Blu-Ray Review: Beyond The Boundary: I’ll Be Here – Past ¦ Future

Beyond the Boundary makes the leap from TV Series to feature-length-film and in this ‘two film collection’ we receive the complete story in a single package; including one that goes beyond the TV Series. Is it worth your time? That depends on how much of a fan you are but from our perspective we enjoyed the TV Series itself a lot more.

Synopsis:

Beyond the Boundary: I’ll Be Here’s ‘Past Chapter’ recaps the anime’s  first season in which half-human, half youmu Akihito strikes up an unlikely companionship with Spirit World warrior Mirai – the sole survivor of a family with the power to employ their blood as weapons.

Born of enemy clans, Akihito and Mirai end up forging a powerful bond in their fight against a common foe, but all-new work ‘Future Arc’ sees their friendship falter.

Unable to remember the events of ‘Past Chapter’ following the film’s finale, Mirai is disconnected from her friends but is also offered something that had previously been beyond her reach – the chance to live a normal life.

Our View:

Beyond the Boundary – I’ll Be Here is a two-film-collection, known as Past and Future, which not only summarises the TV Anime series but expands upon it with a brand new story and a new enemy threat. It sounds like the perfect collection for fans of the franchise; but unfortunately when all is said and done they are nothing but a rushed experience that is glorified with the high-quality-animation from Kyoto Animation.

For starters Beyond the Boundary – I’ll Be Here: Past is a feature-length-summary of the events of the TV Series, a series which sees Akihito Kanbara, a seemingly average high-school-student who is later revealed to be a half-human half-yomu creature, crosses paths with Mirai Kuriyama, who is the last member of the Cursed Blood Clan. It’s a story which starts off with Akihito Kanbara becoming friendly with Mirai Kuriyama solely on the basis of his ‘fetish’ of glasses but soon enough Akihito begins to give Mirai confidence in hunting Yomu that appear within the town.

The successful defeat of Yomu from Mirai soon leads to her being introduced to other characters, such as brother and sister combo Mitsuki and Hiroomi Nase as well as other spirit world warriors Shizuku Ninomiya, Izumi Nase and Yayoi Kanbara. These new encounters soon pave the way to the true intention of ‘Beyond the Boundary’ becoming active inside Akihito and Mirai making the ultimate sacrifice in order to save people she cares about.

Unfortunately while the ‘key elements’ of the TV series are recapped in this movie it does not portray the characters very well; and as such you’ll see new characters appear on screen without any formal introduction or explanation as to who they are. This wasn’t a problem in the TV Series, which built upon the characters, the relationships and the Yomu threat; but within this film everything seems to be ‘glanced over’ in order to get viewers up to date in preparation for the ‘Future’ film.

Fortunately the events of ‘Past’ do build up the second film in this ‘two-part-collection’ and as such ‘Future’ takes place shortly after the events of ‘Past’. In this case after defeating (or sealing) the Beyond the Boundary inside Akihito Kanbara, Mirai Kuriyama returns with no memories of her past self. You’d expect the film to take an approach whereby Akihito attempts to retrieve those lost memories of Mirai in order to reignite the love between them; but this is not the case.

Instead Akihito Kanbara opts to keep Mirai Kuriyama from remembering her past self as he fears that if she recalls her memories she will go back to become a spirit warrior of the cursed blood clan rather than a normal girl. As a result of this not a lot happens in the flm other than Mirai questioning herself and her feelings; that is until a new enemy threat, which appears neither to be Yomu or Human, appears and causes destruction amongst the town.

The Nase Clan attempts to take it under control but in the end the true objective of this enemy threat is the ‘retrieval’ of Mirai Kuriyama so that she can fulfil her duty of defeating the Beyond the Boundary.

As far as stories go it is a rather meaningless one and soon becomes a bitter disappointment with the only satisfaction of how well the events of the Future story are intertwined with the events of the TV Series (or ‘Past’ film); such as characters once thought dead being an integral part of this films story.

For example the film spends the entire runtime building up to the final moments of the film, one which you would expect a battle to commence; and while a battle is present it’s not the one we want nor we initially thought we would receive. It’s just disappointing and feels like a complete waste of time.

Extras:

Unlike most Sentai Filmwork authored releases this Beyond The Boundary Collection features a well-rounded selection of bonus features that include promotional materials for the film as well as trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases.

In this case we receive access to original Japanese Promotional Materials, two varying different Music Videos (one of which is the dance performed during the main TV series to cheer up one of the characters) and trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases; majority of which have been released within the UK.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50
Region: B
Running Time: 2:54:29 (Movie 1: 1:23:12, Movie 2: 1:31:16)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 & LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Beyond the Boundary I’ll Be Here is a colossal waste of time and does not deliver the same experience that was offered in the TV Series. The emotion, the character development and the action sequences that were portrayed in the TV Series are lost in this feature-length-adaptation but aside from that the overall animation quality remains consistently high throughout; its just a shame that the same attention to detail wasn’t taken with the story and the development of the characters on (and off) screen.

As mentioned the first film, Past, recaps the events of the original TV series using scenes from the anime; but it has been done in such a way that it loses the emotional connection the TV Series presented. This film opts to focus on the facts rather than the delivery of the story and as such it suffers and feels half-hearted.

The second film meanwhile, known as Future, attempts to create a new story built upon the foundations of the first film unfortunately its a story that no-one wanted and is presented in such a way that feels like a waste of time. The lack of a progressive story and a sudden ending (so to speak) means you could easily watch the film thirty minutes from the ending and still understand the events of the entire film.

The only positive aspect I can take from this experience is the presentation of the film and the quality of this release as everything else, for me at least, felt like a big disappointment. Sure enough the film provided an ending that fans wanted but it does so in a terrible way.  The animation quality of the films is exceptional, especially during those fight scenes, and this shines through with the High Definition quality of this Blu-Ray release.

This disc meanwhile, which has been authored by Sentai Filmworks and released by Manga Entertainment UK, features both English and Japanese audio tracks in 5.1 Surround Sound – an audio track which sounds great (soundtrack wise) but mediocre from an English Dub perspective; but at least the English Dub retains the same voice actors from the TV Anime series which was also dubbed by Sentai Filmworks and also released in the UK by Manga (Animatsu) Entertainment.

Beyond the Boundary – I’ll Be Here is a a well presented collection of films with a questionable English Dub; but overall it is a disappointing experience that should be avoided unless you really want to see the two main characters embrace one another or are a fan of the franchise; but at least it looks good.

Score: review-stars-2

Beyond The Boundary: I’ll Be Here – Past ¦ Future is available as a Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack within the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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