Anime Reporter brings you the word on Beyond the Boundary, the Complete Collection, currently available on DVD and Bluray in the UK and Ireland, courtesy of the fine folks at Manga Entertainment.
Akihito Kanbara is just your ordinary high school kid: cowardly president of the literature club, has a major fetish for glasses and can’t die, when his life is turned upside down by the arrival of- yeah, you read that right, he’s an immortal, apparently due to the fact that he’s half human and half youmu (strange spirit-creatures), so you’d think his life would already be pretty interesting, but it isn’t until he tries to save the life of Mirai Kuriyama… which he apparently does just because he can’t get over how cute he thinks she looks in her glasses. Of course, she naturally repays this by stabbing him through the chest with a blade formed from her own blood.
Mirai is a very special type of Spirit World Warrior, people sworn to hunt youmu, but she’s not too eager to kill and only seems comfortable impaling the immortal Akihito, though he makes that pretty understandable by constantly harassing her over the fact that she wears glasses. They’re joined by the members of the literary club, one of whom has a very disturbing young-sister fetish and his… younger sister.
This series has a relatively straightforward premise; young people fighting against evil spirits and dealing with their feelings. It alternates between exploring Mirai’s dark past and Akihito’s origins, and some episodes examining the fact that Mirai is severely hard up for cash, can effectively make a living by harvesting the souls of these mysterious creatures and… becomes a kind of weirdly passive, devoted subordinate to the creep who can’t see past her spectacles. There’s a strange time coming when the powers of youmu will fail and something dark and powerful will crawl forward, something known as Beyond the Boundary.
Premise and characters aside, there’s something just a little bit different about this series. In just twelve episodes we get setup, development, back-story and a few original touches in the way it all fits together. There’s a pretty neat side episode about what can effectively be described as a stink-monster that they just can’t figure out how to get rid of. There’s action, yep, you know there is. There’s supernatural world-building, though nothing that surpasses that of Blue Exorcist or Blood Lad. There’s humour there too, though, it does rest quite heavily on the fact that two of the characters can’t stop obsessing about girls with glasses or younger sisters. I’m not really sure what that adds to these characters or their story, but the people behind the series definitely see the merit in it because they use it… a lot.
All in all, Beyond the Boundary is an enjoyable, but not terribly groundbreaking supernatural anime. It’s got some creepy character points (not in a good way) and some dark secrets (in a good way), though it’s not quite original or entertaining enough to leave much of a lasting impression.