Reviews: Kyoukai No Kanata

Promising and pretty, but utterly dull.

I started KNK not knowing to expect, but since I had finished Kyo Ani's latest series, Free!, I was pretty excited. I can say that after watching this for 12 weeks, the only positive things I can say about the show are the animation, and the humor was actually pretty funny (episode 6 is probably my favorite of the series). That's what the series gets right.

What it doesn't get, however, is everything else. The characters were flat as boards and totally unremarkable. I finished the show not knowing who anyone's names were besides the Akihito and Mirai, and a handful of others. Sakura's relevance to the plot disappeared as soon as her character arc was over. Scarf-boy and his sister complex made me feel extremely skeeved out more than getting so much as a chuckle out of me, and the fact that he and Akihito could be boiled down to 'sister fetish' and 'glasses fetish' says something. There was no emotional depth to Akihito and Mirai's conversations in the last episode, it was like their relationship was pulled out of thin air. We got no backstory for things like Mirai's family, we just know they're dead. Akkey had a tragic backstory? Big deal, we only hear about it, for the most part, why should we care?

One of the big rules of storytelling that this show absolutely mangles: Show, do not tell.

Too many things are unresolved at the end. How does this world function? What was up with bolo-tie's talk to Izumi about them being one and the same (I won't spoil)? What was bolo-tie's role in the story at all? There was also the very end, which was an ass-pull. How did it happen? We get absolutely no explanation. The show just overall felt extremely un-engaing to me and even as the big finale loomed it was at the bottom of my list of series to watch each week and felt like a chore.

I don't know if Kyo Ani is banking on a second season being made and if that's the reason for all the dangling plot threads, but I feel like it would have been better to have this be a 24 episode series instead of trying to cram it into 12 episodes. 4/10.