First Reactions: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 6

Kyoukai no Kanata’s 6th episode was very heavily reliant one particular scene, repeated, many, many times. And, fortunately, to great effect.

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I’m 100% behind an episode where the cast manages to fail in increasingly hilarious ways. In comedy, there’s a big gulf between the skill at which people can tell the same joke over and over again. This style of joking can go South real fast; when a writer is bad at repeating his or herself, you get a formulaic example of characters running through the motions, something that ultimately comes across as an episode that could as well be cut from the series. It’s the prototypical filler episode, and nobody likes it. But that’s not what we saw here; I had a lot of fun with the group’s attempt to take down the pus-spewing roof vegetable with eyecandy and sneak attacks that proved futile for a cornucopia of reasons..

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First Reactions: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 5

Ishidate Taichi evidentially doesn’t believe in bringing his B-game to an interlude episode. While the nominal content to this week’s episode was mostly small fallout from last week’s midway-climax, the execution was a thing of beauty, and the cast actually fleshed out a lot through body language, without any need for backstory. More to the point… They did the glass thing! The deliberately awkward, “I don’t know what to say so I’m looking down at my drink” glass thing! If I needed another reason to import this show, that would have been it. First-person camera has been vastly underutilized tactic for over a decade, and it was a real pleasure to see it pop up here.

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First Reactions: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 3

I’m cutting off my entries on Outbreak Company. I don’t have enough time to blog 5 shows and process the sequel data I’m working on. That show is still enjoyable on a baseline, and the main character can definitely hold his own weight, but it tended too heavily towards melodrama at the wrong time more than once.

Sticking with Kyoto Animation’s latest work, though. Kyoukai no Kanata’s preorders thus far has been something less than stellar, which matters from a business perspective, and very much from a “will the story be continued?” perspective. I do pity Ishidate Taichi,* but it certainly adds to the humor value of this screenshot:

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Doesn’t mean it can’t still be great.** Between the dialogue (particularly between Akihito and the Nase siblings) and the scenes with the rest of the cast casually weathering the Moonlight Purple Overdrive storm indoors, I enjoyed this week’s episode quite a bit.

It’s certainly not hitting home runs with the story, though. Taking revenge for a dead friend is fairly standard battle series fare. I’m more looking forward to how they deal with a theoretically difficult foe. The appeal of such a series, and KnK is very much aiming to be one, is twofold; the characters bouncing off each other and the creative ways they come up with to work their way out of increasingly more desperate mismatches. I’m sold enough on the cast, so the bigger risk I see for it coming up is how they handle the fight choreography in episode 4.***

*As the assistant director of Nichijou and the project head here, he has a big hand in two of their 3 major commercial flops. It also should be noted that any bemoaning or celebrating the failure of Kyoto Animation on a macro scale because of KnK’s micro failure is likely overreaction. Their business practices, particularly their brand management, have gotten smarter after Nichijou, which means they’re very well set to deal with a few failures en route to putting another entry in the all-time top 50 selling anime. Flopping was a much bigger deal when Nichijou happened and too many people, even some smart ones inside the industry, fully expected that they would succeed 100% of the time.  Even Jordan’s ’95-96 Bulls lost more than 10% of their games.

**So long as it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger that it won’t be able to resolve.

***I’m fairly confident, chiefly because the chase-combat in episode 2 was nailed down.