It would be far too painful to force myself to write individual reviews for Galilei Donna and Beyond the Boundary, so I have decided to combine these two disappointing series together due to a common element: bad endings. Bad endings KILL shows, and although I usually try to look on the positive side, the endings to these shows so throughly wreck anything the shows had going for them that I can’t recommend either as watches beyond simple entertainment. And you can find many more entertaining shows out there without having to put up with the weakness of these two anime. Both shows are low tier III shows, see their rankings here.
Before we get to the hilarious (and I do mean hilarious) excuse for an ending, here’s a cursory glance at the rest of the show. Galilei Donna began with one of the best, if not the best, opening episodes of the season. The concept was refreshingly original, the first episode was appropriately in media res and all of the core characters (the Ferrari family) showed huge potential for interesting dynamics. In fact, I was most looking forward to watching the family grow together over the course of the series and hopefully reunite. Well, they did join back together, but in no sort of satisfying way.
Even through the series started to sputter a few episodes in, I backed it up until the ridiculous two episodes of time travel, in which the main character falls in love with Galileo Galilei himself. Now, even though I’m Catholic, I don’t hate Galileo (shocker, go look up what really happened between the Church and Galileo), but the “romance” was forced and the episodes were out of character for the show as a whole. Then Hocchi came back and the series tumbled into one of the lamest endings I have ever witnessed.
Faults of the Ending: Wasted any tons of potential intrigue and tension in the courtroom setting, faked amnesia to bring the mother back in, random entrance of the father to bring him back, absurdly fast change of advantage in the trial, random kill of a side character by the main villain, arrest of the main villain, another side character laughably disguised as a narcoleptic attorney, contrived happy ending for the whole family, and the seventh sketching being of Hozuki. It’s really pretty funny if you watch it as something that is so bad, it’s good. Go do it. You don’t even need to have seen the rest of the show.
Not worth your time to watch. Galilei Donna is a distressing 11-episode collection of wasted potential. It ranks as a low tier III show on the virtue of a masterful OP and actually very pretty animation courtesy of A-1, the folks behind Sword Art Online.
Beyond the Boundary
Beyond the Boundary actually suffers from many of the same faults as Galilei Donna, although the potential for this show never approached the level of its sadly disappointing counterpart. The animation from KyoAni is very, very nice both the OP and ED were beautiful (“Daisy” by Stereo Dive Foundation is definitely the best ED of 2013). The characters, although not very well fleshed out, are decently likable.
The beginning of the anime was actually pretty weak and forgettable, split from the rest of the season by the infamous episode 6 and its random dancing scene.
That’s right. This show wanted you to take it seriously (I think). The saddest thing is that the final few episodes before the ending actually began to build hope that the show could pull itself back together for a decent rally at the end.
Despite (or perhaps partially because of) the glossy presentation, Beyond the Boundary couldn’t help but remind me of another shiny anime with a depressing ending, Guilty Crown. And, to my horror, I got first a Guilty Crown ending with the main heroine fading away without explanation and then a “tear jerker” happy ending with the main heroine suddenly alive again without explanation, tons of characters disappearing without explanation and pretty much the whole show wrapping up without explanation. Now, while the Guilty Crown ending fakeout earned most of my ire, the lack of any sort of clean up really doomed this show.
Don’t watch Beyond the Boundary. Instead, go find the song “Daisy” by Stereo Dive Foundation and enjoy the best ED song of 2013. Beyond the Boundary could be said to have met its goals of being a light-heated dark fantasy (what?) with slice of life elements, but those aspirations are so low that achieving them means little.