Kyoukai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)
Onyx Archer last edited by Onyx Archer
It's been a while since I've posted a suggestion, and was surprised that Beyond the Boundary hadn't been suggested.
Publisher: Kyoto Animation
Label: KA Esuma Bunko
Author: Nagomu Torii
Artist: Tomoyo Kamoi
Publication Status: 3 Volumes - Complete? (KA Books tend to be weird about series status)
Other Formats: Anime (Produced by Kyoto Animation, Licensed by Sentai Filmworks) [12 Episodes + OVA + 2 Films]
Synopsis: One day, high school student Akihito Kanbara instinctively goes to save his fellow schoolmate, Mirai Kuriyama, from committing suicide. Following his pleas, Mirai suddenly stabs Akihito with a sword formed out of her own blood and is shocked to discover that Akihito is an immortal "half-youmu"—the offspring of a supernatural creature, called a youmu, and a human. After learning that Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior (異界士, Ikaishi)—specialists who protect humans from being affected by youmu—and the last surviving member of her spirit hunting clan, their lives become intertwined as Akihito seeks to help Mirai gain the confidence to kill youmu so that she may stop attempting to kill him as practice. (Source: Wikipedia)
Why?: Beyond the Boundary is one of the honorable mention winners of Kyoto Animation's annual light novel contest, the Kyoto Animation Awards, in 2011. It got a fairly popular anime adaptation produced by the very same Kyoto Animation, followed by a recap film and an anime original sequel film. It's still an enjoyable show, and while I wouldn't say it's the best or most critically acclaimed Kyoto Animation titles, it's certainly got a lot going for it.
For one, as with most KA Esuma Bunko titles that receive anime adaptations, there are a number of changes made to the plot of the source material, which according to what few people I could find that have read the novels, is fairly distinct from the anime's storyline. This is especially the case, given that the series' follow-up film, "I'll Be Here - The Future," is an original story that I believe has no novel basis, which tells me there was a divergence in the story at some point. This, like with most of the KA Esuma Bunko light novels, intrigues me as a fan of both KyoAni and Light Novels.
On top of that, I personally just enjoy the anime adaptation a fair bit, and any little bit of extra content I can get, even if it ends up being functionally the same, is worth the time for me. I can only speak for myself, obviously, but I would like to think that the other fans of the anime would be a little interested at the very least. There are some of the lingering questions the anime never answered have me wanting to see if the novels answer said questions. Even if they don't, given how random nature of KyoAni novel series' releases, those questions stand a better chance of being answered in the Light Novels than a hypothetical second season or something.
I'm going with Beyond the Boundary out of all of the KA Esuma Bunko LNs due to my own personal interest in it. That, and Chunibyo already has a thread. Of course, I wouldn't argue with an English release of either Violet Evergarden or Myriad Colors Phantom World's light novels. After all, if any of them got published in English, that just makes the odds of seeing the others look better. Well, at least as far as I'm concerned anyway.