Is there more to Love Live Sunshine than just cute anime girls singing, eating cake and having a good time? Wait, where have I heard that plot description before?
How do you continue a franchise that started on a slow burn, became super popular and to this day has a legion of fans the world over and not trip over yourself? Well, the answer will surprise you because it’s certainly not Ghost in the Shell and unfortunately, it’s not this film either.
Sometimes, in the course of doing so, we are confronted by the same questions that every person dreads: why am I alive? What’s my purpose? Who would miss me if I was gone? Add to this the questions that a person who hurt others and regrets it now must also ask: could I have done things differently? Am I causing more trouble by being around than simply going away? Beyond The Boundary has all of these questions and more but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
A hundred years after an asteroid strikes the Earth and leaves the next few generations with special powers, the world’s most advanced city has been founded to settle fights between the academies in the city of Rikka, more commonly called Asterisk, for control of whatever the winner of the yearly competition wants. In the fights, one or more combatants must face off against an equal opposite number of combatants and uses their Genestella powers plus a chosen weapon (called a Lux) to defeat, incapacitate or make an opponent yield. The fight is watched by a crowd and once the challenge to fight is issued, cannot be rescinded. Into this comes Ayato Amagiri who joins one of the academies in search of his older sister who vanished a while earlier after going to the same academy. Within the first day, he sees a girl in a state of undress, proves himself a hero and gets hit on by his student year head. He hasn’t even gotten to the second day yet.
Please note: this was written in 2011 so hence things like REDLine had just come out and my recent trip to Otakon.
Usually, when you discover a new anime series, it’s a case of “Hmm, interesting, but it’s too generic and samey. Could have used a vampire.” It’s a sad fact that the bulk of shows made today pander too much to a really, really, small niche market. I’m fine with people liking whatever it is they like but once in a while, just once in a while, I like to get a show or movie that I can really start chewing on. So, I heard and then read the central premise of Rideback. I looked for fansubs of it but by the time I did, FUNimation has already licenced it and so I decided to wait for my DVD or blu ray of it. So, when I realised that I’d be at Otakon this year and FUNI would have a sales booth I decided to buy it. And then it sat on my ever widening shelf of anime that I hadn’t watched. But unemployment will make a person want to fill the spaces when they aren’t looking for a job. So, I found myself watching the show. And it might be my favourite show of the year and I’ve had a lot of candidates for the title.