Since reviewing the Beyond the Boundary series, I’ve become pretty fond of Kyoto Animation. The Beyond the Boundary recap movie confirmed one thing though, and that’s that this series is one of KyoAni’s weakest works. The sequel may be marginally better, but a cast of insufferable characters and a messy narrative remain.
The recap movie shouldn’t be watched in place of the main series, and it moves at a blisteringly fast pace and does a poor job of explaining the series’ events. A few minutes at the end lead into the movie though, so you might want to skip ahead before making a start on the second movie. There will be some slight series spoilers here as I’m going to speak mostly about the sequel movie, so just in case you decide to close this review right now, just know that the conclusion is you shouldn’t bother with this collection of movies. Or Beyond the Boundary at all. This is KyoAni’s dud work, more so than Glasslip is for P.A.Works.
Flimsy narrative and characters who are incredibly hard to like.
The movie takes place one year after the ending of the TV series which left several questions unanswered. Mirai has lost her memories and Akihito, who feels that her remembering past ordeals would hurt her, decides that she’s better off not remembering. Mirai realises that people are hiding the truth from her and despite everyone’s best intentions, Mirai and the others are thrust into another battle where everything will come to light. At its core Beyond the Boundary is a love story, but both Mirai and Akihito are irritating characters and I never cared for their relationship.
Fans should be pleased with its conclusion, especially as it makes up for how the original series ended, but overall it’s still made up of a flimsy narrative and characters who are incredibly hard to like. I’m very tired of hearing about Akihito’s glasses fetish, honestly — it was simply never funny nor endearing. It’s hard to say whether this movie is the series at its peak or not, but if you like the series then you’ll like the movie. If you didn’t, then don’t bother.
There’s very little to fault when it comes to the animation.
As with most KyoAni works, both of these movies are gorgeous. It’s a shame that such incredible art was wasted on an uninspired script which doesn’t deserve such great treatment but, regardless, KyoAni have done fantastic work here. Colourful and expressive, KyoAni does it’s best to bring these characters to life, and the action scenes are fluid and generally pretty large on scale. There’s very little to fault when it comes to the animation, other than this level of effort was put into Beyond the Boundary.
Clint Bickham is superb as O.D. in Gatchaman Crowds, so I can only assume that his nasally and grating performance here is down to voice direction. I’m not a big fan of the English dub for Beyond the Boundary across the board, and Krystal LaPorte has a nice voice which, again, seems to not have been directed well. It’s not as if Christopher Ayres is a bad voice-director either as he’s got some brilliant works under his belt, so maybe the issue lies with the original Japanese voice-over and how it’s been adapted into English. It’s far from an awful dub, but it’s not one I can rave about either. I can’t really knock the soundtrack though, especially its vocal tracks, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed them.
Beyond the Boundary fails to captivate and entertain.
Beyond the Boundary, both the series and movies, aren’t something I could get behind. Kyoto Animation are capable of far better, but Beyond the Boundary doesn’t know if it wants to be a comedy slice-of-life or tell a serious story, but it fails to blend the two together well. Without a cast of likeable characters and a coherent story to enrapture you, Beyond the Boundary fails to captivate and entertain. The animation is top-notch, but you can give Beyond the Boundary, and its movies, a hard miss.
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