This is what everyone’s been waiting for and I can concur that it did not disappoint. Kyoukai no Kanata has exceeded my expectations and then some with this episode and it definitely doesn’t fall within the 3-episode rule. This episode proves that the story has a ton of potential and opportunities for growth; not to mention that I think it’s been adapted wonderfully. Even though I never reached this far into the light novel, the anime keeps the story intact without confusing the audience or lacking key points. It’s a well told story with a rich setting and cast of characters and I can’t express how it captivates my attention in the best way. I look forward to hump days now!
A common theme that I’ve noticed in this series so far (aside from Akihito’s obsession with glasses) is how it emphasizes the fact that Mirai is “different” or rather, Mirai deliberately isolates herself because she feels like she’s different (in a bad way). All this time, the show focuses on her and her unique abilities and what she’s done in the past – but Kyoukai no Kanata is so much more than that. Akihito’s been subtly hinting his differences as well and it’s not until this episode that it all explodes. He can sound and act like your average run-of-the-mill guy, but the creators actually put some backbone to his half youmu origins. Akihito isn’t just another guy because he too, is different and he also feels like he can’t fully connects to everyone else because of what he is. The moment that Mirai finally sees who Akihito is and why he’s dangerous, I think she realizes that he’s also suffering the same things she was. She was making all the wrong assumptions (probably the same ones I had) about this guy that she knew nothing about – when in reality, he’s going through the same thing she is. Akihito even admits that he doesn’t have the vast number of friends and company that Mirai assumes he does – his only company is other youmu, Spirit Warriors and his mom (not even). The moment that Mirai runs up to embrace Akihito signifies to me that she empathizes with him and feels remorse for what he’s going through. She probably also feels a need to stop him because she feels responsible for putting him in that state. Although I still continue to favor the Mitsuki x Akihito pairing, I can see why Mirai and Akihito make such a complementary pair. They both have hardships which the other can understand and there’s nothing like stabbing a guy to prove your trust in each other. I think I’m sold on this couple.
A lot of people were also trying to guess who Inami Sakura (Toyota Moe) was… well she’s the younger sister of Yui. Her appearance in this episode was just as random and confusing as the last. As soon as she’s there, she’s gone. I feel like she’s the only missing link that’s untied to the rest of the story – not to mention that she’s not meant to be gifted like her older sister. So what’s her purpose and why is she here? Potential spoiler…Show Spoiler ▼
The rest of the story ties in very well and what I love about it, is that there’s always answers but even more questions. I was expecting the Hollow Shadow to consume Akihito, but I wasn’t expecting him to react (let alone, destroy the forest). I always thought he could regenerate, but that would be too predictable and obviously there has to be some side effects to being half youmu. Although he hasn’t openly admitted it, Akihito has probably killed more individuals than Mirai and by the looks of episode 2; he has some bad blood on his hands. On a plus side though, Akihito happens to be surrounded by people that care enough to try and protect him (and the city) from himself. While I think their top priority is to protect the town, they also do so by caging him in rather than killing him outright. Izumi seems to be the only character with an alternate agenda. I didn’t even notice it, but she swaps the Hollow Shadow’s ultramarine with another youmu’s to save it for herself. The scene post-credits shows that she’s stalling the Society for some reason and the old man in the chair… is her father? This leads us straight into another arc… but it also leaves Mirai with nothing for her efforts. Poor girl.
TL;DR – @RCCherrie: I can see why it’s labelled as a dark fantasy now… Nicely done #kyo_kai! Never fails to surprise me one way or another.