Kyoukai no Kanata – Episode 12

Alright, KyoAni. Let’s do this. There’ve been stumbles in the past, crippling, foundation-withering stumbles, but these last two episodes have been pretty goddamn kickass. Last episode’s finale in particular was a real standout sequence – if you build on that, you can at least make a respectable landing. This show ultimately failed to be the show I was looking for, but… but goddamnit, it’s still a show! Let’s finish strong.

Episode 12

0:25 – I like this. Some legit romantic drama here – they’re both right


Kyoukai no Kanata

1:05 – Is… is there anyone out there who finds stuff like this funny, or endearing, or anything other than an enormously tonally inappropriate non-gag that’s basically there to scream “better not take this story too seriously! It’s still a stupid anime designed to cater to nonsense sensibilities!”

Seriously. KyoAni are actually good at humor, too. But this… just stop

1:23 – This doesn’t justify the gag! Pick which show you want to be, Kyoukai!

1:37 – It’s like the voice of the moe half of the show is actively arguing with the fantasy/romance half. Some of us like drama with real characters!

Kyoukai no Kanata

2:42 – The funny thing is, that’s the kind of joke you actually can get away with here – a half-bitter quip to lighten an awful mood is a lot more understandable than Akihito’s mom putting on a bunny suit while he gets murdered by a youmu

3:15 – You know what, just have your fun KyoAni. I don’t know what mood you’re going for, or if you realize dramatic tension is incompatible with continuous gags, but clearly you’re having a good time


Kyoukai no Kanata

4:22 – I really couldn’t say. It’s one of the more obvious complaints about this show, but its battle scenes very rarely convey any weight or actual back-and-forth – sometimes they’re given weight by their emotional underpinnings, and sometimes they’re just very pretty, but they’re almost never compelling as action/drama in a “oh shit, he’s winning! no wait, now he’s on the ropes! I can tell because I understand what’s happening and what implies winning or on the ropes!” kind of way. Is Beyond the Boundary that powerful? Well, the show says so – all we see is Mirai batting at laserbeams. We don’t really have any sense of scale here

Incidentally, this is actually an extremely common problem – very few shows manage to make fights that really feel like a visual argument the viewer can follow, and most shows that do fall in the realm of sports shows (Girls und Panzer was brilliant at this – it was that show’s greatest strength). What most shows do instead is what Kyoukai often attempts to do – make a fight more a visual expression of an emotional revelation or plot turn, so the action is basically just a representation of your existing investment, and not something that needs to gripping in the way a good sparring match is gripping

4:48 – Still kind of in love with this guy. It’s obviously not good storytelling to have someone who just represents “evil,” but it sure is funny

Kyoukai no Kanata

4:56 – No commentary, just accidentally paused at a badass frame

5:12 – Excellent. This is what I’m talking about – grounded back-and-forth. Weight. Like a dance

5:49 – Ahaha they’re just announcing their motivations hilarious

6:14 – Good thing I left the keys in the ignition of my dream-bike!

6:59 – Oh my god this episode

Kyoukai no Kanata

7:01 – This episode. I don’t even

It’s like it tries to take itself seriously for ten seconds, and then cracks up and makes a joke at its own expense. It is frikkin surreal

7:26 – OH NO WHAT’LL THEY DO. This was apparently the right episode to make a “grounded versus ungrounded drama” comment for!

7:44 – KyoAni’s expressions so gewd

8:17 – The banter between these two is actually adorable. It feels like they have strong, legitimate chemistry at this point – it’s just odd that they’re cracking jokes as if they’re standing outside the current narrative being snarky about it

9:26 – Aw shit. We Eva now

Kyoukai no Kanata


10:04 – Wait what HOW EVA WE GOING?!


11:05 – OH SHIT SECRETS REVEALED. This show is addicted to revealing secrets well after they’ve lost all emotional relevance!

11:51 – He’s just so damn charming

My god this episode. What are they even doing. They’re actually trying to give both these characters a… and during the last episode… ahahaha…

Kyoukai no Kanata

12:35 – BRINGING IT ALL BACK. No brakes on this train! No steering either, but that’s not stopping us!

12:50 – LOVE WILL WARM THIS YOUMU’S FROZEN HEART! Dear lord I am enjoying this

13:29 – That’s our Mirai! Man, has there ever been more of a “random shit happening” finale than this? First the hollow reality, then a moped chase to… get to the high ground?, then instrumentality, and now we’re back to fighting random monsters, while outside big sis deals with her sudden youmu-harboring inferiority complex, and all the while there’s basically no coherent tension and a bunch of random jokes and man oh man this is a fun, silly ride

13:46 – Yeah! Chop! Slash! You got this! #1 power fantasy would self-insert again

Kyoukai no Kanata

13:57 – Yeah! Fuck that monster! Zing! Kapow!

14:04 – It’s like it’s an animation showcase or, or fuckin’ RWBY or something. No weight, no tension, just a bunch of random shit exploding

14:15 – Yes please let’s get the cat in here. Proper kitchen sink finale requires cat

14:42 – KABOOOOM!

Kyoukai no Kanata

15:00 – …she asks, staring desperately at the audience


15:16 – Relax, giant monster. We understand!

15:42 – How’d ya like a nice slice of METAPHORS?!?


Kyoukai no Kanata

17:03 – Holy shit Mirai is lewd

17:46 – Oh shit we’ve switched from Eva to full-on Maeda!

18:29 – Dude, she’ll be back in like, two minutes. Remember the last time your girlfriend evaporated?

18:33 – I should probably not have laughed at this. FWUMP!


Kyoukai no Kanata

19:01 – So really they didn’t solve anything. It’s almost as if… as if they intentionally left loose ends, so that… no. No, it couldn’t be

19:36 – Frikkin Team Rocket blasting off again

20:48 – Please don’t draw attention to our ridiculous narrative Mitsuki

21:51 – I swear to god if this show starts to pretend it was actually about anything

21:56 – No don’t bring up the stupid color episode titles you twat!

22:17 – BUDUWHAAAAA????

Kyoukai no Kanata

22:30 – OH SHIT








22:53 – Hahaha for real tho that made no fuckin sense

Kyoukai no Kanata

23:08 – Fortunately, the power of love has succeeded in greenlighting a sequel

And Done

Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man. I don’t even know what to say. That was… holy shit that was a wreck. A glorious, continuous, utterly incoherent wreck. No survivors. Only hilarity. Oh man that ending. KyoAni you’ve done it again. You beautiful, beautiful bastards. In one season, they’ve made the most intentionally comedic and most unintentionally comedic episodes of the year. I can’t even. Nice job. Wow.

That was fun you guys. I’m glad we ended on a high note. Ahahahaha…

17 thoughts on “Kyoukai no Kanata – Episode 12

  1. How about this? 1) Izumi said that the answers would come in time, so I think there’s going to be more to the series, maybe a bridging OVA or two, then a second season; 2) KnK going back into Akihito is different this time. He confronted ‘himself’ and established control, so where else would ‘he’ reside? He’s now some serious honcho And 3) (Drum roll, please) This takes a bit of work, but . . . Just as Akihito confronted himself and had a dual existence, the Mirai that Akhito has come to know told the truth. The ‘real’ Mirai disappeard long ago – into the ring. This form that Akihito met was the cursed remnant of the tribe. Just as the real Akihito had KnK as a version of himself inside, this Mirai was the physical presence while the real Mirai was in the ring, though sharing the thoughts and actions. When KnK was overwhelmed, the curse was lifted, and the current figment of Mirai did, indeed, disappear. It wasn’t until Akihito, holding onto the ring, accepted that there will always be evil and good. At that time, the ring – the original bridge between the real and the cursed Mirai – could release her. Simple, eh? I did enjoy this series a lot, and two thumbs up for the effort.

    • Yeah, this finale was sequel-baiting as hell – virtually nothing about the Nase family was explained, the “villain” got away, and Akihito’s past was intentionally left open. Your hypothesis of Mirai’s resurrection could be what they go with, though I think they could take that in any number of directions – it’s one of the half-dozen threads they left wide open for a potential sequel.

      • The weird thing about the sequel bait is that the show didn’t even sell that well anyway (roughly around Nichijou numbers iirc), so it doesn’t make any sense. On the other hand, neither does this finale. Fair enough.

        • Maybe they don’t need as many sales, since it’s in-house? I remember Tamako’s numbers weren’t that hot either, but that one ended up getting a movie anyway.

  2. Phew. Now I’m glad I dropped this show after Episode 5. I don’t think I could’ve taken all of this after how much I loved Episode 1.

    I really hope KyoAni learn sooner or later that comedy is a double-edged sword. It can make people laugh, which is good, but it can also ruin the interest in the more serious stuff, which is bad.

    • Man, the comedy in this show was SO WEIRD. This last episode in particular, it really felt like the characters were actively making fun of and deflating their own story – like the writers couldn’t take the story seriously, and that actually ruined the tone. Granted, this episode’s manic, emotionless direction didn’t help either.

      If you’re a fan of KyoAni’s comedy at all, though, I’d still recommend watching episode 6. As a one-off comedy episode, it’s much, much better than the series overall.

      • See, that’s the thing. I don’t really think I’m a fan of KyoAni’s comedy. I like most of their stuff immensely, but the funny bits have never had me rolling on the floor in laughter(except maybe for Nichijou).

        Now, you may be asking how I managed to get through most of KyoAni’s newer stuff if I don’t even particularly like the humour. The answer to that is that I like the, well, more atmospheric and/or tender moments. Rikka’s and Yuuta’s pinky swear, the final scene of Hyouka, various scenes in K-On(too many to count), stuff like that. That and the gorgeous animation and art. The humour in KyoAni shows always struck me as mostly childish.

        And maybe that’s why I shouldn’t bash Kyoukai no Kanata too much. Maybe it was doomed to fail, in my eyes, not because of any fault of its own, but because my own tastes are too specific. The action and dark stuff took away from the things that I like, and the comedy took away from the things that I like. Liking it may have been too much of an unrealistic expectation on my part.

        • Hah, yeah, it does seem like this show really would have had to thread the needle to appeal to you. Not that that justifies all of its stumbling…

          Well, hopefully we’ll get a bunch of nice character moments in Chuunibyou, at least.

  3. Looking back, it really was such a piece of shit, but I had so much fun! And you did too! Don’t deny it~~

    I never gave much a crap about Akihito or Mirai at all, which is probably why the ending doesn’t offend me in the slightest and I honestly didn’t realise that it was so bad until I looked on the Internet and saw everyone complaining about the copout. Oh well, that’s just the way it goes, I guess.

    This show never lived up to its potential at all, but it certainly had its moments. Wouldn’t mind a season 2, since it’s totally begging for it.

    Best character was the siscon, by the way.

    • Yeah, it was a ride. I actually had more fun this episode than most of the others – actually embracing its lunacy did wonders for my enjoyment. And yeah, it had its moments throughout.

      Agreed on Hiromi, too – I read your article, and also agree that the show regularly dances between embracing its cliches and commenting on them. Personally, I think that’s a really tricky thing to make work – like in this episode, where it kinda felt like the characters weren’t taking their danger seriously because they knew they were in a LN adaptation.

      • Yeah, I don’t think KnK succeeded in blending the meta commentary and the story. That kind of balancing act often does come across as hollow, as if the writer was lacked confidence in their ability to tell a story on its own terms, and that’s certainly how KnK came across as a lot of the time.

        Well, I don’t think KnK totally failed at creating a narrative that made sense without the “it’s an LN adaptation” logic, but the fact that it was so difficult to take seriously in that respect makes me put this whole venture down as a failure, even if I did actually laugh at some of those silly gags.

        Thanks for hearing me out – commenting on your blog helped me put my thoughts in order. Reading your critiques helped too. Your final thoughts in this post were absolutely perfect.

  4. I’m not sure what to think about KnK. Its slow start didn’t do it any favors. I think the main problem was that they couldn’t decide which show they wanted KnK to be. KyoAni finally did a plot-based show but it was like, oh right we’re KyoAni so we gotta moe-ify the shit out of everything. They’re actually really good at that but in a plot-based show like KnK it only takes away from the severity they’re trying to portray. Other times they think they’re a comedy show and insert gags that completely break the tension. I actually love Yayoi but it’s like she’s a character from a different show. She would have been great in a KyoAni SoL show. KyoAni actually does all these things good separately (the KnK idol shorts are quite amusing) but together it becomes quite the jumbled mess.

    I do think everything from episode 4 onwards is a step-up from the first three episodes. The stand-outs are episode 10 (brilliant episode, wow) and episode 6. After KnK it did want me to see KyoAni either do a full-blown idol anime or a horror-esque show (as long as they stay away from the moe cake). OH. And almost forgot. An older woman show. Yes. Cute older women being cute. They sure spoiled us with this anime (Izumi, Nino, Ayaka, Yayoi).

    Last but not least Risa Taneda deserves an award for the good work she did for Mirai (the scream as she was about to stab Akihito, “serves you right!”, …). She’s easily my favorite newbie seiyuu, continually impressing me after voicing Saki from Shin Sekai Yori.

    • Oh man, totally forgot she also voiced Saki! Yeah, awesome work by her – this couldn’t be more of a changeup from that role, but she nailed both of them.

      Completely agree that this was a couple shows awkwardly jammed together. I think that shows in both the jumbled mess we ended up with, as well as the places where the show was strongest – when it focused entirely on comedy (6) or entirely on drama (10/11), it was much stronger than when it tried to split the difference and instead diluted both. But it still shows KyoAni have a lot of talent – they just need to not use it for evil!

  5. It really says something about the show overall when the filler idol episode is considered to be the best one. Or when the incest loving brother is my favorite character. I don’t regret watching this, but man have I been let down. Oh well, Chuunibyou is coming!

    • Yeah, it’s a shame – this was my most-anticipated show at the beginning of this season. Fortunately, the rest of the season kinda blew my expectations away, with Kyousogiga and Samurai Flamenco both being total welcome surprises. And Chuunibyou will definitely ease the sting of this one.

  6. Switching around Mirai’s catchphrase with Agnes’ catchprase from “Bravely Default” actually works really well.
    I really do hope fan artist will reach the logical conclusion.

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