Although the anime adaptation of Tomoko Yamashita’s The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window starts with a deadly sixth sense and lots of sexual innuendos, the real backbone of this story begins as it progresses forward. A supernatural mystery bromance about a bookstore clerk who can see ghosts and a powerful exorcist he becomes involved with, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window delivers a truly emotional punch.
Shy and easily scared, Kousuke Mikado spends more time avoiding the ghosts he sees than facing them. Until he stumbles into the eccentric Rihito Hiyakawa. An exorcist who claims Mikado is his destiny, Hiyakawa drags Mikado into a bizarre adventure full of ghost-filled mysteries.
I could talk forever about the ghosts that are exorcised, the cases that Mikado and Hiyakawa take together, and the erotic tension between our two male leads, but to be honest, what sells this anime is the friendships, the relationships, and the traumatized pasts that each character has to overcome. The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window is a prime example of what it means to let go of hate and a past that has dragged you down into the depths of despair.
As much as I enjoyed the electric chemistry between Hiyakawa and Mikado, what possessed my heart was delving into the emotional entanglements that tie all of the characters this anime introduces together. Hiyakawa and Mikado may be the story’s leads, but the introduction of Erika, Hanzawa, Mukae, and Sakaki makes all the difference. Sometimes the best way to tell a story is to use its supporting characters. The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window not only does this, it excels at it.
For victims of abuse, especially child abuse, this anime will touch you in unimaginable ways. As a victim myself, I related to the hate that each character held close to their heart, especially Hiyakawa and Erika. Each character represented something different. While Hiyakawa and Erika harbor hate and fear from their pasts and a need to break free of it, Mukae, Hanzawa, and Sakaki are all anchors and beacons of hope for each of them in different ways. They represent loyalty, safety, and understanding.
This brings me to Mikado.
Kousuke Mikado may appear weak, but he’s the strongest character in the anime. He’s not only a beacon of light for spirits; he’s also the end of the road for hate. No matter what’s happened to him in life, no matter what he’s endured, he’s carried the love his mother gave him. This love proved to be an invaluable teacher. It’s hard for victims of abuse, those who’ve spent most of their lives dealing with the world’s darkness, to understand love. For them, love is fiction. It’s a fairytale that doesn’t exist. The only emotion they know is hate.
I dealt with abuse, bullying, and molestation in my childhood, but like Mikado, I had a champion in my corner. My mother not only refused to give up on me, she believed in me when no one else did. She showed me what it meant to love someone, including myself. Through her love and support, I learned there is always light in the darkness. Always.
In The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window, Mikado is the light in the darkness. He’s the hand Hiyakawa reaches for when the frustration of his past becomes too much. Mikado represents the light that overcomes the darkness of the past. He appears weak initially because light always seems weak when faced with the dark. After all, the night always swallows the day. But we must also remember that come morning, the day also consumes the night.
Rather than delve into the storyline in a way that spoils how each character is connected and how Mikado becomes the light that defeats the dark, I’ll simply say that this anime is a must-watch for anyone who’s ever felt hopeless. Those who go into it thinking this will be a fun bromance full of romantic chemistry will be surprised to discover that it’s so much more than that. The way Hiyakawa and Mikado are connected by the end is much deeper and intimate than the sexual innuendos that drive the first few episodes.
This anime is worth every minute for a supernatural watch full of emotion, chemistry, and supporting characters who shine in inexplicable ways. Check out The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window on Crunchyroll.
Rating- 4.5 out of 5