Going Down The List: Kekkai Sensen


Today is my birthday. No, really, it is. I want to make it absolutely clear that I’m not trying to fool you, because Kekkai Sensen, aka Blood Blockade Battlefront, is a show that I’m really not sure about. It definitely was one of the most noteworthy shows of 2015, but I can’t decide whether that’s a bad or a good thing. It could be good-looking, but was that enough? It occasionally had some interesting themes, but did those really carry the show? It had some great character moments, but did those actually elevate the show to a higher level?

On the downside, it was painfully obvious that Kekkai Sensen faced trouble when it came to the actual production of it. It’s not just that the finale was extended to double-length and aired 3 months after the penultimate episode, nor that I found the finale somewhat confusing and unfocused. From the very beginning, there was obvious clashing between the source material and the direction of the anime. I haven’t actually read the manga, I admit, but I still noticed that all the hearts in the production department were not beating in sync, especially from episode 3 onward.

The upside of that clash between the manga and the anime had its upside, though: The anime was directed by Rie Matsumoto(of Kyousougiga and Precure fame), and the anime-original characters Black and White were, in my opinion, by far the most interesting part of the anime. Episode 11, the penultimate episode, in particular was fantastic. That might have been because it was the episode that resembled Kyousougiga the most, but I digress. In conclusion, the fact that the Kekkai Sensen anime diverged so much from the manga kind of ended up being the show’s curse as well as its blessing. Whether the show deserves that conclusion or not, that’s how I will remember it, for better or for worse.


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