Beyond the Boundary Review

Story:
Akihito is a sophomore in high school who loves girls wearing glasses. A lot. Which is weird enough all on its own, but he also happens to be an immortal half-youkai. When he meets a young female Spirit Warrior, whose blood is cursed, his casual life is destroyed as first one dangerous youkai and then another begin popping up in preparation for the biggest danger of all: Beyond the Boundary.

Violence:
Because the heroine in this show uses her own blood as a weapon, there is, obviously, quite a bit of blood. Most of the time, however, the show grazes over anything graphic as her blood is usually fashioned into a blade or somesuch thing, which really isn’t all that bad. The worst the show gets is a few characters getting stabbed and her blood losing its shape and spraying all over. Defiantly YA, but nothing unusually bad.

Language:
A few b-words, but not often. Expect the usual d-mns and sh-ts for a YA anime title, not excessive, but not non-existent either.

Nudity:
Another shock! Maybe Japan is toning it down a bit. Although this show has a lot of opportunity for panty shots and such, they don’t take it. There is one episode with a few shower scenes, but nothing except backs and shoulders are shown. One male character likes to tease Akihito by touching his waist, but like most things in this show, it’s for comedy’s sake. Just like that same character’s fetish about his sister. Rest assured, we’re spared any serious attempts on that.

Theology/mythology:
If you don’t know what a youkai is, check this article out and then come back here. Are you cool with that? If not, drop this show. This series is in a world where youkai, which in this show are often embodiments of people’s negative feelings, are fought by Spirit Warriors. It’s an unavoidable part of the show. Of course, there’s no reference to God or how the world came to be like that, so don’t worry about universal implication. It’s a show that simply focuses on where it is. There are monsters that need to be defeated. Pretty simple, actually.

Personal impression:
I really enjoyed this show. It’s by far one of the best of the year. It has amazing comedy and appropriate darker elements. And, thankfully, one doesn’t really destroy the other. They mostly balance out. The art is amazing, the characters fun and deep, the story pretty straight forward at the start, but complex enough to throw a curve ball or two. The music is pretty good as well, the ending theme especially so.
The only real issue I had with this show was the “human” villain’s motive, which didn’t really make any sense at all. We never find out why he wanted the whole world to blow up. I mean, you’d think you’d have a reason for wanting something like that. But we never know, which kinda irritated me at the end. Also, although I loved the stylistic symbolism at the very end, it is a bit confusing and doesn’t really say for sure who lived and who died. If those kinds of endings bug you, I’m not sure you’ll leave the last episode as a happy camper. But word on the street is that an OVA is in the works, so there’s hope for more answers in the future.
If you like quirky characters, some dark end of world stuff, dream-like parallel worlds and such, you’ll probably adore this show just as much as I did. Just don’t hold out for a kissing scene. This ain’t that kind of show. Just sayin’.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Action, comedy, fantasy
Company: Sentai Filmworks
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll
Screenshots:
 photo btb1_zpsbcab951a.jpg photo btb2_zps33f4b505.jpg photo btb3_zps5cf2e69f.jpg

Extra: The Liebster Awards

Considering that I’ve never really advertised for this blog, I’m not only pleased, but very grateful to have so many following the posts here. Not to mention all the wonderful people who like and comment, discussing issues further, telling me their own thoughts on these shows and expressing their excitement for possible future seasons of the proud few shows that break the cycle of predictability and climb into our hearts. As this is the last Extra post before New Years, I wanted to be sure I thanked each and every one of you who continue to encourage me in this endeavor and remind me that, yes, there are intelligent and wonderful anime fans out there and thus I need not give up on humanity just yet.

But now you’re probably wondering about the title of this post. Well, considering my site’s small size and voice, I was extremely surprised to find that this blog has been nominated for the Liebster Awards, an award with the purpose of informing the blogging community of little known, but well crafted, blogs with less than 200 followers. So here’s a big shout out to John Samuel, Captain of The Pirates of the Burley Griffin blog for nominating this blog. Thanks, Capt!
The main rules are simple enough:
1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers
4. Go to the blogs you nominated and notify them of your nomination
5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.

So here be my answers to the nerdy questions of the week!

  1. What is the best installment of an anime/manga franchise you don’t like?
    I might get flamed for this, but Gundam Wing. I adore the show. The political side was extremely well written and the characters were fun to watch and interesting. Although I’ve attempted to get into the other, more “solid” by fan standards, Gundam series, they’ve either been too slow, too desperate to please all the people and thus have no clear aim (Seed, pretty much) or have unlikeable/whinny characters. If you’re gonna give someone a rare and powerful mobile suit, they need to be competent and well trained. Otherwise I’m checking out episode one.
  2. all girlsWhat is the worst installment of an anime/manga franchise you do like?
    Last Exile: Fam. The Silver Wing. By far the worst sequel I’ve ever seen. Aside from it’s extremely small and confusing connections to its predecessor, Fam. The Silver Wing ended up with a case of anime amnesia, forgetting why fans loved the first series and rewriting everything to revolve around a entirely female cast in the hopes that moe alone would save them. It didn’t. The poor writing, painful forced “sympathy” for the villain (who was totally a mass murderder without regret until the end) and shallow characters worked to make this a massive let down for long time Last Exile fans. In the end, the steampunk visuals were all that this show had. And even then it didn’t live up to the series’ long held reputation.
  3. Give your favorite genre a reality check.
    I’m not sure if this is what you mean, but I’ve often commented on the shoujo genre’s various elements, mainly the ones that give me a cramp from rolling my eyes too often. Most central to this idea is my post on “bad boy” love interests. I also commented on some of the more recent, and dangerous, plot devices being used (cages and rape are not cool, people). These are things that would make any real woman call the cops. Immediately.
  4. Princess TutuName one (and only one) change you’d like to make to one anime.
    You’re killing me. Alright, I’d love to know more about Ahiru/Duck’s past in the series Princess Tutu. As the series currently stands, it is told she has always been a duck. However, it is also hinted that she might have come from “outside the story.” Also, she has no parents or memories of her past before becoming a girl. She’s also the only duck in the entire town. Even the pond she seems to live at contains no other wildlife. There are theories that Drosselmeyer wrote her in from one of his other works, meaning she is magic in and of herself. But nothing is ever confirmed and we’re just left without any knowledge of exactly who this girl – er, duck – really is.
  5. Name the most annoying anime character ever.
    Tough call there. Now I hate to pick on a show I reviewed so recently, but I honestly can’t come up with anyone worse at the moment. So it’s gonna have the the main male lead, Nai, from Karnival. Honestly, he has more whine than all of France (see what I did there?). Few things make me curl into a fetal position more than excessive whining punctuated with constant “um”s and “er”s.
  6. .hack//RootsName the anime character you’d most like to slap.
    I’d think that’s usually attached to the last question. But perhaps the above character could benefit more from a beating… Or simply being dissolved into thin air. Anyway, aside from every wishy-washy female lead in shoujo anime that just sits there while people harass her, I’d probably give a solid slap to Haseo from .hack//Roots. Dude, get a spine or just stop playing an MMORPG with PK capabilities. Honestly. If you don’t like it, don’t log in.
  7. Name the animation studio you’d most like to slap.
    Bandai. They came to America, treated our market as if it was identical to Japan’s, ignored social media outreach, gave up on America when sales dropped (mainly due to piracy, although the previous points were serious factors as well) and dropped hundreds of classic and timeless titles, not even allowing half of them to legally stream. Brilliant job, Bandai. I love it when companies give internet pirates ammunition. And by “love it” I mean hate it. A lot.
  8. relenaName your favorite anime hero or heroine.
    I don’t like “or.” So how abouts I make this an “and” question and include a dude and a lady? Edward Elric and Relena Darlian. And for one massive reason, too. They both were committed to doing what they felt was right, even if that cost them their lives. They looked at life honestly, no matter how ugly the picture. True heroism.
  9. Name the best anime villain.
    I think that depends on your definition of “best.” For laughability, I have a special place in my heart for Prozen from Zoids. If you mean “good” as in interesting, well Izaya from Durarara is pretty hard to predict. I enjoyed watching him weave in and out of the story. It’s too bad most villains these days aren’t written out as complexly. Villains have goals too. And they aren’t always black and white. Heck, the “enemy” in Princess Tutu wasn’t at all what anyone even expected, to say nothing of “it’s” goals.
  10. What is the most epic scene in anime?
    I was on the edge of my seat for the entire fight between Roy Mustang and Lust in the new Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood series. Very well done tension and energy.
  11. What is the anime with the best background music?
    I’m torn between Trinity Blood and Black Cat. Both have unique soundtracks blending piano, chorus and electronic sounds that, unfortunately, never made their way to the US and are little known.

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News: Death of the “website” info

Back in the day, companies made a big deal of a show, many creating individual websites for them (some using fancy flash and everything). But I’ve noticed over the last year just how few shows have individual sites anymore. In fact, usually FUNimation is the only company left with specific pages for their shows.
Considering how many sites report on shows these days, with Anime News Network being the largest, companies have gradually realized how much pointless work goes into these individual pages. And thus, as nice as many of them were, series’ sites have met their end.

And so has that bit of info in my reviews. But I just couldn’t make that spot bare, so we have a new, likely more useful, addition. Company. This will tell you who has the current rights to the anime in America. If you live elsewhere in the world, my apologies. However, due to quite a few licenses being streaming only now, more often than not you might find that the company owning the show might work in your country as well. It’s still not as universal as I’d like, but we’re making some progress in the right direction.

In any case, I hope this info helps, although I will warn that if a review was posted years ago, you best double check. Anime companies are not immortal over here. The licensing just might have changed.