In February 1999, a string of murders has Shiki Ryougi and Mikiya Kokutou on edge. These crimes share a disturbing resemblance to a similar set of homicides from 1995, when Shiki and Mikiya first met, and awaken a dark, murderous desire that has laid dormant within Shiki's soul ever since then.
With Shiki under suspicion due to her involvement in the past killings and supposed resemblance to the killer, she and Mikiya set out to find the true perpetrator. In the midst of their separate investigations, Mikiya grows increasingly concerned with Shiki's well-being and hurries to find the one responsible in order to protect Shiki from her own impulses. With the lead he receives from his cousin, police investigator Daisuke Akimi, Mikiya is led into the underbelly of Mifune City, as the salvation of Shiki's soul lies in his determination to prove her innocence once and for all.
There's an old aphorism about saving the best till last, and Kara no Kyoukai ~The Garden of Sinners~ has done just that.
The seventh and final movie in the franchise doesn't simply follow the events of the second movie, but utilises threads from several previous stories to weave an interesting, and sometimes disturbing, tale of obsession. The second part of Satsujin Kousatsu (Murder Speculation), takes place in February 1999, one month after Oblivion Recording, and more than three years after the events in the second movie.
This time around it seems the serial killer from part one is back, and as the
bodies are found one by one, Mikiya Kokuto searches for answers as he continues to believe Ryougi Shiki was not responsible for previous set of murders, and that she is innocent of the crimes being commited now. Meanwhile, Shiki prowls the dark alleys night after night ...
One thing that really sets this movie apart from the rest of the series is that the plot is much tighter and more flowing than in most of the previous outings. There is also a conscious effort to tie up some of the loose ends left over the course of the series, and while there are still several unanswered questions, the second part of Satsujin Kousatsu does manage to offer some catharsis about Shiki and Kokuto's relationship.
That said, the writing isn't perfect. There are still some plot points that remain unresolved, and while they may not have a major impact on the narrative per se, they do leave one feeling that the overall storyline from the whole series is a little incomplete. In addition to this the dialogue suffers from an abundance of intelligence as every character can philosophise their actions in some manner. The upshot of this is that the movie can sometimes seem condescending or patronizing, and even though this questionable arrogance may be unintentional, the simple fact is that viewers may find themselves wanting to punch the screen from time to time.
While the writing may not be up to standard, the same can't be said of the visuals. Ufotable have, once again, pulled out all the stop for this finale, and it shows. The characters move with an animal grace that is rare to see, and the overall animation is stunning in its quality and choreography. The opening credit sequence is particularly noteworthy as it shows great imagination, as well as some stunning techniques that will hopefully appear in more anime. As for the movie proper, there are some fantastic lighting effects throughout which add a more ominous atmosphere to much of the story, especially when used alongside the often dark, dank backgrounds and settings. That said, there are occasions where the lighting is a little off (for example, characters are easily distinguishable in areas where there is no readily available light source), however this is a minor gripe as the majority of the movie is the most atmospheric and well animated episode in the franchise.
Sound is another area where the movie excels, although there are admittedly a few minor niggles here and there. The cast are at their best in this episode, and their experience with the characters, especially Kokuto (Suzumura Kenichi), and Shiki (Sakamoto Maaya), really does shine through. The performances of the seiyuu literally ooze quality, and while there is a penchant for philosophical monologuing at times, these are delivered with aplomb.
In terms of effects Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 might arguably be the best in the series. Each sound is clear and distinguishable, even when the habitual cacophony occurs during heavy action sequences, and once again the franchise proves that it can deliver very high production values.
The real triumph though, is the music.
In the simplest terms this movie a definite contender for "best anime choreography of the decade" as it features some of the most breathtaking melding of animation and music to be found in the medium, and the choice of tracks is nothing short of inspired. The opening sequence is a choral, hymn-like track which perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the movie, while the end theme, a bittersweet ballad, works very well with the movie's finale. Where Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 really shines though, is in the application of its thematic music. The tracks on offer have a generally dark feel to them (this isn't really a "nice" story after all), but added to that are visuals that have not only been timed extremely well, but feature some excellent animation, stunning set designs, and superb camera angles.
One of the issues that has plagued the Kara no Kyoukai franchise from the outset is that the characters are often underdeveloped, and while certain events over the course of the series provide opportunities for growth, these chances are all too often overlooked. That said, there is some development to be had, it's just unfortunate that the lion's share of it only occurs in a few movies, and this is one of them. It's the introduction of Shirazumi Lio that changes the dynamics of not only the story, but also the relationship between Kokuto and Shiki. He is the one thing that forces the pair to grow as characters, and his presence in the movie casts a pall over every story in the franchise.
Confused? I'll elaborate then.
Kara no Kyoukai has made the effort to portray Souren Araya as the main "bad guy", but while his goals may be the drivers for many of the events over the course of the series, he never affected Kokuto and Shiki in the way that Lio does. It's his formation of a very disturbed "menage-a-trois" that causes Kokuto to "get off his backside" for once, and pushes Shiki to the edge of reason. Lio is also noteworthy for the surprising amount of characterisation that has gone into his creation. He is a complete persona from start to finish, and while there is virtually no development on his part, he honestly doesn't need it.
To be perfectly frank, I found this to be the best installment in the series, and while it is somewhat more graphic than other episodes, this only serves to improve one's understanding of the characters and events (as opposed to simply being graphic in order to be "cool"). A case in point is one particular interaction between Lio and Shiki, which while being rather sexually charged, is more reminiscent of a child pulling the wings off a fly. It's this emphasis on improving the viewer's understanding of the characters that really sets the movie apart, especially as this is what has been lacking for most of the series.
If you're a fan of franchise, or of TYPE-MOON, then Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 is a movie that you should definitely watch. As a standalone it holds its own against many other releases, but when the series is taken as a whole the movie is raised to a new level. That said, in order to fully appreciate the difference it's best to watch the rest of the series first, as while each episode functions as an autonomous tale, this particular film has been designed to convey an ending.
Kara no Kyoukai may not be to everyone's tastes, but whether you like it or not the one undeniable fact is that the franchise makes a great advertisement for the potential inherent in the anime industry, and given some recent releases like Break Blade, it seem like someone was paying attention.
When it comes to watching anime, any anime series can keep someone entertained for the entirety of its length. But it takes a truly remarkable series to become memorable among the bottomless sea of anime. Kara no Kyoukai is that series.
Kara no Kyoukai 7: Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 is the finale of a string of movies based of a series of light novels by Kinoko Nasu. In the final movie, the story revolves around the appearance of multiple murders as well as the disappearance of Ryougi Shiki, and Kokutou Mikiya's attempt to unravel the mysteries of the murders and Shiki's whereabouts.
really conflicted on whether or not the story for the finale deserved a 9 or a 10, but in the end i chose the give it a 10 against my better judgment. All of the Kara no Kyoukai movies have a very adult plot, focusing on murder and moral values within society, and the 7th movie also takes this stance while focusing on Shiki and Mikiya's relatioship, as well as tying up lose ends in the plot, and revealing things that the other movies left out. The use of suspense and mystery, as well as the constant flash backs that reveal more and more of Mikiya and Shiki's tale really helps to keep the story flowing as well as keeping the viewers interested. If I had to be really picky, the only problem with the story is the pacing at some points. The flow of the story does not have a constant pacing, where at some points it seems to move extremely slow while other times the story seems to progress and reveal information in a short amount of time.
Really, all the Kara no Kyoukai movies have amazing art and animation and the finale is no exception. The use of a dark color palet brings out the story's dark undertones of the story, as well as complementing the characters and scenery.
Sound is also used very effectively as well to help create a mood to immerse the viewers in. It is up beat when it needs to be, and sad when it needs to be as well. The combination of the art and sound creates a mood that helps immerse viewers in Shiki and Mikiya's world and the situation they are in. It is the addition of these elements which truly brings out Kara no Kyoukai's brilliance. Keeping the viewers attention is only half the battle, for an anime to truly become remarkable in the eyes of the public it needs to draw in the viewers, immerse them in the characters world. Having the viewer feeling tense as a character rounds the corner, having them feel for the characters during emotional moments, this is all created through the use of art and sound, and Kara no Kyoukai nails it.
As stated in the story, we get to see more of the relationship between Shiki and Mikiya as well as their development as characters. Shiki is a very unusual character, one of the reasons that people are drawn to this anime, and although she is hard to identify with, seeing her struggle with her problems, struggle with understanding her emotions, as well as evolve as a person is what draws us to her. While other movies did not so much focus on Shiki and her emotions and how she is changing, this movie is solely dedicated to it, and that is one of its greatest draws.
What can I say, I have been praising this movie for the whole review. It is a masterpiece in my eyes, and while it may not have as much action as the others, it is still my personal favorite.
While writing this review, I was trying to find things wrong with this movie, but not matter how hard I thought, I was not able to. It may seem stupid that I gave this all 10's, but really, this movie deserved every one of them. It is outstanding, amazing and remarkable.
So let me ask you, what makes an anime memorable to you? Characters? Story? Art? There are only a select few animes that ever reach this level with people, an anime which you will remember while forgetting many others. It needs to stand out, it needs to grab your attention, and most importantly, it needs to affect YOU. For me, Kara no Kyoukai 7 is that kind of anime.
This is the final and possibly best installment of the series Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners. I would like to mention before I begin that if you have a minimal knowledge of the previous movies in the series this may spoil the franchise for you. Let me also say, I have not read the novels, for in a way, I wanted to savor the animation and suspense these movies bring. And boy am I glad I did. When I finished this anime, I was taken back for a moment. It's one of those few anime miracles that occur, a deep breath, an awkward
sigh, and then followed by a short reminiscence of what you just spent two hours watching. The plot delivery, the characters, the animation, the sound all astounding. Subtly tying the entire series together, almost nothing is left unexplained - while many questions remain.
The story wraps up what the other six movies manage to establish - an awesome gut-wrenching plot that really shifts your way of thinking. Now I can't really say anything because I don't want to spoil the movie, but this movie really does it right. The character you saw for a brief moment during the end of the fifth movie appears, playing a major role. But what really makes this anime different in the story telling department is (and this is why I love it) not the solid plot itself, but the details that surround it. A minor phrase can inadvertently change how the story progresses, or a scene that occurred a few movies earlier can really influences what happens.
Now about the seventh movies story. Shiki and Mikiya's love is really held high here, seeing as it is the final and climactic movie. The time is also set as the furthest set time to date, which was threw me for a loop because since this movie was called "Murder Speculation (Second Half)" I thought it would be a direct sequel to the second movie. It is in fact not, and explains what happened shortly after the second movie through flashbacks. The fight scenes are as always, top-notch. The 'other Shiki' is explained in this movie, for up until now the idea of 'another Shiki' (SHIKI) seemed rather abstract. As I said before I can't say too much about the story, seeing as it would ruin the suspense.
The art and animation are far beyond any anime, rivaling 5/Centimers Per Second. The fighting scenes are so high tension that you can't help but move a little in your seat every time the camera switches angles. Ufotable, which also worked on Eve no Jikan and Pale Cocoon uses the same kind of art style, so if you liked those you should also like the way this anime looks. Some moments of animation are just jaw-dropping. In a scene where Shiki is lying down the camera pulls forward, pulses blue, pulls back a little and continues to zoom in. It may be hard to visualize in your head but this one scene was so intense I move closer to my computer screen, as if the anime was drawing me in. The chiaroscuro used in this anime really enhances the overall experience. The horror scenes in this anime are too, really disturbing, not because of the what is happening but how it is presented (an anime that does not truly excel here is the original Hellsing, where what is happening is creepy, but without proper animation it seems to lack the oomph Kara no Kyoukai has). No 3D elements or CG can be scene although the way this is animated makes it feel as if another dimension exists between the two, the movements of characters, vehicles, and even magic are so realistic it's fascinating.
Not much to be said about the sound other than it too, is stellar. The opening song really creepy. I started drawing short breaths when it was finished, it fitted this anime quite well and it matched the animation to a T. The background music is creepy in its own, quiet, way. It plays as light filler in the background for when the fighting scenes start, building suspense all the while. The sounds of the cars, the rain, the sound of knives clashing with one another - all superb. It's like your really standing in front of a knife fight (that is without worrying for your life). The voice acting, too, is done really well, the voices fit the characters well and are executed without problems (I'd say more but I'm not an expert on VA). The ending song like all Kara No Kyoukai ending songs, fits the movie well, using lyrics that actually relate to what you just saw.
The characters reach a climax in this movie. All that you knew and didn't know about them meets here. Mikiya begins to reveal his love for Shiki, and you see him in a new, darker light. You'll find yourself asking "Is this the same guy from the second movie, or what?" the change is quite apparent. Shiki and her counterpart SHIKI's motives are explained and the view you have of her will also change from the beginning to end of this movie. I do digress that Araya had less of a role than in previous movies, seeing as he was such an interesting character, I wish they made more use of him. He does appear but doesn't say much. The new character, Lio, was briefly shown in earlier movies, but is revealed as Shiki's "stalker". He is a pivotal character that explains a lot of what happened in the second movie which was essentially the catalyst for the entire series. Once again, if I say too much, it'll be ruined.
By God! If you're still reading, you should know that I harbor a deep love for this series, these characters, and this movie! What an incredible experience. There was not a single moment that I didn't enjoy this movie. Now you're probably thinking "Well because yeah, you were having a freaking orgasm the whole time just by staring at the animation", and essentially, you could say I was. I'm writing this to heavily suggest you watch these movies. I want to you, the reader, to want to watch this, not because it's gimmicky, or all the cool kids are watching it (but they are) but because it's simply amazing.
Closing note: This is my first review, and I'm writing it because I feel that more people should know about this anime. My review may sound pretentious (which my writing may be, but not this movie) and over-exaggerated but it really isn't. This is truly one of the great anime epics, holding its own with Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Monster.
I usually don't feel compelled to review animes. I watched the entire "Garden of sinners" series of films and would give all of them a collective grade of 8 if I was forced to. But after watching the seventh film, seeing nothing but rave reviews all over the web saying this is the best of the bunch, I felt I had to say something.
*slight spoilers ahead*
This film had some good points (the art for example, which has been a consistent highlight throughout all of the films) but it's heavily outweighed by the low points in the execution of the movie's story.
it ran an hour too long. The film is a bulky two hours I felt was mostly filler, and definitely could of been condensed. It seemed like the director and writer made this film way too long to make up for the long wait but it was completely unnecessary.
That being said, I did enjoy the first part of the film. It's starts off very promising with a suspenseful murder-mystery sort of vibe that's been prevalent with all the films. Shiki's back story is finally fleshed out a little more which was nice, though you have to have a good memory to catch everything. (Lots of references to the past films, to be expected.)
Where the movie really lost points for me was the main theme of the film; the idea that Shiki has always had this latent desire to kill and Kokuto's argument that murder is never justified. I agreed with Kokuto and the movie argues very well throughout that killing means killing a part of yourself too. This was a recurrent theme throughout the films and they had me believing it, which was why the ending was such a supreme disappointment for me. The film seemed to contradict and ignore it's own argument for the sake of a "happy" ending and I felt a little cheated by it. Where are the consequences of murder they kept talking about? the loss?
So, if you liked the other films then you'll get a lot of the same. The tone, characters and artwork are all familiar and are certainly worth a look if only to know how the series ends. But this film is a prime example of a story that was structured with a very clear ideal in mind, only to chuck it out the window for no reason at all. If your a fan of good, consistent writing like me, you'll be disappointed.
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