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Kekkai Sensen & Beyond – 12 (END) »« Kekkai Sensen & Beyond – 10

Kekkai Sensen & Beyond – 11

「妖眼幻視行 前編」 (妖眼 Genshikou Zenpen)
“Spectral Eyes, Phantom Vision, Part 1″

Michella enters the stage, as does one other.

This episode was killer, even though it lacks many of the Kekkai Sensen hallmarks, most specifically its riotous sense of humor. This is an undeniably tense, harrowing take on the world of Hellsalem’s Lot, where Leo is stripped of the power of his friends, with only himself to depend on—and his sister Michella Watch (Mizuki Nana), finally in the flesh, to protect. She may know, or at least suspect the monster walking at her back, but she can’t do anything about it. It’s up to Leo. And Leo feels woefully unprepared for the task.

To be clear, I’m not enjoying this just because it’s gotten serious. That ain’t (necessarily) my jam. I enjoy the goofy Kekkai Sensen as well. I enjoyed this episode because it’s going in fresh directions, asking interesting questions, and threatening to upset the status quo. It’s something new, rather than treading water as we have been for a while. And the menace level is off the charts, which makes for compelling viewing indeed.

It does make sense why they couldn’t use this to undergird a season-long serious plotline, because this is going to move fast, it needs to move fast, and there’s no other way it could go. There’s only Leonardo to face it, and the danger is already here, and had they even tried to build this antagonist up ahead of time it would have ruined the horrifying surprise. So it makes sense, though they could have done it in addition to something else. But I’ll talk more about that junk in the final impressions next week.

For this episode, I loved Black showing up again, and how everyone just wanted to see Leonardo’s sister, especially K.K., who rose even higher on my Best Characters list for being a irreparable afternoon soap opera junkie. She’s got personality for days, I tells ya! I was also really impressed with the end battle, not for the flashy moves, but because I couldn’t think up an alternative for Leo either, and as soon as he input the Blood Breed’s name, it left us with a cliffhanger that just makes you go guuuuuuh. Trying to keep up this tone for too long would erode what makes Kekkai Sensen so unique, but this might be one of the best pivots to a super-dramatic last two episodes I’ve seen in ages. For that, at least, it has my respect. We’ll find out next week if it can finish out strong.

Random thoughts:

  • Here’s what I wrote in my notes about Toby McLachlan: “If this weren’t a story, I’d say he seems great. Since it is, and it’s this story, I assume he’s a demon.” Next note: “THERE IT IS JEEZ.” Called it!
  • White . . .

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: The Last Jedi SUPER SPOILERY Review.

 

Preview

December 16, 2017 at 11:09 pm
6 comments »
  • December 17, 2017 at 9:40 amOri

    I want to love Kekkai Sensen & Beyond so much, but I, like you, just don’t really like the episode of the week format.

    I feel like Michelle’s story line could easily be brought up a earlier, a little bit at a time, give us a bit of the back story of her life after Leo went to Hellsalem’s Lot and how she met her fiance. Doesn’t have to take up much time at all, just a few minutes an episode. If they had done that this final story line would mean so much more. As it is, Michelle to me is just an empty husk that Leo dotes on, nothing more, and I can’t really bring myself to care.

    White, on the other hand, I do care about, so I am glad to see her in the preview. I am not going to get my hopes up though, since I she could really just be a flashback and we may end up not getting any new footage of her. I hope we do though, and I hope at least Leo can talk to her (even if she doesn’t speak back).

    • December 17, 2017 at 2:03 pmStilts

      They could have hinted at what Michella was doing more earlier on, this is true. They could have even gotten away with it if it was mostly peeks into her life/character that do not specifically bring up her fiance or anything about this arc (which would have ruined the surprise), but merely tacitly told us all, “She will be important in the end game.” Much like the glimpses of White were for most of the time, though they had more space to hint at her situation due to its nature. Hinting at this situation would have sapped the fun out of previous episodes, because while White could live with an ill-defined disease, it would be unconscionable to leave Michella with a demon at her back once it’s been glimpsed.

      That said, they could have done another Michella story early on, or done this one early on and ended with another Michella story, or something. Something to say this all was going somewhere, even if this was a relatively effective pivot toward the serious last two episodes.

  • December 18, 2017 at 2:38 pmmac65

    I wish the whole series thus far was like this episode.
    I think they could have done the character highlighting
    in a better way.

    This episode really kept me at the edge of my seat – were his
    friends going to figure it out and help him (they didn’t).
    How dangerous is this monster – I don’t think he’s going to
    randomly kill Leo, but he’s using Michella as a stepping stone
    to something… Would he dispose of Michella after he possesses
    Leo? And even if Leo was able to tell them, what can they do against
    the unseen? I’m not really sure what to make of the monster,
    that is, what’s he really up to?

    Maybe too little too late (it’s not a bad series, but this
    episode was / is its hallmark).

    Looking for that strong finish!

  • December 18, 2017 at 6:47 pmsealouse

    How old is Toby supposed to be exactly?

  • December 19, 2017 at 1:34 amtanz

    I like the episodic format, but I can understand why it doesn’t work well… It’s tough for a 12-episode season.

  • December 22, 2017 at 4:36 amSpacyRicochet