Kyoukai no Kanata 05 – Bathed in Light


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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


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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.

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Kyoukai no Kanata 03 – The Shadows of the Damned


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Throughout these early episodes of Kyoukai no Kanata it has become obvious that Mirai truly believes that she is from a cursed bloodline and is therefore a cursed individual who may hurt anyone she gets close too. This is further backed up by the latest revelations that she has already killed someone, a good friend in fact, thus reinforcing her already negative attitude towards her own existence and that of her clan. Here we see how easily negative viewpoints and attitudes can be internalised by an individual, to the point where they begin to believe them to be true. We do not know if Mirai’s clan is cursed, or destructive, although it is arguably the case that they were neither, and it is a label they acquired from other Spirit Hunter clans. As I have mentioned in the last couple of posts, blood plays a significant role in Shinto, being a source of pollution, and through the creation myth of Izanagi and Izanami a source of death and destruction for humanity. It can therefore be argued that the ‘cursed existence’ of a clan with the ability to manipulate blood can be directly linked to their abilities, and perhaps a suspicion that they are somehow linked to the very Youmu that the clans are supposed to hunt. Read more of this post

Kyoukai no Kanata 02 – Shadows and dust


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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

Kyoukai no Kanata 01 – It’s all in the blood


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Kyoukai no Kanata is a series about cursed existences and the continued importance of blood within Japanese belief. Both of the main characters live cursed existences due to their connections with blood and the realms of gods and spirits. There is no moral notion of sin within Shinto belief; death is not the ‘wages of sin’ as it might be for Christianity, but rather the outcome of evil-doing. Because purity is valued above all else, evil is defined as that which is ‘pollution’, or ‘polluting’. The primary pollutions within this belief system are sickness, death, and blood, and exposure to such pollution can offend the kami, resulting in disasters such as plagues or famine. Because of this Shinto shrines usually do not conduct funerals, leading the to familiar adage, ‘Shinto for weddings, Buddhism for funerals’. Nevertheless, Shinto has historically dealt with ideas of dead; with practitioners believe that spirits of the dead go to the mountains, above the sky, below the ear, or beyond the horizon (Kyoukai no Kanata). Living beings from this world may visit those from the other worlds in borderlands such as cliffs, caves and coastlines, places where the boundary between the two worlds is considered weak. Read more of this post