First Reactions: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 9

It’s a testament to the chemistry the show’s been building between the main four that the drama over Akihito’s transformation this time felt as real as it did. I particularly liked the scene where Mirai found his notes on her birthday gift; that was a nice, quiet package of emotion.

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Unfortunately, that was one of the few things I liked about this episode, the rest was full of irritating, bush-league cliches.

For starters, the fight between Izumi and Miroku had a textbook bad fight trope that’s always bothered me. It’s a really cheap dodge when someone gets hit by an attack and it’s an illusion all along; if it wasn’t previously established that it was possible, the guy comes off less as a strong character and more as one the writers will allow to pull powers out of their ass. I know this wasn’t the main focus of the episode, but these little things are still important.

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Miroku last episode was shallowly manipulative, and Izumi doing the same routine this week was little better. I mean, it’s pretty clear to the audience that Izumi manipulated the current situation as well, so her attempt to pit Mirai against Akihito for real feels like a very shallow plan. It’s more frustrating than compelling to watch, and while I like how the rest of the cast took it, these two have pretty consistently been the low point of the show. This whole plot would have been a lot worse if Hiromi hadn’t spotted her machinations pretty quickly.

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And in the first place, isn’t it weird that characters shown to have been pretty freakishly strong and outclass Mirai for much of the series aren’t just setting up a favorable battle for themselves? That wrinkle just makes the transparent manipulations seem even more forced. I’m not at all sure the ending is going to be satisfying at this point.

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