Beginning as a Type-Moon light novel series written by Kinoko Nasu with illustrations by Takashi Takeuchi, The garden of sinners was eventually adapted into a series of animated films by Ufotable. By the way Kara no Kyôkai in Japan, the main premise revolves around the relationship between Shiki Ryougi and Mikiya Kokutou, and covers from their days as students to their time as paranormal investigators. However, such a summary does not serve The garden of sinnersambition, complexity and non-linear storytelling.
Over eight films, an OAV and a short film, The garden of sinners weaves a difficult tapestry of identity, murder, depression and philosophy. Individually, only a handful of versions touch greatness; in general, Kara no Kyôkai is brilliant. Even though the whole series is greater than the sum of its parts, some entries are much better than others.
ten Epilogue (OVA)
Exit after The garden of sinners‘main story has been completed, 2011’s Epilogue OVA presents the “True Nature” of Shiki, the being in the middle between the male and female personalities of the character. Throughout the series, Shiki constantly struggles with her identity, as she attempts to combat her urge to kill.
While the series never favors realistic dialogue, opting instead for a stylistic discourse, Epilogue is the only entry that, at times, looks like a philosophy course. The visuals are naturally beautiful and the OVA’s exploration of the concept of personality is fascinating, but EpilogueThe endless monologues of are tiring.
9 Overlooking view (Film 1)
Perhaps the most controversial entry, Overlooking the view is The garden of sinners‘first film, although, chronologically, it is the fifth. Therefore, Overlooking the view greatly improves on a second viewing; however, that doesn’t leave a particularly good first impression. The animation and music are just as perfect as the films that follow, but Overlooking the view does not attempt to introduce the characters or set the rules of the world.
In addition to being stimulating, powerful and unsettling, The garden of sinners can also be called pretentious, an adjective that defines the first film. Overlooking the view represents this series at its most inaccessible.
8 Additional Chorus (Short Film)
The final release of the anime, Additional Chorus, is the most insignificant entry in the series. After an introductory segment revolving around Shiki taking care of Mikiya’s cat for a few days, this short passage to an unlikely encounter between a girl grieving over her friend’s suicide, an act she played a part in instigating , and Fujino Asagami, a character featured prominently in the third film. The final segment returns to Shiki and Mikiya, ending their on-screen time in a rather touching moment.
Additional choir exhibits a playful character that is absent from most other films. The only exception is the middle segment, which tackles mature themes while also closing the Fujino story.
7 Forgotten Recording (Movie 6)
Sandwiched between the franchise’s two darkest entrances, Registration of oblivion looks like a separate adventure from the rest of the series. Not only does it present a mostly standalone storyline, something virtually unheard of in The garden of sinners‘previous chapters, but it also promotes Mikiya’s sister, Azaka, as the protagonist. This film also takes place in the ever-sunny Reien Girls’ Academy, a significant departure from the neo-noir aesthetic associated with the series.
Registration of oblivion adds depth to Azaka, a character who would otherwise have been known as the passive-aggressive brother with a thing for his brother. Sadly, Azaka still isn’t a particularly likable or interesting protagonist. Registration of oblivion explores how a person’s existence is defined by the memories of others and also tackles drug addiction, albeit in a rather superficial way by The garden of sinners‘standards.
6 The Hollow Sanctuary (film 4)
The Hollow Sanctuary is one of the more illuminating entries in the series, even though its presentation consists mostly of unspectacular exhibition dumps. Shiki is taken to hospital after a traffic incident that also “killed” SHIKI, a personality who only knew about the murder that existed within her. This leaves Shiki feeling empty and alone.
The Hollow Sanctuary provides some context for Shiki’s mystical eye perception of death, an ability that allows him to see a person’s death lines. The fourth film also expands on the story and role of Touko Aozaki, the owner of the Paranormal Investigation Company that will eventually employ Shiki and Mikiya. While not the most compelling entry in and of itself, The Hollow Sanctuary build the rest of the chapters.
5 A Murder Study – Part 1 (Movie 2)
Chronologically, A Murder Study – Part 1 is the first entry. Therefore, he fully focuses on the early stages of Mikiya and Shiki’s strange relationship. contrary to Overlooking the viewfocuses heavily on its plot, A Murder Study – Part 1 is devoted to her main characters, and that’s good for her.
Mikiya’s unwavering love for Shiki is quickly established, as the second film also delves into the theme of duality that would remain a staple for the rest of the series.
4 Recalled the summer (film 8)
Also known as Gospel of the future and released four years after the seventh film, Summer reminder is, for the most part, a side story. Much of the film is about Shiki investigating a suicide bomber who can predict the immediate future while Mikiya discusses precognition with Shizune Seo, a teenage girl tormented by her own ability to look back in time. The final half hour goes forward a decade and features Shiki and Mikiya’s daughter.
As Mikiya’s segments stop Summer reminder, his interview with Shizune Seo is one of the best examples of The garden of sinners combining complex philosophical concepts with relatable human emotion.
3 Remaining Pain Sensation (Film 3)
Residual pain sensation will likely determine whether or not a viewer continues the series. Of the first three chapters, the third film is the first to come close to telling a full story, at least, compared to the more fragmented entries surrounding it. During a brutal assault, Fujino Asagami’s inability to feel pain motivates his attackers to become even more violent. However, in the midst of the horrific act, Fujino experiences pain. She then sets out to assassinate them all using her telekinetic powers.
The garden of sinners discusses what it means to be human and, more importantly, how someone can lose their humanity. Fujino is a likeable character who, after years of feeling less than human due to his inability to feel pain, finally comes “alive”. Residual pain sensation is not an easy watch but it culminates in a wonderful fight and contains many unforgettable moments.
2 A Murder Study – Part 2 (Movie 7)
There is a significant jump in quality between Residual pain sensation and the two best entries in the series, the only truly feature films. For all purposes, A Murder Study – Part 2 was The garden of sinners‘final chapter of the saga, and the animated series originally ended on a haunting but appropriate note.
A Murder Study – Part 2 connects with most of her predecessors, especially the second film which features both of Shiki’s personalities as well as a series of murders that appear to be linked to (or perpetuated by) her. The seventh film brings The garden of sinners‘themes, plots, and characters come to a satisfying ending, though that still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
1 Paradoxical spiral (film 5)
Paradox Spiral is The garden of sinnersmasterpiece and stands head and shoulders above the rest of the series. Rather than focusing on Shiki and Mikiya, the protagonist of the fifth film is Tomoe Enjou, a teenager who runs away from home after killing his mother in self-defense. Tomoe and Shiki develop a kind of friendship, which eventually brings them back to the former’s residence, “Unit 405 in a condo somewhere”. When they arrive at the apartment complex, it doesn’t take Shiki long to notice that something is seriously wrong.
Paradox Spiral tells a dark and twisted story that presents The garden of sinners“Best antagonist, Touko’s most memorable contribution and a realistic, complex and unforgettable main character. He also provides a lot of information on the important themes of the series, especially the Yin and Yang dynamics.
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