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Light Novel / Beyond the Boundary

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Left to right: Mitsuki, Mirai, Hiroomi, and Akihito.

Beyond the Boundary (also known in Japanese as Kyōkai no Kanata) is a Japanese light novel series by Nagomu Torii, with art by Tomoyo Kamoi. The light novel was published in June 2012 by Kyoto Animation as part of the prize for winningnote  a writing contest they held. The novel was adapted into an anime, also by Kyoto Ani, for the fall 2013 Anime Season.

The story follows a high school junior named Akihito Kanbara. Although the boy appears human, he is half yōmu and invulnerable to wounds because he can heal quickly. One day, Akihito meets freshman Mirai Kuriyama when it seems she is about to jump from the school rooftop. Mirai is isolated because of her ability to manipulate blood, which is unique even among members of the spirit world. Disturbing events begin to unfold after Akihito saves Mirai.


The first trailer for the anime was released May 24, 2012 on Youtube. The anime adaptation ran from October 2, 2013 to December 18, 2013. Kyoto Animation produced the series and it was directed by Taichi Ishidate (marking his official directorial debut, having served as co-director on Nichijou), and written by Jukki Hanada, with Miku Kadowaki serving as character designer and chief animation director.

A prequel OVA was released in July 2014, and two movies, titled Beyond the Boundary I'll be here, were released in spring 2015. The first, Kako-hen ('Past Chapter'), is a recap of the TV series. The second, Mirai-hen ('Mirai Chapter' or 'Future Chapter'), takes place one year later.

Not to be confused with The Garden of Sinners


This series contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: The first half of episode 10 turns out to be this and a Dream Within a Dream Akihito is having while comatose.
  • Always a Bigger Fish:
    • Thought the Hollow Shadow was scary? Apparently there are similar youmu out there whose power levels are leagues above it.
    • Taken to the logical extreme with Beyond The Boundary, the most powerful youmu in history.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Akihito's mother is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander of a Spirit World Warrior who likes to cosplay as animals and sometimes wears slightly provocative Cat Girl outfits. On parents day in elementary school she dressed up as a panda and pretended to be one of the students.
  • Antagonist Title: Beyond the Boundary is the name of the youmu which lives inside Akihito and acts as the series' main antagonist.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Youmu can regenerate themselves endlessly unless you damage their eye(s), which destroys them instantly.
  • Badass Adorable: Mirai, big time.
  • Bad Liar: Mirai.
  • Battle Couple: Akihito and Mirai in episode 12, as they're fighting against the core of Beyond the Boundary and all the hostile youmu it's absorbed.
  • Beergasm: Ninomiya in episode 5.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Averted; you'd expect Akihito and Mirai to do this during their They Do moment in the movie, but they opt to hold hands instead. The scene still works since Holding Hands is a recurring theme in the series and specifically the development of their relationship.
  • Bloody Murder: Mirai's power. She uses her blood as a weapon. Deconstructed a bit: expelling more than a couple of pints of blood can make her pass out.
  • Body Horror: Miroku's face being distorted by tentacles.
  • Bookends: The anime starts and ends with Mirai and Akihito, meeting on the school rooftop at sunset.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In the movie, Izumi, under the influence of Fujima Miroku's parasitic youmu. About halfway through, Mirai herself becomes this after Miroku attacks and infects her as well.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 6. Mirai attempts to defeat a large, fruit-like youmu for its large bounty, only to find that the task is much more odorous than it initially seemed. When the youmu is threatened, it unleashes a torrent of stinky liquid, making it difficult to kill. Akihito, Mitsuki, Ai and Hiroomi eventually get dragged into helping Mirai fight the youmu, only for them to fail again and again and again. Eventually, they stage a song and dance number to distract the youmu...but fail to assign a person to kill it while everyone's dancing.
  • Canon Foreigner: Ayaka's little sister Ai was created for the TV series, and does not appear in the original novels.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • Akihito is surprisingly calm while talking to Mirai after being stabbed by her during their first encounter.
    • Akihito and Mirai argue about fairly mundane stuff while being pursued by Sakura, who's also shooting at them.
  • Catchphrase: Mirai's "You're unpleasant" or a variation of it.
  • Combat Tentacles: This seems to be the default form of Miroku's shapeshifting weapon. He never actually uses it like one would use a tentacle, though. He does in the movie, using them to restrain Mirai as he infects her with a parasitic youmu that feeds off human despair and hatred, causing her to become Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Cooldown Hug: Mirai to Akihito when his Superpowered Youmu Side goes berserk. Akihito does the same to Mirai in the movie to free her of the parasitic youmu.
  • Covert Pervert:
    • The fact that Ayaka has a personal collection of nude photos of Ai (in Youmu form and otherwise), her younger sister, raises some eyebrows.
    • Mitsuki knows where to find a lot of BL Audiobooks to prank her brother with.
  • Cry Cute: Mirai when she was lost, and again after she calms down Youmu-Akihito.
  • Cry into Chest: Mirai to Akihito the end of episode 4.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Akihito was apparently on the receiving end of these during his early encounters with Mirai, likely due to his Wouldn't Hit a Girl stance towards her. In one of these fights, he simply runs away from her rather than let her stab him again.
    • Shizuku delivers one to a youmu that attacks Mirai and Akihito shortly afterwards.
    • Hiroomi defeats several youmu, while also holding up a huge barrier at the same time.
    • Hiroomi, Shizuku, and Ayaka all suffer one in episode 4 against Akihito's youmu powered side after it awakens.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Mirai is ostracized because of her blood-manipulation powers.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Mirai's second superpower seems to be conjuring things to trip over.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Ai.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than most of Kyoto Animation's more recent efforts, but so far hasn't beaten The Second Raid in terms of sheer despair and bloodshed (though it has come close).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Akihito... even when he's dripping with his own blood.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Mirai tries to distract the fruit-like youmu by dressing in a Stripperiffic costume and striking sexy poses, while Mitsuki sneaks around and attacks the youmu. It Makes Sense in Context, as this type of youmu is especifically noted to be, strangely enough, particularly attracted to human women.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Beyond the Boundary" can also be translated to "The one who waits beyond the horizon", referring to the central theme of being an outcast in society. It also refers to the titular youmu, and the central antagonist of the show, literally called Beyond the Boundary.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Mirai and Akihito go through a lot of trouble to defeat the Hollow Shadow in episode 4. And the gem it dropped was worth a measly 200 yen. However, it's revealed in The Stinger after the credits roll that the true Hollow Shadow gem was actually stolen by Izumi.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: A brief one in episode 5, as Mitsuki turned down invitations to go to the festival.
  • Easily Forgiven: After spending a few episodes powering up, Sakura tries to kill Mirai and fails. The next episode, they are brushing each others' hair and Sakura was Shipping Akihito and Mirai. But then again, Mirai did feel that Sakura's attacks on her were justified, and they were old childhood friends.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: True to form of any Kyoto Animation Production.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • There are some youmu so insanely powerful that they don't even need a physical form to exist. The Hollow Shadow is one of these. None can compare to Beyond The Boundary.
    • Beyond The Boundary, possibly the most powerful youmu there is. It is said to appear every so many thousand years, born from the negative feelings of countless humans along a very long time period. This youmu, while weakened by the Calm, was still strong enough to create an isolated dimension where it engaged Mirai in a deathmatch, while also absorbing power from hunters and other youmu alike from all over for itself. Notably, it wasn't destroyed by the anime's end; it was only stopped by being reabsorbed by Akihito.
  • Elemental Powers: Never explicitly stated, but the Spirit Hunters and youmu alike are seen manipulating, air, water, earth, fire and ice.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Hiroomi likes to call Akihito "Akkey". Akihito doesn't like it since, according to him, it sounds like the nickname of a washed up idol.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Akihito first sees Mirai when she is standing on the edge of the school roof, as if ready to fall down to her death. He rushes up there and tries to convince her not to die, only for her to jump in front of him and stab him. He seems mildly annoyed at that.
  • Fantastic Racism: Invoked by Akihito after Mirai admits she likes using him for "practice," since as an immortal, his wounds will always heal. He compares being singled out because of his yōmu heritage to discrimination. Mirai is also a victim of this, as her clan was feared due to their ability to manipulate blood.
  • Food as Bribe: Akihito uses this to stop Mirai from attacking him. At least for one day, and he wonders if she's going to attack him again the next day.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: The second half of episode 9.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Akihito is half-Yomu, which is why he has Nigh-InvulnerabilityFans immediately began speculating that there has to be more to him than simply being half-yomu, as yomu are capable of being killed, and yet Akihito, as far as we've seen, is not. They're right about there being more to him than meets the eye. See Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Hidden Depths: Akihito is a rather sarcastic slacker with a fetish for glasses and girls who wear them. He is also deeply troubled of the fact that should anything push him into a certain threshold of physical damage, he'll turn into a raging nigh-unkillable demon that will raze everything to the ground without regard for friends or family.
  • Holding Hands: A recurring theme regarding Akihito and Mirai's relationship and how it grows throughout the series. The act is significant enough that Akihito and Mirai opt to do this rather than kiss when they officially become a couple in the movie, and the very last scene is of the two of them holding hands.
  • Human Aliens: Most youmu are bizarre-looking monsters, but some are identical to humans.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title is a color that takes prominence somewhere in the episode.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • Averted; it's what you'd normally expect in episode 9 based on their relationship, but Mirai does not hold back against Akihito at all, and was really attacking to kill.
    • However, in the movie Akihito employs this against Mirai to snap her out of her youmu parasite induced rampage.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Mirai does this to Akihito when they first meet. However, since he's immortal, it doesn't kill him, though he does mention that he can still feel the pain.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Sakura's gunchainhalberd. Or whatever that thing is called.
    • They say the word for "scythe" whenever speaking of the weapon, even though it's a halberd-gun-chainsaw hybrid.
  • In Love with the Mark: As it turns out, Mirai for Akihito.
  • Invisible to Normals: Regular humans cannot see or perceive youmu.
  • Just for Pun: The second film's title plays with the fact 'Mirai' also means 'future'.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Mirai gets hit with this in the movie. Most of the plot deals with her wanting to remember exactly who she is, but Akihito refuses because he wants her to live a normal life.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • The Kuriyamas were exterminated out of jealousy and fear of their ability, and Mirai is the last member of the clan.
    • While Akihito is not technically this, the rarity of a Half-youmu is repeatedly remarked on.
  • Left Hanging:
    • We have no idea why the Kyoukai no Kanata was put inside of Akihito, Hiroomi was made the head of the Nase family, as Izumi disappeared. We learned that Izumi and Miroku have Youmu inside of them, and knew each other before the start of the series. And the Kyoukai no Kanata is still inside of Akihito at the end of the anime.
    • Though the movie does at least explain why Izumi disappeared, though her and Miroku having youmu inside them is simply handwaved.
  • Lonely Together: Initially, the literature club are not together because they like each other, but because they have to be... but eventually form a deep and loving bond through the common ground of being loners and outcasts from "normal" human society.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: The opening theme titled "Kyoukai no Kanata."
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet: Mirai's power attracted a youmu to her apartment.
  • Mundane Utility: In episode 9 Mirai uses her blood manipulation powers to pick a lock. In the same episode, Izumi lights up a dark path at night by creating a series of small box shaped force fields along the path for illumination.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In episode 4, the Hollow Shadow possesses Akihito from behind. He then tells Mirai to stab him and use her blood on him in order to draw it out before he was completely taken over. Though it works, and she defeats it, she accidentally causes Akihito's youmu powered side to awaken due to the severe damage her blood caused to his body. Fortunately she is able to bring him back with a risky Cooldown Hug after Hiroomi, Ayaka, and Shizuku fail to contain him.
    • There's also Hiroomi sneaking into the Nase vaults to uncover Izumi's plan, then forgetting to lock the door, leaving the way for Miroku to steal the Hollow Shadow youmu stone and feed it to his weapon.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Akihito. He loses it briefly during the Calm, then seemingly permanently after Beyond The Boundary is extracted from him. It is safe to assume he plays the trope straight once more at the anime's end, when Beyond The Boundary is back inside him.
  • Official Couple: Akihito and Mirai.
  • Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Akihito and Mirai get hit with this hard. Akihito is a half-human, half-youmu hybrid. Mirai is from a spirit hunter clan whose blood is deadly to youmu. Even worse, it's revealed that Mirai was given a mission to assassinate Akihito because the youmu inside him, known as Beyond the Boundary, is a powerful reality warper who could potentially destroy the world. Mirai can't bring herself to do it because she realized Akihito was the only one who understood her and cared for her, and that she'd fallen in love with him. So rather than kill Akihito, Mirai sacrifices herself and absorbs Beyond the Boundary, essentially wiping herself from existence.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the movie, Beyond the Boundary: I'll Be Here. Akihito falls into depression after Beyond the Boundary brings Mirai back to life at the cost of her losing her memories. He constantly tries to avoid her and has a pained expression whenever he sees her, unable to accept that she's forgotten about him and all they went through together. When Mirai confronts him about this, he insists that he just happened to pass by when she regained consciousness on the roof, and that the reason he broke down in tears upon seeing her was because of his glasses fetish. Despite all of his friends telling Akihito to tell Mirai the truth, he stubbornly refuses because he feels he'd be robbing her of living a normal life. And when Mirai starts to regain her memories after visiting a park she and Akihito had gone to in the past, Akihito tells her that she is "the most important person in his life", but that they can't be together because she'll just be unhappy with him. And then Mirai gets infected by a parasite youmu, becomes Brainwashed and Crazy and tries to kill Akihito and all of her friends. Thankfully, Akihito and Mirai finally get (back) together at the end, and in fact it's their love for each other that defeats the Big Bad.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Akihito suddenly appears to help Mirai in a battle, right after he was shown standing around in his apartment miles away. He doesn't seem to know how he got there, either.
  • Our Spirits Are Different: Youmu range from anything like insects to humanoids that can pass off as human and will heal all wounds over time unless their eyes are destroyed, which causes the gemstones to appear. One human youmu compares the differences between youmu to that of mammals like humans and cows. How aggressive they are also depends on the youmu, though more powerful youmu like Hollow Shadow can influence others and make even docile youmu very aggressive. Also, the most powerful youmu are apparently all formless and/or lack physical bodies until sufficient amounts of time have passed.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • Akihito, whenever his Superpowered Evil Side kicks in. In it's first on-screen appearance, it proceeded to lay waste to its immediate surroundings while hurling massive fireballs everywhere.
    • Mirai, to a lesser extent. Her blood is highly corrosive, shown to be able to reduce a significant amount of forest into husks of trees
  • Pinocchio Nose: Mirai starts furiously cleaning her glasses whenever she lies. She even does this when not actually wearing any.
  • Power Limiter: Mirai wears a ring on her right pinky finger; taking it off seems to unlock further abilities, such as making her blood corrosive.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Mirai.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: The inside of the Hollow Shadow as well as Beyond the Boundary.
  • The Reveal
    • Akihito's so-called youmu side is actually none other than Beyond the Boundary itself.
    • Mirai and Izumi were in cahoots from the very beginning, and the plan was to kill Akihito as soon as possible in order to destroy Beyond the Boundary. Mirai falling in love with Akihito threw a wrench into that plan.
  • Reconstruction: The Second Movie I'll Be Here is a heartwarming and idealistic re-construction of the often cynical "Inquisitors forced to work with Monsters Genre" made popular by works such as Hellsing.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mitsuki's mini youmu.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Hiroomi uses his own scarf as a weapon against youmu.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Beyond the Boundary, the titular youmu. And Akihito is the can.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Episode 6 had a training montage leading up to an epic musical routine, that ended up having the group completely fail in the most crucial part.
  • Shower of Angst: Mirai takes one in episode 9 after Izumi orders her to kill a berserk Akihito.
  • Shower Scene: Episode 6 features one for Mirai, Akihito, Mitsuki, Hiroomi and Ai. There's even a shower montage of all of them! Though it makes sense because the youmu they're trying to dispatch in that episode releases an awful-smelling liquid when provoked and the gang are hit with it multiple times. Naturally the episode milks it all for Fanservice and some Akihito/Mirai Ship Tease.
  • Spoiler Opening: Remember those seemingly random scenes of Akihitio running through a flooded room and escaping a huge explosion in the opening theme? Those actually happen in the I'll Be Here movie, when youmu-possessed Mirai is trying to kill him.
  • Starts with a Suicide: Indeed, the first word is "Suicide". Everything begins with Mirai standing on the school roof and Akihito trying to talk her out of her suicide. Subverted in approximately one minute, when she jumps back onto the roof and tries to kill him.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Akihito's youmu side. Whenever his body suffers a particularly extreme amount of damage, his youmu nature takes over, goes berserk and proceeds to destroy everything around it. As a form of reference for how strong it is, Shizuku, Ayaka and Hiroomi together succeeded in containing it for all of 5 minutes before it broke free and everything went up in flames.
    • This "youmu side" is actually a full-blown youmu that has been living inside of Akihito taking over, and is known as the exceedingly powerful Beyond The Boundary. Due to various reasons, it manages to fully take over during the Calm, prompting Izumi to say that if Beyond The Boundary remains in control of the body after the Calm ends, it will truly become an unstoppable menace.
    • In the movie, we have Mirai's Superpowered Evil Side brought on by the parasitic youmu Fujima Miroku infected her with.
  • The Stinger: Episode 4. Mirai really did kill the Hollow Shadow, but the gem it dropped was taken by the adults, seemingly to appease an Omniscient Council of Vagueness.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Except for Akihito, every Youmu or part Youmu has blue/green eyes.
  • Theme Naming: All the episode titles have a color in them.
  • They Do: Mirai and Akihito confess their love for each other and officially become a couple towards the end of the movie.
  • Title Drop:
    • In episode 7, Izumi mentions "Beyond the Boundary" in hushed tones as something that will accompany the approaching calm, a period of timelessness.
    • "Beyond the Boundary" is actually the name of an extraordinarily powerful Youmu. It is so strong that it could have destroyed the world at any time had it been running free. The only reason it didn't is because it had remained mostly docile inside of Akihito.
  • Tsundere: Subverted, Mitsuki initially seems to insult Akihito to hide some sort of romantic feelings for him. Then it turns out her behavior may actually be a coping mechanism over her not quite getting over how Akihito nearly murdered her brother in the past when his youmu side took over.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 4, but especially the latter half. Shocking doesn't even begin to describe it. Suffice to say that describing just that half , with the emergence of Akihito's Superpowered Evil Side, would probably mean the use of a Wall of Text.
    • Episode 9 reveals that Mirai's mission from the start was to kill Akhito as part of Izumi's plot.
    • Episode 10 continues with this in a heartwrenching way. Everything seems fine and dandy, until it's revealed Akihito has been dreaming the whole time. Mirai never intended to kill Akihito, she only brought out his Youmu half from within him and let herself be consumed. She's now in an alternate Pocket Dimension of the town trying to kill it, while the now human Akihito has been comatose in the hospital.
  • Wham Line:
    • As soon as the second episode:
      Mirai: I killed someone. I... I killed her with my own two hands.
    • In Episode 12:
      Miroku (to Izumi): When you get down to it, we're in the same boat. We both harbor Youmu inside our bodies.
    • At the start of the sequel movie:
      Mirai (to Akihito): I'm sorry, but... Who are you?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Both Mirai and Akihito use this on each other in episode 11 when they run into each other. Mirai feels Akihito showing up in the Pocket Dimension created by the Beyond the Boundary youmu where she had been fighting it for months ruined everything she sacrificed in order to save his human half. For his part, Akihito tells her he would never want to live a life where she wasn't in it.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Mirai has a pinprick on her right palm where she draws her blood from. It never seems to heal, and she wears gauze at all times when she's not fighting.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • The Hollow Shadow mostly ends up as a way to show how potently strong Mirai's abilities are, and how terrifyingly powerful Akihito's Youmu side is. Even resident badasses Hiroomi, Shizuku, and Ayaka fail to contain Akihito, and Mirai just attempts a Cooldown Hug after realizing he's not that different from her.
    • The Calm has the In-Universe effect of making all Youmu significantly weaker.
  • You Are Not Alone: Akihito attempts to do this for Mirai, who early on continually tried to distance herself from him.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kyoukai No Kanata, Beyond The Boundary


The Ideal Little Sister

Akihito and Hiromi comment that not only is Mirai adorable and petite by herself, but her red frames add an extra layer of cuteness.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / BespectacledCutie

Media sources: