Kyoukai no Kanata 07: Back to Square One

After last week’s questionable choices we’re back to the Kyoukai no Kanata I know and…. tolerate.

Okay, maybe there were some idols still

Okay, maybe there were some idols still

As promised by the scriptwriter, Kyoukai no Kanata was back to its old self this week. On the one hand this means the plot is actually moving forward but on the other all the issues that were present before episode six were still present in episode seven. The school life portion of the show (especially the perpetual glasses/little sister fetish jokes) feels pointless at best and counterproductive at worst. Mirai continues to be incredibly inconsistent in her characterization. The action, such as it is, feels awkward and lacking in impact. It’s a testament to the staff’s ability to deftly handle cute things and comedy that Kyoukai has any entertainment value left at this point.

No u

No u

As far as the actual content of the episode, the conflict between Mirai and Sakura felt a bit rushed. I would have liked to see more of a build-up before they’re suddenly having a life and death showdown in a sewer but I guess the creators just didn’t have enough time to build that tension. Oh wait; they (intentionally!) wasted an entire episode last week that could have been used to give this week more impact. I don’t have much else to say about the rest of the episode because it’s all things we’ve seen before. The perverted jokes and the moe catch-phrases are entertaining enough but they feel out of place here in Kyoukai. At times it feels like KyoAni has decided to just show off with their animation plot transitions and coherency be damned.

I mean I can’t deny that this at least looked cool

I mean I can’t deny that this at least looked cool

I could speculate idly on the organization and motives behind stealing the hollow shadow and giving Sakura her weapon but we don’t have a lot to go on and I’m not exactly interested enough in the show at this point to do the digging. I don’t want to be all negative but I really don’t have much in the way of positive specifics to say about Kyoukai right now. I don’t hate the show but it’s thoroughly uninteresting at this point. As such I think this will be my last episodic post on Kyoukai unless something worth writing about happens in a future episode. I’ll plan to pick something else up to fill the slot (likely Golden Time) because Kyoukai just isn’t getting it done at this point. It’s a real shame because there are pieces here that could be part of a compelling and/or funny anime but they’ve been put together all wrong. Hopefully KyoAni gets their act back together for Chuunibyou Season 2.

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This entry was posted in Episodic Commentary, Fall 2013, Kyoukai no Kanata and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Kyoukai no Kanata 07: Back to Square One

  1. Boundless says:

    I actually really liked Mirai’s handling of the situation with Sakura. Sakura refuses to accept help from anyone and she is hell bent on revenge and self-penance. Mirai sees her old self-destructive persona in Sakura. When Mirai’s classmate tells her at the pool that Sakura seems like a friendly person once you get to know her, Mirai realizes that it is not too late for Sakura to avoid making the same mistake she did. It is at this point she decides to go and meet Sakura to end everything “for her sake”. Mirai learned after defeating the Hallow Shadow that satisfying your revenge is not truly fulfilling. “The regret (of murder) would still live on.” Suffering a tragedy does not mean you cannot move on and live a happy, social life. She wants Sakura to move past Yui’s death as she has, and be satisfied just being Sakura. Which is why she reminds her how much they all loved the old Sakura.

    I will concede that there were some story telling problems with how they presented this conflict. It could have easily been fleshed out more had they used the time from last week’s fluff episode to explain these motivations better. I had to make a few logical leaps to understand Mirai’s motivations and the conclusion did feel rushed as you said. However the concept of a character foil for Mirai is really cool. It also gave Mirai a chance to show she has learned from her experiences by helping Sakura avoid her mistakes.

    On a side note, I heard an interesting theory that Mirai’s seemingly polar opposite personalities can be explained by her magic suppression ring. Since she takes it off whenever she goes to fight, and always has it on while at school. Most likely you are thinking that such a mechanic does not excuse the inconsistent writing. I am not trying to dissuade that opinion, I just thought it was an interesting theory.

    TL;DR

    Despite presentation problems due to limited screen time, the Mirai character foil concept was really cool. I was hoping I could help people appreciate the themes of the story behind sub-par presentation.

    • Seems like you should be writing this up not me.

      Regarding the Mirai/Sakura parallels, I like the concept and I’ve enjoyed it when it was done other places such as Frodo/Gollum in LOTR and Kyouko/Sayaka in Madoka. The problem I have with it here is we don’t know enough about Mirai’s personality to make that leap. It’s been 3 episodes now and I honestly have no clue how she really feels about what went on in the hollow shadow. It was a huge event at the time and since it feels like it’s almost never come up. For all we know she might think that enacting her revenge against the hollow shadow was a really fulfilling experience. I’m not sure that its’ a flaw in the theory so much as it’s a flaw in the writing that we can’t confirm or deny this theory. In the other examples I cited it was clear that Frodo and Kyouko saw a great deal of themselves in their counterpart at the time and the need to know that it’s possible to come back from their trauma was central to their character. With Mirai I have no idea what her motivation is other than paying the rent and being able to feed herself.

      I have a similar reaction to the suppressor ring concept. I think it’s an interesting angle but I feel like if I actually went back and watched the fight scenes again the personality flipping would not have a 1:1 correlation with the suppressor ring usage. I know for sure that her angsty moments occurred while she was wearing the ring and I feel like she’s demonstrated some badassery even when the ring was on. Instead I think it’s just a coincidence that occurs because the moments when she feels motivated to remove the ring are exactly the moments when the plot calls upon her to do something epic and so the cause and effect is actually running the opposite direction of what you’re suggesting. Again, if the writers wanted this to be a real mechanic I think they should have given more hints towards that end.

      I appreciate the ideas though, maybe you can offer any new ideas you have or hear in response to future power rankings posts.

      • Boundless says:

        I think the main reason my theory has merit is the line by Mirai when they are in the tunnels. “But I realized something once I killed the Hollow Shadow. The regret would still live on.” This is how we know how she feels about the Hollow Shadow. The other points about valuing her and Sakura’s school life are much less concrete. I only wish they had conveyed her thoughts so I would not have to do this guess work to figure it out.

        About the ring theory. I think it could have been a cool option if the writers had gone for it. But I think you are right and it does not match up one to one. It feels like a fan theory made to justify her behavior after the fact. Interesting, but ultimately irellivant.

  2. Pingback: What’s With All the Sisconning in Kyoukai no Kanata? | Fantastic Memes

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