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Anime / AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline

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In the year 2061, Japan became an occupied territory. Divided and rolled by four major economic blocs, the people of Japan now live a life of constant oppression. With each bloc deploying humanoid war machines, AMAIMs, to Japan, the country has become the center of the conflict. One day, Shiiba Amou, a 16-year-old boy who likes to collect parts, encounters the autonomous AI 'Gai', which leads him into a battle to liberate Japan by piloting the AMAIM 'Kenbu' that he assembled himself.

Amaim Warrior at the Borderline or Kyōkai Senki (境界戦機, "War Machines on the Borderline") is an original Japanese anime television series animated by Sunrise Beyond (a subsidiary of Sunrise established after the purchase and closure of Xebec), directed by Nobuyoshi Habara, and written by Noboru Kimura. Character designs are provided by Kenichi Ohnuki, while Rasmus Faber is composing the music. The series premiered on October 5, 2021, on TV Tokyo, MBS, and BS11. Blank Paper will perform the series' opening theme song "enemy". A manga series titled Kyōkai Senki: Frost Flower (境界戦機 フロストフラワー, Kyōkai Senki Furosuto Furawā) has been serialized in Hobby Japan's Monthly Hobby Japan magazine since July 21, 2021. The series is planned to be a split-cour, with the second half set for release in April 2022.

Official Trailer, first 11 minutes (no subtitles).

The anime contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: Anything involving the automated AMAIM Ghost has a lot of mystery surrounding it. Like who or what made it, and why it's attacking indiscriminately. It gets answered later on though.
    • What happened to Japan's own military is never brought up, so whether or not it was disbanded or simply absorbed into the Asia Army's forces is unknown. Ditto with how it became an occupied territory in the first place outside of the failing economy.
    • Given the obvious situation on display, no mention is made about the other countries the armies belong to themselves. Leaving it unexplained if they're in similar dire straits or not.
  • Armies Are Evil: Almost all the world's armies are shown to be this. By the latter half of Season 2, even the other armies are willing to pull an Enemy Mine with Yatagarasu due to how rampant the North American Coalition's control of Japan has gotten.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Near the end of the first episode of the second half, just when Shion, Gashin, and La Résistance is being overwhelmed, Amou suddenly shows up and curb-stomps the army.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Episode 8, "Path to Recovery" involves the Yatagarasu pilots helping out a semi-abandoned town in rebuilding its resources and infrastructure with no attempts by either Ghost or any of the militaries to invade or destroy it.
    • Episode 19, "Anniversary", has Amou, Gashin, and Shion celebrating Gai, Kei, and Nayuta's birthday. However, the ending reveals that there is a traitor in their midst. Which is subverted in the following episode "Cooperation Organization", which reveals that said supposed traitor was actually talking to the other three armies to form an alliance against the North American forces.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Justified. One of Kenbu's weapons is activated by voice command. Amou isn't amused by this.
  • Cliffhanger: The first half of the series ends with Amou seemingly killed off after sacrificing himself to defeat Ghost. Oh, and Brad finds the in-tact core of Ghost.
  • Crapsack World: In the show's backstory, Japan was on the brink of collapse due to a combination of failed economic policies, aging population and low birthrate, among other problems. This called for nations and allied powers around the world to travel over in an attempt to help the country. However, this ended up with said nations setting territories around Japan and eventually starting wars against each other using AMAIMs as their mechanical weapons, akin to the Warring States. Not only are the territories constantly fighting, but the people of Japan are also under oppression by the militaristic forces with no real way to fight back outside of rebel forces. The second half starts off with the North American Army, thanks to Brad recovering Ghost's AI unit, gaining an upper hand against both Yatagarasu and the other armies.
  • Defiant to the End: At the end of "Reunion", when Amou has Captain Blanc at his mercy, he offers him to surrender and escape, telling him to promise not to harm the Japanese again. Instead, he says that they should be groveling at his feet and that they're nothing but terrorists, and Amou ends up impaling him in the face.
  • Enemy Mine: As of "Cooperation Organization", Yatagarasu and the Oceanian, Asian and European armies form such an alliance against the North American Army. Jeffrey lampshades this.
  • Evolving Credits: Ghost's appearance in the opening changes in Episode 8, reflecting it's new appearance in Episode 7.
  • Humongous Mecha: Most AMAIMs are roughly around 10 meters, estimated to be 3 stories high and taller than the average 2 story house.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The Oceania military in Amou's area make no bones about arresting or executing people if they suspect them so much as doing anything they see is out of line. Jeffrey, the leader of the squad in the area, explicitly tells Amou that he has no rights as a terrorist and decides to execute him and his friends on the spot if he doesn't come out of hiding. Only to turn around and decide to kill them all anyway, stopped only by the arrival of Kenbu.
    • The Asian Free Trade Entente military seems to be worse, given how Risa's family were blamed for an automotive accident they caused and how at least one of their deputy governors regularly engages in human trafficking and locking people up for the petty crime of making him spill a little drop of 24-year-old wine on his uniform due to a sudden stop to avoid being hit. Though unlike the Oceania army, they do have some standards as when the governor's trafficking is exposed, they demand his execution alongside the takedown of Kenbu.
  • La Résistance: The Yatagarasu is fighting against all the nations that have occupation military forces in Japanese territory. This changes after "Cooperation Organization", where it's Yatagarasu and the Asian, European and Oceanic armies against North America.
  • Market-Based Title: The show's known in Japanese as Kyōkai Senki.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Path to Recovery" has the Yatagarasu assist refugees who settled into a deserted village in order to prevent any military force from hunting them down. The fighters work with the refugees to turn the village into a sustainable community.
    • "Autonomous Area" has Gashin run into his foster brother Yuusei, who an ex-Yatagarasu fighter turned mayor who's trying to run a Japanese-only city without intereference from the AFTE military. That is until the episode revealed that he works for both sides to make the city stay Japanese-controlled, sometimes giving the AFTE a better advantage.
    • "Expedition" has Amō, Gashin, and Shion travel to Tohoku to assist the Arahabaki escape a dragnet in the Tohoku region by Eurasian military forces.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The AMAIMs used by the military territories like the Bunyip Boomerangs and Nyurens are all non-piloted and controlled from within their headquarters. The Brady Hounds have cockpits, but they can be optionally remote piloted from afar. Another standalone AMAIM nicknamed Ghost is a similarly automated mech, but has no affiliation and has attacked the various armies for reasons yet to be revealed.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade:
    • The Kenbu gets two of them so far: a perfected reconstruction in "Reason to Fight", which adds a rifle and heat sword and a new claw shield in "Path to Recovery" to replace the older bardiche shield.
    • In "Path to Recovery", Jogan also gets a major overhaul by getting a new set of shield-binders that contain grenade launchers as well as a pair of pistols for close-range defence.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: The first half ends with Amou (and Gai) seemingly sacrificing himself to destroy Ghost once and for all. Gashin and Shion believe him to be dead. The end of "8 Months Later" reveals that he survived the explosion.
  • Real Robot Genre: The show has a realistic sci-fi theme. The AMAIMs are mecha that are treated like war machines, requiring maintenance and repairs to function, as well as having arsenals of large weaponry. The way they evolved from being piloted by humans into being remote-controlled also reflects how real-life weapons have changed with time. The setting also takes place in future Japan.
  • Spoiler Opening: The second opening spoils Amou survived.
  • Spiritual Successor: Some of the themes featured were previously done in Code Geass, albeit in a more over-the-top theatrical manner. Shades of Gundam can also be seen, like for example Mobile Suit Gundam Wing's AI mook concept.
  • Time Skip: The preview for Episode 14 confirms that 8 months will pass between episodes 13 and 14. The episode is even called "8 Months Later".
  • Title Drop:
    • "The Sanctuary" refers to an all-Japanese city disguised as a Federation of Great Eurasia-managed sanctuary by a sympathetic Eurasian military officer.
    • "Fugitives" refers to Alexei and Amou as they're accused of crimes they didn't commit after Congressman Walker was nearly killed.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After the North American army spent most of the first half being Ambiguously Evil, they seem to have slowly slipped into evil after having won the AI arms race against the world's nations, and are now hellbent on taking over Japan and keep the war going.
  • Villainous Valor: With the way Brad and his team behaved against Ghost in Episode 7, they could be the protagonists of a different show. You almost forget they work for a brutal occupation army. Almost.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "The Hunt" showed Ghost being able to hijack NAC VTOL control systems to make them attacks NAC AMAIMs instead.
    • "Battle of the Oki Islands (Part 2)": Amou and Gai sacrifice themselves to ensure Ghost is destroyed, only for Ghost's AI Unit to contact Brad and the NAC, who salvage it.
    • "8 Months Later" Amou is revealed to have survived the explosion that destroyed Ghost's physical body, but is visibly not himself.
    • "Signs of Upheaval" has Congressman Walker targeted in a sniper attack. Brad's responsible for it and he plans to paint Yatagarasu and the other power blocs helping them as the bad guys.
    • "Fugitives" has Masaki killed when he tries to hold off NAC forces in an ambush.
  • Wham Shot: The end of "8 Months Later". Amou is alive.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: "TRYVECTA" shows what happened to Amou 8 months earlier.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Oceania and Asian military forces stationed in Japan are not above harming kids, even labeling them as terrorists or shooting them dead. By the end of the first episode, Amou is marked for execution by the Oceania military while his friends are being held hostage with a similar threat of death.
    • In "Determination", Major Liu Fu decides to sell a young girl in a human trafficking ring along with her father. This helps factor into his execution when his superiors find out about it.
    • AI AMAIM Ghost attempts to blow up Amou and Gasshin in "Separate Ways" using its Self Destruct attack, then tries to kill all three Yatagarasu pilots several times during both part to "The Battle Of Oki Island".
    • In "TRYVECTA", North American mercenaries invade the base the company's researchers and families are at. Besides killing any and all researchers and military personal, they also go after both Amou and the children he's been helping to take care of in a Leave No Survivors situation.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The government labels La Résistance as this. They're the only reason why Japan hasn't completely fallen to any of the opposing governments in full.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kyoukai Senki


Jogan's got a new gun

The Yatagarasu, with the (disgruntling) assistance from the Asia Free Trade Entente (AFTE), the Confederation of Oceania (CO) and the Federation of Great Eurasia (FGE), have obtained assistance in getting new weapons and ammo supplies.

Jogan is now equipped with a big minigun. Gashin takes it for a spin by using it to take out several North American Coalition (NAC) AMAIM mechs in an ambush.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / GatlingGood

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