Originally written at 5/7/15
Current mood: Feels, why you come find me?!
This anime was quite the hit when it came out and tumblr showed me multiple gifs of scenery porn, fingers in armpits, glasses and colorful things ohh wow. I watched the first episode with my dad if I’m not mistaken, but didn’t get drawn in cause, hey I watch last season animes! I don’t indulge anime when it’s still hot! I marathon all 12 episodes till 2 in the morning, forgot to set the alarm, and missed my ride home…
At first glance this anime seemed to be a simple story of teenage boys and girls, but you’re mistaken. The first scene introduces our protagonist, a boy with a glasses fetish, Akihito (that’s a pretty common name). He sees Mirai, a girl with glasses who seemed to be about to jump off the building and hurries to stop her… just to get stabbed in the chest. You may be thinking ‘OMG THIS TURNED INTO SOME MYSTERY THRILLER HORROR?!’ No, it doesn’t. In fact Akihito is immortal! Muahahahaha! And Mirai is surprised.
Mirai is a shade hunter, while Akihito, a shade. However, he denies being one, because he has human blood in him too, making him a hanyou (Inuyasha!). Mirai attacks Akihito everyday, and he keeps running away because though immortal, he could still feel pain. Soon they become acquaintances and Akihito brings Mirai to a shade stone appraisers’ place, disguised as a normal coffee shop and protected by barriers to prevent entry of civilians and ‘unwanted guests’. Mirai meets Ai, a two-tailed cat, and Ayaka, a nine-tailed fox. At first Mirai is very cautious, since the two are shades, but soon warms up to them. Mirai also meets Mitsuki and Hiroomi, siblings from the Nase family, a strong and influential shade hunter family who oversees the regions’ shade hunting activity. The siblings, being shade hunters, can also construct ‘cages’ (yeah, basically Kekkashi).
Mirai is always in a constant need of money, since she doesn’t have the guts to kill even a small shade, she doesn’t earn any shade stones, she can’t trade or appraise anything for cash. Akihito helps her in facing her fears of killing, and Mirai, being the last of a hated shade hunter clan, is reluctant to accept any. She thinks that she’s too different to be like a normal person. Akihito says he feels that too, but Mirai dismisses his statement, saying that he doesn’t understand. After one fateful incident Mirai finally realizes: it was she that doesn’t understand. Akihito is neither shade nor human, he’s both, and that makes him stronger and more dangerous than any other shade. His shade-half takes over and attacks everybody, causing mass destruction. Mirai stops Akihito, and they come to a mutual understanding that both of they can never be normal, but that’s also why they need to be there for each other. Later, Mirai meets an old friend, Sakura, who apparently wants revenge on her sister death. Mirai doesn’t run away from her problems now. She faces Sakura head on and subdues her. The true reason behind Sakura’s attacks was to become stronger and be a shade hunter like how her sister always wanted to be. She wished to live her sister’s dream. Mirai and Sakura reconcile and Sakura becomes part of the ‘family’.
If you think Akihito’s glasses fetish is a no-no, Hiroomi has a big sister-complex, directed at Mitsuki! Sure, Hiroomi tends to annoy Akihito at times, but when it comes to being perverted there’s no end to their shenanigans. Mirai is offered a job by Ayaka to model various outfits, for there is a customer who would pay a high price for those pictures. And guess who that customer is? Yes, that’s right, it’s Akihito! While Mirai keeps getting exploited by Akihito’s perverted wishes, Mitsuki, on the other hand, uses her brother’s interests to her advantage. Funny moments ensue, especially whenever Akihito’s dumb of a mother sends him postcards and embarrasses him. Light-hearted moments are short lived, as the real threat comes…
A shade phenomenon, the Lull, is to occur soon. The shades are all in a weakened state during the Lull, so many shade hunters prepare to hunt rare and strong shades in this period. Izumi, head of the Nase clan, also Mistuki and Hiroomi’s elder sister, plans to kill the shade ‘boss’, one with massive destructive power during the Lull. But not anyone can kill it. It has to be Mirai. It was then revealed that the shade ‘boss’, referred as ‘Beyond the Boundary’ resides within Akihito. To force BTB to appear, Izumi weakened Akihito’s human half, causing his shade half to emerge. Akihito goes into rampage, and Izumi orders Mirai to kill him, since during the Lull Akihito loses his immortality. Mirai does not have the heart kill him, and so Izumi proposed another method: by using her own cursed blood, Mirai could force BTB out from Akihito’s body and save him, but she would disappear. Mirai agrees.
Akihito wakes up three months later to find Mirai gone, but not before seeing a dream message left by her. He is is no longer immortal, as BTB has left his body. However there is an interference with shade hunter powers, because Hiroomi has lost his hypersensitivity to temperatures. More truths are revealed and the real culprit of all this mess is from the Shade Hunter Association. Mirai’s physical body is gone, but her consciousness lives, and she is fighting BTB in another realm created by BTB or her, I don’t remember. The culprit interferes in their battle, prompting BTB to absorb shades from Earth to become stronger. Akihito’s dumb of a mother appears during a critical moment, and explains that if Akihito absorbs a small part of BTB, he could enter the realm via a clone of him made by Mirai and help her. Akihito agrees and springs into action.
Akihito’s dumb of a mother disappears to God knows where after that, but that’s the least of our concerns. The others involved deal with the culprit. Mirai is surprised to see Akihito. They fight side by side, trying to find BTB’s core. They found it and destroyed it, only to wake up seeing Akihito’s fears. Mirai panics, but Akihito assures her that nothing will go wrong, and when the open their eyes once again, they see a horde of shades absorbed by BTB before them. Epic fighting scene here, nothing to comment, except the fact that Ayaka and Ai appear and help them. When all the shades are vanquished, Mirai realizes there’s not much time left. She orders Akihito to pat her head and thank her. Having her last wish fulfilled, she disappears completely, since BTB has returned to Akihito, thus she cannot exist. FEELS TRAIN COMIN RITE UP!
Izumi was revealed to posses a shade within her, the culprit disappeared, Hiroomi becomes the head of the Nase clan, and everything goes back to normal. Akihito keeps Mirai’s ring as a memento, and one fateful evening the ring vanishes… Akihito runs up to the school rooftop to find Mirai standing there, nothing changed except the fact that she doesn’t have glasses.
My thoughts: Hmm, quite a love story really. I think 12 episodes is enough, because dragging it any longer would kill the mood and purpose. If a story were to have a sad ending, it might as well have been as long as SWKNU. An angst ending with fluff epilogue is best kept at 10+ episodes, since the audience is not as invested to feel sadness.
I may have seen a lot of spoilers for KNK in tumblr, but I DID NOT know that Mirai disappeared, I DID NOT know Mirai lived, I DID NOT know Mirai still disappeared only to appear alive and well in the end, I DID NOT know the Nase siblings had a sister, I DID NOT know that Sakura existed and I DID NOT know the idol concert on the school rooftop was to catch a shade! And what prompted me to watch this you ask? Just because it was a hit in tumblr last season and it has less episodes, so why not? It was a great catch anyway!
However I think that Mirai could have just stayed ‘dead’ so that they could make a continuation, but apparently lead characters don’t die. The ending was a bit unrealistic, that Mirai would just show up after disappearing and meet Akihito like some cliche love story. Her staying dead would have given the pairing more purpose, in my opinion. But this just fuels our OTP feels train and pain. *clutchesheart*
Though not very significant, I do like the idea of Hiroomi acting all gay-ish with his hands in Akihito’s armpits/waist. What can you say, I’m a fujoshi! In a special or something Hiroomi even goes naked except for his scarf hiding his dong, and the girls (Mirai, Mitsuki and Ai, I don’t remember if they’re any others) ‘feed’ Akihito to him… and screams could be heard in the distance… that episode was all like AF.