12 Days of Anime – [4] Kekkai Sensen

Burger, please?

Only the second of Matsumoto Rie’s head director series, Kekkai Sensen (or Blood Blockade Battlefront) danced onto the stage with flair. The setting, style, script, and music all contributed to an alluring world between life and hell. Of the many episodic stories told in this too-short series, the one featuring the unexpected friendship between Leo and Nej over a mutual love for Jack & Rocket’s hamburger stayed with me the most.

As this post publishes, I’ll actually also be in New York City for the Christmas holiday. I doubt I’ll be eating hamburgers, since the plan is to try multiple Chinese banquet halls for next year’s Chinese wedding (a must for KWoo’s family) following our Seattle wedding. I wish I could drop by the same street corner where Leo and Nej habitually met and grab a burger along with them.

Hellsalem’s Lot may be a unique border town, but prejudices and discrimination still abound. Amagranoff Luozontam Ouv Lee “Nej” is a Beyondian with a physique too easily comparable with a mushroom. He is no stranger to cruelty from humans, but bears the verbal and physical abuse with a resilient cheer heartbreaking to see. Leo’s initial pity turns to genuine friendship as the two continue to meet, eat burgers, and engage in discussion. The horrifying truth to Nej’s loss of emotional control almost destroys their relationship through no intentions of theirs, but Kekkai Sensen opts for a hopeful ending true to the overall spirit of the show.

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