On one hand, if you’re not familiar with BTB this is actually a decent deal. On the other hand if you are, feels like wasting half your money…
What They Say:
Two-part animated feature which continues on from the anime series. The first part recaps the events of the series, which follows the story of high school student Akihito Kanbara (voice of Kenn) who, preparing to commit suicide, spots fellow student Mirai Kuriyama (Risa Taneda) about to jump off the top of a building. As Akihito instinctively saves Mirai from her fate, he discovers that she is actually immortal and is half human, half youmu. The second part reintroduces Akihito and Mirai one year after the end of the series and reveals what has happened in the wake of its conclusion. Akihito must protect his friends from the dangers that still lurk all around them and help Mirai face a new threat with its sights aimed firmly on her.
This is a dual release so for this review as a change of pace will be reviewing the DVD variation. As it is a movie version it has 5.1 options for both English and Japanaese and thus there were no complications of the audio throughout the release and the 5.1 option definitely comes through well with no need to adjust default settings on the audio system I was using. There were no problems with the video synching in with subtitles so definitely acceptable as a DVD release.
HOWEVER, big word for those who watched the original series – the dub has changed due to actor unavailability so this could change what you thought of the series with the different voices in these movies (especially as the first one is pretty much a recap of the series) – not so much of an issue if you are going in blind but considering how well regarded BTB is, it might be an issue for fans of the original dub.
Similar with the audio, the video is set in 16:9 – 1.78:1 aspect ratio via NTSC transfer to PAL format – with DVD releases nowadays the effect definitely seems more grainier compared to HD but due to the movie quality of the release it really felt like a Blu-Ray release due to the superb animation (albeit with times when it was obvious CGI was being used) lots of dark colours with the flowing blood a motif and transitions into the scenes from the original series and then into the 2nd movie it flows very naturally.
There was no packing for this test release.
The menu in both movies has Mirai in the background as the main character, with shadow/blood effects on a dark menu – with the selections in both being Play All, Languages, Scene Select and on the first movie, extras. No problems with selection and can return to main menu from the show easily, and nearly instant with selecting your choices without delay, but not Blu-Ray pop-up menu standard obviously.
The extras are only on the first disc, though there are some Japanese trailers on the 2nd for the 2nd movie, there are some for the 1st one here – there is a music video for Future Star (basically the main four characters doing a dance video animation with a special guest start, something that wouldn’t be out of place out of Love Live). There is a clean opening animation as well and trailers for the following shows from Sentai; Girls und Panzer der Film, K-ON! The Movie, Wake Up, Girls and Children Who Chase Lost Voices…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Beyond The Boundary was one of the more pleasantly interesting series in recent reviews I got my hands on – despite some comedy and a few slip ups here and there, it was actually a really in-depth series with a lot of good animation, characterisation and action. The idea of an immortal trying to bring the girl into a new world to avoid himself being stabbed again and again whilst also delving into the ‘yomu’ and their mentality and how they come to be, gave some very intense and smart viewing.
This is why this is a bit of a catch 22 scenario. There are two movies, and the first one is pretty much a 5.1 recap of the original series, with a few extra scenes in it. The explanation of Beyond The Boundary and what it is is great to people who decided to get this instead of getting the series, it showcases the two main leads, Mirai and Kanbara and their relationship, along with the roles of the other characters like Mitsuki and Hiroomi and a lot of what you see is good for remembrance when you get to the second movie, so as a recap and even as an introduction, the movie does its job.
The problem of course is two-fold as if you are familiar with the series, this first half feels like 4 recap episodes put into one movie and feels like it was unnecessary. Granted, some period of time had been taken after the series so the producers may have felt it was necessary, but long serving fans will definitely say otherwise.
So it does set up for the second movie, which is new content –it immediately leads in to the end of the series with Mirai reappearing after Kanbara takes BTB back into his body…only to discover Mirai has lost her memories of him or any events before then – this immediately begins the plot of ‘does she remember’ or ‘is it better if she forgets’ and the cast pretty much go through this the entire time of the movie…
Because of her past and her regret with killing people, Mirai can go into becoming a normal girl and removed from the supernatural world. She looks into joining clubs…not the literary in case it brings her back and instead joins the tennis club, adopted by Sakura, yet she cannot seem to stay away from Kanbara and the literary club, she knows there was something in the past but she can’t remember…which makes it worse for Kanbara as he has to try and cut all ties with his bespectacled beauty…
….so of course this is when yomu and shadows come into play. She slowly regains her fighter instincts, with Nase saving Inami, whilst Mitsuki asking about Mirai whilst still trying to keep secret what she really is…
This becomes problematic as Mirai slowly seems to remember that her mission/job was to kill Kanbara, yet can’t forget him and they have a date of sorts, knows there was something in the past but he can’t tell. He does tells his reasons – tearful scene but Mirai shows she knows her blood techniques, Akibaha doesn’t want her to do it, gets attacked, Akibaha gets hurt, she instinctively fights – Izumi revealed as the opponent, Hiromi finds her so she runs away…
It leads to Mirai gets possessed by a bug/curse by someone of her past – realising she is going to kill Kabnara, he tries to find her but gets shunted by the shadows…so similar to the series he put the yomu/BTB into his body, however this time the yomu stop him so could use it to parasite others – they need to find Hiromi but now the yomu can infect everyone who sees it and Mirai attacks them all leading to a battle Izumi/Mirai vs everyone else and the finale of Mirai stabbing Kanbara…and sees her memories about killing Beyond The Boundary…so leading to a happy ending…maybe?
A lot of movies and series do have an amnesia plot, though this one does take a unique twist at least from my point of view in that it is usually always revealed that you could have your memories, instead of losing them. This is a case where it could be against it, because until the villains attack, she is happy – and whilst she still wanted her memories for Kanbara, it is a different life from the Mirai of old. And of course, most of the memories she gets are negative ones and seeing the pain that brings her (reliving the death of her adoptive sister again is never a pleasant moment)…
The problem it has is that the villains are really shrouded in mystery with the shadows and the yomus around. The bad side of this is that the villains themselves are rather forgettable and just seem to be there as a typical movie villain, a means to the end for our heroes to win. However, it does also help expand about the other ‘antagonists’ in Miroku and Izumi who weren’t a focus in the original series, whilst also filling the blanks of other characters in short flashbacks. It however, can feel that too much is being thrown at you at once, hence why the recap movie may have been included to warm people in even though familiar with the series. Add to that the return of what Beyond The Boundary is as a deus ex machina of evil bad ready to be unleashed after all the emotional stuff has happened, it really does feel a bit cheap.
Which is a shame because overall it works well with a nice ending similar to the TV series, whilst giving some expansion to the other characters and making the amnesia angle seem more worth it – combined with the action scenes and the backstory of some of the side characters, it definitely feels like effort was made and a good movie is here. A combination of the first half of the movie you might feel is unnecessary with the recaps, or the fact the villains are quite forgettable whilst trying to bring more of the lore back into question, or perhaps the new dub for English listeners could put you off if used to the original, there are a few factors which make sure it isn’t perfect. Overall, as a fan of BTB, the main movie is intense and I am glad I saw it, but overall, it isn’t the article fully that I wanted, despite the pleasant ending.
The BTB movies are a mixed bag depending if you have watched it before or not. If you haven’t, the recap movie can be a godsend considering how much there is to intake, as well as the fact it does answer more mysteries when the 2nd movie comes into play. This with great animation and action does help a lot when the villains are pretty one-dimensional and despite Mirai’s development with the amnesia and taking a different stance on it, there are enough factors which make it sadly a bit disappointing compared to the actual series.
Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: C-
Released By: Manga Entertainment UK
Release Date: October 16th, 2017
Running Time: 172 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.