January 1999: Apprentice mage Azaka Kokutou, Mikiya's younger sister, has been ordered by her mentor, Touko Aozaki, to investigate a certain incident in which fairies steal the memories of students at Azaka's school, Reien Academy. Azaka launches an investigation with the help of Shiki.
The sixth movie in the Kara no Kyoukai series is, once again, a departure from what one has come to expect. Unfortunately Boukyaku Rokuon (or Oblivion Recording), is a somewhat lacklustre effort compared to the rest of the franchise, and is only carried through by some great visuals and excellent sound.
The story takes place in January 1999 and focuses on Kokuto Azaka, Mikiya's younger sister who was "adopted" by their uncle. She is enrolled at Reien, a school for girls, and is also apprenticed to Aozaki Touko in order to become a Magus.
The movie begins in a fairly ambivalent manner,
with Azaka remembering a scene from her childhood. Her current task is to investigate investigate a string of events at Reien which seem to involve "fairies", and to aid her investigation Touko sends Ryougi Shiki to work undercover at the school (posing as a student), something which Azaka is not too pleased about.
Now the plot itself is pretty straightforward, however this is also the biggest problem with this movie. Story-wise this is by far the weakest episode in the series, and even though simplicity may not be a bad thing in a show, in this case it comes at a price. The plot is extremely feeble when it comes to the characters and their development, and whilst the concept may be a good one, the movie is never given a chance to realise it's potential.
One of the reasons for this is that a great deal of effort has gone into fleshing out the two main characters (Kokuto and Shiki), who, along with Touko, form the backbone of the franchise. Azaka's inclusion however, seems more of an afterthought, and there is little in this movie to fully justify her presence in the series. Granted she adds a different dimension to the relationship between Kokuto and Shiki, but the impact is almost negligible, and viewers may find themselves wondering how she fits in to the grand scheme of things.
The art and animation are of a very high standard, but there is once again a drop in the overall quality of some scenes (the young version of Azaka being cross-eyed at times is an example of this). The action sequences are extremely well choreographed and executed, whilst the character animation is often fluidly smooth. Unfortunately though, there are again times when the movements do not match the actions, and while these occasions are not too common in the movie, they are noticeable because of the quality of the rest of the animation.
Sound is, once again, excellent. The music is extremely well suited to the movie, with the more cheerful scenes feeling cheerful, and so on and so forth. The pieces are varied, with some being more reminiscent of Maria-sama Ga Miteru, while others are very much what one would expect of the Kara no Kyoukai franchise. The effects are very well crafted and choreographed, and while there is some slight cacophony to be heard at times, this should not really impede on one's enjoyment of the movie.
The acting is pretty much what one would expect from the franchise, with each of the characters being portrayed very well overall. One does have to wonder what Sakamoto Maaya (Shiki) was trying to achieve this time though, as there are occasions where she sounds like she has blocked sinuses.
From the start of the movie it's clear that this outing will be all about Azaka, and whilst this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it could have been done far better if the story was tighter, more interesting, and a little darker (which is what one would have expected from the series). There is an effort to give Azaka a degree of depth which comes off as laughable at times, mainly because her "love" for her older brother is given as the reason for her adoption, her choice of school, etc. Her apprenticeship as a Magus is purely based on the fact that she considers Shiki a rival for her brother's affections, and while I have no problems with personal reasons being the basis for such actions, it just seems a little too neat an excuse in Boukyaku Rokuon. Having an unhealthy interest in one's siblings may cause some aberrent behaviour in people, but there is an expectation that the viewer will simply accept Azaka's actions and reasons without questioning them - not a good move on the part of the writers.
The other characters don't really get much screen time so there isn't any really much one can say about them. That said, there are some pretty obvious hints given about Shiki which feel more like preludes of things to come than any real attempt at development.
Given the flaws in the story and its characters, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed Boukyaku Rokuon as a whole. The movie represents a big departure for the franchise, and has a far more lighthearted feel to it at times than any of the previous outings. The action is well done, and there is enough going on to keep the viewer interested till the end. It's unfortunate then that the main feeling one gets from this episode is that it is nothing more than a prelude to the final movie, a factor which upsets the balance of the narrative and can leave the viewer frustrated that many obvious questions remain unasked or unanswered by the end of the movie.
Boukyaku Rokuon isn't the best installment in the series by far, but it's not a bad effort on the whole. While there are a number of improvements that could have been made (in particular the rather haphazard plot), there is still an entertaining addition to the franchise here, and one that has a different feel to it than the other movies.
One can only hope that the final chapter will represent a return to form for the franchise.
Welcome to 2015's Film Festival Week. We're kicking things off with yet another look at UFOtable's Kara no Kyoukai film franchise, based on the light novels by Nasu Kinoko. I've talked about the first five already, but let's reiterate a bit. Previously, in the Kara no Kyoukai movies Mikiya collapses on a couch because he likes dolls and gets left to rot in the first and there is much stupidity. The second goes back in time to Mikiya and Shiki's first meeting and the subtle mystery surrounding it and it's surprisingly good given the first one. In the third, a group of rapists are being
justifiably murdered by one of their victims and our “heroes” decide to step in and put a stop to it. It had some faults but was pretty decent. In the fourth film we focus on Shiki's psychology and an existential crisis and it was epic. The fifth film gave us a mystery involving an apartment complex and magic and it was a great film. I'm a bit surprised that I've gotten to like the franchise so much given what a poor first impression it had, but there you go. Let's jump in to look at Kara no Kyoukai 6: Boukyaku Rokuon.
Our tale opens at a boarding school where Mikiya's sister, Azaka, is thinking about the taboo way she feels about her brother. Ewww. Fortunately, the story doesn't focus on that aspect all that much. We get an exposition dump about how Azaka has been studying magic under Touko and has been sent to the school to find out the truth behind a strange incident where magic faeries seem to be stealing people's memories and may have been behind the death of a student. Shiki is sent to help her since her mystic eyes give her the power to see things that Azaka can't. What kinds of dangers will they face and how will they overcome them? Matters are made worse with the animosity Azaka has towards Shiki, whom she considers her rival in love because her brother loves Shiki in a way that he doesn't love her.
Let's start with the film's story issues. The biggest one is probably obvious, Azaka's incestuous feelings towards her brother. I'll give Kara no Kyoukai some credit over a lot of other things I've seen with incestuous overtones, it does treat the situation like it's creepy and screwed up and I'll give it some credit for not focusing too much on it. However, there is a pretty substantial amount of time spent on flashbacks that serve the sole purpose of helping establish why Azaka has a creepy brother complex and it's just annoying. Exacerbating matters is the fact that the incest sub-plot ultimately does nothing. It doesn't need to be an element at all for the film to work. The only function it has is to give a reason for the animosity between Azaka and Shiki, but that animosity itself does basically nothing. There's a brief stretch where they're arguing but it never really affects their ability to function as a team. All of which just begs the question, why in Sir Ian's name does this need to be here at all? They could have removed it completely and used the extra time to develop their scenario better. Maybe they could've used the time to show some of Azaka's training under Touko and avoided the annoying exposition dump.
On the positive side, the investigation itself is quite interesting. Initially, it looks like the solution is going to be kind of obvious, but there's more to it than meets the eye. No, that doesn't mean that something turns into a giant robot. They just keep introducing more complexity as it gets further in until they finally reveal the whole truth of the situation. Flashbacks aside, the narrative also flows really well.
The main character focus in this one is on Azaka and Shiki. Shiki remains a good character and you get a good sense of her personality in this. The problem is Azaka. Her personality is pretty much defined by her brother complex and her being generally commandeering. Maybe the final film develops her more, but as she is now she's just an insipid, unpleasant character and having her as such a big part of the movie does hurt it. At least we get a super cute border collie. UFOTable probably thought that it would make up for having to deal with Azaka, at least somewhat because cute puppies are the best way to make up for gross things. Of course, they could have just not had gross things and just had a cute dog as a bonus. That would have worked. The antagonists are kind of interesting and fleshed out in this. They could have been given more depth, but given the length of the film they're pretty decent.
The artwork and animation are spectacular. The backgrounds look really nice. The battle sequences are intense and somewhat surreal. Like several other movies in this franchise, there are some intense and disturbing images. And, like the rest of the franchise, the characters are well drawn but their designs are pretty standard.
The performances are really well done. Sakamoto Maaya gives a strong performance as Shiki. Fujimura Ayumi., in spite of voicing a completely uncompelling character, does give a good performance as well. Really, there are no weaknesses in the cast. The music in this one is strong as well. Kajiura Yuki did a really good job.
One of the antagonists has a motivation that does read as a bit homoerotic, but there's not enough of it to say for certain whether they were going for that or something else. Aside from that, there is no ho-yay.
Kara no Kyoukai 6 takes a strong story idea with some compelling elements and weakens it with an unnecessary incest subplot and over-used flashbacks. The film itself is still pretty decent given how much it does well, but it's not one of the strongest films in the series by any means. My final rating is going to be a 6/10. Tomorrow we'll continue film festival week with a look at Hetalia: Paint it White.
This is part 6 of the KnK series
A lot can be said about this film. Some people thought this was the worst film in the KnK series and some people, like me, thought this was a decent film.
(There will be some SPOILERS in my review)
[Story]: (6/10) (SPOILERS)
The 6th movie of the Kara no Kyoukai series now takes place 2 months after the events of the 5th KnK. Apprentice Mage Azaka Kokutou has been ordered by her mentor, Touko Aozaki, to investigate an incident in which fairies steal the memories of students at Reien Academy. Azaka, with Shiki's help, launches an investigation to solve the
Firstly, I'm going to see this movie as a "breather" or "filler" film because the 5th movie was so perfect and the 7th movie is said to be perfect too. This movie is in between the 2 great movies. A movie with a story that doesn't even surpass any of the stories in the Knk series. I'm not saying it's the worst film in the franchise but the story is half-assed compared to the previous 5 movies.
Secondly, If you watched the 5th movie then you might have noticed something off about this movie. That's right, a toned-down high school setting plot. The 1st half of the movie is just them fooling around like a typical high school students. The story is still somewhat dark but not very dark. I am aware that the novel version is more darker and that the movie version has been toned down for whatever reason
Lastly, what exactly happened at the end? Kurogiri(I'm going to explain who he is later) just ran away after fighting Shiki. Where did he ran off to? What happened with the students? I watched the movie twice just to make sure I didn't miss anything and the movie didn't answer my questions. There's still the final movie so I think they're going to hopefully answer the questions I have for this movie.
If you've been following my previous 5 reviews of the KnK series then you should know why I think the Animation is perfect.
The sound is not perfect when compared to the 5th movie but it was still great to listen to. The ED theme is once again sung by Kalafina named "fairytale" *holds laughter*. I'm sorry but why is the name fairytale exists in a dark movie like KnK? Anyways, the ED theme song were great and I even listened to it all the way through before they showed the post-credit scene.
[Character]: (7/10) (SPOILERS)
Man, when I saw Azaka is going to be the focus in this movie, I was kind of excited because my first impressions of her in the previous movies was great. I thought she was going to be my new favorite character but.......it didn't happen.
Azaka Kokutou is Mikiya's younger sister and a mage apprentice who works under Touko. I just want to get this out of the way. Her younger self looks a lot like Rin Toosaka from Fate/stay night. 2 characters in the KnK series who happens to look like 2 main characters of Fate/stay night....Ok..
Anyways, what made me dislike her? It's the fact that she's in love her older brother. I'm not a fan of incest so I thought Azaka loving her brother is just disgusting. She had her reasons and it was shown nearly at the end of the movie but I still think it's disgusting.
Satsuki Kurogiri is a sorcerer and the antagonist of the movie. Compared to Araya, Satsuki is a joke. He didn't get enough character development so I don't know him that much. There is another new character who is also an antagonist but I don't really want to review her. She's a decent antagonist but is still a joke and it was obvious that she was going to be the antagonist for the movie because how she looks when she made her appearance.
The story might be boring but it was still a decent movie for me to watch. The action scenes are there and it's filled with some funny moments.
The movie was somewhat disappointing compared to the previous movies but it's still a decent movie. Other than the great soundtrack and animation, don't expect this to be a movie that comes close to the 5th movie.
In the 6th movie, Ufotable has taken Kara no Kyoukai to a particularly awful level. Frankly, nothing other than the nice effects of the anime makes it alright.
I'll start with the good news...
The art and sound direction in Boukyaku Rokuon (Oblivion Recording) are both very nice. If you've seen some of the earlier installments, you'll know how impressive they are. If you have not, well, they are refined and a step above most anime MOVIES (which is a step above anime shows).
Unfortunately, the plot does not shine quite as nicely as the effects. This one focuses primarily on the relationship between Shiki and Azaka
(a side character in the series) and they attend an all-girls school to investigate the disappearance of a student. I'll take two positions in describing the plot depending on whether you have seen the series or not.
If you have, you'll be accustomed to and expecting a dark story that includes a lot of violence and... harsh themes. If you like the series because of that, you won't really find the same kind of enjoyment. The plot seems "girlier" and a few characters feel out of place in the Kara no Kyoukai world. That said, this movie is quite important in fleshing out some of the older characters as it delves into more of their histories and lifestyles so you might want to watch this just for that knowledge. However, the movie's plot isn't essential to the rest of the series, as it seems to be almost a filler. The way it expands on the magical world of Kara no Kyoukai can lead to a better understanding of the series (mainly in technical aspects, like how people attain magical powers and whatnot) but some of it seems rather inconsistent and random. Thus, I think it IS worth watching to know a little more about the characters, but be prepared...
If you have not seen the series and are just thinking about this movie in particular, I can understand how you may be drawn in. If you like things of the occult detective genre that centers around female characters, this movie would be a pretty good experience for you. However, just know that you might get confused by a lot of stuff that goes on, especially between other characters from the series that don't do much in this movie. The pacing of the story is fairly well done and will keep you interested, but the overall plot is decent at best.
Conclusion: You'll probably like this more if the dark nature of the series is not something you are interested in. Don't get me wrong, as this movie isn't completely... uplifting. Some mysterious elements were really good, but it could have been done better.
And before you suspect me about the "low" grade I gave this movie, a 5 means mediocre on MAL standards. Is it worth watching? Yes. Will it make it to the top of your list? Most likely not.
You think you know anime movies? Have you seen all 30 of these movies on our best anime movie list? Our writer sets themselves a only-one-movie-per-director rule and comes up with 30 movies every anime fan must see.