Episode 1


The first episode of Kekkai Sensen aired recently. It opens with a monologue from an unseen character reciting a letter to their sister named Michella. He expresses hesitation in writing a letter to her, but felt the need to do so anyway.

kekkai sensen

What a precious angel.

He tells her about a city he is in, where many abnormal and chaotic things occur as if they were normal and regular. Shots are shown of different characters’ faces, a technique regularly used in animation to show a character that will play some prominence later.

kekkai sensen

Lady with gun.

kekkai sensen zap

Guy with blood sword.

As more and more characters are shown, a glimpse of the regular life is shown, seemingly with monsters attacking the city regularly with other people coming in to save these civilians.

After the tite splash, we’re shown that the setting, Jerusalem’s Lot, used to be New York City, however a gate suddenly opened, connecting it with another realm known as the Beyond. Now, monsters and humans live together in peaceful fashion.

kekkai sensen leonardo

Seemingly peaceful.

Immediately after a blast rocks who can only be assumed as the series’ protagonist, he is met with someone named Zap Renfro, the former having blown off a meeting between the two.

kekkai sensen zap

I like that smug grin.

At this point, we learn the identity of the mystery narrator: Leonard Watch. For whatever reason, he is in Jerusalem’s Lot. At a diner, he speaks to a server about his lack of contacting his younger sister, who can be assumed to be Michella. Leonard seems to feel down on himself, believing little in his own abilities. He is a reporter who came to the city in order to try to make a life for himself, but he is rather down on his luck. And his luck goes down even further when his tool of the trade–his camera–is stolen…by a monkey.

kekkai sensen

A…monkey.

We learn that the events just seen were a flashback before he ran into Zap, all a series of “convenient coincidences” as stated by Leonardo. The actual reason he is in Jerusalem’s Lot is to join Libra, a secret organization that aims to stop miscreants from overtaking the once peaceful city.

Upon entering Libra, Leonardo and Zap are met by Klaus Von Reinhertz, a rather large man with a rather impressive underbite.

kekkai sensen klaus

Impressive, indeed.

He introduces them to Chain Sumeragi. Unfortunately, Libra assumes that Leonard is a man named Johnny Landis who has come to apply to work for them. It is implied that Leonard has tried to get into Libra multiple times, only to be turned down each time.

During this, an armed robbery arrest from earlier has gone awry the perpetrator suddenly begins to go on a rampage, having taken on a new monstrous form. Additionally, it seems to have been instigated by a man who claims himself to the leader of Jerusalem’s Lot: Femt, the King of Depravity.

kekkai sensen femt

What is it with guys and masks with no eyeholes?

He taunts the citizens, claiming that they have become complacent in thei ways, boring him. As such, he has instigated a “game”: they are to find the gate that split the robber in half before the demon wreaking havoc does. The demon spawns inside of Libra’s base, splitting it in two. A rather intereesting way to set the pace for a first episode.

Klaus questions Leonardo, asking if he could see the attack, since it happened too fast for anyone else to see it. He could see it, which leads Klaus to question why he wants to join Libra. Leonardo’s reason happens to be tied to his sister and an event that happened six months prior to the series.

kekkai sense

#%*@&!

A monster comes before the family, asking which one of them shall become “the witness,” implying that the individual would lose their sight. After connecting some dots, Zap jumps to the conclusion that Leonardo sacrificed his sister, an act which obviously weighs heavily on his shoulders.

While lamenting, a military force–JLPT–attacks Libra, ordering them to surrender. Klaus questions Leonardo’s resolve and his ability. In a show of mutual effort, in exchange for helping them solve this crime, Leonardo is welcomed into Libra in order to find an answer to what he is searching for, presumably a way to undo whatever had been done to his sister. Klaus tells Leonardo that he is not afraid of whatever stands in his way because he has not given up hope yet. Klaus then goes to face the JLPT robots that have surrounded them.

kekkai sensen

Brain Grid Blood Fighting Technique

kekkai sensen klaus

Pattern 11: Twisting Storm

Zap and Leonardo chase after the monkey that stole Leonardo’s camera, the apparent source of all of the mayhem. The demon appears before them and Zap prepares to face it.

kekkai sensen zap

Big Dipper Blood Fighting Technique: Sword Form One, Sword of Flame

kekkai sensen zap

Giant Serpent Halberd

Zap lays waste to the demon, but it simply reforms itself behind Leonardo. Zap continues to fight the demon while Leonardo runs off and confronts the monkey in order to end all of this. For the first time in the episode, Leonardo’s eyes open, revealing his previously unknown power.

kekkai sensen leonardo

What do your elf eyes see?

The credits begin to roll as the situation is resolved and Femt looks on, obviously distraught at the outcome of his plan. Leonardo’s power, known as the “Eyes of God” are apparently very powerful. Klaus’ judgement about letting Leonardo into Libra is questioned by someone he is playing chess with, but Klaus assures him that it will be fine. Meanwhile, Leonardo returns to the now destroyed diner in order to make do on his promise.

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Episode 1 The first episode of Kekkai Sensen sets the bar high. With high-adrenaline action right off the bat showing the high-intensity lifestyle of the setting, it lets the viewers know that it will be a wild ride from start to finish. However, it needs to care not to let this energy diminish as a lot of action-based anime are prone to do. The animation by BONES is wonderful, with splashes of color here and there in order to offset the rather dull grey of the city. Overall, this is going to be an anime to watch out for the spring season.
Plot80
Character Development00
Pacing80
Animation95
Deionte Coates

About Deionte Coates

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Deionte is a writer and editor for BentoByte from Virginia. He'll watch or read anything once, which allows him to have a very broad taste in anime and manga. Besides those interests, he plays Pathfinder and video games in his spare time.

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