[Guest post] Anime review: Kara no Kyoukai – The Garden of Sinners


This month’s guest post is about the anime Kara no Kyoukai – The Garden of Sinners and it’s written (again) by our collaborator TuxEGP. TuxEGP writes:


And I’m back again, thanks for the feedback about my last article, really, it was even rebloged. I couldn’t believe, it gave me the motivation to write once again. So, here we go!

Before talking about the anime itself, I want to say some things about the Studio and the writer behind it.

First, Kara no Kyoukai was produced by UFOtable, the best animation studio of Japan. Seriously, look at every work of them, be it an old or new one, all have the best animations of its year. One of their animes have doubled the budget of the average anime budget, and it was amazing (I’ll get to it later, in a future post)! Every work is a piece of art, so Kara no Kyoukai is no exception. I don’t really need to say anything about the animation or the design, they speak for themselves.

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Now, talking about the man behind it, well, I guess most of you have heard (or are watching) this anime that was finished last season, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (also produced by UFOtable and it has the best animation I’ve seen on an anime, and this isn’t a onverstatement. Fate/Stay Night UBW was part of a visual novel released in 2004, but I’ll get to it when talking about the Fate franchise. It was written by Kinoko Nasu, he wrote a great number of works, all of them happen in the same universe (called by the fans Nasuverse). So, they share the same “laws” and sometimes they even cross paths with each other, the thing is the work that started it all, all of the mythology and laws (and those two are really, really extensive) was Kara no Kyoukai, a series of light novels released digitally in a blog in 1998. It was the first work of Nasu (but not the first prototype), it reached a certain amount of popularity, but only in the year of 2007 an anime was announced. It would be divided in 7 movies and would follow the original story the way it was (the chapters in the light novel are out of chronological order), and here we are with this masterpiece.

The protagonist, Ryougi Shiki

The protagonist, Ryougi Shiki

Kara no Kyoukai takes place between 1995 and 1999, telling the story of Ryougi Shiki. After waking up from a coma she discovers she has the ability to see the “Lines of Death” of the things. When she touch these lines, she kills the thing. In posession of this power, she decides to help Aozaki Touko, a paranormal investigator doing a series of jobs along with her childhood friend Kokutou, a guy that knows Shiki since they were classmates. However, due to an accident Shiki doesn’t remember what happened in that time and Kokutou decides to hide the truth from her.

There is one more thing, Shiki has another special characteristic in her that makes her so special as a character, emotionally speaking, but that’s a huge spoiler.

Again, as it was with Ergo Proxy (read more), pretty much everything past this point is spoiler, but what I can say is: the first movie is about one of those “jobs” in the city, there’s a case of a great number of girls committing suicide by jumping off of a building, passing by it at night. Shiki sees some spirits floating around and is attacked by the one behind the suicides, the antagonist then puts Kokutou in comatose and Shiki needs to save him and stop the suicides.

The chronological order of the movies is: 2, 4, 3, 1, 5, 6, 7. But the “correct” way to watch them is the order of release, it was meant to be that way, maintaining the suspense until the last second. Also, some of them contain spoilers about the others, so watching in the chronological order will give you spoilers (be warned).

It has a great character developement, specially in the second movie, because it shows how everything begun and the fifth one. Seriously, it’s my favorite!

Besides the great plot and animation, Kara no Kyoukai has a heavenly good soundtrack. Some of you might know the musical trio Kalafina, that produces music for a great number of animes (like the opening of Aldnoah Zero, the ending of both Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night UBW and the ending of Puella Magi Madoka Magica). The group was created (hell yeah!) for the OST of the Kara no Kyoukai movies, every movie features musics from the trio and every one of them is fantastic. They fit perfectly well in the movies, both the action/drama scenes and the openings/endings.

The movies have an average duration of 50 min, some of them have more and some have less, so you can perfectly watch more than one in a row (I watched 4 of them in an evening).

At last but no least, Kara no Kyoukai is a great anime for fans of suspense, supernatural, thrillers, good character developement and a good Seinen, taking its plot seriously (well, there’s a character in the sixth movie… But that’d be spoiler too) and great moments, helped by a perfect animation and a great OST. I’m sure you’ll not regret seeing it.

Here’s a video to show how great the animation combined with the soundtrack is (relax, it’s spoiler free):

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