Kara no Kyoukai

Title:Kara no Kyoukai
Gekijouban Kara no Kyoukai
Rakkyo (Alternate Title)
The Garden of Sinners
らっきょ (Alternate Title)
空の境界 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - UFOTable
Music - KAJIURA Yuki
NOTO Mamiko
Original Concept - Type-Moon
R1 License - Aniplex of America
Based on a novel by Nasu Kinoko, writer for TYPE-MOON. Kara no Kyoukai plays in a parallel universe to that of Tsukihime. Considered the precursor/inspiration for the story of Tsukihime.

"From a long sleep, Ryougi Shiki awoke.
As an after effect, she gained the power to perceive the death of things.
A power to kill anything with just a knife lures Shiki into a dark world.
The murderer from two years ago.
A swarm of floating ghosts.
A girl who can bend things by just looking at them.
A spiral construction which collects people's death.
When numerous bizarre incidents collides with Shiki's Mystic Eyes...
her lost memories reawakens---."

Ryougi Shiki is involved in a car accident and falls into a deep coma for two years. When she finally awakes from it, she gains the “Eyes of Death Perception” ability but believes she's also lost something in return.

Produced by TYPE-MOON.
Animation by UFOTable.
A 7-part movie, with the first part to be released Dec 1st '07.

2009 Anime Reactor Award - Several awards including BEST ARTWORK & BEST ACTION.

Other TYPE-Moon titles - Shingetsutan Tsukihime and Fate/stay night

Chapters as listed in Wikipedia
  • Chapter 1: Overlooking View (Dec 1 '07) (50min)
  • Chapter 2: Murder Study-Part 1 (Dec '07) (56min)
  • Chapter 3: Remaining Sense of Pain (Jan '08) (56min)
  • Chapter 4: Void Shrine (May '08} (46min)
  • Chapter 5: Paradox Spiral (August '08) (112min)
  • Chapter 6: Oblivion Recorder (Dec '08) (60min)
  • Chapter 7: Murder Study-Part 2 (August '09) (119min)

An OAV episode was made exclusively for a Blu-Ray movie set of the seven movies released in February 2011 by Aniplex.
"空の境界" ("kara no kyoukai") actually means "boundary of emptiness"; "らっきょ" ("rakkyo") is the sound pattern for "Japanese leek", some edible plant.

1:08min Trailer 1 - YouTube Video
2:44min DVD Trailer - YouTube Video

Also see Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin.
Episode Details 
991, 992, 993
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 10 10 10 9 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:1675#1552]
Kara no Kyoukai was quite the immersing little watch thanks to a great looking presentation of bloody and intense fights, the complex character explorations and the plot developments regarding Shiki's character and the supernatural murderers that she often comes across. I might as well first cover the style of the series, in particular its visual and aural presentation. Visually, this is one slick looking series sporting vast and detailed environments coming from cities, the insides of buildings and forests. The character designs are just as detailed with clothing and injuries sustained by characters during battles. Speaking of battles, Kara no Kyoukai features fluid and intense battle scenes coming from battles Shiki engages in with spirits, magi and common thugs. This fluid animation also extends to the movement coming from vehicles and weather conditions such as rain and snow. The dark, bland colors used with creating the scenery and character designs do well to complement the suspenseful and intense mood that this anime gives off. Said intensity also extends with the show's soundtrack filled with intensely dramatic musical pieces that do well to complement tense moments like Shiki's battles and dreary, slow-moving pieces used to accompany moments of suspense such as the shocking scenes of various graphic murders and the morbid details learned of the various character mentalities and backgrounds.

As for the plot and character elements to the series, Kara no Kyoukai offers up an exploration on human nature as the movie series introduces a number of characters facing their own mental traumas that either drive them to kill or they internally struggle with. A number of the movies introduce an antagonist prone to bloodshed due to tragic circumstances brought about from either their pasts or deteriorating mentality. In particular, Shiki's character deals with detachment from her past thanks to events from her time in high school that led her to lose her sense of self-identity. In addition, she finds herself drawn to the idea of death which she feels justification in committing to where necessary and often struggles with the morality surrounding this justification, in particular with her relationship with Mikiya. This gives Kara no Kyoukai a definite sense of grey morality as these characters are victims of their own mental conflicts that affect their mental resolve and/or sanity.

The movies tend to switch time frames or perspectives at points in their exploration of either Shiki's past, her encounter with another mentally traumatized individual creating bloodshed or exploring a different side to events taking place with a particular conflict. This narration approach does take getting used to as there is mention of events experienced by the characters which the viewer is not able to see until later on and it can make it difficult at points for the viewer to relate with characters if events are not in chronological order. Piecing together these events, however, does reveal a bigger picture to the cause of the antagonists in each movie to commit to their string of murders.

Kara no Kyoukai does have a couple issues that did hamper it for me at points. The sixth movie does play against the consistent dark mood given by the other six movies as it is more mellow with no graphic onscreen deaths (with exception to the finale hinting to the seventh movie's antagonist) and the appearance of Azaka Kokutou playing the "jealous younger sister" archetype with a smudge of incestuous attraction tossed into the mix of her character. Also, the OAV for the movie series is essentially an info-dump reflecting on the personalities of Shiki which go into redundant details and contradictions over what the seven movies had laid out for the basis of Shiki's complex character.

Despite a few holes shown from what I covered above, Kara no Kyoukai was quite entertaining for a series of movies. Featuring complex characters, a plot filled with enough twists in time and perspective for its exploration and a hauntingly beautiful visual and aural presentation, this movie series is well worth the time to look into if you can tolerate the graphic violence coming as a result of the messy ways that prominent antagonists drive their victims into.

Last updated Saturday, April 02 2011. Created Saturday, April 02 2011.
Rent Forbin [series:1675#1573]
Analysis : 6 episodes watched

The 6th was very easy to watch. There's some Bro-Con going on.

The puppets in the beginning of each movie is the WIN!

Last updated Monday, August 03 2009. Created Monday, August 03 2009.
Rent 9 9 9 7 7 7 Dreamer [series:1675#2279]
Bloooooody! This ones tons of gore and blood... and more gore. Wow! If you can't stomach body parts bending, cracking and twisting in every fashion, including rolling heads and such, then it's best you avoid this one.

Art, Animation & Character Design
Very beautifully done anime. The art and animation was very fluid, smooth and breathtaking. The frame count seem extremely high... which gave the animation a really velvety look. I really loved it. Shiki is one bad-assed woman. I love her abilities and how ruthless she is... even while damaged. Some of the fight scenes are almost breathtaking.

The music wasn't anything special again. Although, the theme song did start growing on my slightly.... ever so slightly.

Series & Episode Stories
At first I was confused. Was this a continuation of Shingetsutan Tsukihime, or possibly prior to it's event, or a retelling of it... or even a different story all together. Until I started watching it more, I realized that it's more or less a continuation... a few years ahead. The various episodes each have almost a vastly different story... but that are tied together with a very thin line. It's not until later that you realize that they all merge and make sense.

Overall, it's an entertaining watch. Not great, but really good.... that is, if you can stomach the gore.

Last updated Thursday, September 18 2008. Created Thursday, September 18 2008.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1675#967]
Chapter 1: Fukan Fuukei (50min)

Having dropped out of college,KOKUTO Mikiya works with for a private detective agency which specializes in uncommon cases - usually involving spiritual, supernatural or psychic situations. Together with their manager TOUKO-san and his high-school friend RYOUGI Shiki they somehow manage to earn enough money to keep the doors open and rent paid.

A series of teenage suicides is a big topic on the news - six apparently unrelated girls all jumped off the roof of the abandoned Fuyyou building and the police are not certain as to the cause. Shiki drawn to the drawn to the abandoned building and even witnesses one of the suicides. It is only when Mikiya falls under a strange influence does Shiki take action.

The tempo of chapter 1 is slow and deliberate. The animation is great in giving a feeling of brooding darkness; tainted with dull and muted colours except for the bright red blood stains of the suicide victims. The apparent message is that life is just a series of shades of gray, with no black or whites, no clear distinction between good or evil. The characters are just as complex and troubled, but somehow they have formed a close and supportive relationship that allows them to do their job.
Chapter 2: Satsujin Kousatsu (60min)

August 1995 - Skip back some four years from chapter 1

KOKUTO Mikiya meets and befriends RYOUGI Shiki during their first year in high school. Coming from a rich and traditional family, the kimono wearing Shiki has the reputation at school of being a beautiful ice princess. Overtime they become friends, close enough that Shiki opens up and shares that there are actually two Shikis - two people who are at odds with one other and one of them likes Mikiya.

The city is in a state of alarm over a series of random and bloody murders. While visiting, Mikiya's uncle shares that the police had found one of his school's pins at the site of the fifth murder and they would be watching his school. Concerned about his friend, Mikiya confronts Shiki who admits that she is the murderer - something that Mikiya refuses to believe and tries to counter by admitting that he is love with her.

When I first saw this, I was wondering if this might not be an alternate telling a story using the same characters - it is not . Apparently the format of this series will skip from a current tense to past tense and probably back again - alternating. In any event, the animation is great and characters exceedingly complex. Mikiya is a muddle-headed soft-hearted wimp. He is a troubled young man who just refuses to believe that Shiki is a murderer even when she admits to it!! But Shiki is a troubled young lady too....

Chapter 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu (58min)

Opening scene: A girl is raped and she is strangely unaffected by the abuse.

Being shorted on his salary, Mikiya is forced to turn to a friend to borrow some money, but the loan comes with a condition - find someone. An old friend from high school, MINATO Keita has has gone missing for past four days after having fallen in with a really bad crowd and is rumored to be in deep trouble.

The agency manager, TOUKO-san gives Shiki a contract - track down and stop a serial killer who has already claimed four lives. Shiki is to find ASAGAMI Funjino who rumored to possess strange powers that allows her to rip the limbs off of her victims and she will probably kill again unless stopped.

Shiki meets Mikiya's little sister Azaka in a coffee shop to tell her that he will not be able to show up. Azaka is hoping that her brother could help her school friend Funjino and find her missing boyfriend, a guy named MINATO Keita.

Three events generate three tangents which begin to converge on themselves and everything is not as it first appears.

UNG... Opening with a rape, this chapter is a disturbing tale of damaged and nasty people, bloody revenge and misunderstandings. Starting with three different story threads, this story gets wrapped tighter and tighter with each new revelation and understanding and all heading to a dramatic confrontation. All is not as it appears, it is actually many times worse.

Stepping past the opening scene, this is best story so far. It is violent, tragic and deeply disturbing - all signs of a good psychological thriller. I really don't want to say more for fear of spoiling the story. Mikiya is still a muddle-headed soft-hearted wimp, but if Shiki is the incarnation of death and destruction, then Mikiya plays the role of redemption and forgiveness - which is perhaps the clearest contrast between black and white that I have seen so far.

If you enjoyed the story, style and tempo of the other TYPE-MOON series ( Shingetsutan Tsukihime and Fate/stay night ), then you are certain to enjoy this series. Like the other stories, each chapter of Kara no Kyoukai tells a bit more of the story of Shiki and Mikiya, and I suspect that they will try to keep us guessing and in suspense up until the last chapter.

Last updated Sunday, September 21 2008. Created Monday, August 25 2008.
Unevaluated aoneish [series:1675#1615]
Movie 1

ost is gorgeous. animation is fluid. story is a bit confusing as nothing is really explained yet and a lot of things aren't said, however, the ending of this one is conclusive in regards to the problem presented.

Last updated Saturday, July 26 2008. Created Saturday, July 26 2008.

Other Sites
Japanese (language) Movie Web Site http://www.karanokyoukai.com/
Wikipedia entry for this story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_no_Kyoukai
Wikipedia entry for TYPE-MOON http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TYPE-MOON
English Language Fan Site http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~typemoon/rakkyo/index.htm

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