Beyond the Boundary the Movie: I'll Be Here – Past Chapter / Future Arc is a collection of two different movies with different narrative objectives.
The first of these is an abridged version of the anime series, named Past Chapter. The effectiveness of this movie is somewhat lessened by its structure as a movie. The problem is that the movie is only able to show so much of the series. Major events from Beyond the Boundary are shown but they aren't always shown in their full context. This results in the movie's plot feeling somewhat disjointed. It does a good enough job of getting viewers up to speed but it doesn't quite work as a cohesive whole. Despite being a single movie it might be better viewed as short chunks.
The second movie is called Future Arc and serves as a sequel to the events summarised in Past Chapter. As a sequel it uses the possibilities presented by the way that the series ended to examine its characters, and what drives them. A particular characters' amnesia, for example is utilised well for some touching moments between the main characters. This amnesia also allows Future Arc to make deliberate call backs to its predecessor series in a way that not only avoids contrivance, but also feels very fitting for the movie's emotional tone.
Between the two movies on offer the second is undoubtedly the stronger. It isn't hampered by the pitfalls that come from trying to condense the events of a whole series into a single viewing, and so it is free to tell its own story. Future Arc takes the viewers back to the characters they were introduced in the series and is able to use its time to bring resolution to any plot elements that were still lingering from that series.
The special features on offer with this collection are typical of this sort of release. If you have anything licensed by Sentai Filmworks in your collection you will already know what you are getting. These extra features aren't bad. They are simply utterly typical to the extent that it is difficult to comment on them.
Beyond the Boundary the Movie: I'll Be Here – Past Chapter / Future Arc is not without its merits, but its flaws also hold it back. Past Chapter is too spotty in its presentation of its subject matter to properly serve as an introduction to or a replacement for Beyond Boundaries. Future Arc is a much stronger addition. It is a more successful attempt to translate the series into movie form. Ultimately anyone considering this purchase should do so with Future Arc in mind. Anyone who wants to be introduced to the anime on the other hand might be better off going with the complete season collection instead.
Special Features: Japanese Trailer / Japanese Promos / "Future Star" Dance Music Video / Dance Music Video Cleaning Closing Animation / Also available from Sentai Filmworks
BEYOND THE BOUNDARY THE MOVIE: I'LL BE HERE – PAST CHAPTER / FUTURE ARC / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: TAICHI ISHIDATE / WRITERS: VARIOUS / STARRING: CLINT BICKHAM, KRYSTAL LAPORTE, MONICA RIAL, ADAM GIBBS / RELEASE DATE: 16TH OCTOBER