Kara no Kyoukai
|Kara no Kyoukai|
|Original Novels||Kinoko Nasu|
|Length|| 48 minutes (Movie 1)|
58 minutes (Movie 2)
56 minutes (Movie 3)
46 minutes (Movie 4)
112 minutes (Movie 5)
60 minutes (Movie 6)
119 minutes (Movie 7)
30 minutes (Epilogue)
88 minutes (Movie 8)
|# of Movies||8 + Epilogue|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
A crazy girl with a knife fights against people with incredibly weird superpowers.
Kara no Kyoukai is an adaptation of an online novel released by Kinoko Nasu in 1998, and published in full at Comiket in 2001. Each movie adapts one chapter of the original novels. The movies are produced by ufotable and have very high production values. Yuki Kajiura provides an excellent soundtrack.
The story follows Shiki Ryougi, a young woman with the ability to perceive death. Whether it is a person, an object, or even an immortal being, she can kill anything with a single stab. Shiki works for a magus by the name of Touko Aozaki, who is ostensibly a maker of mannequins and puppets but will occasionally take on mysteries of a supernatural nature. Also working for Touko is Mikiya Kokuto, a former classmate of Shiki's and all-around nice guy, who ostensibly works as Touko's secretary but will often risk his own neck to investigate cases that Touko takes an interest in despite having no supernatural powers whatsoever.
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Kara no Kyoukai is really the only good adaptation of any of Type Moon's productions. Just about every fault in the adaptation was a problem in the original work as well, and it takes out some of the clumsier parts of the original story. The production values are really top notch, with some great animation and an outstanding soundtrack. The characters and setting are interesting, the various powers of the enemies that Shiki fights are very creative, and overall it's really fun to watch. The story is prone to meandering on for a bit at times with Nasu's weird philosophical detours, but the rest of the series more than makes up for that.
Type Moon works don't get much better than this. If you've been exposed to either Fate/stay Night or Tsukihime in any form before, you'll be able to appreciate the things used here that Kinoko Nasu drew from to create those works. One of the most fantastic things about Kara no Kyoukai is how it extends and adds to the viewer's understanding of the universe, regardless of how much or how little the viewer already knows. However, you must go into it expecting a massive amount of abstract concepts and ideas that cannot be fully grasped. Nasu's universe follows a set of specific rules which are, so far, consistent but almost impossible to fully grasp by anyone. This includes Nasu himself, which is a testament to his skill as a writer.
If I could use one word to describe this series it would be 'unearthly'.
At once both pretentious and fascinating, Kara no Kyoukai showed the world that it was possible to adapt Kinoko Nasu's universe into animation and not have it suck. Or more specifically, it was possible for ufotable (who are now the de facto animation studio for T-M). KnK is Nasu at his most cerebral, and while at times it can feel a bit impenetrable it has a way to dazzle the viewer with its visuals, plot, action, direction, dialogue, the whole package really. If you're in the mood for something that you can slowly digest while at the same time bask in some rightfully ambitious animation and music, Kara no Kyoukai may be the perfect experience for you. It tries a bit too hard at times and part of me wonders if non-T-M fans will appreciate it as much as others, but I still feel compelled to call it one of the best overall works of animation I've seen.