I’ve been feeling very conflicted about Kyoukai no Kanata lately and it’s probably because I love the premise of the show but not how it’s being executed. The first half of the show was definitely top notch when it came to delivering the key plot points and creating a setting for the rest of the story. This second half is kind of lagging behind that because it doesn’t match the anticipation level I had for it. It’s not because the plot isn’t developing like I thought, but it’s more so how the story being told. And right now, it looks like it’s being told from the perspective of 4 different people – there’s Mirai’s internal struggle with Akihito; there’s Miroku and his unknown motives; Izumi also has a hidden agenda; and Hiroomi who is kind of stuck in the middle trying to balance all these revelations. I think this would’ve been better told if there was an episode dedicated to each of them, explaining what was going on through their heads (but not giving away too much) and slowly incorporating the events of the The Calm into it. That way, each character is given their own personality trait and the audience might actually empathize or appreciate them more.
There are some aspects of the show that I don’t have a gripe with. These include the transformation of Akihito and Mirai’s internal conflict over killing her friend. I felt that this progresses the story rather naturally and although it feels like a repeat of episode 4, there’s a stronger intention to kill Akihito this time around. Further to the development from last week, you can really see that Mirai struggles to come to terms with her fate and Akihito’s. It’s a shame that all we get to see a bit of sulking and some hugging from Sakura; I think it’d mean a lot more if Mirai actually talked to Hiroomi about it or something. Yes, she has a lot of burden on her shoulders, but that doesn’t mean that Mitsuki and Hiroomi have nothing to say about it. They’ve been friends with Akihito for so long and they’ve been trying to save him every time he transformed – before Mirai came into the picture. When they searched through Akihito’s apartment, I was half expecting to see some sappy photo of him and his friends… but I never expected him to horde glasses. Let alone, have catalogues of Mirai’s photos… that’s kind of creepy now that I think about it. Regardless I think this is all the more reason that he won’t end up dead, it’s just all about how they change him back.
Miroku has never felt more out of place than now. While everyone else is running around trying to find/kill Akihito and Izumi is off plotting something, he kind of just waltzes in, absorbs the Hollow Shadow and runs away. Where did he come from? Where is he going with that? Or rather… why did Izumi steal it in the first place? Miroku doesn’t truly have a role in the story yet and someone mentioned before that he feels like an anime original character, which he’s not. He only feels like an outsider because his motives are unexplained – which I’m hoping will be revealed soon. On the other hand, I’m glad that Hiroomi has finally gotten to the big question – is Izumi good or bad? Right now, it looks like she’s plotting to kill Akihito in order to get rid of the “Kyoukai no Kanata” that resides in him (and at the same time, it kills Akihito as well). It also explains that Izumi is the one that purposely put Akihito to sleep last episode on the train and it feels like she’s forcing it out of him. Definitely sending off “antagonist” vibes in my mind, but I’m sure if Hiroomi is involved, he won’t let Akihito die. Show Spoiler ▼
This explains the strong bond between the two.
With everything that’s going on, it’s hard to keep track of what’s going to happen next week. It looks like the speed slows down and the tone is more happy-go-lucky. There’s a few shots of girls sunbathing, but we all know that what appears in the previews aren’t always representative of the actual episode. I expect them to show more Hiroomi and possibly explain the disappearance of the Hollow Shadow stone. Now that The Calm is over though… I wonder what’s going to happen in our final arc.