Rating: 5/5 OUT OF THIS WORLD CLOUDS
BEWARE SPOILERS BELOW
Mirai wakes up on the ground with Akihito… and they hash it out a bit. We’re hinted of Akihito’s feelings for Mirai but that needs to be put aside for the pressing matter of the plot…
Back on earth, Yayoi Kanbara makes some interesting and rather mysterious points for last episode dialogue. She points out that Mirai and Akihito aren’t your typical spirit warrior and youmu (duh) and asks Mitsuki and Hiromi to take care of them… She disappears immediately after and we don’t learn anything else of her.
In the Kyoukai no Kanata world, Mirai and Akihito are figuring out how to battle the giant youmu… first by pissing it off by mentioning something Akihito doesn’t like – Shishamo with Roe LOL When Mirai launches herself at the Kyoukai no Kanata to fight it and gets hit back, Akihito defends her with his youmu hand, the one that grasped the youmu stone last episode. Since it has some of Kyoukai no Kanata’s power, it gives them some edge.
Miroku from the Spirit World Warrior Association seriously needs to be stopped… cue Nino, Izumi, Mitsuki, Hiromi and Sakura. However, Miroku really has some perverted obsession with Izumi, agreeing only to fight her and trapping them. So, the scythe that Sakura originally used and empowered by feeding it youmu, was used in conjunction with the Hollow Shadow stone in order to feed power to the Kyoukai no Kanata in the sky. As a result, both battles on earth need to be resolved before everything can be resolved.
Akihito and Mirai hijack a motorcycle in order to get close to the core of Kyoukai no Kanata and here’s where we get lots of crazy action and intense moments. I have never seen Mirai Kuriyama so determined to slay youmu – was this the same girl that couldn’t even stab, let alone kill a youmu in the first two episodes? So Mirai does stab the Kyoukai no Kanata and the world starts to break down. At the same time, Miroku who’s fighting Izumi reveals that the Kyoukai no Kanata will devour all the youmu and transform into a giant vortex that will destroy the world. Mirai and Akihito wake up to a world of black snow, with their deepest fears and negative emotions embodied in past memories that have come to haunt them. As Hiromi jumps into the fight between Izumi and Miroku, he overhears the fact that Miroku harbours a youmu in his body… as does Izumi, but Izumi claims that she’s never let it overtake her pride as a human. This is really the first time that we see Izumi lose her cool – she ends up stabbing Miroku and after the explosion, he disappears… Hiromi and Mitsuki are pretty shocked by Izumi’s secret.
As Mirai and Akihito are figuring out what to do in the black world, they end up overcoming their fears together and all the youmu that Kyoukai no Kanata’s absorbed, are here, all the negative emotions and nightmares of the world. The only solution is to DEFEAT THEM. This is where KyotoAni’s stunning art direction and animated choreography shines. As the fight unfolds, Ayaka and Ai reappear to lend a hand and the overall animation is just indescribably amazing, you have to watch it and rewatch it to appreciate it.
When the fight ends, the ground is covered with sparkling youmu stones and the last battle is really between Akihito and his negative self in the Kyoukai no Kanata…
“All of it… existed inside me. Even you pitch-black jealousy! And the despair of never being able to become human. And the sadness of being abandoned. And the regret of having hurt someone. And your selfishness, your paranoid, your hatred, your resignation, your deviousness and your need to save yourself! I won’t let a single one of those emotions leak out. They all belong to me. I’m gonna take all of them!”
Akihito ends up absorbing the Kyoukai no Kanata back into his body and Mirai feels a part of her leg crack… She asks for a last pat in the head from Akihito and to hear him thank her. She tells him that she’s a part of this Kyoukai no Kanata world. Since this dimension’s disappeared, she’s going to vanish as well. She tells him that she’s happy, that she’s glad she met him and that she fell in love with him.
After all that, life returns to its regular flow and pace. Ai and Sakura head to school. Nino is still slaying youmu as are other Spirit World Warriors. Hiromi becomes the next head of the Nase family. Izumi and Miroku have both disappeared. Mitsuki continues to spend all her time in the Literary Club Room and in the end… Akihito feels like he’s lost even though the world’s at peace and everything’s back to normal. How unpleasant…
“Just as there is light at night and darkness during the day, there will always be darkness in the world. At the same time, the world will never be completely engulfed in darkness. In that mix of ambiguous colours, everything moves on; our fates are determined…”
Somehow, as Akihito’s leaving the school, the Mirai’s ring, the only thing he had to remember her by, disappears. He sprints up to the roof… and he sees Mirai. Somehow, she’s back… and they’re reunited on the roof where they first met.
Final Thoughts on the Finish – The Plot Review
For my first thoughts on the ending, you’re probably wondering what the heck is going on with that ending. Here’s my hypothesis… When Mirai originally used her blood to extricate Kyoukai no Kanata from Akihito, she vanished along with it. When Akihito interfered with that, and decided to enter the Kyoukai no Kanata, defeat it and reabsorb it into his body, that action negated the sacrifice of Mirai’s blood and life to remove Kyoukai no Kanata from Akihito in the first place which is perhaps why she’s back.
This is just what I’ve come up with while piecing together different parts of the plot that I’ve seen and making connections here and there. I really hope there’s a season two because I would like to see more focus on other characters, how Mirai really made it back, and even how the new relationship between Mirai and Akihito will flourish. We never really find out anything about the Spirit World Warrior Association except for the crazy ramblings that Miroku ranted on about, neither do we learn about his past with Izumi and their ordeals with the youmu. Akihito’s mother, Yayoi Kanbara also remains a mystery and there is just so much more character development that you can look into in terms of the high school slice of life aspect. In terms of the actual dark and supernatural plot, everything’s wrapped up really nicely and the fact that Mirai comes back (though unexplained) is a nice bow on the top of the finale present.
Some of you might see Mirai coming back to life as a cop-out for a happy ending in a KyotoAni series. I mean, it’s pretty hard to do a “happy” ending when you kill off the main character. I would point some of you back to Yayoi’s lines at the beginning of the episode when she points out that Mirai and Akihito are not ordinary people… and I guess you really just have to look at the ending as a “miracle” or “fluke” depending on if you see it in a positive light or just a deus ex machina moment for the sake of satisfying the fans. I didn’t particularly like the sudden deus ex machine when Mirai just APPEARS on the roof. In some ways, I just didn’t feel like the ending was enough. It might have been better for them to leave her supposingly dead and then given us a season two where she’s not actually dead but something or other prompts Akihito to search for her.
Final Thoughts on Characters
Say what you want about KyotoAni moe and Free! fangirl shippings, their characters are really well developed and their stories really grab you in to relate to their characters. Everyone seems well and fine at the beginning, a moe blob, a meganecon, a sistercon and a kuudere, a really strange group of friends but as the story unfolds, they become more than that. You get to know them in their lighthearted high school lives and through their emotional difficulties in the spirit world. What happens is you grow really attached to them and when a big twist ending throws their lives into chaos… you feel feels. So many feels.
I like to point out a lot that even though I’m a sucker for happy endings, I don’t cry easily for anime – it’s either because I didn’t see the plot ending as that big of a deal or I just wasn’t that into the characters. I really did tear up and cry a bit at the emotional finish of the episode in those last moments between Akihito and Mirai. Big props go out to Kenn and Risa Taneda for their chemistry in those Akihito X Mirai scenes.
All in all, this was another really great series by Kyoto Animation looking back on the entire plot and how it’s unfolded. The subtle nuances and hints from previous episodes all culminated into the last giant arc with Kyoukai no Kanata so I’m delighted at how everything came full circle. I will definitely rewatch the series, it’s short, the plot is catchy and I think I’ll notice much more in the story in retrospect. Throughout the entire anime, I felt that the opening and ending song selections for the anime went really with the story and action. The lyrics fit especially well in the opening and Minori Chihara’s vocals are remarkable in bringing out the emotion of the characters and even the pounding action aspects of the series. Really great production overall. I can’t wait to get my hands on that soundtrack….
I really hope you guys liked Kyoukai no Kanata as much as I do. Recommend it to all your friends if they’re into supernatural, high school, slice of life or just a lot of action done in great animation. The animation is so flawless that it’s sometimes hard to do screenshots of action scenes.
It’s been a really awesome twelve weeks reviewing Kyoukai no Kanata and now I have to find a new anime to fill the KyotoAni void q___q””” Thank you for reading and if you’re raring for more anime review, follow me here, through wordpress or on twitter. Till next anime!!
What are you pondering today?
- Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 11 Review (littlecloudcuriosity.com)
- Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 10 Summary, Review and Rant (littlecloudcuriosity.com)