Kyoukai no Kanata – Episode 11

And we’re back. Last episode was quite an upset – plot-wise and direction-wise, I thought it was actually pretty fantastic. Atmospheric, creative, full of nice little details… on its own, I felt it was a very strong episode. That said, I’m pretty much never a fan of this “care about characters in retrospect” style of reveal – of all the things to keep as a secret, I think “the reason you should be invested in what’s happening” is about the worst possible choice. Felt it was a bad choice in Fate/Zero (I found that show’s entire first half pretty much emotionally sterile, and scattering the events of the longer flashback sequence from season 2 throughout would have probably fixed that entirely), felt it was a bad choice here. The only way I feel it can work is if you’re already invested in the characters involved – and that not being the case here was pretty much the fatal flaw for what was in the abstract an extremely compelling episode.

But negativity aside, great direction and smart storytelling are nothing to sneeze at, and last episode had plenty of those. I’ve also heard this episode has animation out to here, so that should be fun. Let’s get to it!

Episode 11

0:18 – Silence is a very powerful effect! It can create tension like few other tools, and fits very naturally with this snowy landscape. It feels like this show got very confident very quickly

Kyoukai no Kanata

0:29 – Well this sequence is some lovely fucking animation

0:55 – A great image. Things are getting serious(er)!

1:30 – …still not really getting much from this ‘embodiment of human hatred’ stuff. But hey, hipster dude can have his fun

3:17 – One question answered. Akihito has lost virtually all his Dark Flame Master powers

3:47 – Fortunately Mirai is Dark Flame Master enough for the both of them

Kyoukai no Kanata

4:29 – This was a thing? I thought he just had Much Style

5:30 – Another shot of this wonderfully cluttered interior. Obviously what a spirt-gem-vendor’s house should look like

6:08 – Don’t preach to me, ya damn kids!


6:34 – That KyoAni color palette. This show sure loves its pinks and oranges. The entire thing is Mirai-colored

Kyoukai no Kanata

6:55 – Again… sure, whatever. Making vague allusions to human hatred two or three times in a show does not a theme make – and if this is just pure fantasy exposition, then hand me the remote

7:10 – Akkey you are the specialist snowflake of them all

This is actual foreshadowing, though, so that’s fine. Big reveal coming when mom comes back, I’m sure

7:49 – Does it make me a bad person that I pretty much never find these speeches at all compelling? Look. Dude. She had two choices. She gave that choice away, leaving it basically up to fate. I know you’re all pissy because your girlfriend chose to save you, but somebody had to bite the bullet here. It’s like that one dude in the zombie movie who, when the whole cast is all nice and secure in their fortress, just has to open the fucking gate to let in one more person, because “they’re not infected! you’re all monsters for not saving them!” In my zombie movie, that guy gets tied up and tossed overboard. NO HEROES

8:57 – Man, KyoAni do make some lovely backgrounds

9:51 – Ooh, I like this one too

Kyoukai no Kanata

11:06 – This is working pretty well. The “by the time you read this” is a classic trick, and I don’t think they’re overplaying it. This episode also built the drama in the right direction – a slice of Mirai’s struggle at the beginning, hugging close to Akihito as he struggles to come to terms with her death, and then this when we’re closest to his headspace. Much more emotionally effective than last episode

11:54 – Mirai’s up to some crazy shit. Kinda funny that KyoAni just tosses off this insane action sequence in the backdrop here

12:17 – Oh screw you KyoAni. I do like us just getting the back of Akihito as he cries here – no need to oversell this

12:45 – Is he… is he doing a cackling villain monologue directly to the audience? That’s… that’s so absurd I can’t even complain about it

Kyoukai no Kanata

13:29 – AHAHAHahahaHahAHaHAH

13:34 – KUKUKUKU

13:49 – KITTY NO. This show has gone too far!

14:36 – Jeez. Whole bunch of sweet little action sequences this episode

Kyoukai no Kanata

15:45 – I don’t know what the fuck’s going on

16:48 – Woop, mom’s back

17:32 – This is quite the time for a gag

19:08 – Pretty

Kyoukai no Kanata

19:18 – Another mystery solved! Pretty random solution, though

19:47 – KyoAni calling their own sequels. Cheeky bastards

21:05 – Friggin’ fantastic use of the OP here. This sequence is fantastically directed, too – lots of energy, building the tension perfectly. No complaints

21:43 – Yep, great work in general here

And Done

Damn! Another extremely strong episode. That finale bit there was thrilling – one of the best sequences of the season, I’d say. At this point, it just kinda sucks for me that I’m not invested, because I’m certainly impressed by most of the things the show has done the last couple episodes. The way they’ve set up this whole fantasy scenario seems pretty arbitrary to me, but the individual scenes they’re resolving it with are excellent on the visual/direction level. Kyoukai no Kanata may not have ultimately “worked” for me, but it’s finishing stronger than I could have imagined.

4 thoughts on “Kyoukai no Kanata – Episode 11

  1. I also feel a bit sad about how this show could have been a real gem but didn’t quite get there. Personally, I like it, and quite a bit recently. I feel it has all the right ingredients, they just weren’t cooked 100% properly. The visual storytelling aspect was fantastic throughout,not only is this anime wonderfully pretty to look at, the creators really do know how to tell things visually. There were some incredibly strong moments here. Sadly, it stayed at moments, and in between, there was just too much randomness to build something truly big and amazing. Still, I started watching from the beginning again yesterday, and I feel I can enjoy things a lot more, now that I know where we’re headed.

    Also, as Fate/Zero is in easily in my top 5 anime, I naturally have to disagree about it being the wrong vhoice to have the flashback coming so late in the story. 😉 In my opinion, they had to hold that back in order to keep Kiritsugu from becoming the obvious main characters from the start. If you haven’t seen Fate/Stay Night when watching Zero (like me), you really feel that everyone can die and have absolutely no possibility of knowing who (if anyone) will end up winning the grail in the end. And I don’t think we’re actually supposed to feel incredibly much for Kiritsugu after the flashback just because it’s tragic, as it leaves no doubt he made a very conscious choice back then, at least Natalia herself thinks that way, Still, my emotional enjoyment of Fate/Zero does come mostly from intellectual stimulation, not necessarily emotional engagement.

    • Yeah, there is some truly great stuff in this show, and the direction/visual design is extraordinarily strong. Although the final product makes me sad, I’m actually pretty excited to see what this director will do next – more reliable KyoAni directors, particularly ones apparently interested in telling fantastical love stories, is always a good thing.

      As far as Fate/Zero goes, if the show was trying to hide who the main characters were, it didn’t really work for me. The show set up the rivalry between Kiritsugu and Kirei from the start, you pretty much always knew characters like Kariya or Ryuunosuke were doomed (their character development kinda gave this away), and Waver felt like a pretty clear B-plot (though I actually think his arc was the most well-portrayed of any, which his clear motivation certainly played a part in). Personally, I think setting up Kiritsugu as the acknowledged antihero early on would likely have lent a lot more purpose/momentum to the first half.

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