(Nitsuj): Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. During my excursion to Japan 2 years ago Shizuku reviewed an anime that I myself was looking forward to watching and talking about. That anime is of course Kekkai Sensen. Coming out at a time where everything felt on repeat, Kekkai Sensen was a breath of fresh air as it broke away from the norm. The story of a guy getting the divine eyes of God while in a city where humans and monsters try to coexist with each other was wild, insane, unique, and funny to watch. So when-
(Shizuku): So when Bones announced there was going to be a sequel to the series the fanbase exploded with excitement! Sup, boss?
(Nitsuj): Um, Shizuku, what are you doing here? I thought you had a title match today for your bareknuckle title.
(Shizuku): I did. One of the matches got cancelled so they moved my match up and I got done sooner than I expected. I won the match obviously. Now, were you planning on doing this review without me?
(Shizuku): Too bad, I’m joining in. In 2017, Kekkai Sensen made a return with their second season Kekkai Sensen & Beyond. Instead of Bones making up their own story, this time they followed the manga more which was more focused on the characters and their interactions with the city.
(Nitsuj): Is this season better then season one. Let’s ride the crazy train back to Hellsalem’s Lot and take a look at Kekkai Sensen & Beyond.
Opening and Ending Theme
(Shizuku): The opening theme is “fake town baby” by Unison Square Garden. It’s heavy rock song which re-introduces us to the anime and its characters. The song is great and in my opinion way better than “Hello, world”. My biggest gripe with “Hello, world” was that it moved way too slow for me, and when your anime takes place in an insane city full of monsters and characters with supernatural powers you need something that matches that atmosphere. This one is fast-paced and crazy which matches up with the anime perfectly and reflects the current status of Leo. At first he was offset by the city’s insane nature but now he’s become used to the city and is able to keep up with its dangerous landscape.
(Nitsuj): The ending is “Step Up Love” by DAOKO & Yasuyuki Okamura. Hands down the best ending from 2017 in my opinion. While the first ending is still better this one was a good follow-up as it makes you want to get up and move to Hellsalem’s Lot despite how dangerous it is. While the city is dangerous there’s this sense of wonderment and discovery to it. You want to explore this city, interact with the inhabitants and get to know them more. You feel like an immigrant seeing NYC for the first time and being blown away by it because of how unique the city is and how it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
(Shizuku): The season starts off on an incredibly insane note (which is more than welcomed for a series like this) with Femt unleashing a horde of monsters on the city and Libra taking them out (scene here: https://youtu.be/Kwxui1AxB5k). After that, Leo is having a day off where he intends to do nothing but stay in his room and play his X-Station (Nitsuj: What would happen if the Playstation and Xbox had a baby. (Shizuku): And assuming their parents could get along for 2 seconds and let it happen) but trouble comes his way as he gets caught up in a terrorist attack on the president who is in town to officially open up the bridge between our world and the world of the monsters as a show of peace and unity. Leo becomes tasked with delivering the president’s head (yes, I did not stutter. (Nitsuj): We are on some Futurama shit right now) to Federal Hall in time for his speech (but in a town full of insane monsters that tasks is next to impossible). The terrorists find out that Leo has the president’s head and put a bounty on the head which makes all the mob groups in the city go on a manhunt for Leo. Thanks to the members of Libra, Leo manages to make it to the hall safely only to get flung back to his destroyed apartment (where his beautiful X-Station was destroyed and has to do the run all over again (*Nitsuj bursts out laughing* that is hilarious). After getting a good whine in and being spurred on by the president, Leo does the run again this time via scooter and makes it to Federal Hall where we see that the president’s own men have turned against him and don’t want this treaty with monsters to be established. Klaus and Steven can’t make a move because a monster is holding swords to them and they didn’t want to make a scene and endanger everyone. But once the monster threatens to kill everyone in the room they spring into action and kill the monster easily. The president’s head is returned to his body, he gives his speech, and the mission gets accomplished.
Episode 2 starts off with Zapp being carried by helicopter to a hospital after suffering life threatening injuries. The only problem is every hospital is packed with patients and has no room (have you seen where we are? I’m surprised there’s not a hospital around every corner). Luck (or disaster) comes their way when a hospital just mysteriously appears out of nowhere and they take Zapp in where the head doctor is just a kid (this hospital will hire just about anyone with a medical education). Leo calls in Klaus and Steven who recognize the hospital from 3 years ago back when New York was enveloped in the fog that changed the city forever (Nitsuj: And literally made New York, Zoo York). The hospital is Bradbury General Hospital, Klaus and Steven went to the hospital to drop off a baby they found in the streets for safety. While there a blood breed and his pet came to eat the people in the hospital (hospitals are a good place to get blood). Klaus and Steven fought the blood breed but the pet got inside and Klaus tells Steven to go after it. Begrudgingly, Steven goes after the beast but as he does a building is about to fall on him, Klaus, and the blood breed (ohhh~ that won’t end well). Thankfully, the casters created their barrier which stopped the building and managed to bring some order back to the city but the blood breed was gone and the hospital disappeared without a trace. Klaus and Steven searched for the hospital but were never able to find it until today where the hospital is still running thanks to a monster who also happened to be a doctor as well (Nitsuj: Quite the coincidence) stumbled across the hospital where everyone inside except for one doctor named Luciana who was still alive (and it seemed like she and Klaus had a thing for another. (Nitsuj): Oh la la). The monster gave her powers which allowed her to multiply herself and using this skill she managed to save the hundreds of lives in the hospital that day by putting them on life support but their lives are still in danger because the creature that attacked them feeds on their life essence and has been doing that for years. The creature walks in to the hospital where Zapp delivers the best line in the episode completely owning the creature and then Luciana uses her abilities and slices the creature up herself (yeah! You get revenge girl). The blood breed on the other hand is a different matter as Klaus saves her and Leo does his thing to find the blood breed’s true name so Klaus can seal it. They manage to find the true name and the hospital is safe (scene here: https://youtu.be/mLZ3veWCkk4).
We get a series of short stories for episode 3. The first story focuses on Leo who got mugged by some tourists and took his wallet (Nitsuj: Wow, usually it’s the opposite in New York). Chain witnesses the event but does nothing to help him (Nitsuj: Bitch) because from her standpoint Leo should be able to handle them easily with his eyes (Nitsuj: She’s got a point). But the only problem is Leo refuses to use his eyes for personal gain (protecting yourself is personal gain? I can understand if you used your powers to get things but protecting yourself from thugs? There’s stupidity and then there’s you). Leo tries to get his wallet back but once again gets beat up by the tourists in a bar. Chain finally comes into the picture and gets Leo’s money back by challenging the tourists in a drinking contest where she easily wins (Nitsuj: Bitch statement retracted) and the tourists learn the hard way what happens when you underestimate Hellasalem’s Lot (you lose your bodies and get turned into walking light bulbs). In another story Zapp is forced to find a sorceress prostitute’s cat (that is a strange combination. (Nitsuj): Yet I find it strangely attractive) or his freedom magnum (as he likes to call it) will we be ripped off by magic. He searches the city but can’t find the cat and Leo can’t help him because he has no idea what the cat looks like and thus can’t find it (scene here: https://youtu.be/64QTfAkwzlI). In the third story we focus on Steven who is getting ready for a house party with some friends only to have the friends stab him in the back and reveal that they’re working with some crime boss to take down Libra and have been modified with biological weapons. Of course Steven knew something was up and was prepared for their attack. He manages to freeze them all up and hands them over to his personal task force (scene here: https://youtu.be/aRdopOj08b0).
(Nitsuj): Episode 4 focuses on Chain who is part of this all female espionage group of werewolves (basically Charlie’s Angels only with hot werewolves) which serves as a subsidiary of Libra (I think, they never explain this group very well). Now you’re probably thinking, why werewolves for espionage missions? Well, it’s because they have the ability to make themselves not exist. They can dilute themselves which makes them not only invisible but also erases everything about them (heat, smell, sight, etc.) so things like infrared, heat signatures or anything else used to detect stuff is useless against them (Shizuku: Throw in super human strength, speed, and endurance and you’ve got yourself a ninja 2.0). In the episode some secret military agency is trying to create blood breed soldiers and the werewolves have been called in to stop it. They infiltrate the base (Persona 5 style. Even the music sounds like it belongs in Persona 5) where everything seems to be going according to plan until 4 of the women get caught by another werewolf named Velved who used to be a member of the team until an accident happened on mission and left her senses and abilities severely damaged. She blamed her team for her condition and vowed revenge so she made a deal with Zeodra the King of hypersensitivity who made her sensitivity hyper so now she can detect the werewolves no matter how diluted they make themselves (Shizuku: Yeah, but I’m guessing with her senses hyper, everything she does from now is going to be a pain). She captures everyone except for Chain who makes herself so diluted that Velved can’t even find her. Chain manages to beat Velved (scene here: https://youtu.be/b_UCiItNAns) but diluted herself so much that she stopped existing meaning everything she did stops existing as well. The only way to bring her back is to use her token, her reason for coming back into existence and her token is Steven coming to visit her at her place. Why? Because she secretly has a crush on him (Shizuku: Aww~, there goes the Zapp and Chain shipping) and her place is a mess (that’s pretty unexpected). So, her reason for coming back would be to clean her place up and not be embarrassed from her messy house.
In episode 5 Gilbert breaks his spine after getting attacked by a skyfish so a combat butler named Philip is sent to take over his duties while he recovers. Nothing much really happens in the first half. Philip performs his duties well and we even see how he admires Gilbert and actually wants to stay full time to help out but Gilbert says no because he’s not strong enough to handle this city (I agree. You are good, but this place is not for the weak of heart). Things start to pick up in the second half when Philip gets his brain literally stolen from some street thugs who find out he works for Libra and try to use him to steal Libra information. Gilbert discovers this and along with Leo, Philip, Zapp, and Zed go to save Philip’s brain where one of the best car chases in anime takes place (Shizuku: It’s like what would happen if you crossed Mad Max with Initial D and Redline. It’s the most badass thing a gearhead will ever see) with Gilbert driving this world’s version of the Batmobile and showing off his amazing driving skills (scene here: https://youtu.be/C34PYGpZNlQ). The leader of the thugs jumps onto the car and cuts through Gilbert which doesn’t kill him because he reveals that he has Regeneratore powers (basically he can regenerate himself from fatal injuries. Aside from that, he’s still an ordinary old man). They successfully retrieve Philip’s brain (scene here: https://youtu.be/CXOv0rUghOg) and as he recovers in the hospital, Gilbert invites him to stay but he quickly says no (he knows he’s not ready).
Episode 6 is a good episode but really goes balls deep in the not explaining department. In the episode a bug species infiltrates the office and takes over while everyone is out. The bug slowly begins to evolve and if it isn’t stopped it’ll reach the level of a god. The only problem is he’s set the security level to DEFCON level 2 meaning they’ve been locked out of the office and they need to get back in to stop these guys from calling down a being called an earthshaker which will destroy the city unless they’re stopped. Things get even worse when they go to DEFCON level 1 and the place becomes impossible to enter so they have no choice but to make an entry point themselves by weakening a part of the system. Klaus and Leo scale the tower of their building to get the attention of the bug where he goofs up trying to attack them and this allows Klaus to get past the security system and defeat the bug god wannabe (scene here: https://youtu.be/ePb_50c632Y). As for the guys calling down the earthshaker, Steven takes care of them (this was a strange episode even by this show’s standards. (Shizuku): What? You didn’t understand? (Nitsuj): No, I don’t understand. (Shizuku): Well if you don’t understand I’m not going to tell you? (Nitsuj): What just happened here?).
(Shizuku): Episode 7 focuses on Zed. After overhearing the amount of expenses it costs to accommodate him, he feels guilty and decides to go out and find a part-time job except nobody wants him because no education, job experience, visa, or anyone to vouch for him (Nitsuj: And yet employers are quick to give the job to the most unqualified person in the room instead of the qualified person). We get a little backstory into his past by finding out that he’s actually a hybrid born through the combination of human and fish DNA which means he really has no place in the world (he’s not a monster from the other side nor is he a human. He’s somewhere down the middle and neither side wants to accept him). While walking down the streets drunk, a girl of political power sees his headphones which are legendary and only one pair exists in the world (Nitsuj: How good are these headphones? (Shizuku): They say you can hear the revelations of God through them. *Nitsuj begins to drool* (Nitsuj): Get me a towel). She tells her men to find him and offer him 3 billion dollars for them and when they do they skip the bidding and just steal them (now we got the money and the headphones. Winning). This is bad because those headphones are actually pods which help him breathe outside of water. They’re one of a kind and will take a month to get them replaced which means he’ll miss the New Year’s party that Leo worked so hard to plan. Wanting to avenge Zed and get his pods back Leo, Chain, and Zapp pick up the trail and trace it back to an arms dealer corporation. Zapp provides the distraction while Chain infiltrates the building, retrieves the headphones, and warns the girl (who is their leader) to not be so conceited or do something like this ever again or they’ll do more than break her machines (scene here: https://youtu.be/JPYe7WbowZ8. (Nitsuj): She made that girl humble). They get the pods back to Zed who’s able to go to the New Year’s party and as for money, he becomes a street performer using his skills to entertain the masses both humans and monsters.
Episodes 8 and 9 tell one story. It focuses on Dr. Li Gado a microorganism on the hunt for Gemnemo another microorganism who is an evil doctor known for experimenting on people. Dr. Li Gado accidently runs into Leo damaging his cyber sphere and has to make repairs in Leo’s apartment. While that’s going on, Leo’s friend Riel who is a complete weakling among the monster citizens (Nitsuj: Wow, the monster version of Leo) meets Gemnemo who tricks Riel into allowing him to enhance his body which results in Riel becoming the biggest and baddest monster in the city that nobody can stop (forget steroids, scientific enhancement is the way to go). Once Riel goes on a short rampage in the city he manages to stop himself realizing that what he’s doing is wrong and wants to return to normal but Gemnemo won’t let him and tries to take over his body (Nitsuj: With science). Dr. Li Gado creates a device that will stop Gemnemo as well as return Riel back to normal but they have to use the device directly inside of Riel for it to work. So, they have Sonic with Leo being his eyes to guide him inside Riel’s body and following the instructions from Gado (Nitsuj: Hey wait a minute, wouldn’t it be better to have Chain do this kind of thing? (Shizuku): Girls night. Too drunk to help. (Nitsuj): Monkey it is) he manages to use the device on Riel which stops Gemnemo and begins to turn Riel back to normal but he falls into the hollow hole (the same hole where the thousands of blood breeds are). A few days go by and there’s been no sight of Riel anywhere with Leo wondering where he is (Nitsuj: Well given where he fell, I say chances are high that he’s dead) until he finally finds Riel in the park where he’s now the size of an ant and he’s okay with this.
Episode 10 focuses on K.K (who no doubt would be Isis’ favorite character) and her life outside of work. We find out that she’s actually married (Nitsuj: What!? I thought she was single. With the way she hit on Klaus in the first season. (Shizuku): Nope, she’s married. She just has a tremendous amount of respect for him) and has two kids (both of them boys). Not only that, but she’s actually a silly and caring mom with a loving husband who supports and understands her. In the episode it’s parent’s day for Cain, her youngest son and she desperately wants to go because she missed it the last few years and wants to make it up to him. Unfortunately, she has a mission that day where Steven and his hired guns are going to raid this drug operation and he guilt trips K.K into joining the raid (Nitsuj: Oh that’s low). K.K may have to work that day but she refuses to miss parent’s day so she uses remote controlled rifles and drones to provide cover fire while attending parent’s day (aww~, that’s so sweet) where she sees Cain and another girl seem to have a friendship with each other and being a mother she’s determined to get that ship sailing (Nitsuj: The ship must sail! The ship must sail). Things seem to be going well until Steven’s squad runs into a blood breed and Steven has to fight it himself. Knowing that her drones aren’t equipped to get the job done, K.K has no choice but to go there personally and before leaving she actually goes to hug Cain and says she loves him with tears in her eyes (this scene is heartbreaking as you can tell K.K feels terrible. Not because she’s leaving but because she’s letting her child down. She knows her job is to keep the city safe therefore protecting her family but at the same time it’s stopping her from being a good mom and disappointing her child). As she’s leaving she recognizes that one of the parents doesn’t have a reflection and K.K figures out that he’s a blood breed. Not only that, but he’s actually the father of the girl who seems to like Cain. The rabbit hole goes deeper when we find out the blood breed that Steven is fighting is actually a robot which the blood breed is controlling. He also wanted to make his daughter happy and go to parent’s day so just like K.K he’s been remotely controlling the robot to fight Steven. Once K.K confronts him on the school roof she spares his life in exchange for him standing down and he does. This allows Steven to beat the robot and the operation is a success. As for the blood breed, he and his daughter leave town but luckily Cain and her stay in contact via Facebook (Nitsuj: The miracles of modern technology).
(Nitsuj): Episode 11 starts off on a good laugh. It starts with Leo in a cyber café calling his sister Michella to check up on her, where she says she’s getting married (those words are poison to a big brother). Leo is so shocked by this he unknowingly uses his eyes to possess everyone in the café who pull out their guns (does everyone carry a gun in this city? (Shizuku): Have you seen where they live?) and begin firing in the café (scene here: https://youtu.be/N3gTamSfz9A). She informs Leo that she’s coming to visit with her fiancé and Libra are more than happy to provide protection for Michella. Leo waits to meet her in a hotel where all the members are there to keep Leo and Michella safe (aww~, that’s nice. They consider her family even though they haven’t met her yet) but also to see Michella. Michella finally shows up with her fiancé Toby who seems like a legit nice and caring guy on the outside (Shizuku: Wait for it). In truth he’s actually a monster named Gamimozu and Leo is the only one who can see his true form (Shizuku: There it is). He wants to study Leo and how he uses the eyes, threatening to hurt his sister should he not cooperate. With no choice, no way to tell the others, and wanting to keep Michella safe, Leo goes along with his plan until he gets called away to take out a Blood Breed that has appeared in the city. Gamimozu follows him with a drone and Leo tries to avoid showing him how he uses his eyes to learn the names of the Blood Breed but eventually has no choice but to use them in order to save the others (scene here: https://youtu.be/_MxkGtEqk7A). Once Gamimozu sees this he decides to take possession of Leo.
In the final episode we go out with a bang. In order to save Michella, Leo has no choice but to give into Gamimozu’s demands. He’s forced to toss his phone but even without his phone he still manages to communicate with Klaus and let him know he’s in danger and needs help (Shizuku: Now if possible). He goes back to the hotel and up to the room of Michella and Gamimozu where Leo earns himself some man and big brother points by fighting Gamimozu with nothing but a chain w/ball and a bottle of Jack Daniels. I have to admit Leo puts up a good fight, despite being outmatched in almost all aspects and actually getting cut up multiple times that he’s created a pool of his own blood, he actually fights whatever Gamimozu is without fear all for the sake of protecting his sister and getting his shots in. Leo manages to hold Gamimozu off long enough for the members of Libra to show up and Klaus knocks the hell of Gamimozu (delivering a punch that would make even Saitama smile. Scene here: https://youtu.be/_5yrAFqOOs4). Leo gets patched up in the hospital where Klaus praises him for his courage (Shizuku: You’ve made us proud kid). After that, Michella and Toby leave, Black returns as a worker at Leo and Zapp’s favorite diner, and the city gets attacked by Femt again to end the season (scene here: https://youtu.be/Q1Mi18pYltw).
(Nitsuj): Kekkai Sensen & Beyond is a decent follow-up to season 1. While this season lacks in telling a story, it makes up for it by letting us learn more about the characters. Which is good as all of these characters are interesting, but the main problem is the character usually gets dropped and barely gets any screentime after their episode and some of these characters aren’t explored as much as we would like them to be. We don’t learn how the group of Libra came together and we don’t get an episode entirely focused on Klaus, Zapp, Leo, Michella, or a few other characters.
(Shizuku): But the characters that they do focus on are done really well such as K.K having a family and doing her best to be a mother to her kids, Chain caring a great deal for her teammates and always looking out for them in the shadows, and Zed trying to find a place in the world. The best one of them all of course is Leo showing how much he’s grown in the last episode and fighting to protect his sister. While some are mad that Leo doesn’t get stronger in the series you have understand that that’s not the point of Leo’s character. Leo is a person who keeps moving forward, no matter how bad things get or how in over his head he is, he keeps pressing forward to help out his friends in whatever ways he can. He was never meant to be a fighter like the other characters as that would devalue his character because we wouldn’t be able relate to him. Instead, Leo is the guy who supports everyone else and gives them the keys they need to win. Without him, sealing up the Blood Breeds would be impossible and it would just come down to them fighting for survival. Now while the main characters are good I do have to admit the villains are forgettable this season and generic as they don’t leave a lasting impression on you at all.
(Nitsuj): Yeah, I can’t lie there. The animation is still good and not much has changed from the first season. The monsters all have cool designs and the city still looks great. The fight scenes are still fun to watch and if I had to name the one thing this season did better than the first season it would have to be the soundtrack. The soundtrack for this season is out of this world. The mixture of hip-hop, jazz, and classic music is great and totally matches up with the city and in each scene. As far as comedy there’s a lot of scenes to make you laugh and re-watch.
Is it better than the first season
(Nitsuj): Personally, I prefer the first season. There’s a story, direction, and while it didn’t explore the characters as much as I would have liked it to, it did explore the world they were in and made you ask questions on what was going to happen next and what this information means in the long run.
(Shizuku): I actually like the second season more. It follows the manga more closely and the manga was never meant to have a coherent story. It was just about a group of interesting characters and seeing them interact with the world they’re in.
(Nitsuj): My final score is a 5.5/10.
(Shizuku): I give it a 7.5/10.
(Nitsuj): And rounding up those numbers we get a final score of 6.5/10. If you’re looking for story, watch the first season. But if you wanted to learn more about the characters than watch this season. Kekkai Sensen & Beyond is an alright anime and if you’re looking to break the norm and watch something new, different, and totally insane than check this series out. Thanks for reading and thank you Shizuku as you’ve given me an idea for an arc.
(Shizuku): Really? What is it?
(Nitsuj): Oh you’ll find out next week. Until then, thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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