First Reactions: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 10

This is honestly a hard episode to comment on. Five minutes in, I was all ready to put on my hype hat and just shower it with praise for sidestepping the colossal, ill-conceived excess drama that pervaded the second half, opting instead for a three-episode aftermath, like a more extreme version of the twelfth episode of Ookamikakushi cross-bred with the final exam from Hunter x Hunter. Unfortunately, that decision wasn’t the one the writer actually made.

Kyoukai-10-1

Instead, we got an an episode that was, among other things, a poorly placed and overly long downswing in pacing. I get that they were going for added drama by having Mirai turn out to be an assassin all along, but do they really need to show each meeting she had with the Nase family about that job? Every bit of information I needed on that I got through the initial reveal. With much more pressing questions (Mirai’s apparent death being one of them) on the table, the entire second half of the episode felt like a colossal waste of time.

What’s more, I’m close to 90% sure that Mirai’s death is almost certainly going to be overturned by some sort of spirit magic or deus ex machina. If she doesn’t, it means the show traded an opportunity to show a few episodes of characters interacting for a few episodes of characters angsting over naught, effectively swapping a chance to show off its strong points for a chance to have a “proper” climax. If she does die, that means the show killed off a heroine for a very weak underlying reason; three capable expert handlers can keep Akihito’s dark side in check, so it’s very implausible they’d need to resort to underhanded ploys requiring outside help to bring him down if they really wanted to do so.I mean, there’s a veritable standing army of exorcists waiting to profit off the calm. They could have been paid to finish off a major threat at any time if it was really important enough to require immediate attention.

A lot of this frustration on my part does chase back to the fact that the show’s titular demon really doesn’t seem like much of a world-destroying threat, but it also hurts that the shadowy-dealings part of the show are just so token and canned. I’ve seen really good plots about leaders having to do the wetwork to keep the world safe, but when the majority of damage caused by the supposed threat to the world they’re trying to seal is caused by their sealing efforts, it’s very hard to take their motives seriously.

Depending on how my schedule for next week goes, this might end up the last episode of the show I actually watch. It seems dead set in showing off its weak points, and the outlook for the conclusion is not particularly promising.

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