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Light Novel: Kara no Kyoukai

Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners ("The Edge of Emptiness"/"Empty Boundaries") is a novel by Kinoko Nasu of TYPE-MOON/Notes fame, written before he became involved in the Visual Novel business. While considered by many to be the prototype of Tsukihime, it is much, MUCH more complex, sometimes to the point of being Mind Screw. So much so that some people don't want to accept that they are related at all, other than the fact that they are made by the same people.

Shiki Ryougi is a girl who grew up in a family imbued with supernatural powers. In particular, certain members possess something close to dual personalities; the "male" and "female" sides, who are aware of each other, are both conscious, and essentially the same person with different qualities. This dual consciousness combined with her upbringing has led her to reject other human beings.

When she was in high school, she met a caring classmate, Mikiya Kokutou. During this time, murders are occurring throughout the city, and one night, Mikiya happens upon Shiki standing over a corpse, knife in hand. Despite this scene, Mikiya believes that Shiki couldn't have killed that person. Slowly, Mikiya creeps into Shiki's life, until Mikiya grows too close to her.

I don't... want to die...

A warm smile.

I want to kill you.

June 1998. Shiki Ryougi wakes up from a coma; her eyes are bandaged. In her mind, she feels only " "—utter void. Her memories are a blur, and she feels disconnected from them, as though they are not her own. Her doctor tells her that it was a car accident. She wants to be rid of those eyes; eyes that stare into the void. A woman stops her, saying that they are "too wasteful to destroy"; after all, they are the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception.

Kara no Kyoukai follows Shiki and the Garan-no-dou detective agency as they meet various, seemingly unconnected aberrations occurring within the city which seem to have something bigger behind them than it first appears. It is one of the earliest works within the Nasuverse, and as such also introduces most of The Verse's fundamental concepts, including souls, Akasha, Counter Force, Magic and Magecraft, and Origin.

Consists of the following novels and stories:
  • Volume 1:
    • Panorama: Thanatos
    • The First Homicide Inquiry: ...and nothing heart
    • Lingering Pain: ever cry, never life
  • Volume 2:
    • The Hollow: garan-no-dou
      • "Boundary Goetia": An intermission focusing on Kirie Fujou and Fujino Asagami.
    • Spiral Paradox: Paradox Paradigm
  • Volume 3:
    • Records of Oblivion: Fairy Tale
      • "Boundary Goetia": An intermission focusing on Lio Shirazumi.
    • The Second Homicide Inquiry: ...not nothing heart
    • Empty Boundaries: nothing id, nothing cosmos (the original epilogue)
  • Future Gospel: recalled out summer (an additional chapter and Distant Finale written ten years after the original series.)

Each of the first seven chapters was adapted into a movie by ufotable from 2007 to 2009, while the original epilogue was released as a 30-minute OVA in February 2011. The Distant Finale Mirai Fukuin/Future Gospel received a movie adaptation in 2013, and was released on Japanese home video in February 2014.

Now with its very own Character Page. You can read the novels' translation here, translated as "Empty Boundaries". The last additional chapter, translated into English, can be found here.

The series as a whole provides examples of:

  • Action Girlfriend: Ryougi Shiki
  • Action Mom: Ryougi Shiki in "Mirai Fukuin".
  • Adaptation Distillation: The author of the original novels had hoped to rewrite several of the stories to be less "clumsy". Then he read the script for the first movie, and concluded that there was no need- they'd already addressed his concerns by cutting out most of the excesses.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Touko, who has blue short hair in the original novels and long red hair in the movies and more recent artwork, to make her look more like her sister.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Some of the villains get very sympathetic exits.
    • As Souren Araya dies, we learn that he was so torn up about being unable to save people he at least wanted their deaths to be known and recorded.
    • Fujou Kirie kills herself when she has nothing left to live for anymore. The characters seem to feel bad for her at least.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Ryougi Shiki's Third Personality. She's effectively omnipotent, but just doesn't care about anything.
  • Alternate Continuity: Word of God states that there can only be one user of the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which means either Tohno Shiki has them, or this Ryougi Shiki. In addition, Aozaki Touko's goal contradicts with the existence of the True Ancestor Arcueid, also from Tsukihime. See the YMMV page for a different interpretation.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Touko, who blatantly flirts with Shiki the first time they meet.
    • Though she might have just been teasing or joking around; she agrees to go on a date with Kokutou's cousin Daisuke later on but shows little to no actual interest in it beyond having nothing better to do.
  • Anachronic Order: Chronologically, the story begins in 1995, but the first chapter is set in June 1998. The viewer is thrown abruptly into the story from the middle, without explanation of the powers, relationships, and backstory of the cast, which is elaborated upon later. Familiarity with the Nasuverse helps.
    • To make things simpler, the chronological order of the stories is 2, 4, 3, 1, 5, 6, 7.
  • Ancient Tradition: The Ryougi Family, as well as other members of the Demon Hunter's Association.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Shiki is the void/origin itself.
  • Agent Mulder: Akimi Daisuke, but he never actually finds anything.
  • Artificial Limbs: Ryougi Shiki's left arm, which allows her to touch spirits. Her original was torn apart by Asagami Fujino.
  • Audible Sharpness: Done to excess in the film adaptation.
  • Ax-Crazy: To an extent, Ryougi Shiki, although she's more knife crazy. Cornelius Alba is a whole lot of crazy, but with sorcery instead of an axe. Lio Shirazumi is around five thousand different kinds of crazy, Ax Crazy being one of them.
  • Babies Ever After: Shiki and Mikiya have a daughter named Mana in the distant future shown in "Mirai Fukuin".
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Araya started as this.
  • Berserk Button: Touko is usually pretty calm, but if you call her a "dirty red," calmness turns to Tranquil Fury and you're dead. It's her policy. But that's not even her real Berserk Button. Calling her a rotten red is just a way of mocking her and saying she plays second fiddle to her little sister. Her real Berserk Button is her little sister. Lets just say their rivalry has gotten rather bad a good few times in the past.
    • It is also amusing to note that since the fifth movie came out, calling her a "dirty red" or simply mentioning that name on certain imageboards bears a similar result to saying Candlejack
    • Shiki's berserk button? Hurting Mikiya Kokutou
  • Bifauxnen: Shiki is described as both "handsome" and "beautiful".
  • Big Bad: Araya Souren, who is pretty much responsible for everything bad that happens to Shiki after meeting Mikiya in high school; Lio Shirazumi, the true culprit behind all of the grisly murders in the city.
  • Blood Knight: Shiki
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Shiki. Full stop. She might not show any desire to have been born in another century (or any desire, period - well, aside from killing), but...
    • ...she's a modern day warrior woman who only feels alive in a fight to the death.
    • ...her weapons of choice are the tanto (knife) and katana (sword).
    • ...she wears a traditional kimono whenever possible.
  • Bring My Red Jacket: Shiki, oh yes. Shorter than the usual Badass Longcoat, but it definitely counts.
  • Character Filibuster: The epilogue is basically just a half-hour straight of Shiki's third, archetypal personality talking at length about the nature of the self and of Shiki's split personality with very occasional interruptions from Kokutou.
  • Chastity Couple: Shiki and Mikiya, to the point of one time sleeping in the same bed with their clothes on and not doing anything.
  • Chekhov's Gun (And Accompanying Skill): It is mentioned in the second chapter that Ryougi Shiki possesses a sword and is trained in its use by her father; it is later used in the fifth chapter, though it is broken in the end.
    • Also, in the first chapter, it mentions the Fujino case. Guess what chapter three is centric to?
  • Chiaroscuro - Kara no Kyoukai loves shading, and shading loves Kara no Kyoukai.
  • Chick Magnet - Before Shiki Tohno and Shirou Emiya, there was Mikiya Kokutou. I mean, his own sister is in love with him!
  • Color Motif: More frequent in the first movies, but the colors red and/or green are often used when something bloody is about to happen.
    • Even more noticeable in the third movie, where it turns out that Asagami Fujino's ability stems from her eyes, which can generate a red and green spiral to bend objects and people.
  • Compilation Movie: Kara no Kyoukai Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven. Totally incomprehensible if you haven't watched the full movies already, but at least they rectified Satsuki's complete lack of backstory in the sixth movie. It also adds in the first meeting of Mikiya and "Void" Shiki.
  • Convenient Coma: A big part of the overarching story; what led to and what happens during the coma, and the repercussions after the awakening.
  • Cool Old Guy: Akitaka, the Ryougi manservant.
  • Crossdresser / Villainous Crossdresser: In the 7th chapter, Lio Shirazumi styles his hair like Ryogi's, and wears a dress to resemble her. It also doesn't help the fact that he's batshit insane. The fact that he looks downright frightening in a rather silly looking skirt says a lot.
  • Cute and Psycho: In reference to the anime fandom term yangire, Shiki actually has been labeled by Nasu as tsungire, which seems to fit particularly well. For the non-Japanese speakers out there, that's tsun (cold, aloof) and gire (cut), which is indeed quite appropriate.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The sixth movie puts side character Azaka in the spotlight.
  • Death Glare: Ryougi Shiki; those glowing blue eyes help.
  • Death Is Cheap: Aozaki Touko
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Ryougi Shiki
  • Determinator: Ryougi Shiki
  • Dissonant Serenity: Several characters.
    She bends down and touches the blood flowing on the ground; streaks it across her lips. The blood drips down and her body trembles in ecstasy. The first lipstick Shiki has ever worn.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A prayer is something overflowing with the good news of the future...
  • Environmental Symbolism: See Color Motif. All fights also usually happen in the night.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Several concepts tackled in the series present the idea that a person's gender in correlation with their sexual orientation is never truly fixed, and that every person has a dual mentality within themselves.
  • Evil Feels Good: Fujino seems to enjoy killing, even if she says she doesn't want to. Kurogiri Satsuki is also doing everything in the 6th chapter because he enjoys "killing time" that way.
  • Evil Plan: As perpetrated by Araya Souren.
  • Expy: Oh boy, where to start? Quite a few Type-Moon characters have their origins (if only in appearance) in this series.
    • Mikiya is borderline indistinguishable to Shiki Tohno.
    • Tomoe Enjou looks rather a lot like Shirou Emiya.
    • For that matter, Mikiya's cousin Daisuke Akimi is the inspiration for Kiritsugu Emiya.
    • Azaka bears a resemblance to Akiha from Tsukihime. In addition, when we see her as a child in the sixth movie, she looks a lot like Rin Tohsaka. She has shades of Satsuki Yumizuka as well.
    • Lio Shirazumi is probably the inspiration for Arcueid (in appearance only, though: blonde hair, red eyes, claws, skirt/dress) and also a precursor to both SHIKI (being a sort of 'mirror image' of the protagonist Shiki as well) and to an extent, Nero Chaos's ability, what with the whole 'beast' thing he's got going on.
    • Nero Chaos is also evidently inspired by Araya Souren, going by their rather similar outfits and the weird lines they have on their faces. Hell, they even have the same VA in the movies/Melty Blood.
      • And in Fate/stay night we have Kotomine Kirei, who shares color scheme, similar outfits and Joji Nakata's voice with both of them.
    • Fujino Asagami. Purple-haired character who suffers sexual abuse? Sounds like Sakura to me.
    • Ryougi Shiki has a fair resemblance to Ayako Mitsuzuri while Canaan looks like a younger version of her albeit with an obvious palette swap. And Canaan's Mystical Eyes are not, well, of Death Perception.
    • It's probably easier to list the characters who aren't Expies of someone or other.
  • Fan Nickname - Asagami Fujino to "Fujinon."
    • Apparently even Kinoko Nasu himself refers to her in this way.
  • Fan Translation - Of the light novels, it stopped in the middle of Chapter Five when it was announced that it would actually be published in English. Pity it hasn't happened yet.
    • A good samaritan has finally provided us with a full translation of all seven chapters.
  • Final Boss (as much as a light novel/movie series can have a Final Boss): Surprisingly, it's not Souren Araya; it's Lio Shirazumi.
  • Functional Magic: Magecraft in defined as "artificial reenactment of Magic", requiring Equivalent Exchange, whereas Magic is "achieving the impossible" (eg. Operation of Parallel Worlds).
  • Genre-Busting: It's a mix of romance, horror, Urban Fantasy, murder mystery, and action.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: Shiki
  • Girly Run: Azaka
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The mystic eyes in the movies. Shiki's eyes glow once blue in the novels, when she's considering killing Enjou Tomoe because she's restless. She decides against it.
  • Gray Eyes: Shiki again. Interestingly, in Melty Blood she is one of the few characters whose eyes don't glow red (Demon) or blue (not demon) in the opening "Versus" screen of each battle.
  • The Grim Reaper: Shiki is likened as one, thanks to her ability to kill anything she cuts coupled with her ability to cut anything.
    • She's even explicitly called a "Death God" by Touko during Book/Episode 5, "Paradox Spiral."
    • "Anything" literally means anything. This gets taken to its logical conclusion in Future Gospel, where she cuts the future. A precognitive, Meruka Kuramitsu, had set up a perfect and inescapable trap that would definitely kill Shiki—so she kills that possibility and, by extension, Meruka's foresight.
  • Implacable Man: Araya Souren.
  • In the Blood: Many characters in the story belong to families who are listed under the Demon Hunter's Association detailed in Tsukihime. Families in this group tend to partially have monstrous blood, which is partially the reason for their supernatural abilities.
  • Invisible to Normals: Minor supernatural beings (eg. ghosts, fairies) generally can't be seen as they are not powerful enough to manifest.
  • It Gets Easier: Presumably why the Ryougis insist that a person can only commit one murder—no murder will be as difficult or as totally warping to the mind as the first.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Shiki notably uses the aggressive-masculine pronoun of "Ore" to refer to herself in spite of being the portrait of a classical dignified Japanese Lady. This is due to her male SHIKI personality dying, and attempting to take on traits of him to compensate for its death.
  • Knife Nut - Shiki, very much so. Not that she has anything against swords though, as shown in her fight against Souren. Lio Shirazumi, although he isn't limited to just a knife nut per se.
  • Last Of Their Kind: Both Asagami Fujino and Fujou Kirie are implied to be the last supernatural members of their respective families, and Kurokiri Satsuki is the last person on Earth that can use the Unified Language.
  • Leitmotif: In the movies, a specific tune (heard with lyrics here is usually associated with Shiki (see also Theme Music Power-Up). The villains in part 5 also get Leitmotifs representative to their personalities (that Alba's sounds vaguely like "Hall of the Mountain King" may be a reference to M).
  • The Lifestream: Akasha, the Root of everything and nothing, the beginning and the end, the Swirl of Origin, etc. The Nothing After Death would be more appropriate a description,though you're still sort-of conscious in it.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Mikiya is this to most characters in varying degrees.
  • Loss of Identity: A major theme in the series. Shiki wakes up after a two year coma and is only able to feel " " - literally nothing, emptiness. She is unable to connect herself to the "her" from her memories, and no longer has the "split personality" that she had been born with to keep her company. Her finding something to continue living for is a major issue for the rest of the series.
    • Also done on a lesser scale with Touko, who at one point created an exact duplicate of her body, down to the last detail, which made her realize that her own individuality was completely meaningless, as that body could exist as her on its own. She links it to her consciousness and sets it to wake up the instant her current body dies, so it quite literally is her, complete with memories and everything.
  • Magi Babble: Almost a given with any Nasuverse work.
  • Magical Eye: Several characters possess Mystic Eyes, with abilities ranging from "Suggestion" to the famous "Eyes of Death Perception." By extension, this also includes Hellish Pupils. Most are quite colorful when activated. [Insert Dune reference here].
  • Man Behind the Man: Araya Souren.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Araya Souren again, Lio Shirazumi.
  • Meaningful Name: Several characters, but in particular, Ryougi means "two equal sides of opposites", and Shiki, "method" or "equation".
  • Mundane Utility: The theater PSA for the fifth movie has Araya use his bound field to deny Neco-Arc cell phone service.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Aozaki Touko is a genius dollmaker who can create perfect copies of her own body which awaken when her current "container" is destroyed. Araya Souren is also close to indestructible, due to his origin of "Stillness" and having a Buddha's remains grafted onto his left arm - combined, these even blocked the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. For a little while, at least.
    • Not only that, but in the original novels, he still had a considerable lifespan left after Shiki pierces him in his death dot. That's typical Nasu Verse logic - the longer something has existed and the more magically powerful, the longer it will take to "die" completely when killed. There's some Dead Apostle Ancestors who have been dead for millennia and still exist.
  • No Cure for Evil: Subverted, Araya is very good at healing, he repairs Fujino's cracked vertebrae and restores her sense of feeling. Yes, this is an evil act. Araya knows good and well why...
  • No Export for You: It looked like this might be averted when Del Rey Manga announced they were going to publish the novels (which stopped the Fan Translation). However, this was announced in 2008. As of this writing, it's 2011. One enterprising fan wrote an e-mail and got this is as response. As for the movies...well the the new edition will have English subtitles, at least!
    • And now Aniplex USA has announced that they are going to release the entire movie series in a boxset... with a price of $400 without an English dub.
      • And the Japanese fans need to pay this for around $620. The American fans are luckier.
      • Meanwhile, in Germany: All movies are dubbed. Combined they cost 7 cents short of 175 €, that's currently 230,30 $. Guess we lucked out with our import.
  • No Social Skills: Shiki, to a degree.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The parts that just follow one character walking alone in decaying/highly industrial urban environments, by night, in almost complete darkness.
  • Official Couple: Shiki and Mikiya.
  • The Ojou: Shiki. Also, Ouji Misaya in Book/Episode 6.
  • Old School Building: The sixth book/movie's climax takes place in the abandoned school building in the Reien Girls' Academy.
  • One Steve Limit: You have Ryougi Shiki, and then you have her alternate personality, also named Shiki.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Mikiya in the beginning.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Nasuverse makes a distinction between Eastern oni and "real" demons.
  • Paranormal Investigation: Touko's agency, Garan no Dou/The Hollow Temple, is doing this.
  • Pet the Dog: Shiki does something roughly resembling this at times (mainly involving Mikiya). Hey, its Shiki we're talking about, we have to make some concessions with our standards.
    • She also quite literally pets the dog in Oblivion Recorder, when Azaka's roommate's pet collie becomes attached to her.
  • Portmanteau Series Nickname: Kara no Kyoukai —> "Rakkyo".
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The film cut out a good number of things from the novel, and yet manages to garner a generally positive reception.
  • Psychic Powers: Several types. It is fundamentally different from Magecraft in that it is not a learned ability, but a one-time mutation.
    • Clairvoyance: Asagami Fujino eventually gets to this.
    • Telekinesis: Asagami Fujino's main ability. "...Bend."
    • Teleportation: One character gets close; "true" spatial warping, however, is said to be the domain of true Magic.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: Shiki's VA (Maaya Sakamoto) and Kokutou's VA (Kenichi Suzumura) are married, though they weren't at the time of the release of this series' movies. Perhaps the movie even helped in the development of their relationship. The two also often co-star in romantic roles, such as Aerith and Zack.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Subverted. The series plays around with the idea of fate vs. will (mainly through the concept of the Origin) in correlation with each of the villains' respective back-stories.
  • Scenery Porn: There are some very nice landscapes shown, even though they tend to be of decrepit buildings and city areas.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Shiki, with both the Hero and the Sociopathic played up very much.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted; the Big Bad and the mastermind behind most of the story has only one proper appearance in the fifth chapter.
  • Split Personality: Or rather, "United Independent Personalities." The Ryougi Family has the supernatural ability of dual personalities, which resulted in Shiki having both a (dominant) female side and a male side. Shiki's male side dies, which gives her a connection to death while she's still alive. What's left is the hole that is her so-called "Third Personality."
  • The Stoic: Araya Souren, and Shiki; her disinterest in other human beings started it, but it's her connection to the Root that made her empty.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Ryougi Shiki discusses the full extent of her powers in the original epilogue to the novels. To be honest, Story-Breaker Power is an understatement. Basically, because she's connected to the void/origin, she is considered a part of it, and thus has power over anything in the void/origin - which is everything. She claims to be able to do everything from rewriting natural laws to creating an entire new world to replace the current one.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Shiki.
  • Super-Deformed: The hilariously cute opening stop motion "don't smoke" warnings to each movie.
  • Super Speed and Required Secondary Powers: Done to extremes. Araya Souren can dodge a bullet after it has been fired. Ryougi Shiki can move faster than Araya's eyes can track, not to mention attacking so fast that he didn't even realize his arm was cut until it fell off. They even added something like a sonic boom in the film adaptation.
  • Super Weight: Let's rank 'em.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Partially played straight - whenever Shiki begins doing something particularly epic, a suitably epic background track starts up; the music used in these scenes changes from movie to movie, if not from scene to scene, but manages to stay relatively similar overall (the tracks from her showdown with Araya Souren and her fight with Asagami Fujino are great examples).
  • Title Drop: The epilogue, which also explains what "The Boundary of Emptiness" is. It is Shiki's third, but original personality, the Void, Akasha, the root of everything itself.
  • Tomboyish Name: The "Shiki" in Ryougi Shiki is a neutral name, hence Tohno Shiki of Tsukihime.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Shiki does this twice against Araya Souren. What's more badass than regular Shiki? That would be Shiki with a sword. And what's even more badass than that? Shiki's third personality.
    • Rumor has it that Shiki's skill with the sword is just on par with Fujimura Taiga from Fate/stay night. But then again Shiki has her eyes... but wait, what if Taiga became Shiki?
  • Trademark Favorite Food - Bottled water, of all things, for Shiki (it's the only thing we ever see in her fridge). She says multiple times that she hates sweet food.
  • Tsundere: Shiki towards Mikiya.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Kokutou Mikiya, completely normal guy working for a magus.
    • All things considered, he might as well be considered a Badass Normal.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Averted. There are several times when Shiki is described like one, but she's really just a Dissonantly Serene Blood Knight Knife Nut.
  • Yandere: Shiki for the trifecta!

#1: "Overlooking View"/"Panorama" (September 1998)

The first chapter abruptly focuses on a mysterious series of apparent suicides, as schoolgirls begin throwing themselves off of a certain abandoned building without reason. Ghosts are seen flying floating in the area.

  • An Astral Projection, Not a Ghost: The ghostly antagonist turns out to be an out-of-body experience of a bedridden, blind girl named Fujou Kirie.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Go on, guess what insect is in the opening a lot. You'll never guess.
  • Continuity Nod: Kind of backwards, but there's a scene in which the events of the third movie are reported on by the news on TV. Novel readers and people rewatching the movies will catch it, but otherwise it'll pass by without notice.
    • When Touko is fixing Shiki's artificial arm she makes a nod to the third movie's antagonist.
  • Evil Hand: Shiki's artificial arm gets remotely possessed by a ghost and tries to choke and throw her off a building.
  • Leave the Camera Running: There is a very long scene of Shiki (with one arm) eating ice cream that takes about a minute and a half. It's supposed to be symbolic and a Pet the Dog scene about Shiki and Mikiya's relationship, but to some viewers comes off as a little silly.
  • Product Placement: Said ice cream is prominently stated to be Haagen-Dazs in both the movies and the original novel.
    • And Shiki's fridge is shown as being empty except for the ice cream and several bottles of Volvic water.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Mikiya
    "She is either an eminent virtuoso, or just a big weirdo."
  • Spoiler Opening: Who was the girl on the ceiling that commits suicide at the end of the opening credits? Kirie Fujou, the current antagonist.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Kirie, with the subversion that she's not actually dead...yet.
    • You know how these tend to be Nigh Invulnerable in most stories? Yeah...against Shiki, not so much.
  • Suicide Is Painless: Basically the entire story has to do with this concept.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: The schoolgirls throw themselves off the building because of this.

#2: "Murder Speculation (Part 1)"/"The First Homicide Inquiry" (March 1995 - February 1996)

This chronologically-first chapter shows the initial meeting of high school classmates Ryougi Shiki and Kokutou Mikiya. As he gets closer to Shiki, Mikiya finds out about her dual personalities. Meanwhile, Mikiya's cousin, police detective Akimi Daisuke, warns him of a serial killer who stalks the town at night, leaving behind gruesome corpses. Only one piece of evidence has been left behind: the badge of attendance for their school.

#3: "Lingering Sense of Pain"/"Lingering Pain" (July 1998)

Ryougi Shiki's first case after her awakening from the coma. The unassuming Asagami Fujino, a girl unable to feel pain, experiences life for the first time in the passion of killing. As Aozaki Touko and Kokutou Mikiya investigates the truth behind this murderer, Ryougi Shiki hunts her down, leading to a confrontation between the two very different kinds of Mystic Eyes.

  • Asshole Victim: The punks who raped Fujino.
  • Battle in the Rain: Shiki's final fight against Fujino.
  • Broken Bird: Asagami Fujino
  • Cry Cute: Asagami Fujino yet again. Even when discounting the fact she is voiced by Noto Mamiko she is so adorable in this scene you would still wanna reach into the screen and hug her.
  • Drives Like Crazy: When Touko gets behind the wheel Mikiya's reactions tell us that she's like this. We find out in the 5th movie that she never went to driving school, which explains a lot.
  • Fan Disservice: The scenes of Fujino being abused and raped by the delinquents.
  • Feel No Pain: Asagami Fujino, both physically and emotionally, though she keeps this a secret from everyone else so they don't think she's abnormal. She was even repeatedly raped by a gang because of her passivity and this unwillingness to tell anyone about her 'pain'. She starts getting her sensation back in fits after one of the gang hits her with a baseball bat. The pain makes her feel more alive... and murderous. They die messily. It turns out that the lack of pain was the result of her father medicating her as a child to seal her psychic powers before they got out of hand.
  • Pet the Dog: In an odd way; Shiki lets Fujino live by killing her appendicitis, which by her standards is petting the dog.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Fujino.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Kokutou, of all people. Granted, he's being told how one of his former friends and his buddies abused Fujino, so he's disgusted.
  • Tearjerker: "I... don't want to die... I want to live more... I want to feel more... I want to talk with him more... I want to love him more... I want to be here longer... I don't want... to die... Oh it hurts... It Hurts so bad I want to cry... Can I cry?"

#4: "Hollow Shrine"/"The Hollow" (June 1998)

Ryougi Shiki awakens from her coma, and is immediately restrained after attempting to gouge out her own eyes. For two years, she has been staring into " " - not just "emptiness", but a complete void without meanings, forms, or concepts. And she is alone - SHIKI has disappeared. Chronologically the second chapter, this chapter covers Shiki's recovery, the consequences of her coma, and her struggle to survive while submersed in death.

  • Chekhov's Gun: The corpse being carried in one scene. It becomes the zombie that will attack Shiki later.
  • Continuity Nod: Fujou Kirie (from the first movie) can be seen in the background in one scene.
    • The nurses comment that Touko is replacing Araya as a counselor at the hospital.
    • There's also the post-credits scene, showing how Araya Souren is connected to the first three parts.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: When Shiki first wakes up the fact that her hair is now past shoulder-length lets us know she's been asleep for a long time. Add an Important Haircut later and you know she's serious.
  • Eye Scream: One of the first things Shiki does upon waking up is try to claw her own eyes out, as the result of a Freak Out upon realizing what her eyes can see.
  • Out-of-Clothes Experience: While in the Void Shiki is depicted as being completely nude.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: There's a rather eerie scene in which a recovering Shiki is being attacked by a zombie in her hospital room, overlayed by Mikiya (elsewhere) singing "Singing in the Rain" (possibly a Shout-Out to A Clockwork Orange).

#5: "Paradox Spiral" (October-November 1998)

Enjou Tomoe flees his apartment after killing his parents and unexpectedly finds sanctuary at Shiki's place. Tomoe then finds that his parents have apparently failed to stay dead, and that's only the first sign of the abnormalities surrounding the building. Things get bloody messy, and Touko meets some old acquaintances. This movie is notable in that Shiki kills off the Big Bad of the series here, while the following two movies explore the loose and still-unused plot threads.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Touko Aozaki gets this treatment.
  • All There in the Manual: The concepts in this movie are a lot clearer after reading the novels. The movie is also more passive over the fact that Tomoe escaping and Shiki and Touko getting involved (most of the plot, really) were caused by the Counter Force manipulating them to have the situation resolved.
  • Anachronic Order: Deserves separate mention here. The movie plays out in three "arcs"—one from Shiki's perspective, then one from Mikiya's, and lastly a finale tying the two together—divided by title cards with a hand-sketched appearance. Several short scenes are repeated verbatim, such as Mikiya's surprise at Shiki's locked apartment door, with others shown from different perspectives. The long flashback as Shiki breaks out of Araya's confinement fills in some gaps towards the end.
  • And Show It to You: Araya rips out Touko's heart, which is still beating, and yet, being the Nasuverse, they still manage to have a philosophical conversation. Touko gets better.
  • Bloodless Carnage - Despite the large amount of blood elsewhere in the movie, the scene near the beginning of Tomoe killing his mother is oddly lacking. This lack of blood is actually a critical clue to what's really going on. This also works as an effective Mind Screw, since when blood starts appearing again it has a jarring effect.
  • Brain in a Jar: Everyone in Tomoe's apartment is just a puppet, with their brains actually kept alive in a pile of jars in the basement.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Cornelius Alba in the anime only. The novel gives him more depth.
  • Continuity Nod: Done very literally in-story with a completely different (and important) meaning: while Shiki is basically in Akasha and viewing all the moments the Counter Force had an influence on the situation, she sees the moment she first met Mikiya — and "that her" stops talking, looks up at the screen where Shiki is watching from Akasha, and smiles at her. This is a huge plot detail.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Enjou didn't have a chance against Araya. But damn did he tell him off.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The thing in Touko's briefcase. Sometimes it just resembles a traditional bakeneko. Others....
  • Expy: Cornelius Alba is basically the most disgusting parts of Willy Wonka and Alexander De-Large rolled into one humanoid mass; combining the arrogance and bad-fashion sense of both. He even goes as far as to gleefully sing Bethoven's 9th Symphony 4th Movement, the favourite tune of Alex from A Clock Work Orange, when he tried to murder Mikiya in a chillingly sadistic torture scene.
    • Maybe not so coincidentally, Mikiya himself has sung Singin' In The Rain, the song that Alex sung while raping a writer's helpless wife, twice in the film series.
  • Eye Scream
  • Free-Fall Fight: During the climax, when Shiki fights against Souren he jumps off the building with the intention of destroying it with Shiki inside, but Shiki follows him and lands the final blow in the middle of the air.
  • Genius Loci: Araya has fused with his apartment.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: After thinking for a minute, Kokutou decides that he'd probably like Shiki the same regardless of her gender. Though he does add that he's pretty happy that she's a girl.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: The Cafe Of Impossible Meetings, Cafe Ahnenerbe. Used in this series between Life and Death.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: Sure, the plot seems weak and confusing now, but it'll all make sense once the seventh movie actually shows you what the heck was going on!
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Shiki in her fight against Souren.
  • Limited Wardrobe: In an apparent Lampshade Hanging, Shiki is shown to own three of the same jacket.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Araya's apartment building is made this way on purpose, to drive people crazy.
  • Meteor Move: After fighting with Shiki and realizing that she is stronger physically, Araya teleports from the tenth floor (where they both are) down to the the grounds outside. Shiki goes to the nearest opening, jumps down—from the tenth floor, I remind you—and lands sword-first right on top of him. Though the impact breaks the usually invincible Japanese Sword and knocks Shiki out in process.
    • And even then she was only saved by the Big Bad's Mobile Bounded Field (kind of like a shield) taking most of the landing impact (it's slightly implied he activated it on purpose for that reason).
  • Mind Screw: Of truly epic proportions. Without reading the novels, you really need to see this film at least twice to even get a rough idea about what the blazes is going on. A great case of All There in the Manual (listed above). Half the reason for the mind screw is not just because of the mind screw nature, but because the movie left out parts that are necessary to put everything together, leaving you with a general sense of "wtf" as you try to put together the gaps.
  • Off Model: Shiki's fight against the zombie puppets.
  • Pet the Dog: Shiki goes somewhere between this and Tsundere (but not quite - she is very hard to categorize) when she starts stabbing her pillow in frustration while griping about Mikiya's absence to Tomoe.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Shiki vs zombie. ... Zombie explodes in half.
  • Snow Means Death: When Araya dies
  • Start of Darkness: A flashback/dream of Araya's shows him standing in the aftermath of a bloody conflict 200 years ago, looking at the corpse of a little boy who got caught up in it. He resolves that since he cannot save anybody, he will at least collect and record the deaths of people and reach the origin so he can end this world so there can be no more meaningless deaths.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Araya reveals to Shiki that he engineered her conflicts with Fujino and Kirie as a part of his Evil Plan to reach Akasha.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Touko chatters on about her meaning of life for a while after Araya rips her heart out and only seems to actually die when he crushes it in his hand.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The Tomoe who interacts with Shiki is a fake, as he himself confirms when he finds the Brain in a Jar with his name on it.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Subverted. Araya mercilessly destroys Touko, but keeps her head alive on purpose - she's created an exact duplicate of her own body and linked them to herself. Whenever she is "killed" the other body awakens, allowing her to come back - when Alba crushes her head, she comes back. With a vengeance.

#6: "Oblivion Recorder"/"Records of Oblivion" (January 1999)

Azaka and Shiki go to the Reien Girl's Academy to find the culprit behind a rash of disappearing memories caused by "fairies".

  • Anachronism Stew: Satsuki Kurogiri's desktop computer has a flat screen monitor, which were very expensive for the time and rather uncommon compared to CRT monitors. Given it appears larger than available LCD monitors at that time, this seems like a genuine mistake.
  • Badass Adorable: Sure, Shiki may be charming and beautiful, but Azaka-chan fits this trope better as she acts in a more cutesy fashion.
  • Betty and Veronica: In Azaka's mind, she is the Betty while Shiki is the Veronica who is trying to take Mikiya away from her.
  • Bowdlerization: The child prostitution and teen pregnancy subplot between Tachibana Kaori and Hayama Hideo in the novel is reduced to drug addiction in the movie. Which is somewhat glaring seeing as they left in Asagami Fujino's rather graphic rape scenes in the third movie.
    • They also left Kurogiri-sensei's fate unclear: we never see Ouji kill him in the ending. It actually looked like Shiki simply cut him as he restored her memories, before the scene cut out, which seemed to imply that he died in that encounter.
  • Breather Episode: Cute and light-hearted, almost as if preparing you for a soul-shatteringly traumatic finale.
    • The film adaptation only, mainly due to the focus on Azaka.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Azaka openly states that she's in love with Mikiya, her blood-related brother - during her self-intro narration, no less. She even left home and enrolled at Reien in hopes that their time apart would lead Mikiya to view her as a woman rather than his little sister.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Azaka towards her brother Mikiya.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Misaya Ouji. Is it any wonder she's voiced by Nana Mizuki in the movie?
  • Dartboard of Hate: A plushy-doll variation.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tachibana Kaori. In the novel, she intended her suicide to be atonement for her and her classmates' sins; see Enjo Kosai below.
  • Elaborate University High: Reien Academy
  • Enjo Kosai: What Tachibana Kaori's class ended up doing, with their teacher Hayama Hideo as the pimp. Kaori herself was the last to hold out due to her Christian convictions, and was raped and impregnated by the said teacher as a result. Both aspects were cut out of the movie.
  • Everyone Can See It: Azaka's crush on Mikiya is pretty obvious. Shiki knows about it and says she isn't the only one who has noticed it, but Mikiya doesn't know.
  • The Fair Folk: And were not talking about the packaged-for-kids Christmas version, oh no.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Azaka performs one of these against the big demon flower controlling Ouji. She even finishes it off with her best approximation of a Super Inazuma Kick.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The random giant flower thing in the movie.
  • Kawaiiko: Azaka-chan is a slightly older than usual example, but oh so very cute nevertheless.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Azaka-chan's style of combat. Anyone expecting her to be a worthless warrior in close combat because she practices magic is in for a very, VERY rude surprise.
  • Lighter and Softer: The least violent entry in the saga.
  • The Ojou: Ouji Misaya.
  • Rivals Team Up: Shiki and Azaka.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Implied of Ouji and Tachibana.
  • Schrödinger's Cat: Tachibana dies in the novel and lives in the movie.
  • Shout-Out: Azaka mentions she's dogsitting for her roommate Seo. Keen Nasuverse fans will assume she means Seo Akira, Akiha's friend in Kagetsu Tohya. When we get to see her at the end of the film, she does indeed appear to be a tously-haired Expy, although she's evidently not the same one - the DOG'S name is Akira.
  • Sneezing: Touko does this when Shiki and Azaka find her picture in the yearbook.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Shiki and Azaka.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Shiki and Azaka.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Azaka actually respects Shiki, and is quite fond of her; the feeling is mutual on Shiki's part. The girls understand each other enough to laugh at and finish the punch line of each-other's jokes, and marvelously complementing each together in abilities on the battlefield. The one thing, however, that prevents them from actually openly admitting their friendship to one another is their mutual love for Mikiya.

#7: "Murder Speculation (Part 2)"/"The Second Homicide Inquiry" (February 1999)

The murders from before Shiki's coma resume, and both Shiki and Mikiya are trying to find the killer.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: How Lio's death is treated in the novel.
  • Book Ends: A number of themes from Overlooking View (as well as the other five movies) get a reprise here.
  • Cherry Blossoms: The post-credits scene.
  • Cry Cute: Is that actually Shiki? My God she's adorable.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Averted, contrary to popular belief. While it seemed as if Shiki was able to take out Lio quite easily in the final battle, she was actually experiencing extreme difficulty in keeping up with him. The novel actually elaborates on this outlining how Shiki was still experiencing the lingering effects of the drugs thus being unable to fight as well as she did before. It goes on how Lio was effectively weakening Shiki's limbs one by one like a predator slowly taking down its prey, with the final blow being directed at her neck (Shiki basically took full advantage of the amount of space between them and took him out in one fell swoop resulting in the fight to come across as a Curb-Stomp Battle)
  • Depraved Bisexual: Forget Haruhi or Vamp... Lio is the new poster child of this trope!
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A few minutes from the end of the movie, Mikiya is apparently dead from a stab to the face, and Shiki's resigned herself to melancholy after killing Lio. The situation eventually improves.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mikiya obtains info on the drug-related serial killings by the only drug dealer around who's not selling that particular new cocktail because she thinks it's too damaging for the human body.
    • Possibly she's being pragmatic - you can't really get money from a corpse.
  • Eye Scream: Mikiya loses his left eye towards the end of the movie. Considering Lio was trying to kill him, he may have gotten off lucky.
  • Fan Disservice: Anything Lio does to Shiki, especially the drooling all over her part after ripping open her kimono with his teeth. That he's modelled himself after her doesn't make it better. Yuck.
  • Fingore: Shiki breaks free of the bindings holding her hands by gnawing her thumb off! Of course, that was off her artificial hand.
  • Genetic Memory: Araya had opened Lio up to his origin, giving him access to the memory of all of his past lives; mostly carnivore animals.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Lio, the true murderer.
  • Indirect Kiss: Shiki refuses a canned sweet drink when Mikiya offers her one, but says she changed her mind and drinks it after Mikiya drinks a bit of the can.
  • Ironic Echo: Lio's diary starts with one. "April 1995. I met her."
  • Not So Different: Lio believes that he and Shiki are fundamentally similar, and that Mikiya is the only thing holding Shiki back from a murderous existence.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation - The night train passes by as Kokutou learns the drug dealer's name, Lio Shirazumi.
  • Snow Means Death: When Lio dies.
  • Snow Means Love: "I'm never letting you go."
  • Stalker Shrine: Featured in the opening credits, and it's hella creepy.
    • Shows up again when Mikiya investigates Lio's apartment. More detail is given and the camera pans around to truly show all the pictures.
  • They Were Holding You Back: Lio believes this about Mikiya and Shiki, and tries to murder Mikiya to prove that he and Shiki are Not So Different
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Lio.

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Fate/ZeroCreator/MVM EntertainmentRevolutionary Girl Utena
JudgeHorror Anime & MangaThe Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
Kafka on the ShoreJapanese LiteratureKingdom Hearts
KaijiAnime of the 2000sLovely Complex
GyoCreator/UfotableManabi Straight
GantzMadmanEntertainment/Anime and MangaGasaraki
Spit-Trail KissImageSource/Anime and MangaSingle-Stroke Battle
Kangoku GakuenSeinenKarate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru
Kamisama KissUrban FantasyKannazuki no Miko
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alternative title(s): Garden Of Sinners; The Garden Of Sinners; Kara No Kyoukai; Kara No Kyoukai; Kara No Kyoukai
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