Kyoukai no Kanata 12 – Shadows and Light


shot0414

As I have said on numerous occasions, the relationship between Mirai and Akihito has been at the very centre of this series, they are the odd ones out in society, both cursing their existences, and living with the complicated nature of who they are. The various plots and political intrigue that reared its head from time to time swirled around these two characters like thick fog, clinging to their clothes and never letting them go. That Akihito seemed to be harbouring the Youmu known as Kyoukai no Kanata in his body, a shade so powerful it is said to be capable of destroying the world emphasises how unsure his existence was. What is interesting however is how little we as the audience ever find out about the politics between Miroku – likely acting as a proxy for the Spirit Hunter’s Association – and the Nase clan. In many respects it seems find to leave it as a case of political intrigue, coupled with plans to use the power of Kyoukai no Kanata, along with numerous other Youmu to produce something dramatic and world changing. Read more of this post

Kyoukai no Kanata 09 – Truth and Lies


 shot0198

As discussed in last weeks post, there has been an arbitrary line placed between Youmu and Spirit Hunters, one that creates the binary division of Youmu = Bad, and Spirit Hunters = Good. However, over the last couple of episodes it has become increasingly clear that such a division does not exist, and that in many cases the roles appear to be switched. Many Youmu such as Ayaka and Ai lead relatively normal lives despite the immense power that they posses (in the case of Ayaka), and do not pose a threat to humans. They good friends with the main characters and even run their own business trading Youmu fragments. They are far from this image of a deadly force, or a mass of dangerous, bloodthirsty creatures that we as the viewers assume them to be. Furthermore, the presence of Yakimon (Sweet Potato) as Mitsuki’s familiar and pet presents us with another, more gentle side to Youmu, and one that is very different from the Hollow Shade in previous episodes. Rather it is humans, and particularly Fujima Miroku – and arguably by extension the Spirit Hunters Association – that come across as the more aggressive and dangerous, more so than most Youmu.

Read more of this post

Kyoukai no Kanata – Youmu 1, Idols 0


shot0413

While previous weeks of Kyoukai no Kanata have had a decidedly serious, often very dark tone, with the central characters fighting for their lives in one form or another, this weeks took a different approach to Youmu and Youmu hunting. Initially Youmu hunting was introduced as a serious matter, one where Spirit Hunters would go out and hunt down and destroy potentially dangerous spirits – at least we are told they are dangerous, and the threat they pose to human’s remains to be seen. Mirai has to hunt to survive, her powers are immense, but for a variety of reasons, many we have yet to fully comprehend she has not spent much of her time hunting Youmu, and is therefore immensely poor. In fact, one of the main comedic gags used throughout the series so far has been Mirai’s poverty, and her immense pride that makes her try to ignore others charity, even when she knows would allow her to survive. Read more of this post

Kyoukai no Kanata 05 – Bathed in Light


shot0227

While Mirai’s abilities and Akihito’s nature continue to drive the story, they both seem to be at the centre of several plots, or plans involving Spirit Hunters, although we do not as yet know what these are supposed to be. However, this week took a slightly different approach, and instead focused on Mistuki and the notion of loneliness. Mitsuki is an intriguing character, one who seems to care about Akihito, and yet remains loyal to her position as a Spirit Hunter and a member of the Nase household. Mitsuki’s character and how she approaches her own duties and personal feelings once again fit into the giri/ninjo (duty/human feelings) model that is mostly seen in samurai or yakuza dramas. Read more of this post

Kyoukai no Kanata 04 – The debt that had to be paid


shot0494

As we have seen already, the cursed blood that Mirai has controls how she views the world and her place within society. It is the source of her hatred, anger, pain, and suffering, something that has shaped her perception of her own worth and how people should treat her. Throughout the last three episodes Mirai has consistently tried to distance herself from Akihito, constantly pushing him away by saying that he is different from her, someone with friends, who has a happy, carefree life. Mirai has thus internalised the negativity of individuals around her, truly believing that her clans blood is truly cursed. Interestingly, Sakura Inami reinforces this negative view by describing her as a ‘Shinigami’, a god of death with the power to destroy the land around her with blood that falls like acid rain and purges the land of life. It is easy to see why Mirai’s clan is so maligned when the full power of her blood is unleashed, melting away the trees and leaving the landscape around her barren and scarred.

Read more of this post

Kyoukai no Kanata 02 – Shadows and dust


shot0029

At the centre of Kyoukai no Kanata is the connection between blood and corruption found in Shinto belief. Both central characters of the series are in some way corrupted through their blood, be it Mirai and her clans ability to manipulate blood at will, or Akihito’s mixed blood. Their existences are clearly seen as dangerous, and the Spirit hunter’s feel threatened for reasons that have yet to be fully revealed. What we can discern from the actions and attitudes aimed at these characters are that they are viewed to be potentially volatile, and even destructive forces within an otherwise stable relationship between Youmu and humans. Read more of this post