HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
Journeyman
Heat, The
Fanged Up
Patty Hearst
   
 
Newest Articles
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
   
 
  Beyond the Boundary: I'll Be Here - The Past Don't jump, you look gorgeous with glasses!Buy this film here.
Year: 2015
Director: Taichi Ishidate
Stars: Kenn, Risa Taneda, Akeno Watanabe, Ayako Kawasumi, Masaya Matsukaze, Minori Chihara, Moe Toyota, Naomi Shindoh, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Yuri Yamaoka, Emi Shinohara, Hiromi Konno
Genre: Animated, Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: One day high school student Akihito Kanbara (voiced by Kenn) spies cute classmate Mirai Kuriyama (Risa Taneda) seemingly about to jump off the school building. He instinctively runs to Mirai's aid and tries to dissuade her from suicide with a well-intentioned but silly remark about how pretty she looks in glasses. To Akihito's extreme surprise, Mirai inexplicably conjures a sword from her own blood and stabs him through the chest! Mirai is equally surprised that Akihito does not die. As it turns out Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior, the last of an ancient clan that protect humans from otherworldly monsters called Dreamshade, while Akihito happens to be an immortal who is part-human, part-Shade. As their lives become intertwined, Akihito helps Mirai gain the confidence to kill Dreamshade, so that she can stop trying to kill him as practice.

Beyond the Boundary started out as a series of 'light novels', which are the Japanese equivalent of young adult books, written by Nagomu Torii with illustrations by Tomoyo Kamoi. The television series debuted in 2013 and was a hit on both sides of the pond. Well, maybe. Frankly it is hard to gauge judging from the various anime fan forums that echo the mixed critical response slamming the show for its supposedly lightweight characters and perceived lack of substance. That said no anime sires two feature films unless somebody out there likes it. As per a longstanding tradition in anime, the convolutedly titled first film: Beyond the Boundary: I'll Be Here - The Past plays as a super-condensed retelling of the TV series. Despite its predictably episodic nature the story flows well and weaves an amiable, at times even heartrending star-crossed love story that doubles as a fable about adolescence.

Long before Twilight (2008) or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992/97) the anime industry was adept at spinning fantastical allegories about high school life. Working within a tradition that goes back at least forty years, Beyond the Boundary taps the universal teenage anxiety of feeling uncomfortable in one's own skin. Both Mirai and Akihito long for a normality that is beyond their grasp. Stripped of their roles as slayer and monster, she is a studious girl burdened with the weight of expectation while he is a boy struggling with the strange metamorphosis of his body. Normality seems beyond both their grasp yet they feel normal around each other. Which, for all the criticisms leveled at the series, seems a wholly believable rationale for the central romance. The plot contrives multiple reasons to keep the young would-be lovers apart. Our hero and heroine take turns dying and returning from the void in a relationship cycle that, in its uniquely Japanese way, proves both melodramatic and understated.

Dreamy blonde Akihito and pink-haired bespectacled Mirai are characters that are undeniably tailored to appeal to the otaku crowd. Yet they emerge as relatively faceted and more importantly engaging. The comedy moments are overly cute including Akihito's fetish for girls with glasses, the absurd depiction of his mother as an ageless demon-horned sexpot in a halter top and micro-mini, and the inevitable scene with the female characters in swimsuits. It is aimed at teenagers after all. However the gravity-defying action sequences are animated with spectacular fluidity and the graphic splatter effects and offbeat creature designs prove quite striking. The plot takes the concept of monsters as fears made flesh in an interesting direction. Japanese culture tends to encourage introspection. This is something that starts in high school where students are urged to pinpoint their character flaws, anxieties and perceived personal failings as a means of developing a well-adjusted, more productive member of society. In Beyond the Boundary the world-threatening Dreamshade are portrayed as the physical manifestation of all the suspicion, fear and hatred society at large has thrown at Akihito who must ultimately confront his own anxieties. So while not especially groundbreaking the story is more nuanced than its detractors maintain. Plus only the truly stone-hearted would not be moved by the penultimate scene. A post-credits teaser sets up the sequel: Beyond the Boundary: I'll Be Here - The Future (2015).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 182 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: