Kyoukai no Kanata – Episode 9

Time to Get Calm, everybody (or, if you’re awful, Everybody Stay Calm). We’ve got one battle already underway and a whole lot of protagonists running from places towards various other places. Meanwhile: Akihito is asleep. I’ve heard this episode is kind of absurdly flush with key animators, meaning action scenes ahoy. I’m hoping this one maintains the visual flare of the earlier scenes while adding a little more sense of weight to the back-and-forth, but honestly I’ll settle for visual flare either way. Let’s get to it!

Episode 9

2:25 – Nice gloomy shot. KyoAni have successfully added “creepily gloomy” to their repertoire

Kyoukai no Kanata

2:37 – Oh god use your hug powers 

2:45 – Adorable even when knocked unconscious by a crazed half-demon 

3:23 – It feels almost like a deliberate choice  to completely separate their daily personalities from their endless wells of badassitude. Probably for the best – a KyoAni show centering on a group of brooding, antisocial badasses would be the worst thing

3:48 – Very considerate of them to move their fight to this dramatically appropriate location 

3:50 – Well, that’s pretty sweet.  Goes nicely with the vest, too

Kyoukai no Kanata

4:19 – Oh yeah. We’re gettin’ some animation today 

5:00 – That was really damn effective.  Not necessarily the stakes of the fight, since I’m not particularly invested in either of these characters – but the fight itself proceeded very fluidly, with good give-and-take and an actual sense of weight to the characters’ actions (a neat trick when both characters can fly). That felt much better than the earlier stuff

5:03 – Oh god look at its tiny paws holy shit stahp 

5:12 – Take it it is too adorable for this world 

Kyoukai no Kanata

5:59 – This fight I’m less enthusiastic about.  This is just A Problem To Occupy The Siblings – it has no bearing on any of the actual conflicts of the story, and mainly just adds a little fake dramatic tension while letting Mirai and Akihito have their moment

6:48 – I suppose you could say it was designed for the sake of their relationship,  but their actual bond was never really in doubt

7:05 – Great trick.  It always adds a little to the world to see these practical glimpses of what having crazy powers could imply for your daily life

8:17 – Noooope, still completely appropriate 

8:31 – D’awww . Bold of them to try and land that emotional beat back-to-back with his photo collection. Still a nicely chosen mundane detail, though – it’s good to have a beat like this be something small and relatable

10:28 – Another nice gloomy background 

Kyoukai no Kanata

11:07 – So like… who exactly did Akihito’s mom sleep with?  Did she seduce the demon-lord of all youmu or something? Somehow I don’t think Akihito’s genes resulted from one of your garden-variety youmu 

11:53 – Come now, tell Mama Sakura all about it 

12:40 – KyoAni really are the legit equal opportunity studio 

14:15 – So I guess that clarifies the rest of the plot?  Why does she care what happens to Akihito, though? Eh, too much effort, show too silly

14:26 – If this show wants me to not like this guy, they’re not doing a good job of it . Thanks for the heads-up, guy!

Kyoukai no Kanata

14:59 – I really like the visual effect for the Calm . Less enthusiastic about how little sense of urgency there is about any of this. They were tracking down Akihito, about to fight him, and then… went to sleep. And he’s apparently off rampaging somewhere. Now she’s at school again. Hm

15:25 – Hiromi and Akihito clearly have the best relationship in this show 

15:57 – Yes. It’s his defining character trait 

16:18 – Another nice gloomy shot 

This episode has like no pacing whatsoever. It’s just a series of slow scenes in sequence. Jeez

Kyoukai no Kanata

17:12 – Thank you.  Fuckin’ Hiromi on top of things, as always. Just give him the goddamn show

17:45 – I have arbitrarily decided this guy is the second-best character,  and so therefore this scene is great

18:18 – Yeaaah demon poweeers.  Also, Akihito is apparently the Chuuni Endbringer, Destroyer of Worlds

18:43 – Beautiful shot 

20:44 – At least we’ll always have the flare 

Kyoukai no Kanata

21:16 – Fight choreography in general has been much improved this episode 

And Done

Hm. That last sequence there was pretty excellent – solid direction/pacing, really striking shots… even the sound design was top-notch. I don’t really care about her struggle here, but that’s not this episode’s fault – if I wereinvested, that sequence would have really worked. That lack of investment did hurt in the middle stretch, though – pulling back from the frenetic opening for ten minutes of gloomy skies and ‘woe is me’ didn’t do the episode any favors. Which I guess is the show in a nutshell, after all – when it leans on its strong production, it’s quite reasonable, but when it tries to ride on the characters’ emotional journeys… eh.