Dec 14, 2009
Detective (All reviews)
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.

Story: 10/10
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.

Art: 10/10
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.

Sound: 10/10
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.

Character: 10/10
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.

Enjoyment: 10/10
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.

Overall: 10/10

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.