Fall Anime 2013 – Kyoukai no Kanata – Episode 1 Impressions

Another solid debut episode from one of Japan’s most prestigious studios.

To start with, this show simply looks great.

Kyoto Animation have opted for a very glossy, somewhat stylised visual design that could be compared to previous titles Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! or even Hyouka, except the colour themes are different here in order to give the show its own flavour. Attention to detail is spot on and the end result is very polished but not overcooked. You will not get sick of looking at this show anytime soon, and the OST is just the icing on the multi-sensory cake. The ED was also particularly nice.

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Kyoukai no Kanata’s first episode was surprisingly fast paced. Along with the characters, a number of mysteries were presented in quick succession. It will be interesting to see how this show balances the action and sci-fi elements along with the comedy and SoL stylings that KyoAni are so well-known for. Episode one indicates that KnK has no obvious intentions of backing away from the dramatic action scenes it boasted almost straight away, which is cool. We could get a little rest from the action next episode – but I wouldn’t be surprised if another Youmu shows up again before long.

Some of the action scenes almost seemed like a natural progression from the snippets we got during Rika’s chunni moments in Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!. The two shows could be compared already, but it’s very clear that KnK is keen to create its own identity first.

As for the characters – Akihito and Mirai make a nice leading pair. Mitsuki was kind of blunt, but the most interesting character of all was Nino-san, a teacher, who also happens to be a “kinda famous” local Spirit Hunter. She appeared briefly in the Youmu scene halfway through the episode and I hope she becomes more involved as the story unfolds. One could label the cast of KnK as cliché without too much effort, although the script is so well executed that it’s really not hard to look past. We’re still yet to dive into the KnK universe, but it’s safe to say that pretty much everything about this show has been enjoyable so far.

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Fall is off to a damn good start.

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