her other than she’s the childhood friend of Akihito and takes pleasure in tormenting him, but we can assume that she also has some supernatural powers of her own. Lastly, we have the mysterious fourth main character with a bowl cut, who has yet to be formally introduced.
Given that it’s KyoAni we’re talking about here, things like animation quality are always expected to be of the highest quality. The pink/orange color pallete gives off a nice otherworldly feel, despite the mundane school setting. The supernatural elements and the BGM in particular gave me a very Harry Potter vibe, but that just might be me.
As you could probably tell, this series is heavily character-driven, like most KyoAni works. The story elements are kind of all over the place at the moment, which actually can be disastrous in the long run if not handled properly. I’m excited to see how the story and the characters will be developed with each episode, and hope things will gradually be funneled down into something more coherent as the series progresses.
“And then you told me that you’re immortal. That means I can stab you all I want and you won’t die!” ~ Mirai Furiyama