They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Gyo, Fate/Zero Cafe, Kara no Kyoukai Movie: Mirai Fukuin – Manner Movie, and more!
English: GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!
MAL Score: 5.40
Though her trip to Okinawa was supposed to be a lovely excursion to the seaside, college student Kaori Sawahara finds that it is anything but when a horrifying menace emerges from the watery depths. A strange mechanism has taken control of the sea creatures, granting them legs and sending them on land to attack anything in their way. Kaori and her friends—the lustful Erika and the reserved Aki—find themselves caught up in this onslaught, made worse by the creatures’ rotting stench of death.
Surviving the first assault, Kaori tries to contact her fiancé Tadashi in Tokyo. However, the call is cut short in what sounds like another fish attack. Fearing for his safety, Kaori leaves for Tokyo. With Erika and Aki contending with the attacks in Okinawa, Kaori rushes to find Tadashi, unaware that the crisis has only just begun.
Basically, someone has taken this story and though…
“How can I make this fairly well known story that bit more popular? I know! I’ll make it a lot less mature (i.e. easier to follow) and conform to idealism by throwing in some well known cliche’s – newbie’s and the more impressionable viewers will eat this all up!”
… and her we have this hour long OVA. I’ll expand on the above…
Originally, a young couple are at sea, when they see something highly curious; this ‘horror’ tourments them wherever they go – true harrassment via an unlikely offender. After acting in an arguablely unreasonable and paranoid manner – the girl soon becomes ill, her boyfriend, who is somewhat in the loop when it comes to science and has sceintific connections, works hard to find answers to this mystery whilst avioding constant peril and virtual isolation – it’s a true horror story.
In this OVA, we have his girlfriend as the leading character – and isn’t she an angel. She’s on a hoilday with her friends – she is made aware of this horror, takes it in her stride, goes to ‘rescue’ her boyfriendwho’s in trouble, whilst not knowing hat’s going on and not really having a clue; erazing the formality that existed beforehand – along the way, she meets a pretty guy around her age who, like her, as a tragic backstory that has allowed him to be driven.
Basically, we have a role reversal that allows us to follow the ‘hot girl’ instead of the ‘in the know guy’ and the disease has been pushed on to lesser characters; the conveinent and ‘more deserving’.
Now – I will forget all about he manga and treat this OVA as a stand alone story…
Still, not good!
We have a pretty female lead, on hoilday with her ‘less likable’ friends.
An obscure terror shows up and this girl must now leave her friends behind and ‘leap into action’ (she’s no action girl, this is all suppose to be quite realistic) upon coming to the accurate conclusion that her boyfriend is in need of a hero. On her journey, she comes across a guy who is of much help and has somewhat of a similar backstory to hers (rocked by a certian loss).
This story leaves the more observant viewer asking a few questions, such as…
“The body count is massive, yet the main gets attacked often and is never phased – why is this?”
‘If paracite monsters are killing and infecting people threwout a mulitude of area’s, why are plains still opporating and sending people into the ‘eye of the storm’?”
“The train the two mains are on has just crashed out of the blue, all on it look either dead or unconcious – why are the two ‘mains’ allowed to climb out, unscratched and unshaken before walking down an underground tunnel which I’m sure lacks oxygen, whilst maintaing energy to spare?”
Basically, the plot bends to the will of the famale lead – she’s the main character and a decent person, so why shouldn’t ‘the unlikely’ simply open it’s door for her whenever she stops by?
This is the immaturity^, now, for the cliche’s…
A typical case of possotive and negitive accossiation.
We have a pretty leading female who’s ‘sensible’ persona arguabely borders on Mary Sue – she’s the friendly mediator type; everyones friend who makes friends easily, yet she’ll also do all in her power to protect those around her, she’ll even speak for the unfortunate who don’t have a voice. She always wants the best possible outcome, such as hoping officials will come out with a cure for the many infected, highly dangerous strangers roaming the streets, in favour of killing them. She doesn’t get too scared or show a single hint of selfishness or hesitation when it would be perfectly natural to do so either. On a whole, she’s ideal.
Her sidekick is a good looking, young (about her age) video photographer who has all the action recorded and is very interested – in a constructive way, in uncovering what is going on – he has a bit in common with the leading female and seems to have a crush on her.
We have the female leads two frineds – a promiscuous, overall stylish ‘pretty’ girl and a chubby, introvert girl with no particular styling in clothes, hair or facial features and no particular body shape – ofcourse they aren’t going to be admirable or acheive anthing!
Fine, nothing spectacular, but nothing wrong scenery wise – the character design is lovely however; everyone looks different and fairly realistic.
It was fine as a stand alone series, not too complex; which is what you shoud really get from a plot like this, but the length was sensible and it did have what most would call an end?
I watched this and threwout I had the though lingering in the back of my head – it all reminded me of a tacky Hollywood movie where the pretty girl screems her way threw to the end (only, minus the screaming, this girl bough us little).
So on a whole – no, I didn’t enjoy it personally.
For me personally, a bit of a watse of time.
The manga was just 20 chapters long and it moved at a steady to fast pace – everything; begining, middle and end could have been covered in this OVA, why they changed it o something else, I can only put down to marketing?
There was no need for this (again, forgetting the original) to incorporate such cliche’s as; character sheild, ‘petty behaviour justifies death’, ‘everyone loves a tragic female lead’ and ‘mix gneder team with clear romantic feelings apparant’ – whilst spoonfeeding information in a way that only fits a story ‘aimed at all’ (such as; data that answers everything, present on the desktop screen of a computer, which happens to be swithched on, in an importiant person’s home, that happened to be easy to access).
On a whole, the simplification and writing tools (cliche’s being the critical and more accure term at this time) spoilt things. 🙁
It is clear that Gyo was highly anticipated for quite a while since it is the first animated feature from one of the bizarre Ito’s story. For that matter, we may as well say that it will be the only one since Gyo is perhaps the only story that has this cinematic feels to it (and yes, Uzumaki live action was shit). Anyway, Ufotable’s adaptation of the manga completely changes the feeling of the manga to something more action and drama oriented. While it is not a problem by itself, some of those who read the manga might actually feel slightly deceived on how it actually turned out to be. However, for the sake of the review, I won’t pass too much time comparing the two since it would be downright useless; let’s just stick with the OVA, while making some very minor comparisons
For an OVA of merely 70min, the direction isn’t wasting much time for the Story. Precisely, the calm before the shit storm only last for a few minutes, the time we get to identify our main characters. It doesn’t take long to the story before it gets into something quite chaotic. The whole movie feels like a crescendo of what terrible event can happen next until it hits the fan. Then again I have to precise that Junji Ito’s version on paper is much more extravagant than this anime, where, compared to the manga, is more down to earth. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Junji Ito’s work if it didn’t have its typical signature: a romance story behind all that. And even if it was never the strong part of any of his work, Ufotable seems to have placed it as a priority in the anime. In a way, it makes the story much more of drama than an actual horror one. As for the bad thing, Gyo actually have quite a few useless scenes that certainly feels out of place, but there not so much of them. As a whole, the story is direct and doesn’t waste much time.
And for having so little introductions, it is hard to evaluate the characters. Since the plot is mostly driven by some apocalyptic events, the cast obviously won’t leave a spot in your memory, there are for the most completely forgettable. In the essence of a horror story, Gyo is composed of a main heroine, a main hero and some other characters that go to the name of: potential victims. As such, the only back story of the heroine that is given is actually related to the story, but doesn’t add much of it. As for the progression of the characters, the most interesting part is no doubt when the hero and heroine teams up together. However, this is like saying apples are tastier than shit.
The artwork is generally well done. Of course, Gyo suffers from some awkward 2d – 3d relation on the screen that may feel completely off, but didn’t seem to irritate me as much as others said. The character design is more clean and polished than the manga, and thus they look more beautiful than what we would’ve expected to be. Certainly, at some points in the anime, Junji Ito’s drawing style can be seen to make a focus on “when you should be terrified”. It is questionable whether it actually worked, but I thought the intention of having a mix bag of different art style actually felt nice.
As for the matter of sound, Gyo has a soundtrack of typical horror music that really set the mood correctly. On the bad side, I may have to say that Kaori’s performance wasn’t the greatest I ever heard. Her many dramatic break outs never felt passionate, nor could I take her seriously.
In conclusion, Ufotable presents their own version of the story by making it more action oriented and dramatic. Still, while having some obvious and minor issues, Gyo mostly succeed at being a fast paced and intense ride from start to the finish, even though it may look awkward and clumsy for a certain audience.
[Contains mild, creative language used to emphasize certain things, also contains spoilers]
This review doesn’t seem to flow, think of it as fragments of criticism.
So basically, I started the movie with mediocre expectations, it had a horribly low rating, but it was animated by Ufotable. So, I may be watching mediocre shit, but at least it’ll have pretty visuals.
Anyhow, the introduction piqued my curiosity, a group of fishermen appeared to be dazed and shocked from a discovery, the discovery wasn’t revealed till later. Now, what was the discovery? It was landfish.
The landfish essentially have a grotesque smell, followed by a what the fuck appearance. Imagine fish, now imagine mechanical spiders. Now imagine a combination of the two. Now give the combination of the two to the storyboard of Guilty Crown. And now you have your fucked up landfish. The landfish play an integral role in this, they basically invade town and do whatever the fuck they want. They don’t target humans specifically, they just do what the fuck ever, like eat the shit out cars and subways, just for shits. Later on, it’s revealed that it’s not limited to just fish, it just originated from them.
The storyline started off as somewhat meh, but possibly promising. It quickly drifted off to something you would write in a drugged frenzy. The storyline is basically composed of the chick accompanied by some dude, looking for her fiance. Along the way, they discover that the landfish was conceived as a biological weapon during WWII (unpredictable, right?). They also discover that the fish is half organic, and half synthetic; but, it’s also infectious. In other words, a pointless biological weapon because it fucking infects everyone, your side included. The rest of the storyline is inconceivable shit, so I’ll move on to the other sections. It should be noted that it’s not shit because it’s bizarre, different, and shocking. It’s shit because it’s shit, it’s cliche and it flows about as well as this shitty review. Seriously, it ends by trying to invoke some fucking philosophy. The entire storyline thus far was giant fucking robot monsters shoving their tentacles up your ass to mind control you.
The characters were also a bit “what the fuck” worthy. Essentially, it’s just the main heroine, but her two friends should be noted. First first friend is perhaps the paragon of “what the fuck how retarded are you?” A giant landshark comes through the window when she’s screwing two guys, needless to say, she was injured. During the attack, she was scared shitless and the two guys ditch her. After the attack, she thanks the two guys for “saving” her on TV, then proceeds to screw them once more. The second friend actually started off as a pretty decent character; she was the third-wheel. However, it appears that any redemption for a decent character was killed during the second half.
The characterization was also minimal. You’re just given some history, and you’ll have to assume the rest by assuming some common character archetypes. The history would be much more convincing, if the voice acting wasn’t so bland.
The voice acting in this was beyond mediocre, it was the apathetic type of emotion, it just didn’t fit the characters at all. You could find better voice acting in Hentai than this, just saying. In Hentai, when a giant tentacle monster attacks you, emotions are heard. In Gyo, when tentacles attack you, you’re reading off the script. However, ufotable did a decent job here, the visuals were good. The OST was lackluster to say the least, it’s mostly silent. It could be argued that it enhanced the ambiance, but when music did play, it usually wasn’t anything special.
This series also intends on inserting fan service, regardless of the occasion. It’s more of a, remember to pay attention, otherwise you’ll miss some boobs, or some scenes reminiscent of something you would normally find with the keywords tentacles and schoolgirl penetration. Some examples include a certain characters death scene. She’s essentially about to die, then her eyes flashes before her eyes. What flashes? Was it precious child-hood memories? A lost love? Regret? No, it was her essentially before being screwed by the entire football team fully nude.
The law enforcement in this anime also seem to fucking blow. Hey, giant fish invading? No problem, let’s fly a plane and hope for the best. Guarding a quarantined zone? Beat the shit out of anybody that tries to past, regardless of the reason. Your loved one’s stuck on the other side? We should probably convince you not to go by physical encouragement.
Overall, if you’re looking for plenty of nudity, and tentacles, go watch hentai. If you’re looking for cheap scares, and shit storylines, go for Another or this. Shit, this review blew, but I spent too much time on this to delete it.
TLDR: It’s not shit because it attempts to think outside the box, nor because it attempts to be creative & innovative, it’s shit because it’s shit.
18: Fate/Zero Cafe
MAL Score: 5.97
The story re-imagines the cast of the Fate/Zero as cute super-deformed characters who open a café, led by Saber as the manager.
17: Kara no Kyoukai Movie: Mirai Fukuin – Manner Movie
English: the Garden of sinners -recalled out summer- Pre-show Reminder
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 未来福音 劇場用マナーCM
MAL Score: 6.09
Cinema intro shown before the movie Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin and included as a bonus with the Blu-ray/DVD release.
It’s incredibly hard to make a lengthy review of this considering it is just a short at the beginning of each episode, so my review scores are based solely on personal enjoyment and some bias.
Shiki is in the theater with you, please be respectful for safety purposes!
Just look at it, it’s not the art you see in the actual series and that’s intentional.
Some meowing; I’m serious.
They add on as they’re introduced in the main show.
I laughed a few times, I believe.
Unnecessary, but entertaining!
16: Tsuki no Sango
MAL Score: 6.15
The story takes place in approximately the year 3000, when humankind arrived at the peak of its civilization, but is losing its will to keep living. It follows a girl, called “princess” by those around her, who lives on a small island with a fifty-person colony and a shining coral reef. She is a descendant of the Moon people, and the story focuses on how her ancestors supposedly came to Earth.
Pretty much sums it up, a short movie, well I would not say movie, it felt more of a picture drama or perhaps an OVA.
A small girl who talks about her grandmother of how she was born in the Moon and how the world ended up being deserted. The art is flawless and plays a memorable distinct sound of nostalgia, the music to describe the art of the shoring sea and starry sky was Frédéric Chopin’s music. But I can’t seem to remember which song it was he composed.
But anyways, you can find the movie on Youtube!
15: Kara no Kyoukai: Manner Movies
English: the Garden of sinners Pre-show Reminder
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 劇場鑑賞マナーCM
MAL Score: 6.41
Seven cinema intros that were shown with the seven movies of Kara no Kyoukai and included as a bonus with the Blu-ray/DVD release.
Now quit being so mean to these adorable as f!$@ manner movies!
Only not 10/10 because I thought the sound work wasn’t as fantastic as it could have been 😛
14: Majokko Shimai no Yoyo to Nene
English: Magical Sisters Yoyo & Nene
MAL Score: 7.42
Based on a manga “Noroiya Shimai” written by Hirarin and serialized in Monthly Comic Ryuu.
It is a story about a pair of sisters who work as “noroiya” (cursers) using magic in a fantasy world. One day a big tree suddenly appears in a forest, and tall buildings that look like they are from our world can be seen entangled in it. The two sisters go there to investigate and get ported to our world. They then encounter two children who are startled by the sisters’ sudden appearance and rush back home but at home they see their parents turned into monsters…
(Source: MAL News)
What a magic journey this was indeed. The story is compelling, never boring, and certainly enjoyable. It has amazing rich color pumping out of every pore. The mixture of SFX and great backing tracks truly helps you feel like you are in a different world. The characters are unique and every single one stands out on their own. I enjoyed this movie so much. Its hard to explain. I know this is a light themed movie about magic, and the power of people and their love and faith in each other, but i found myself not blinking for long segments because i didn’t want to miss a second. Overall this movie is a fat whopping 10!
Yoyo and Nene are two sisters who take magical jobs all over the Kingdom of Magic. They never turn down a job, and due to their determination and near infinite bevy of spells, they have a 100% success rate. One day a magical tree appears smack in the middle of their Kingdom. Yoyo, the smaller yet older sister who has the exuberance and curiosity of a child,immediately rushed to the new tree and begins to explore it. Inside she finds an elevator. Once the doors close on her, her life is never the same. when the doors open, they open into the real world, ours, and 3 children pop out. Takahiro and his younger cousin Aki along with our magical maiden Yoyo. THey all return to Takahiro’s house and discover his parents are turned into cursed gelatinous beings. with the help of Takahiro’s older brother Shiruga, they slowly piece together why the crazy things keep happening to their world.
Such an expansive use of colors, themes, and textures, this anime movie stands among the best looking anime you will ever see. From the get-go we are treated to a wonderfully lush magical forest full of bright colors and beautiful looking watercolor pastel backgrounds. As we enter the real world, the magic Yoyo performs stands out among the normal color palette of the real world. You KNOW when she performs magic because the colors bounce offscreen. Each character is drawn really well and the animation is extremely smooth. The faces have a ton of expression and each character looks their part.
We are immediately treated to a battle scene with SFX that perfectly accentuate what is going on onscreen. From peddling noises, to explosions, to Zimms and Zooms, the sound is just perfect. The music is awesome as well. We hear light pads sweeping as they move on screen. trumpets blaring with a very nostalgic sounding hero theme full of excitement and heart. You hear the uplifting theme and it truly is one for the ages. From back to the future, or Superman. its that great. It actually reminds me of the 90s kids movies like angels in the outfield, or home alone, with bright horns and powerful drums that really spoil the listener.
We initially meet Yoyo and Nene defending their world against a cursed monster that they must dispel with all sorts of different magic.
Yoyo is clearly the more energetic and spirited of the two. She is very childlike in her appearance and attitude, albeit she is the older sister. She is very cute and bubbly. She always has a smile on her face no matter the situation.
Nene is the younger but more stoic older sister. She is also very nice and sweet, but on a much more mature level. You can tell the two sisters have a very good relationship and love each other very much
Takihiro is the young teen boy they meet after being cast from the elevator. He is initially brash and annoyed with the whole situation like any teen would be. He has no time for it. He is a really caring and nice guy down deep, but like any onion,, you must peel back the layers. He has a tendency to yell at people when they get on his nerves. He is a great older cousin to Aki, protecting her at all costs.
Aki is the young cousin to both Takihiro and Shiruga. She is adorable, shy, timid, and immediately falls in love with Yoko’s magic. Her and Yoko really bond. Aki plays a crucial role in teaching Yoko many of the truths about the “Real World”
There are other Characters, but these are all you should know for now.
I absolutely, positively, and surprIsingly ridiculously enjoyed this movie. I am a mid 20’s male who enjoys all sorts of anime. I didnt even know this was a movie to be honest when i downloaded it. I thought it was episode 1 of a new series. about 20 minutes in i said to myself, ” i Hope this is a movie” because i didn’t want this to end. from the characters, especially Yoko, and the magic , oh the magic!, i loved every minute of it. Okay, so the magic has a ton of different facets. Yoko can make anything come alive to her needs. Like a witch she can ride a broom, but she can ride anything once she casts a spell. I think the way the magic worked and how beautifully it looked was probably the main reason i loved watching this so much. Of course Aki is cute, but when Yoko is trying to console Aki not to cry, that is the essence of the movie right there to me.
Interestingly enough, i said earlier i didn’t want it to end after 20 minutes of watching it. Well thats when one of the most “magical” moments happens for me. Yoko cheering up Aki. If you don’t enjoy that, then that movie isn’t for you.
No, this isnt as deep and epic as Gurren Lagann. Its not scary or a thrilling like Death Note. Its definitely not confusing and a mind fuck like Steins Gate. BUT, this movie is fantastic in so many ways. its simple, its fun, its cheery, it makes you smile, its utterly enjoyable, and truly eye candy. No its not incredibly deep, but it doesn’t need to be. it is like your favorite ride at Disney World. You know what’s about to happen isnt very scary, but its still a blast experiencing it.
Overall this movie really stood out to me, put a smile on my face, and made me write my first review, when i could have for so many other anime i loved. From the beautiful art, and i mean beautiful, to the great SFX and action on screen, this is one movie that anime fans of any genre will love.
Thanks for reading. Anime or Go away!
If you read the summary, it follows two magical sisters’ as they interact with children from our world. Danger ensues. I appreciated the slice of life moments and the use of magical technology (very small, but sweet). What was disappointing was the distractions that fell their way and the deus ex machina’s revealed at the end. There were far too many, so it felt very unsatisfactory.
In addition, they touch on death in an interesting way. However, one of the main character’s most dramatic moments rang very hollow with me and came off as cheap at best. Why? There was very little investment in the character involved. It was difficult to empathize.
Finally, the relationships between the characters were very shallow, established in brief moments that felt forced.
The artwork had an interesting sketch-like quality that was a little distracting at first, but nice. The colors tended to blend in to each other from what I could remember, more towards the beginning.
I’m not an expert, but I thought there were noticeable moments of silence that felt strange. The music that existed was fun at times, and overall it did its job.
The characters were shallow. This could be attributed to the fact that it’s a children’s movie.
Since there are two magical sisters, I expected the movie to explore their relationship more. Instead, it focuses on the antics of one sister in our world and only touches on their relationship when support is required. Honestly, I felt like one sister could be summed up as: the one who supports the other sister and is otherwise quiet. Now, this would be fine if there was something else and if the main character had more to her (besides being in-your-face energetic and reckless). Unfortunately, it’s not the case.
The side characters are all right, but their reactions at times seem inappropriately exaggerated to force tension or compromise. It comes off as hard to believe, but for a children’s movie, it does its job.
OVERALL RATING: Meh
If you absolutely love magical girls, it’s fine. If you just want something fun and cute to watch, there’s better options, but this could work. It’s not terrible, but it’s not fantastic either.
Overall, this was a great adventure and magic anime, with a unique main character and supporting characters. This movie is a great change from the usual and it doesn’t fail to please.
13: Kara no Kyoukai 6: Boukyaku Rokuon
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 6: Oblivion Recording
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第六章『忘却録音』
MAL Score: 7.50
With strange events occurring at Reien Girls’ Academy during winter break, Azaka Kokutou, a student and apprentice mage, is sent by her master to investigate. It turns out that another mage has been stealing the students’ memories using fairies that, despite her magical talent, are invisible to Azaka. So Shiki Ryougi, an acquaintance with special eyes who can see what Azaka cannot, is also sent to the academy to help with the crisis.
However, the two have trouble getting along, mainly due to the fact that Azaka views Shiki as her romantic rival. But when the fairy situation quickly spirals out of control and more layers of the mystery are revealed, Azaka must learn to work with Shiki in order to save her classmates.
The sixth movie in the Kara no Kyoukai series is, once again, a departure from what one has come to expect. Unfortunately Boukyaku Rokuon (or Oblivion Recording), is a somewhat lacklustre effort compared to the rest of the franchise, and is only carried through by some great visuals and excellent sound.
The story takes place in January 1999 and focuses on Kokuto Azaka, Mikiya’s younger sister who was “adopted” by their uncle. She is enrolled at Reien, a school for girls, and is also apprenticed to Aozaki Touko in order to become a Magus.
The movie begins in a fairly ambivalent manner, with Azaka remembering a scene from her childhood. Her current task is to investigate investigate a string of events at Reien which seem to involve “fairies”, and to aid her investigation Touko sends Ryougi Shiki to work undercover at the school (posing as a student), something which Azaka is not too pleased about.
Now the plot itself is pretty straightforward, however this is also the biggest problem with this movie. Story-wise this is by far the weakest episode in the series, and even though simplicity may not be a bad thing in a show, in this case it comes at a price. The plot is extremely feeble when it comes to the characters and their development, and whilst the concept may be a good one, the movie is never given a chance to realise it’s potential.
One of the reasons for this is that a great deal of effort has gone into fleshing out the two main characters (Kokuto and Shiki), who, along with Touko, form the backbone of the franchise. Azaka’s inclusion however, seems more of an afterthought, and there is little in this movie to fully justify her presence in the series. Granted she adds a different dimension to the relationship between Kokuto and Shiki, but the impact is almost negligible, and viewers may find themselves wondering how she fits in to the grand scheme of things.
The art and animation are of a very high standard, but there is once again a drop in the overall quality of some scenes (the young version of Azaka being cross-eyed at times is an example of this). The action sequences are extremely well choreographed and executed, whilst the character animation is often fluidly smooth. Unfortunately though, there are again times when the movements do not match the actions, and while these occasions are not too common in the movie, they are noticeable because of the quality of the rest of the animation.
Sound is, once again, excellent. The music is extremely well suited to the movie, with the more cheerful scenes feeling cheerful, and so on and so forth. The pieces are varied, with some being more reminiscent of Maria-sama Ga Miteru, while others are very much what one would expect of the Kara no Kyoukai franchise. The effects are very well crafted and choreographed, and while there is some slight cacophony to be heard at times, this should not really impede on one’s enjoyment of the movie.
The acting is pretty much what one would expect from the franchise, with each of the characters being portrayed very well overall. One does have to wonder what Sakamoto Maaya (Shiki) was trying to achieve this time though, as there are occasions where she sounds like she has blocked sinuses.
From the start of the movie it’s clear that this outing will be all about Azaka, and whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it could have been done far better if the story was tighter, more interesting, and a little darker (which is what one would have expected from the series). There is an effort to give Azaka a degree of depth which comes off as laughable at times, mainly because her “love” for her older brother is given as the reason for her adoption, her choice of school, etc. Her apprenticeship as a Magus is purely based on the fact that she considers Shiki a rival for her brother’s affections, and while I have no problems with personal reasons being the basis for such actions, it just seems a little too neat an excuse in Boukyaku Rokuon. Having an unhealthy interest in one’s siblings may cause some aberrent behaviour in people, but there is an expectation that the viewer will simply accept Azaka’s actions and reasons without questioning them – not a good move on the part of the writers.
The other characters don’t really get much screen time so there isn’t any really much one can say about them. That said, there are some pretty obvious hints given about Shiki which feel more like preludes of things to come than any real attempt at development.
Given the flaws in the story and its characters, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed Boukyaku Rokuon as a whole. The movie represents a big departure for the franchise, and has a far more lighthearted feel to it at times than any of the previous outings. The action is well done, and there is enough going on to keep the viewer interested till the end. It’s unfortunate then that the main feeling one gets from this episode is that it is nothing more than a prelude to the final movie, a factor which upsets the balance of the narrative and can leave the viewer frustrated that many obvious questions remain unasked or unanswered by the end of the movie.
Boukyaku Rokuon isn’t the best installment in the series by far, but it’s not a bad effort on the whole. While there are a number of improvements that could have been made (in particular the rather haphazard plot), there is still an entertaining addition to the franchise here, and one that has a different feel to it than the other movies.
One can only hope that the final chapter will represent a return to form for the franchise.
I’ll start with the good news…
The art and sound direction in Boukyaku Rokuon (Oblivion Recording) are both very nice. If you’ve seen some of the earlier installments, you’ll know how impressive they are. If you have not, well, they are refined and a step above most anime MOVIES (which is a step above anime shows).
Unfortunately, the plot does not shine quite as nicely as the effects. This one focuses primarily on the relationship between Shiki and Azaka (a side character in the series) and they attend an all-girls school to investigate the disappearance of a student. I’ll take two positions in describing the plot depending on whether you have seen the series or not.
If you have, you’ll be accustomed to and expecting a dark story that includes a lot of violence and… harsh themes. If you like the series because of that, you won’t really find the same kind of enjoyment. The plot seems “girlier” and a few characters feel out of place in the Kara no Kyoukai world. That said, this movie is quite important in fleshing out some of the older characters as it delves into more of their histories and lifestyles so you might want to watch this just for that knowledge. However, the movie’s plot isn’t essential to the rest of the series, as it seems to be almost a filler. The way it expands on the magical world of Kara no Kyoukai can lead to a better understanding of the series (mainly in technical aspects, like how people attain magical powers and whatnot) but some of it seems rather inconsistent and random. Thus, I think it IS worth watching to know a little more about the characters, but be prepared…
If you have not seen the series and are just thinking about this movie in particular, I can understand how you may be drawn in. If you like things of the occult detective genre that centers around female characters, this movie would be a pretty good experience for you. However, just know that you might get confused by a lot of stuff that goes on, especially between other characters from the series that don’t do much in this movie. The pacing of the story is fairly well done and will keep you interested, but the overall plot is decent at best.
Conclusion: You’ll probably like this more if the dark nature of the series is not something you are interested in. Don’t get me wrong, as this movie isn’t completely… uplifting. Some mysterious elements were really good, but it could have been done better.
And before you suspect me about the “low” grade I gave this movie, a 5 means mediocre on MAL standards. Is it worth watching? Yes. Will it make it to the top of your list? Most likely not.
The Art was excellent and kinda fresh to look,the environment was good and the movement time action was kinda dull but still good neither that bad…
The sound and the BGM still in an average,,,nothing special,same as usual
Overall for me,i think this movies got nothing special that been added it only a story about Azaka and Shiki to show their talent to investigate some cases..its more like a filler episode for me cause they’s no thing that an importance that related to the previous or next movies,accept the last part after the credit….
12: Kara no Kyoukai Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven
English: the Garden of sinners Remix -Gate of seventh heaven-
Japanese: 空の境界 Remix -Gate of seventh heaven-
MAL Score: 7.58
In August of 1995, Mikiya Kokutou meets a young kimono-clad woman named Shiki Ryougi. When he finds out that they go to the same school, he attempts to befriend her. Though her upbringing is unconventional and she herself is strange, Mikiya is not deterred, and Shiki gradually opens up to him. But Mikiya’s life will be changed forever by this simple meeting, and in ways that he never imagined, as he begins to see a deadly side to his new friend…
What is fanservice?
To many fans of anime and manga the term is used to denote content that in many other media would be considered “questionable”, and a number of studios have begun using ecchi or near pornographic tactics in an effort to bolster the sales of DVDs, BluRays and associated merchandise. Unfortunately the average viewer continues to fall for what is effectively nothing more than a marketing tool (sex sells after all), without ever thinking that they could have more than stripes and jiggling. The resulting marginal increase in sales is then taken as proof positive that “fanservice” in its current form is a viable method for marketing and selling anime, and thus there has been a gradual increase in the number of shows that feature panty shots, large breasts, lolis, moe, and the kind of nonsense that has more to in common with adolescent wet dreams than actual entertainment.
It seems that the industry bigwigs have forgotten that fanservice can be a simple message of appreciation from the studios, and that contrary to popular belief it doesn’t have to stroke the viewers … ego. Thankfully there are a few things out there that take a slightly more wholesome stance when it comes to servicing the fans, but sadly these are rapidly becoming a rarity in an age where the focus seems more on the the area below the viewer’s waist than the one above the neck.
Gate Of The Seventh Heaven may initially appear to be nothing more than another clip show, but in truth it’s a type of fanservice that doesn’t demean the studio, the creators, the viewers, and anyone else associated with the franchise.
Now fans of Kara no Kyoukai may already be familiar with the adventures of Ryougi Shiki, Kokutou Mikiya and Aozaki Touko as they go around solving all manner of supernatural shenanigans, usually in a fairly exciting manner. This special episode strings together a collection of choice moments from the first six installments in the series, and while the sequence of events is much abridged, the manner in which Gate Of The Seventh Heaven is constructed allows for a degree of accessibility that makes this a great introduction to the world that TYPE-MOON and Ufotable have created. The simplicity of proceedings and the straightforward approach to chronology also serves as something of an anodyne to those who had difficulty getting their head around the various jumps in time from one episode to the next, as well as addressing one of the biggest criticisms that people have had of the franchise thus far.
The movies were originally released in a non chronological order similar to that used by Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, and like that series the issue of continuity has been raised several times in the past. Now while Gate Of The Seventh Heaven only touches lightly on the main thrust of the plot for each episode, it allows the viewer to gain an overview of the various events and how they link to each other over the course of the series, and even hints at some things that might occur in the future. One could argue that every clip show does this to a degree, but the difference here is that unlike the shows that feature a time sequential plot line, the Kara no Kyoukai franchise actually needs a few straightforward explanatory notes to help viewers connect events between one movie and the next.
It may be surprising for many people to hear, but sometimes a clip show can be more than the sum of its parts.
The surprises don’t stop with new scenes and hints of things to come though. Ufotable have gone the extra mile for the fans, and towards the end of Gate Of The Seventh Heaven viewers can sit back and enjoy a rather well made AMV set to Kalafina’s Oblivious.
Which is a rather fitting segue to the topic of visuals.
Now given the nature of this episode pretty much everything I could say about the design has already been said in my other reviews, yet even with that the extra scenes in this installment are well realised and fit neatly into the whole. In truth, the one aspect of Gate Of The Seventh Heaven that stands out is the quality of the visual editing as, contrary to popular belief, making a clip show isn’t as easy as many people might think. The main issues to be confronted are the pacing of the storyline, the sense of perspective, and most difficult of all for a series like this, promoting the inherent continuity that may not have been obvious before, and it’s to the credit of Ufotable that they manage to achieve this to a large degree. Granted there are a few small issues here and there, but these can be forgiven in light of the effort that has gone into making what began as a clip show into something more.
As for the AMV, while it could be construed as nothing more than Ufotable “showing off”, it’s also rather refreshing as it’s a definite nod to AMV creators all over the world, and a novel way of showing how much the studio have enjoyed working on the franchise.
One of the hallmarks of Kara no Kyoukai has been the quality of the audio, from the voice acting and background music to the effects and choreography, and it’s nice to see that standards have been maintained to a large degree. While a great deal of the quality for this episode is directly handed down from the individual episodes, once again it’s the editing, timing and choreography that raises this from the realms of the clip show. That said, there are a few oddities to be found in the AMV, but as with the small flaws in the visuals, these are easy to overlook.
To be honest, there’s only one area where people may find criticism, and that’s with the characters themselves. The Kara no Kyoukai franchise has been continuously hounded by problems with characterisation and development, partly because of the out of sequence manner in which the series has been released, and partly because the run time of each movie places a limitation on growth.
The weird thing is that fans may actually criticise Gate Of The Seventh Heaven for making sense. The nature of this episode promotes the idea that the characters develop over time, mainly because of the manner in which the story is told. The fact that events follow a linear path allows viewers to see how much the characters change over the course of the franchise, and this may come as a shock to many people as while the growth of each individual tends to be more of a stop-start affair, it’s also far more clearly defined because of the sequential nature of the plot.
It’s a well established fact that I have a soft spot for the Kara no Kyoukai franchise, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to sit through an hour long clip show. To say I was surprised when the credits ran after the AMV and the final scene, would be an understatement as not only did I enjoy Gate Of The Seventh Heaven, it also clarified certains aspects of the series that were a tad confusing the first time around. Granted there are flaws here and there, and the core elements of the plot lack a degree of substance due to the highly abbreviated nature of the episode, but these can be forgiven as this installment is an enjoyable addition to the franchise if nothing else.
Kara no Kyoukai: Gate Of The Seventh Heaven is about as far as one can get from the current idea of fanservice, and because of this it stands out as an example of how good all those DVD extras, OVA’s and special episodes could be, so much so in fact that the BluRay box set (priced at $300-$400), sold out in the US in a very short space of time.
Hopefully the other studios will take note and realise that fanservice doesn’t have to be aimed at the groin.
This recap is strongly recommended if you have already watched the first six movies.
the movie is organized in chronological order which prepares you for the final 7th movie
Also if you’re a fan of “Kara no Kyoukai” theme songs this is definitely for you!
a collection of the best and most important scenes with some new extra scenes ending with a beautiful AMV followed by every movie main theme within the credits
Basically in this movie, short clips of the first 6 movies are put together in random sequence. The short clips summarizes the movies.
The reason why I gave this movie a 7 out of 10 for Story is because there wasn’t really any development in the story. It was only a bunch of old scenes from the previous movies thrown together.
The art for all the Kara no Kyoukai movies were done extremely well in my opinion. There was a lot of details in almost all the scenes.
The sound was amazing. There were a lot of songs that were played alongside the movie so that it wouldn’t keep the viewers who watched the previous movies bored. The music and songs matched what happens in the movie and scenes.
The character’s personality didn’t change, they remained the same.
I gave this movie an 8 out of 10 because there wasn’t any real development in the movie. This movie was just a recap of what happened this far. The music that was played alongside the movie was what made me stayed glued to my seat for this music. I enjoyed the music a lot.
11: Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 1: Overlooking View
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第一章『俯瞰風景』
MAL Score: 7.61
In September 1998, a string of seemingly random suicides leaves Japan baffled and devastated. But a detective agency specializing in paranormal occurrences notices that there are a few glaring, disturbing similarities tying the deceptively unrelated cases together: All the victims are schoolgirls, and all of them have jumped to their deaths from atop the ancient Fujou Building, a skyscraper that is scheduled to be bulldozed soon.
To investigate the cause of these disturbing events, the head of the agency, magus Touko Aozaki, dispatches Mikiya Kokutou and Shiki Ryougi. The kind and surprisingly normal Mikiya serves as a stark contrast to the cold and mysterious Shiki, who possesses the “Mystic Eyes of Death Perception”: an abnormal ability which allows her to see, and bring, an end to all things.
Dark and philosophical in tone, Fukan Fuukei is the first installment in the seven-part movie series Kara no Kyoukai, adapted from the light novels by Kinoko Nasu.
Kara no Kyoukai (lit. The Boundary of Emptiness), is a series that has taken a long time to become well known. The story was originally created in 1998 by Nasu Kinoko and Takeuchi Takashi (who later went on to form TYPE-MOON), with the first five chapters being released on their doujin website, whilst the final two chapters were released in August 1999 at Comiket 56. The series was picked up by Kodansha for commercial publication in 2004, and this year (2009), will see the series released on the international market courtesy of Del Rey Manga.
Now fans of Shingetsutan Tsukihime will be find many things in Kara no Kyoukai familiar, not the least of which is the fact that they are both created by TYPE-MOON. The stories have several parallels within them, which has led to the latter series being considered an alternate version of the former, or at the very least, set in the same world.
The anime adaptation of the series is being released as seven movies that run for approxiamtely 50 minutes each. Each individual film features a different time period, with no two consecutive movies following in any kind of chronological order. Unlike Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu though, this seemingly out-of-sequence airing is not simply because of a whim on the part of the producers. The non-consecutive ordering is how the series is should be portrayed, and the anime has stayed faithful to that method.
The first movie, entitled Overlooking View, is surprisingly good in terms of its story. Although there is very little character development, the story moves along at a nice pace, and the tense nature of the movie is very much apparent to the viewer. The movie is somewhat predictable in places though, however this doesn’t really detract from one’s enjoyment of it as an individual episode.
One thing to note is that the series subtitle, "The Garden of Sinners", is actually very appropriate. The first movie does a good job of highlighting the fact that the world in which the story takes place is no heaven by any measure, and that not everything is as simple as people may at first believe.
The art and animation for the series is done by Ufotable, a company for which I have a distinct soft spot. Like many Ufotable productions the animation style is distinctive in certain ways, especially during the action sequences (fans of Futakoi Alternative will know what I’m talking about here), and fans will notice Ufotable’s trademark claymation sequences at the beginning of each movie (in other series they are shown with the credits at the end of each episode). The animation is generally very well done, and what may seem like blips in the animating sequence are often purposeful, part of this distinctive style I mentioned.
The backgrounds and backdrops are generally excellent. The maze-like structure of the Fujo building is very well depicted, as are the various outdoor scenes and indoor scenes. The CG has been almost seamlessly incorporated into the show, and the smoothness of the CG adds to the effect of the action sequences.
Character designs are taken directly from the original designs for the novels by Takeuchi Takashi, however fans of Tsukihime will also notice similarities in the features of several of the characters.
One area where the movie manages to stamp it’s mark is with the sound effects. These are often very clear and well used, fading to background noise when necessary.The effects used during the action sequences are sometimes sharp in comparison to the rest of the movie, whilst the effects used to promote an atmosphere of tension are a little lacking. The music sometimes lacks a little subtlety, but generally serves to heighten the effect of a particular scene, addinga sense of foreboding in some sequences.
The voice actors are well used, with the three main characters being decently portrayed. Sakamoto Maaya, who plays the role of Ryougi Shiki, brings a certain edge, a certain chill, to her voice at the times when it’s necessary, something which adds to the overall effect of the character. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast don’t really have much scope to display their skill. Hopefully the following movies will rectify this though.
I will freely admit that the rating I have given the characters is not fair, but this is because a valid assessment of each character is extremely difficult in this case. The fact that the movie is only 50 minutes long means that there is no real development to each character, but I am withholding a final opinion until the end of the series.
As I mentioned before there are certain parallels with Shingetsutan Tsukihime, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the characters. Ryougi Shiki doesn’t just share her name with Tohno Shiki of Tsukihime, she also has the "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception" (and she looks a bit like Ciel). Likewise, Aozaki Touko shares her name with Aozaki Aoko, and both help the person named Shiki in their respective shows (they also seem to know more than they let on as well).
In general the characters are well done, but they lack a certain depth which will hopefully be rectified as the series continues.
Overall this is a very enjoyable movie. The pacing of the story, the tension of various scenes, and the semi-combative relationship of the characters, all serve to raise this above the often substandard fare around. The fact that the series is being done as individual movies is also a plus, as each story arc is completed within a nice timeframe. The movie may be a little predictable, but as a first offering it was very impressive nonetheless.
Some people may not enjoy the first movie for a number of reasons (it has no real romance, no character development, no sequential plot, etc), but personally, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
You may expect the first in a septenary to chronicle the inception of the cast, or to establish the universe and conflict in the series. Instead, audiences are thrown into the middle of a story which seems like it was written for people with previous knowledge of the Kara no Kyoukai franchise. There’s little in the way of introductions, which musters very little connection to or understanding of the characters. The film is shrouded in mystery, but produces very little intrigue – the foundations seem absent; it sets up a plot but struggles (or rather, doesn’t attempt) to develop any of the characters. It’s an okay technique to pull in the audience during the first act – get them pondering and interested through obscurity – but it doesn’t work well when that’s all you’re doing throughout the entire film. This causes the story to fall flat and come across as lackluster with very little substance; just another plot involving baddies and a team adept at dealing with them.
It’s this extreme lack of depth to the characters that really spoils what could be an exciting film. With no connection to the cast comes a struggle to care about them and, by extension, the story. There are three members of the main cast, with a very weak supporting team, and hints of depth are just that – hints. The writers want it to be interesting by being cryptic, but they completely miss the mark.
The animation and art style are saving graces, if the film isn’t already too far gone. The character designs, backgrounds and general views are all very crisp and detailed. The art department communicate well a very dark and isolated tone. The animation is fluid and the action sequences are stunning. The music, too, is very well implemented. The backing tracks blend fittingly with the dark tone and the more uptempo pieces used during the action sequences complement them significantly.
However, due to such uninspired characters which pave the way for a very bland story, the film comes across as fearfully mediocre. Some depth to the characters would have gone leaps and bounds, but the writers’ refusal engage with them in the first installment doesn’t make for a very compelling film.
This movie did nothing for me. I’ve seen more happening in first five minutes of a series that has 110 episodes, than I’ve seen in 50 minutes of Kara no Kyoukai: Fukan Fuukei.
The sound has it’s good moments. But there’s so much silence, trying to unsuccsessfully create an ‘atmosphere’ that the movie, in my opinion, fails in this department too.
The good parts (art, sparse fight scenes) are slaughtered by Aozaki Touko’s lamentations, as well with trying to force a dark, desperate atmosphere onto the beautifully drawn world. I guess it was supposed to be smart and intellectually enticing, posing questions about suicide, courage to withstand life, and whatnot.
However it may try, the movie fails. The characters seem as rough drafts, with too many typical traits, the stoyline of a 50 minute movie should have actually existed.
Now, I do not know the background of the story. I have not read the novels, I just wanted to watch a movie for a change. I think Kara no Kyoukai should have been categorized as a series. Because Fuukan Fuukei cannot call itself a movie, even if it goes on for 50 minutes.
I will watch the other 6 movies because I hate making decisive opinions about something I haven’t gotten to familiarize myself with completely. However, I think it is reasonable to form an opinion after watching something that calls itself a movie.
10: Kara no Kyoukai 2: Satsujin Kousatsu (Zen)
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 2: Murder Speculation Part A
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第二章『殺人考察（前）』
MAL Score: 7.82
In the winter of 1995, Mikiya Kokutou passes a young woman during a late night stroll in the snow. Clad in a striking white kimono and bearing an enigmatic gaze, Shiki Ryougi smiles at Mikiya who stares back with curiosity. Later that spring, Mikiya notices Shiki at his high school entrance ceremony, and they become acquaintances through lunchtime conversations. As Shiki begins opening up to him, Mikiya learns about her unique upbringing.
Meanwhile, a series of unprecedented murders takes place across Mifune City. Seemingly related, these murders are particularly brutal and warrant a large scale police investigation. Because of his cousin’s work as a police investigator, Mikiya is given insight into the investigation. Concerned for Shiki’s safety, Mikiya decides to monitor her actions, but in doing so, he stumbles upon a truly frightening discovery that changes his life forever.
The problem with movies is that all too often they’re lacking in one or two fundamental areas, and unfortunately these are normally the plot or the characters. The first installment of this series suffered from the latter, and while it was still enjoyable even with that flaw, there was always the nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
Thankfully this episode begins to address that issue.
The second installment in the Kara no Kyoukai ~The Garden of Sinners~ franchise, Satsujin Kosatsu (Murder Speculation), is actually part one of a two part story arc (viewers will have to wait for the seventh movie to see the conclusion of this episode), yet while this small irony is amusing, the are some flaws with this episode which one can only hope will be rectified with the final movie.
This time around the story takes place over two years prior to the events in the first movie, and thankfully the main theme is the developing relationship between Ryougi Shiki and Kokuto Mikiya during their time together as high school students. Kokuto finds himself strangely attracted to the seemingly aloof Shiki, and proceeds to befriend her until a bizarre series of murders takes place.
Now the nice thing about Satsujin Kousatsu Part 1 is that the plot takes a far more measured approach than Fukan Fuukei does, and while the pace picks up towards the end, there’s something here that was somewhat missing from the previous installment – a sense of purpose.
While the first episode was entertaining, there was a certain aimless quality about it due to the underdeveloped characters that permeated the quieter moments. This movie begins to shed some light on the actions of both Shiki and Kokuto during that time, especially on certain aspects of her behaviour and personality.
The story is generally much quieter in tone than before, which may not sit too well with those who liked the frenetic action of Fukan Fuukei. This is a necessity as the anime of Satsujin Kousatsu Part 1 is to offer the viewer some perspective on every other movie in the franchise, and the clarity it provides may force viewers to reassess their opinion of the first installment.
Once again Ufotable produce the goods with regards to artwork and animation. The character movements are excellent, and the incorporation of CG is almost seamless in respect of the backgrounds and backdrops. There are fewer action sequences this time around, but they are just as good here as they are in the first movie, especially when it comes to choreography and use of environment. As for the the character designs, they’re a little different in that both Kokuto and Shiki have a certain youthful quality about them, which is reflective of the fact that this story takes place two years before the first movie.
Sound is, again, extremely good overall, and the movie uses the various effects well, however there are some issues as there are occasions where the various noises clash to create a veritable cacophony. This doesn’t really detract from the movie though and, surprisingly, actually improves certain sequences.
The music throughout the movie is generally utilised to good effect, often enhancing the atmosphere in a particular scene. The voice actors are also very good, and are able to show some real talent with regards to their respective characters, however given that this is the second movie in a series of seven, this should come as no surprise. What is surprising though, is that the lead seiyuu are able to instill their respective characters with a degree of naivety and innocence, something which improves the overall effect of the movie no end.
Unfortunately that’s not enough to raise the characters from their stupor.
While there is very clearly some development occurring over the course of the movie, one of the issues that seems destined to repeat throughout the franchise is that the plot doesn’t give them enough time for this growth to set as part of their persona, and that leads once more to an imbalance in the storyline. The revelation about Shiki’s personality goes some way to explaining why she is the way she is, but Kokuto is the real problem. As a character he is simply bland, and at no point does the movie go into any detail about his goals, thoughts, ideals, etc. Everything in the movie actually revolves around Shiki, including Kokuto, and all of his actions stem from that one driving principle. Unfortunately this feels like a missed opportunity to add some real meat to both the leads, but it may be that all of these concerns will be addressed by the time the series ends.
The other problem was the lack of Aozaki Touko. It would have been a nice addition to have more information on her from that time period as she is one of the mysteries of Kara no Kyoukai, and in all honesty this could have been done simply and easily. Sadly, the fact that she has not been included in this movie means that it has a slightly disjointed feel compared to the first, but again this may be rectified with the second half of this story arc.
We shall see…
Even with those flaws this is still an enjoyable movie, and it’s nice to finally see how the two leads met and got to know each other. It would have been nice if the plot wasn’t focused so much on Shiki as this would have allowed for some introspection of the part of Kokuto. On the plus side, the slower pacing of this speisode actually adds to the tension this time around, but like the first movie the plot continues to retain a degree of predictability.
Fans of Fukan Fuukei will be pleased at this second offering as it is very much in keeping with the spirit of the series, however I would advise against making snap judgements about the whole franchise simply on the basis of this or the first movie.
As before, I look forward to the next episode.
The first installment threw audiences into a mystery unfortunately dulled by the lack of depth to the characters, but the second installment lays down the groundwork, exploring the origins of Shiki and Mikiya. The story is well executed and – unlike in the first film – has a real sense of purpose, progression and development. It’s a compelling origins story, where Shiki and Mikiya’s relationship is genuinely captivating to watch unravel (especially given the eerie undertones); much more befitting as an introduction to the septenary.
The film chiefly explores Shiki and Mikiya alone, with little room for anyone else in the run-time, but the film still feels a lot more ‘alive’ than the first installment. The supporting cast are more pronounced, with the locations well explored; there’s a better sense of the setting than before. Of the two main characters, Shiki is particularly well developed, we see her many sides and for the first time get a real understanding of who she is. Mikiya, on the other hand, comes across as rather dull and more a vessel to further explore Shiki than an important presence himself.
As in the first installment, the animation and art style remain consistently strong, though with more dialogue-heavy sequences this time around, it is perhaps not as dynamic. Nevertheless, the art is crisp and detailed – Shiki’s eyes are ever-beautiful, as are the locations – with the staff exquisitely animating a number of terrific dramatic scenes. The visuals are impressive, though the cinematography could have been more absorbing, with certain shots becoming a little banal.
There’s no stunning insert song this time around (though Mikiya hums Singin’ in the Rain which is a nice little nod to a classic), but the background music is ever prominent. There are a number of immersive tracks that blend well with the visuals – ultimately creating some very coherent, well put together and atmospheric sequences – with the more uptempo tracks complementing the action sequences well.
Kara no Kyoukai 2 isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s a huge improvement over the first installment. It’s a well constructed origins story with a lot of depth and promise, offering the series its groundwork. Here’s hoping the septenary continues to climb.
This is a sequel to the 1st KnK……kind of….Well, not exactly. You see, KnK is not being shown in chronological order and as such should not be watched in chronological order. I almost made a grave mistake of doing so.
The story of KnK 2 takes place 3 years before the events of KnK 1.
Mikiya, while walking home from school, meets a mysterious girl who he thinks is cute and starts falling in love with her. A month later, he met her again during the high school entrance ceremony. The mysterious girl that he met is named Shiki Ryougi. Meanwhile, the city is experiencing a series of bizarre murders but no suspect has been caught yet.
The events may have taken place before the events of the first KnK but the movie shows us how the 2 characters met and why there’s a connection between them. It’s starting to connect some of the dots but there’s still obviously a lot of unanswered questions that will be answered later on in the movies. So far, I’m liking the story. The gruesome murders, the mystery around it, etc.
Do I need to review the animation? I mean, it’s still the KnK series and nothing really changed from the first one which is already perfect and visually stunning.
The soundtrack was perfect in the first movie but somehow, the soundtrack here is…….inferior to the first one. Granted, there are some themes that are great but it didn’t quite stand out like the first one did. The voice actors are all the same so my opinions on the VA still stands.
The first movie didn’t really give us any great details about the 2 main characters and why I should really care for them. The 2nd movie showed us the main character’s past, how they met, what connections do they have, what they were like back in high school, etc. The movie is now developing the characters (not too developed yet) and they’re giving me a few reasons on why I should give a crap about them. I’m also starting to understand more about Shiki and her “dual personality” and why Mikiya cares for Shiki. In short, the movie just showed us a hour of character development for the 2 main characters.
I personally enjoyed the movie because of the character development and story development. There’s not a lot of action for this movie since all they did was build up and develop the characters
The second movie of the KnK series is not better than the first movie but it’s not worse either. It gave us more in-sight about the characters. The movie just created more plot holes for me but there’s 5 movies to go so I’m not going to complain that much.
For the love of god, if you’re watching KnK 2 first because you’re watching it in chronological order then don’t. The KnK series is meant to be shown out of chronological order and should be watched out of chronological order.
9: Kara no Kyoukai 4: Garan no Dou
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 4: The Hollow Shrine
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第四章『伽藍の洞』
MAL Score: 7.87
Following the events of Satsujin Kousatsu (Zen), Shiki Ryougi has been in a coma for two years due to a traffic accident. When she finally awakens, she has no memories of her past and is plagued by a profound loneliness. Even stranger, she notices dark lines encompassing the things around her, and if she touches them she can disassemble the object—something which completely terrifies her. Her friend, Mikiya Kokutou, enlists the help of Touko Aozaki, a mage who can help Shiki understand what her eyes—the “Mystic Eyes of Death Perception”—are truly capable of and how to use them properly.
One of the hallmarks of a good story is the ease with which it can suspend the disbelief of the reader or viewer, and in that respect the Kara no Kyoukai franchise has been good, but not truly great. That said, the fourth installment, Garan no Dou (The Hollow Shrine), is a tad more introspective than previous outings, and it may signify a shift into a higher gear for the series.
The story begins directly after the end of the second movie, with the unconscious Ryougi Shiki being transported to hospital in an ambulance accompanied by Kokutou Mikiya. When she finally awakens from her coma, Shiki discovers that she has somehow gained the ability to “see” strangely distorted patterns on everything and everyone, and also that she has been asleep for two years. During that time Kokutou has graduated from highschool and is now working for Aozaki Touko.
Unlike the first three movies Garan no Dou is surprisingly straightforward in that the focus is solely on Shiki, and while there are some plot twists, these are pretty easy to follow. The story flows at a pace that allows the viewer to absorb the relevant information with a degree of ease, and this makes a nice change of pace from previous episodes. Unfortunately, the simplistic nature of the plot means that the show is a tad predictable, and viewers may find themselves wishing for a little of the slightly demented nature of previous outings.
That said, the main goal of Garan no Dou is to offer viewers an insight into one of the franchise’s most enigmatic characters, and in that respect one might fairly say that this movie is a job well done. The simpler approach to storytelling offers the ability to develop specific characters or scenarios in a way that more complex plots simply aren’t capable of as they lack the “free time” that is required. The movie does dip into some complex themes though, but rather than use them as a means to drive the story forward these dalliances with conceptualisation serve to offer insight into the mind and heart of Shiki, something which has been missing for quite a while.
Ufotable have once again done an excellent job with the artwork and animation, however there are some small areas where the quality drops a little. The hospital environs have an appropriately clinical feel to them which are surprisingly adaptive as when the story takes a darker turn, these surroundings and backdrops adopt a far more ominous feel. Then again, they’re really nothing more than spartan rooms and corridors (which in anime terms is just above a blank canvas), so one has to wonder how much effort went into the environmental design.
The characters are depicted at quite a unique stage given that Garan no Dou covers the two year period between the second and third movies, and the audience is given the rather rare and welcome opportunity of seeing them physically age over the course of one episode (admittedly there is an accelerated sense of time but that’s by-the-by). The slight changes in the design of Kokutou and Shiki (especially facially), are subtle, but they are noticeable (something which Ufotable should be applauded for).
As for the animation, the action sequences are well executed and Garan no Dou features some very fluid natural and unnatural motions (you’ll understand what I mean when you watch the movie). In addition to this the visual effects are suitably ephemeral when necessary, and the incorporated CG fits in to the whole rather nicely. That said, some viewers may find the more physical aspects of the various supernatural phenomenon to be a tad mundane, but it should be pointed out that the main reason for this is simply because of the limitations imposed by “reality”.
To put it simply, there’s only so much that can be done with the “real” world and human beings in a movie like this as taking the more fantastic elements too far would only destroy the storyline.
In addition to some excellent visuals, Garan no Dou also features some highly atmospheric background music, with the tracks on offer ranging from hauntingly melancholy to chorally dramatic. The audio effects are sharp and clean, and it’s nice to see that efforts have been made to rectify the the overwhelming nature of the various sounds that sometimes marred the previous episodes.
One of the strengths of the franchise since the very first movie has been the quality of the acting, and in that respect this film has several things to offer. After much waiting and several fairly mundane appearances in the series so far, Honda Takako is finally able to add some character to the role of Aozaki Touko, and she does it very well. Additionally, viewers are able to see a new and different side to Shiki, and Sakamoto Maaya really manages to capture the feelings of fear and confusion in an otherwise stoic (and psychotic), lead character.
Now many people believe that the second movie, Satsujin Kousatsu Part 1, features the best development thus far in the series, and while the characters do receive a good degree of definition in that episode, Garan no Dou is at least equal, but from a completely different angle. This installment offers viewers the chance to see a far more complex side of Shiki than any of the previous outings, and allows some of her true potential as a character to shine through. That said, Kokutou is relegated to bit parts, but this is counterbalanced by the fact that much needed characterisation is given to Touko.
Which brings up an interesting thought. There’s an argument that the Kara no Kyoukai franchise would have been better off being released as a standard anime series of 26 episodes as this would allow all of the important characters the chance to get some much needed airtime. The current format seems limited in that respect as each episode can only focus on specific characters, with the rest appearing in minor supporting roles no matter how important they are in the overall storyline.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for the current approach as it has the benefit of really focusing attention on the important characters and events in that episode, and the fact that the series jumps around in time means that there is less for viewers to make educated guesses about, and this helps to keep future episodes fresh.
Whatever one thinks of the Kara no Kyoukai franchise, one of the nice things about the series is that it takes the the main theme of Lunar Legend Tsukihime, tears it apart, and rebuilds it as something new, and Garan no Dou signifies the difference between the two shows far more than any other episode thus far. Granted there are overarching plot points that still need explanation, themes that could have been explored in a bit more detail (the whole concept of The Void is just one example of this), and a degree of predictability to the story, but these can be forgiven in the face of some solid character definition and development. One should also remember that this is simply the midway point in the series, so questions will undoubtedly remain about certain aspects of the story, and it remains to be seen if they will be answered in future installments.
The fifth episode awaits….
First at all, I was delighted with the graphics. They are very cool, and well done. The animation is very clear, many scenes were dark but this just add more mystery and thrill, just what this anime is. There are many abstrac obscure scenes and in this time, you’re not going to see many bloody scenes, however, routine scenes are intriguing, too. I like the character design but I think is kind of little cliche, both of the main characters remind of the main characters of Tsukihime, although the personality of the main female characters are really different.
Another thing I liked was the soundtracks. They are really nice and they complement the scenes and mix with them very well. They just give you more occult and mystery senses and a little bit of sadness and doubt of many things. Well, I really like Yuki Kajiura songs and this anime is perfect for her songs.
About the story, this chapter explain a lot than the others chapters. As I said, there aren’t many bloody scenes or too much action as the third one, but this complement the other three previous chapters and you are going to understand a lot of things, but obviously, not everything (If you understand everything, then this anime would have never been classify as mystery). I like this anime doesn’t follow the traditional linear chronological order, maybe it is a little confusing, but this chapter is going to clear up many concepts and ideas.
To conclude, if you like mystery, thriller, psichological plots and obscure gore things, also you like supernatural things like ghost and souls and you had seen the other chapter and you don’t understand it very much, I really recommend you to watch this anime.
This movie is basically one big character development but I still enjoyed this movie.
(There will be some SPOILERS in my review)
The story of KnK 4 now takes place 2 months before the events of the 1st KnK and immediately after the events of the 2nd movie. I was actually hoping for the 4th movie to take place after the events of the 1st KnK but I’m glad they didn’t.
After Shiki got involved in a traffic accident, she spent 2 years in a coma and what’s worse is she now has an amnesia. She is visited by a redheaded girl named Aozaki, a magus and works for a company called Garan no Dou.
Like I said above, I was hoping for the 4th KnK to move on past KnK 1 but I’m glad they didn’t. This pretty much shows what happened to Shiki after she woke up from a coma after being involved in an accident 2 years ago. They showed us at the end of KnK 2 that she was being transported to the hospital but we didn’t really know what exactly happened to her. The story tells us why and how Shiki got hurt. Not only that, it also shows us how and why Mikiya is working for Touko. In short, the story just tells us more about the main characters and why they are at that situation now which is not a bad thing.
The Animation is exactly the same as the previous 3 movies which is already a perfect and visually stunning animation.
If my ears aren’t broken, the soundtrack is exactly the same as the previous 3 movies. They were already great to begin with so I’m not going to complain that they re-used background themes. Another new ED theme song is used for this movie called “Aria” by Kalafina. In my opinion, it’s a good song but not better than the ED used in 1st and 2nd movie.
[Characters]: (9/10) (SPOILERS)
No new characters were introduced as the focus of this movie is the development of the main characters. The movie shows us that Mikiya has been visiting Shiki for the past 2 years, non-stop. He truly has feelings for Shiki and still does. Hell, even the nurses know him by now because he kept visiting the hospital. We also get to learn more about Mikiya, Shiki and Touko. I want to focus first on Mikiya. We learn that Mikiya didn’t graduate college, had a fight with his parents and now lives alone and works for a dead end job (looks like a dead end job to me). Now focusing on Shiki, we learn that she now has an amnesia after waking up from an accident which means she doesn’t remember mostly everything including the day of the accident. She somehow remembers the face of Mikiya but not his name though. We also learn more about her magic eye and how her second personality is now gone. Finally, focusing on Touko. The movie didn’t really tell us anything about her that much in the previous 3 movies so I didn’t find her an interesting character. Now, she seems like an interesting character to me. The movie shows us that she’s a freaking Magus. That explains why she has knowledge to mysterious things that’s going on around her. It also shows us what Touko is really capable of after they showed us the battle scene at the near-end of the movie. I’m starting to like these main characters.
This movie is just a big character development for 3 of the main characters but I still enjoyed it. It’s giving us more reasons on why I should give a crap about these characters. That last battle scene was quite rewarding, showing us what Touko is capable of.
The 4th movie didn’t really go past the events of KnK 1 but this was still a great movie to watch. Learning more about the main characters is quite interesting. People tell me that the 5th movie will be a lot better than the previous 4 so I guess I’ll be watching the 5th movie soon.
8: Kara no Kyoukai Movie: Mirai Fukuin
English: the Garden of sinners -recalled out summer-
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 未来福音
MAL Score: 8.02
Shiki Ryougi, Mikiya Kokutou, and Touko Aozaki begin investigating a bomber after they witness a nearby explosion. That same night, Shiki catches a glimpse of the bomber, and as a result, he becomes fixated on her. To get rid of her, the madman plays a game of cat and mouse in attempts to lure her to an empty parking garage. And bombs are not the only thing he has in his arsenal: he also possesses the ability to see the future, and he intends to bring an end to Shiki.
Elsewhere a few days prior, a student at Reien Girls’ Academy, Shizune Seo, plans to head home for the summer. However, while exiting a bus, she has a vision of the future involving a nearby stranger’s death. While trying to warn the stranger, she meets Mikiya—who succeeds in utilizing Shizune’s information effectively.
Subsequently, an employee is sent on a job with his employer’s 10-year-old daughter in tow. However, the subject of his investigation turns out to be a ghost from both of their pasts.
Mirai Fukuin tells the stories set during the main timeline of the Kara no Kyoukai films, as well as one set in the future.
Taking place in the summer of August, the film serves as a side story based off the novel series. Divided into two parts known as Mobius Ring and Mobius Link, the movie explores an insight relating to the power of precognition. That’s what it is on the surface anyways. In essence, the movie composes of two worlds as the main character Seo describes – the present and the future. In retrospect, we see from her viewpoint the power that encompasses herself as a special individual. She is able to see into the future before an event and can respond accordingly. But as a young and shy girl, Seo lacks confidence in her powers to be able to deliver its message at first. It’s easy to tell since such a power can be viewed as both a gift and a curse. That doesn’t come easy for her until fate comes together with a young man named Mikiya Kokutou whom she meets. Their meeting marks a breaking point for Seo. It’s from this encounter that she realizes there’s more than just what meets the eye. Mirai Fukin deals with Seo’s understanding of her powers and its responsibilities.
On the other hand, we have a young man named Mitsuru Kamemura also possessing the ability of precognition to foresee into the future. Unlike Seo, he uses his power for twisted purposes. Adapting the role of a serial bomber, Mitsuru describes his bombs as “toys” and treats the world like a twisted game. In essence, he holds the controller to trigger the bomb and thanks to his foresee ability is able to cheat life and death. Representing the dark side of the movie, Mitsuru is a man that lacks compassion in Mobius Ring. From minute one that he enters the show, there’s a thrilling atmosphere surrounding his appearance. It stands out for the fact that he simply enjoys every kill and treats it as a game. At one point of the story, Mitsuru admits that he hasn’t had this much fun in a while until he meets Shiki. Returning from the previous Kara no Kyoukai movies, Shiki plays the role of a player in Mitsuru’s twisted game. But to defy against such a power takes guts and complexity. For Shiki, she is a cunning woman and stays ahead of the game. While not always able to solve problems in a civil way, Shiki comes off as a woman that can perceive death based on her own powers – the sacred Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. In retrospect, she shows her fearlessness and goes against destiny.
The remainder of the film revisits Mitsuru’s life. Only this time, he plays a different role with a young girl named Mana. Rather than killing others for the sake of the thrill, Mitsuru adapts more of a guardian role for this young girl. Fast forwarding to 10 years into the future, Mitsuru acts with care for Mana but also questions about his own future. It’s symmetric to the film’s power involving premonition. At the same time, there’s a concept involving salvation dealing with choices and regret. With such a power, one would think its way to change the world. But for people like Seo and Mitsuru, they use it for their purposes. And while contrasting in one another with their usage, they deal with the responsibility.
Throughout the film, a supporting character by the name of Ms. Diviner talks about destiny and what fate has in store for people such as Shiki. And it’s true too, because fate allowed Seo and Mikiya to meet one another. Through their bonding comes trust and more confidence. Mirai Fukin focuses on a more psychological aspect of its storytelling rather than shounen action. That is one part the movie lacks in terms of aspect. Action is minimal in the movie only involving the serial bomber Mitsuru as he uses his powers. But what we should be more focused on is Mitsuru’s motivations. It delivers a stellar execution as he tests the limits of his powers but not fueled by any significant goal such as revenge or bounty. He is more like a textbook with no answer key that is hard to read on the surface.
Regrettably the movie lacks spectacular action but it makes it up for its extravagant visuals. As expected from the studio ufotable, known for its other involvement of the previous films, it delivers its magnificent animation style to life. It triumphs not just in its visual production values but its ability to match with the atmosphere. The Kara no Kyoukai franchise has an eerie atmosphere and this latest installation adapts it like a charm even for morbid actions such as serial bombing. It also captures the moment of the setting with its dog days in the summer when it focuses on the background such as the plants and chilling nights. Some of the scenes involving the characters walking in a dark alley brings back some nostalgia from the previous movie to convey its eerie atmosphere. Character designs are also consistent that conveys Shiki’s cunning personality, Seo’s innocence, Mana’s ebullience, Mikiya’s wisdom, and Mitsuru’s ideologies. It holds it altogether with their visage.
While ufotable is known for its prowess with animation production values, the soundtrack of this movie is also not a pushover. From the introduction to the very ending minute, this movie seizes its every moment to bring the OST to life. It ranges from the eerie atmosphere, the intimidating tone with the cat-and-mouse game between Shiki and Mitsuru, and mature conversation in the café. I would also give praise especially to Mitsuru’s performance for his voice mannerisms that captures his calculating movements. Similarly, Shiki’s voice also conveys her sly personality as she is able to fight against fate on her own terms. The theme song by Kalafina as well as Yuki Kajiura’s performance also shows their talent in an elegant manner.
1 hour and 30 minutes. That’s all it needs for this film to deliver its message. But for such a power to be able to foresee into the future through precognition, there are infinite answers to its true purpose. What we know is that everyone’s ideologies fits somewhere like pieces to a puzzle. This movie presents its themes and ideas in tolerant manners that matches with its mysterious atmosphere. And as expected, ufotable adapts this atmosphere with consistency in both artwork and soundtrack. For a movie that serves a side story, I highly recommend this presentation as an appreciation to its previous installations. It’s a gem that shines with grace.
The Mirai Fukuin movie adapts two of the five short light novel stories released back in 2008: Möbius ring and Möbius link. The first half of the movie, Möbius ring, portrays two people possessing similar abilities of precognition. However, one tries to live her life as a normal schoolgirl and the other utilizes his foresight ability and becomes a professional bomber. The second half, Möbius link, fast forwards to over a decade where Mikiya’s and Shiki’s daughter Mana plays the role of the main character where she and her partner investigate anomalies in the city. What I enjoy about these premises is the fact that though they may seem unrelated, the stories intertwine with one another. Similar themes of precognition and questioning what the future holds are present in both chronicles. Though there is much less action in Mirai Fukuin compared to the previous movies, what made up for it was how beautifully executed the stories were.
Along with magnificently adapted stories, Mirai Fukuin possessed beautiful animations. As always, ufotable is able to make every scene come to life, whether it is rain droplets falling from the sky, Shiki’s Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, or even bomb explosions. Ufotable’s unique animation style is what makes Kara no Kyoukai stand out. And coupled with the beautiful animations is the beautiful music. With Yuki Kajiura as the composer and Kalafina performing the ending theme like the previous movies, one can expect that each song completely fits the atmosphere. The trinity of story, animation, and music is overall spectacular, each category supporting the other two to make it look even more stunning.
However, one cannot create a great story unless the characters themselves are equally as good. Mirai Fukuin introduces two new prominent characters, Mitsuru Kamemura and Mana Ryougi. Seo Shizune was previously seen in the sixth movie, Oblivion Recorder, but has been expanded greatly in the latest installment. Seo and Mitsuru both possess the power of precognition, but differ greatly on how they use it. As previously stated, one tries to become a regular schoolgirl, which is Seo, and another becoming a professional bomber, which is Mitsuru. Mana of course is the daughter of the two most prominent characters of the series. The three character’s personalities were fleshed out quite nicely in just one movie. Of course, characters such as Mikiya, Shiki, and Touko play a role in Mirai Fukuin.
Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable movie. I did, however, find it slightly disappointing that there was next to no action in Mirai Fukuin, but when it did, it was spectacular. Though three years was a long wait to watch the next installment, it was worth it. Type-Moon, Nasu Kinoko, and ufotable did an incredible job with this series and I hope they will provide more high quality features in the future. The movie ending quite nicely, and I am glad that the Kara no Kyoukai franchise ended in such a manner.
7: Kara no Kyoukai 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 3: Remaining Sense of Pain
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第三章『痛覚残留』
MAL Score: 8.06
On a solemn night in July 1998, teenager Fujino Asagami is mercilessly raped by a street gang in a dilapidated bar. No matter what physical or sexual abuse they deal, however, the girl regards her captors with the same apathetic expression. The next day, mangled bodies are discovered in that same building, so torn apart that investigators find it infeasible to even consider the culprit human.
Elsewhere, a client request reaches Touko Aozaki’s detective agency, tasking Shiki Ryougi with either capturing or killing the perpetrator of last night’s incident. But soon, word spreads that a single survivor escaped the slaughter, and now the murderer is plowing down everything in their path to locate and exterminate him. A brutal race against time begins, pitting Shiki against a dangerous foe imperceptible even to her legendary eyes.
Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to make any progress, and in a sense that’s exactly what happens with the third installment of Kara no Kyoukai ~The Garden of Sinners~. After Satsujin Kosatsu Part 1 viewers may have been under the impression that the franchise would progress in a way that would allow for a degree of linearity with the development of the characters, but it seems like TYPE-MOON have their own agenda, and they’re sticking to it.
Set a mere two months after the events in the first movie, Tsuukaku Zanryuu (Remaining Sense of Pain), focuses on a young girl named Asagami Fujino, and begins with quite a brutal scene in an abandoned underground bar. Through seemingly random chance Fujino meets Kokutou Mikiya, who finds her huddled in an alleyway and takes care of her for a night, only to find her gone the next morning. Meanwhile, there is a report of a gruesome murder, and Aozaki Touko asks Ryougi Shiki to capture the suspected perpetrator. Shiki sets out to find the culprit, but doesn’t check any background information as she believes they will try to kill each other when they meet.
The strange thing about Tsuukaku Zanryuu is that even though there is a degree of predictability to certain events, the plot only really makes sense in hindsight. The events in this episode may initially seem disjointed and without reason, but this is actually a pretty interesting method of storytelling as it requires a degree of intuivity from the viewer. That said, there is a slightly aimless quality to the storyline at certain points which can slow proceedings down to almost a crawl, but the plot is quick to pick up the pace and the latter half of the movie moves along at a fair clip.
The art and animation in this installment are actually a step up for Ufotable. Given the quality they’ve shown in the previous two outings it’s difficult to believe that they could actually outdo themselves, but they’ve managed it with their efforts here. The animation is top-notch throughout, and the various action sequences are superbly detailed without suffering any major loss in quality. The CG is rendered and integrated very well, and is almost indistinguishable from the traditional animation in many sequences.
The character designs haven’t really changed much from the first movie where two of the leads and Touko are concerned, the only difference being an increase in the variety of expressions for both Shiki and Kokutou. Unfortunately it seems as though there has been a step backwards when it comes to the design of Fujino, and while she may appear to be a fairly well realised character, there is an impassive quality to her features which is sometimes at odds with her speech or actions.
The voice actors are, once again, extremely good. Suzumura Kenichi (Kokutou Mikiya), hasn’t had much of a chance to shine thus far in the series, but several scenes in this episode allows him to show some of his quality. Sakamoto Maaya once again brings out the best in Shiki, and it’s surprising how much she has settled into the role of the “psychogirl”. There’s also a very good performance from Noto Mamiko in the role of Fujino, which is ironic as it’s her ability to act that highlights the issues with the character design.
The effects are pretty good throughout the movie, but like Satsujin Kousatsu Part 1 there are occasions where the noises and music clash, and this can be a little harder on the eardrums than before due to the action based nature of this episode. That said, the overall quality and choreography is a step up from the previous two installments, and some efforts have been made to resolve the niggling issues with timing that have pestered the series thus far. This also applies to the background music which, like before, follows the usual themes of sombre and dramatic, and it seems as though the tracks are more suited to their purpose in Tsukakuu Zanryuu, but that may be due to the new pieces on offer rather than any inherent improvement.
It should come as no surprise though, that the one area where the movie falls down is with the characters. Fujino is fairly well realised on the whole, and possesses a surprising amount of depth thanks to some great acting and very good scripting. The problem is that while Shiki and Kokutou receive some new development, it’s not nearly enough to satisfy viewers and fans. There continues to be little to no justification for their actions throughout the narrative, and while there is an effort to garner audience participation in order to make the story work, this does not automatically mean that viewers are willing to fill in the blanks where the characters are concerned. In addition to this there is a distinct lack of Touko in this episode, and her presence in this movie is relegated to bit parts, which seems a little odd as she is an integral part of both the lead character’s stories, so one would assume that the series would allow more screentime so that the audience would get a better perspective on her.
Even with that flaw though, this is still a highly enjoyable addition to the series. The action sequences are enough to satisfy any junkie of the genre, and fans of Kara no Kyoukai will be pleased to see some different sides to Shiki and Kokutou.
Now, bring on the trumpets and the fourth installment.
Well anyway onto this review.
Warning: Their are spoilers within this review, so please watch the movie first if you don’t wish to be spoiled.
Story – 9
Well first off the story in the third movie, in my opinion, is much better than the second and first. The story in this one is a stand-alone story, like the first movie, and its pretty much understandable by itself. Definitely some twists and turns in this one and keeps you on your toes. Some parts are more understandable if you’ve seen the first two before this one and explains somethings that appeared in the first movie.
Art – 10
As always the visuals in this series is just outstanding. The special effects were just done beautifully and the background with excellent dark tones that fit this supernatural series. And as always the murder scenes made so gruesomely and lifelike. Again, excellent.
Sound – 8
Not much change in this category. Pretty much the same as the first two movies. Still good bgm for its supernatural and suspense theme. I thought the theme song "Kizuato" was alright as well.
Character – 9
Ok now the third movie definitely improved in this category. Not in character development, but more background info. It also introduced a very interesting character in this story by the name of Fujino Asagami and her ability; whom you’ll feel pity for or not. This movie also explains Shiki’s ability known as Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which has been unexplained since the first movie, but still doesnt reveal how she got them though.
Enjoyment – 9
Well all I can say is that, if you’ve at least watched this series since the first movie then you’ll probably be blown away by this one. Alot more action than the others, though its more towards the end of the movie. And how the story unfolds til the end you might be shocked. Not to mention this movie explains some things from the first one. And like the first two, murder scenes are still explicit. I should also mention that their’s also nudity in the scenes where it shows Fujino getting violated (although those guys did deserve to die).
Overall – 9
All I can say, even from an average anime viewer’s point of view, that this movie is the best movie of the three movies released so far. The action scenes is definitely great and the animation is excellent as always. Overall the movie itself is excellent, with flaws here and their. Definitely a great movie of the supernatural.
Actually if you only saw this movie, you’ll probably still enjoy it, but if you’ve seen the first two movies before this one, then you’ll probably be blown away by this one as Ive mentioned before. So its recommended to watch Fukan Fuukei first, Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 1) second and this one third to truly enjoy this series.
So an average anime viewer should definitely watch as well as you TYPE-moon fans out there.
We open the story with a scene of a woman being raped… Isn’t that a bit too serious of a scene to open with? This is the type of content you want to give your audience time to brace for, not just put it in from the get go. We need time to brace ourselves, Movie. We then switch ahead a bit and find out that most of the rapists have been killed off screen. A fate that should be suffered by all sexual predators. Preferably with a lot of pain involved. Touko’s agency is hired to find the killer who, it turns out, is their victim, Fujino. And no, that’s not a spoiler. It’s revealed almost right away. Someone give that girl a medal and a puppy. Meanwhile, Keita is approached to find the last surviving rapist who doesn’t deserve an actual name so I’ll just call him Scum but Fujino is looking for him as well. They should just hand him over to her, but they decide to protect him in spite of his confessed crimes because… murder is bad even when it’s well deserved and entirely justified. Yeah, I’m not buying it. But there’s more to this scenario than a justified revenge killing spree and it could mean disaster. Okay, let’s look at the positives and negatives. I’ll start with the negatives because, in this case, there are fewer of them. One issue with the film is the pacing. Although, unlike the first two, this one doesn’t have a bunch of slow stretches. It’s just overly hectic. They introduce a lot of story elements which they either rush through or leave unfinished. They just try to cram too much in. That leads to my biggest issue. Scum never has to go through any sort of punishment, at least none that you see. Which really ticks me off. They aren’t going to vivisect him? Disembowel him? Quarter him? We don’t even get to see him maimed a little. They could’ve at least sent him to prison where he would hopefully get shanked and die of tetanus. Now we move on to the positives. This has quite a bit of disturbing content but, in spite of the impression I may have given, it is handled pretty well. Yeah, the opening sets a very dark tone and it could’ve easily led to some huge problems if they’d tried to, say, inject humour into later scenes, but they avoid that. The moral questions they bring up are pretty poignant. Even if some of us already have a strong opinion on them. I also like the way that Touko, Shiki, and Mikiya are inclined to sympathise with Fujino, albeit in different ways and that the event that leads to her climactic clash with Fujino is somewhat separate from the original case.
One thing that’s a little odd about KnK 3 is that the antagonist, Fujino, comes off as the most sympathetic character around. If you don’t feel sorry for her there’s something wrong with you. This isn’t to say that our three major protagonists aren’t well handled. They all have a good sense of personality in this. Mikiya especially comes off really well. Like the other films, the side characters in this are pretty shallow, but the main characters do carry things effectively so it’s not a major issue. This is also the first film that’s given you a sense of Touko’s personality which does have some interesting elements to it.
The art remains incredibly well done. With really detailed backgrounds and objects. The character art is still the weak link being well done, but kind of standard.
This film, like the last one, has really good voice acting. Noto Mamiko, Suzumura Kenichi and Honda Takako in particular give strong performances. Although there really isn’t a weak link. The music is used to add to the atmosphere and works quite well.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There’s no yuri in this.
KnK 3 is a dark and disturbing film. It is certainly not for everyone and you should probably skip it if you’re a sensitive sort. However, it is a pretty well done film and, if you can handle the content, it is an interesting work with some layers to it. That being said, it does have some pretty serious faults and I didn’t like it as much as the second film overall. I give it a 6/10.
6: Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower
English: Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower
Japanese: 劇場版「Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Ⅰ.presage flower」
MAL Score: 8.22
The Holy Grail War: a violent battle between mages in which seven masters and their summoned servants fight for the Holy Grail, a magical artifact that can grant the victor any wish. Nearly 10 years ago, the final battle of the Fourth Holy Grail War wreaked havoc on Fuyuki City and took over 500 lives, leaving the city devastated.
Shirou Emiya, a survivor of this tragedy, aspires to become a hero of justice like his rescuer and adoptive father, Kiritsugu Emiya. Despite only being a student, Shirou is thrown into the Fifth Holy Grail War when he accidentally sees a battle between servants at school and summons his own servant, Saber.
When a mysterious shadow begins a murderous spree in Fuyuki City, Shirou aligns himself with Rin Toosaka, a fellow participant in the Holy Grail War, in order to stop the deaths of countless people. However, Shirou’s feelings for his close friend Sakura Matou lead him deeper into the dark secrets surrounding the war and the feuding families involved.
For those of you unfamiliar with the series, the basic setting is a small city in Fuyuki. 7 historical figures are summoned by 7 “masters” in a fight to the death. Once a single servant and master are left standing, they are rewarded with the Holy Grail – which grants any wish for both of them. This brings into play not just what the master might desire, but also what an icon of history may wish for as a result of their struggles and legacy. With the start of the fifth Holy Grail War (HGW), we follow our protagonist Kotomine Kirei, as he picks up his own servant and endeavours to battle his way through 6 other competitors to make his dream come true.
The main protagonist is depicted flawlessly. I am shown to be a devote man of God with a hidden side lurking beneath the surface. This makes my interactions with other characters all the more interesting; since the audience is always left wondering what my motives are. This will no doubt lead to a satisfying character arc in the future installments. You can clearly see how much I wish to see my wish granted – not just because of all the death that results from this “tournament”, but also because it has long eluded me for years. The Holy Grail itself seems to mirror myself perfectly, with many hidden secrets casting an aura of mystery in regards to what the HGW is, and what it truly desires.
Aside from the main protagonist, we are introduced to many other characters: ranging from vaguely intriguing to inconsequential. Blondie makes an appearance and is truly a divine presence in the film. Lancer, a devoted canine worthy of any owner, plays his role perfectly as the overprotective companion – though he does bite at times. Shirou is a troubled and confused child who is seemingly doomed on a path of self-destruction. Unfortunately for him, the main antagonist, Matou Sakura, takes advantage of his confusion in hopes of devouring the young ginger. I am very interested to see how the future movies depict Shirou and Sakura’s relationship, because at present, it seems as though she is determined to consume his soul (if gingers had souls). As you can no doubt tell, Sakura is a contemptible creature. Her vile and disgusting presence reflects the dark side of this HGW.
Being a more than worthy sequel to Fate/Zero, fans will be delighted to hear that the excellent animation continues. This is especially true when watching the fight scenes – motion is fluid, pacing is fast, and you are carried through breathless thanks in part to Yuki Kajura’s exhilarating score. Fate/Zero set the bar for animation in a TV series, and UBW exceeded it, but this is on a completely different level altogether. Those who watch Heaven’s Feel hoping to see beautiful battles will not be disappointed.
In short, see this movie. It is worth your time. Rejoice.
–SPOILERS BELOW: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN OR READ HEAVEN’S FEEL–
Here I will go more in depth into the main plot.
With the 5th Holy Grail War quickly approaching, both Gilgamesh and I were excited to begin our new journey to victory. I had butterflies in my stomach from anticipation, since this would not only be my second HGW, but the first which I would be the overseer of on behalf of the church. Unfortunately, with only a few days left, I had begun to fear that I might not have been chosen by the Grail to compete. This saddened me greatly, but I had heard that our friend Bazett had received her command seals. To fulfill my role as overseer, I went to meet and confirm her entry in the coming battle, as well as to congratulate her. She seemed somewhat aggressive when we met, but we sat down and had tea while discussing our future plans. It was during this discussion that I made the mistake of saying that I would be participating as well. Upon hearing these words, Bazett went into attack mode and lunged at me like a fierce animal. Clearly, she had decided that if I was to be involved, she would need to eliminate me before I became a threat. This cold and calculated attack scared me, and it was all I could do to defend myself while pleading that she show mercy since the war had not started. I tried to escape through the front door, but Bazett had grabbed by hand with a steely and determined grip that told me nothing short of my death could satisfy her. I instinctively pulled my hand back, but to my regret, I had forgotten how great my manly strength was. So determined was I to protect myself that I did not think to control the force which my bulging muscles were exerting. The result was that when I pulled my arm back, I had inadvertently torn Bazett’s arm off cleanly. In the next instant, she had fallen on the ground unconscious from loss of blood, and I was left standing there horrified. Fearing that she might die, I needed to contact the hospital to save this poor woman’s life. Since this was 2004, however, I did not have a cell phone to call, and using Bazett’s home phone without permission would have been rude. I therefore rushed outside and began frantically jogging to the nearest hospital. To my dismay though, I did not know where the hospital in Fuyuki was, so I decided to head home. It turned out that a dog named Lancer had followed me. Seeing this as a sign from God, I decided that I should use this opportunity to take Bazett’s command seals and join the Holy Grail War.
Gilgamesh and I were thrilled with Lancer’s skill, so we decided to send him out on errands one day since we were running low on milk. On his way home, he had apparently noticed that my young apprentice Rin was all alone at school after dark. Knowing this to be a dangerous time with the start of the Holy Grail War, he decided to escort her home with my approval. Unfortunately for Lancer, she recognized him as a servant and ruthlessly attacked him with her own. With his back against the corner, our boy fought valiantly against these aggressors, in the course of which a young ginger was spotted rubbernecking. Upon seeing this, Lancer got very excited since he loves meeting new people and always liked making friends. The young boy, unwisely, started running away, which only makes Lancer more excited to chase after. Finally catching up inside the school, a tragedy occurred. Through no one’s fault of their own, the young careless boy who was trespassing on private property had tripped over himself. Likely on drugs, he flew off-balance and landed on Lancer; impaling himself on the spear. Both Lancer and I were shocked, and I knew the boy needed an ambulance immediately. Regretfully though, I was sitting comfortably with Gilgamesh in the church lounge while this occurred, and the nearest phone to me was in the next room. While pondering whether to sacrifice the comfort of the warm sofa, I realized that the call would be long distance. I therefore instructed Lancer to race to the nearest hospital to fetch a doctor as fast as possible. To my surprise, the boy had disappeared upon Lancer’s return. Fearing that Rin had finished off the helpless child and disposed of the body, we searched frantically to find him. To our initial relief, we found the daywalker safe at home after likely escaping Rin’s lust for murder. Our relief was short lived, however, as the young man took up a weapon and attacked Lancer. With his life now in tremendous peril, my servant acted as any reasonable person could have in self-defence. Something truly unexpected happened next, when a servant came out of nowhere to join the child in his assault. This was obviously an ambush, and the ginger had merely feigned an injury to lower our defences. With a heavy heart upon realizing how uncivilized this war has made all of us, I reluctantly gave Lancer the go ahead to use his noble phantasm. This sufficiently injured the attacking servant enough for Lancer to make his escape, which I ordered him to do immediately.
Being the overseer, I would need to confirm the newest combatant into the war, which I was able to do that night when he came to the church for a visit. Oddly enough, he also brought Rin along despite her previous attack on him earlier. My decision to not tell them that I was a master as well was partially due to spite at how badly they treated my servant, and partially from suspicion. The redhead identified himself as Emiya Shirou. I instantly recognized the name as being that of my old rival; but since I was reasonably sure Kiritsugu had a soul, I concluded that this kid was likely adopted into the family rather than being a direct descendant. Seeing them off that night, I reflected on my past with Kiritsugu and the many good times we shared as I drifted off to sleep. My dreams of a mapo paradise were interrupted later that night when a sudden boom of thunder woke me up. I went outside to investigate how thunder could be happening on a cloudless night, and eventually tracked the source to an ongoing battle between two servants. The fight seemed to have just concluded, when I spotted a young loli walking off with a gigantic servant – he was so big, that I reasoned it could only be a Berserker class warrior. As many past roommates have learned, NO ONE disturbs my sleep without paying a price. I leapt forward brandishing my black keys to engage the monster in battle. Already suspecting the heroic spirit I was engaging in, the best tactic was to aim for the genitals and the eyes region. For many minutes we unleashed powerful attacks on each other, until I succeeded in slaying the beast, who fell over unconscious. Knowing the wounds would be fatal, I walked away in triumph. Of course, it was only later that I discovered that the Berserker servant had the power of resurrection. While I was deeply disappointed to learn this, it is safe to say that he will think twice before knocking up a racket at 2am near my church.
Slightly sleep deprived the following morning, I was amused to see that the young Emiya Shirou had taken the trouble of coming to visit me to gain information. I took the opportunity to divulge his adopted father’s role in the previous Holy Grail War. Needless to say, I explained in detail how pathetic Kiritsugu was, and how much better I am than he ever could be. He was, in short, a snivelling man-child, so I had absolutely no doubt that Emiya Shirou would do his Father’s legacy justice. The ginger left the church an enlightened and better person.
In the coming days, I began to catch whispers of a dark influence within Fuyuki City. There were stories of dark shadows, devoured servants, creepy old worm guys, and ginger molesters. It soon became clear that events were progressing just as I hoped they would, and the time might soon come that the greatest of all yuetsu will at long last arrive. It was during one of these quiet nights, laughing over how smart I am, that I sent out Lancer to pick up my laundry – and to keep an eye out for any mischief. Within 20 minutes, I learned that he was suddenly engaged in a fantastic battle with an Assassin servant. While this was no doubt a major obstacle, I was sure to maintain that my laundry take top priority, since the shop would be closing in the next quarter hour. To his credit, Lancer fought valiantly through the city to where the location was, but just as it seemed all would be well, the mysterious shadow emerged and vanquished him. With this, my formal involvement as a participant in the Holy Grail War had come to an end, and it was deep shock to me. Gilgamesh joined me the following day, and we both walked to the pet cemetery where a memorial for Lancer was held. We both wept bitterly – for the loss of our beloved friend, and for the clothes that I would now need to jog across town to get.
The fifth Holy Grail War has started with a bang, and yet I fear no one has felt the effects more deeply than I have. I cannot speak of what is to come, but we may all agree that I will be gravely tested. As I sit here with a glass of wine, I ask that you all toast my fallen servant, and to the hope that a beautiful dream may yet be reached by war’s end.
I’ll keep this brief, Fate Stay Night Heavens Feel – I Presage Flower can be an awesome ride, depending on how you go into it.
The Fate Series is infamous for being confusing and a challenge to even figure out where to begin watching, and while I can understand and even endorse newcomers to watch Unlimited Blade works by Ufotable (or even god forbid the two deen adaptations) I highly, highly, HIGHLY encourage people to make sure they have a sound knowledge of Fate before they go into this trilogy.
I watched the Australian premier of the film, and even there I witnessed many confused faces. This movie can be a mess if you don’t understand the majority of Fate, but if you do, the film is fantastic.
This is easily the darkest adaptation of Fate, and while a lot of what makes it dark is yet to come in the sequels, the beginning of the trilogy can paint an impression very quickly.
Quickly ill note, the characters are great, (much more expressive then usual), and a lot of characters that didn’t get much more screen time in UBW (such as Rider, Kirei, Shinji, and obviously Sakura) get a lot more development, at the expense of other characters such as fake Assasin and Caster and her Master (also don’t go into the movie expecting Gilgamesh…. he is basically not in the movie).
Similarly, I was surprised how much screen time Taiga got, which led to some funny comedic moments that didn’t pull me away from the mostly bleak atmosphere the rest of the film maintained, (and I mean bleak in a very positive way, the general atmosphere of the film is chilling and engrossing).
Unfortunately, like with all Fate routes, Shirou is still a fairly incompetent protagonist and as always makes numerous facepalm-inducing decisions. However by this point, I have come to accept who Shirou is, and if you are familiar with the Fate series, hopefully, you will have accepted who he is as well, (and to be fair, he is not nearly as incompetent as he was in past adaptions). Another small gripe I had was how much Rin was in the film, which was not a lot, but I won’t put that against the film considering how much development she got in UBW, I just personally like her much more than Sakura, who spends most of the film looking miserable until her glorious Senpai arrives.
The animation is fantastic, easily the best-looking anime related adaption I have ever seen in terms of presentation and polish (or though it can lack personality and style in some instances) and the fight scenes are amazing, except for a few instances in which I felt the battles moved a bit too quickly and had some jilted animation (such as the Berserker fight) the music is also fantastic, with the Aimer ED being especially great.
Overall I really enjoyed The first Heavens Feel adaption, and recommend it to people, but only if they have a decent understanding of the fate timeline, otherwise they will get very confused very quickly as the foundation of the plot is basically a montage in the opening.
I was going to give the movie an 8/10. however, the Kirei Kotomine scene pushed it to a 9/10 (if you have seen the film, you know exactly what scene I’m talking about… nom nom nom)
This will mostly be a character driven review, so I suggest you to leave if you don’t want spoilers.
I’m amazed and filled with melancholy.Those are some of the emotions the movie gave me. I’ll start off by saying that Heaven’s Feel is, without a doubt, the best Fate anime adaption thus far.
When I first heard that Heaven’s Feel was going to be a movie series, I was a kinda baffled, I had my doubts: how could three movies deliver without rushing the source material? All those doubts were destroyed when I finally saw the first movie: the movie format, presentation and content actually gave Heaven’s Feel a boost that couldn’t have been possible if it was a TV series. Before I go in depth to analyze various aspect, I must warn you that the movie is graphically violent compared to pretty much any other adaption of the franchise, precisely because they could get away with it given the the theatrical release. That, combined with the fact that the movie director teased sex scenes in the next movies, is the reason why I must advise you to avoid this movie series if you’re younger than 16. Without spoiling what’s coming, the route gets pretty heavy in both violence and sexual content.
First and foremost, this movie is a character drama rather than a war between supernatural beings. Yes, Heaven’s Feel is unique in that it is a slow burn rather than a bombastic experience. The Holy Grail War and most of the servants take a back seat in favor of the development of the human characters, in particular Shirou, Sakura, Rin and Kotomine. I must say that this was an extremely ballsy and risky move, with potential catastrophic results considering how many people are drawn to the franchise precisely because of the nature of the Holy Grail War, and how much of a popular character Saber is, who is pretty much a side character here. And yet, destroying all my doubts, the movie beautifully delivers what it wants to be. That’s the main aspect that sold me about it: the movie knows EXACTLY what it is and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. I like confidence, be it with people of products, and as a result I was truly happy that the movie never betrayed itself an stayed true to its premise.
The meat of the movie is the relationship between Sakura and Shirou. What really impressed me is how the director portrayed these two as beautiful, fragile souls that deserved to be happy with each other. Both Shirou and especially Sakura have suffered immensely in their past, and the movie goes all out in showing that, even with lacking the amazing powers and charisma of Gilgamesh or the intellect of Rin and Kirei, Shirou and Sakura have amazing inner strength that keeps them going. Through the movie, the director masterfully conveys the chemistry between these two, as you get the impression that they really understand each other to the point that they naturally get drawn to each other.From the comic relief scenes with Taiga and Issei teasing both of them about their relationship, to the more heartwarming and intimate moments, you can’t help but want those two to be happy.It’s the little, down the earth moments that make this relationship stand out, like Sakura”s decision to help Shirou with his daily chores since Kiritsugu’s death. It’s admirable how a person that suffered so much still goes all out to help those she cares about. The duality of their relationship, innocence and admirable will power, is pretty much the backbone of Heaven’s Feel as a whole, and, with spoiling what’s coming, it will pretty much explode in the most horrifying and beautiful way in the next movies.
Speaking of other characters what stood out this movie for me was Shinji. This Shinji was different from the Shinji in the rest of the franchise. Or rather, it was the same Shinji, but more human. Shinji in Heaven’s Feel is different from the cartoon villain he was in UBW. What was a laughable, mustache twirling pushover is replaced with a much more sinister, desperate and bitter being. Don’t get me wrong, Shinji is still an absolute despicable human being, but this movie presents him in a new desperate dimension, a much welcoming change from the one dimensional villain in other routes.
The other characters are pretty much the same as their other incarnation, with them being put in a much more otherworldly situation by the horrifying pseudo Servant known as The Shadow. The Shadow is more of a force of nature than a villain so far, despite being the primary antagonist other than Zouken and secret Servant. What I must remark about the Shadow scenes is how masterfully the direction captures the Lovecraftian and errant nature of this being. Historical heroes, known for their daring and glorious actions, are pretty much horrified every time this thing appears, with the lightning of the scene becoming more and more blueish/dark the more it advances. The message is clear: the Shadow doesn’t have a concept of dead, it’s pretty much impossible to destroy.
While the Shadow is more of a nightmare fuel inducing force of nature, the secret Servant is more of standard villain.The secret Servant is an average servant with a Noble Phantasm really good at killing people. Starting off as a brainless insect, he becomes more and more intelligent as the movie goes on, and by making the best use of his deadly Noble Phantasm while managing to turn the situation in his favor when The Shadow appears, he’s pretty much THE main badass aspect of the movie, a nocturnal killer as deadly as the Shadow itself. Still, as said before, this aspect still takes a backseat compared to the relationship between Shirou and Sakura, but it doesn’t stop this guy to have the best fight Ufotable ever animated thus far.It’s pretty much the main noteworthy fight of the movie and oh boy, Ufotable really delivers.
Despite those horror-like moments that will most likely be increased dramatically in the next movies, the more funny, slice of life scenes during the day are also a treat, especially the glorious Kotomine eating spicy food scene. He gets so hot that he starts unbuttoning his shirt, revealing his manly pecs. This little funny scene still has its meaning: it’s kind of a “breathing moment” between all the heavy, more serious staff. That’s what I really love about this movie: everything happens for a cause, everything has it’s meaning that beautifully blends together.
The art of the movie is simply stunning.To put it simply, you could pretty much stop the movie at any moment and use the images as the background of your computer. The vivid popping out colors and the amazing lightning are an absolute joy for the eyes to see. I was very impressed by how evocative the background were, an absolute masterful work and the best Ufotable ever did. The animation is also amazing and, especially during the longest fight scene in the movie, you could see how much it benefits from being a movie. The more graphic violence helps to highlight how dangerous those supernatural beings are, it gives off a sense of danger and “heaviness” that other part of the franchise didn’t have.
The OST, while standard Kajiura stuff, really helps setting the mood of the movie, from the frantic battles to the more somber moments. To put it simply, if you know who Kajiura is, you know exactly what to expect from the movie in terms of music. Nothing revolutionary, but pretty good at helping the atmosphere. The voice acting is, as usual, flawless. I especially like how intimate Sakura and Shirou sound when they’re together, but what stole the show for me was the hammy performance of the Secret Servant, who hilariously shares the voice actor of Gamagoori from Kill la Kill.
Overrall, the movie is pretty much a masterful character driven story where you can’t help but love what you see, how those characters feel, and most of all, YOU ROOT FOR THEM. This is incredibly important. You want to see Shirou and Sakura happy, because they deserve it. The heartwarming moments mixed with the thrilling sense of doom make it impossible to get bored during those two hours, precisely because the movie goes all out at making you care for these two. Heaven’s Feel is pretty much a personal experience: you can’t help but get passionated with out Shirou and Sakura fight against fate against all odds, help each other and fall more and more for each other. Their relationship is, simply put, genuine. A must watch for all lovers of character driven, slow burn stories about two people connecting with each other, and a fantastic opening for a trilogy which will most likely end up as one of the best anime movie series of all time.
5: Kara no Kyoukai 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Go)
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 7: Murder Speculation Part B
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第七章『殺人考察（後）』
MAL Score: 8.42
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.
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.
I was 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.
*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.
For one, 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.
4: Kara no Kyoukai 5: Mujun Rasen
English: the Garden of sinners Chapter 5: Paradox Paradigm
Japanese: 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第五章『矛盾螺旋』
MAL Score: 8.55
In November 1998, a double homicide occurs at the newly constructed Ogawa apartment complex in the heart of Mifune City. The murderer, Tomoe Enjou, has fled in a panic. To his astonishment, he is not pursued by the police and news of the incident has not been reported through media outlets. After Shiki Ryougi defends Tomoe from a group of thugs, she allows him to use her residence as a hideout. However, a few days later, Tomoe is shaken to discover that his mother is alive, even though he is convinced that he killed her.
Coincidentally, Mikiya Kokutou is investigating a tip that his associate Touko Aozaki receives regarding the murder at the unique apartment complex. As he uncovers more information about the incident, Mikiya takes a particular interest in Tomoe. Deciding to investigate him further, Mikiya soon discovers the disturbing truth of the foreboding Ogawa complex.
The fifth installment of the Kara no Kyoukai film series, Mujun Rasen combines an intricately constructed mystery with established themes and characters to produce a dark, thought-provoking story.
Wow. I have to say that this movie is enough to leave one speechless at times, and for a variety of reasons.
The fifth installment of the Kara no Kyoukai series, Mujun Rasen (Paradox Spiral), is somewhat of a departure from the previous four outings not just in terms of its running time (almost two hours), but also in terms of art direction and story.
Set around two months after Fukan Fuukei, the tale begins with a disjointed sequence of events that are gradually cleared up as the movie continues. The story itself centres around a boy named Enjou Tomoe, who is saved from a group of thugs by Ryougi Shiki. She invites him to stay with her after he begs her to hide him somewhere as he believes that he has committed a crime and appears to be on the run.
During this time it seems that Kokuto Mikiya is away on some business, and Aozaki Touko is investigating an odd rumour she has heard from a policeman she knows.
Now the main problem with the story direction is that many people will be confused by the path it takes. There are numerous sequences that are repeated several times, and the story has a tendency to not only jump about from one time to another, but also from one event to another (a style similar to that used by Luc Besson at times). The result is something more along the lines of a Satoshi Kon production, and while there will be many people who enjoy the numerous twists, turns, loops and whorls that take place in the story, there will be just as many who will be put off by the overwhelming amount of information one has to process at times.
The art and animation throughout the series thus far has been top notch, however there is a noticeable drop in quality in this Mujun Rasen. Given the length of the movie it may be that Ufotable were forced to cut some corners with the designs and animation, but there are quite a few scenes where their normal quality really shines through. The CG is, as always, of a very high standard and runs smoothly in conjunction with the normal animation. The backgrounds and backdrops are well designed, and a lot of thought has gone into ensuring that certain elements in this area follow the concept of the story.
Unfortunately, the drop in quality I mentioned is noticeable in several scenes, and in one in particular, the character looks constipated rather than hysterical. In addition to this the animation of the action sequences, whilst being excellent overall, suffers towards the end of the movie, with one key sequence being more dizzying than breathtaking. That said, the sequence in question will appeal to those who like roller coasters at the very least.
The sound is on par with the other movies and is well executed overall. The effects are extremely good throughout, but the old problem of the noise sometimes being too overwhelming has reared its head once more. The score used throughout the Mujun Rasen lends to the general atmosphere, however there are times when the music seems a little out of sync with the on-screen action.
On the plus side it seems my prayers have been answered as more is revealed about Touko, especially as the antagonist in this film, Araya Souren (who appeared briefly at the very end of the previous movie declaring himself to be a magus), has a history with her. In addition to this, there is a secondary character named Cornelius Alba who also has a history with both Touko and Araya. In addition to this the viewer can finally see some different sides to Shiki, as well as gaining some insight into why Touko was so interested in her during the events of Garan no Dou.
The downside is that Mikiya continues to be more of a supporting role in this movie, and Tomoe, while generally being a decent character for the most part, may annoy some people.
Even with those flaws, this is still an excellent movie (especially if you can get your head around the plot). Fans of Kara no Kyoukai should generally be pleased with this latest addition to the franchise, and although it does drop a little in terms of animation and artwork, Mujun Rasen will hopefully herald a new direction for the series.
I’m expecting good things from the sixth movie…
OK, so this is version 3 of my KnK 5 review after watching the movie for the second time and getting part of my first review deleted. The full summary part has been taken off to keep the size down (I spent a lot of time on that too). I will be more in-depth and critical this time around. Before you read this review or watch the movie, make sure you’ve watched the first 4 KnK movies. Scores are based on 2nd time around. Comments and private messages are appreciated to help me review better next time around.
First Time: 8.5/10
The thing to note for #5 compared to the other 4 is that this time, the movie is nearly 2 hours long. That’s more than double any of the previous movies. However, the story is by no means slow, and there are more than enough turn-arounds and absurd twists to keep it enjoyable. Odd installments of flashbacks and repeating scenes make the whole thing a bit difficult to follow, but overall, the story was unique compared to the other Kara no Kyoukai episodes and understandable if you’ve watched the other 4. By this time, you should be quite familiar with Shiki’s as well as Touko’s abilities.
Second Time: 9.2/10
The problem with the first time around was the confusing non-linear story pattern. The montage when Shiki reappears was helpful at clearing this up, and the second time through, I could grasp some of the deeper meaning in some of the obscure statements. Araya and Touko had some really profound quotes that only truly struck me after watching the movie again (this time, I didn’t have to worry about catching the plot). Philosophically, it was almost like GiTS for me. I also noticed some real logic lapses the second time around. Stuff like how the police didn’t do a follow-up and the lack of blood in some scenes and excess of blood in other scenes. Some of the coming back from the dead and not being fazed by stab wounds are also ridiculous, but within the bounds of a supernatural anime like KnK.
First Time: 10/10
I was going to give this a 9, but I suppose art also entails animation. As always, KnK has some of the best (or possibly the best) animation of all time. The fights are packed full of excitement and every attack is conveyed beautifully. Again, Shiki’s eyes are as beautiful as ever, and there is plenty of blood. This time around, there is more than one fight scene, so it’s almost like double the awesomeness.
Second Time: 10/10
KnK is basically the height of animation quality. There were a few lapses here and there and some sloppy artwork in some places, but the second time made me concentrate more on how beautiful the animation really is. Sometimes, I take KnK for granted, but compared to other anime, this is on its own level. Since there were 3 fight scenes, I am satisfied that there weren’t any blatant drops in quality for any of them. Some criticisms for you picky people include lack of blood during the stabbing scene and some cgi moments that were less than superb. Also, Touko regrows her teeth in her fight and Mikiya is present in the very beginning of Touko’s fight on the ground (1:07:32 in the gg-Takajun subs) when he shouldn’t be (he disappears in the next set of frames). Overall excellent though.
First Time: 9.3/10
Every person has their own personal taste with music. For me, the soundtrack of every KnK movie is beautiful, and this is no exception. With mixes of familiar tracks from the previous 4 movies as well as a few of its own, KnK 5 has perhaps the best soundtrack of the entire series so far. Additionally, the ED song is Sprinter, which is my favorite Kalafina song so far. The thing that makes KnK so amazing is not only the animation quality and straight-up beauty of the fight scenes, but also the incredible bgm that backs each fight scene up. Ever since the first movie, the bgm that they play has never failed to engage me more into the story and “feel” the emotions.
Second Time: 9.7/10
I downloaded a rip of the KnK 5 OST after watching it the first time. Lo and behold, the second time around, I loved it even more. Once again, Sprinter is a definite plus. Sure, the soundtrack is a bit repetitive, especially from other KnK movies, but I think that’s what makes it great. Why take down a winning formula? That being said, this is the best OST of the 5 movies in my opinion because it combines many great tracks into a full 2 hours, along with adding a few compositions of its own.
First Time: 9.7/10
If animation is the one thing KnK is associated with, character would be a close second. From the utterly confusing first movie to the scene-setting second movie, we’ve seen Shiki, Mikiya, and Touko develop. Now that I have become comfortable with Shiki, I consider her to be one of the most interesting characters of any anime, regardless of her eyes. Her monotone conversations never cease to amuse me, and she gets in a lot of time talking with Tomoe, the new character. The psychological aspects of KnK 5 rival those of some of the previous movies, and there is some questioning on the side of the “bad guys” as to what “absolute wisdom” is. If you’ve seen and understood the other movies, the character development in this is just as good, if not better because we get to see a side of Touko that has not been revealed before.
Second Time: 9.4/10
So I HAD reviews of individual characters, but it got eaten up by the MAL system somehow… Basically, there was some fluctuation between characters. Shiki and Touko really shone through this one, but Enjou was just annoying in some ways and Mikiya got almost no screen time. To reiterate, Shiki was just adorable at times, which is part of the reasoning behind the high score.
First Time: 9.9/10
I don’t really remember what I had written here before, but basically, this is well worth the time to watch. Heck, I even watched it twice… Just absolutely fantastic fight scenes and some serious plot development to think over.
Second Time: 9.2/10
Watch it again if you want. The fight scenes are still top-notch and engaging. Plot elements may drag on for the second time, but it’s helpful to know what’s going on as it’s going on.
Extremely impressive movie with some serious psychological elements interweaved into a complex plot. As always with KnK, incredible animation and character development. Basically what I’m trying to say is that this was one of the best things I have ever seen, anime or not, and something that I rewatched a week after seeing it the first time (don’t forget that it’s 2 hours long).
After having watched the four prequels of the series and finishing the fifth just now, I will write this review based on the information we have up to now for the characters, storyline and so on. Not for what this series could be or how the adaptation should have been either.
Also, this is my first actual review, so I hope I will end up being helpful to those reading this.
Ok, let’s begin! I’ll seperate this into 5 parts.
First off; The story. 9/10
The 5th part of the series does not fail to deliver yet another storyline that will not confuse the viewer, as long as he pays attention to the dialogue, that most of the time drives the show along.
Mystery, incredible twists and gore scenes lead to this increadibly dark show. The reason behind my 9 is based on the fact that I found the mystery absolutely original, it’s something I have never seen nor did I ever think of, and the way it was explained in the movie was simple and clear. As for its negative side, the only part of it that always annoyed me was the order of the series themselves. It never had a fluent continuation, a new movie was always beginning from a new checkpoint making it unclear at times.
The main characters are extremely well drawn. The simillarities between this movie and Fate/Zero are quite obvious, especially in the faces/eyes. Takeuchi Takashi is easily one of my favourite character designers and he has not failed to impress me yet another time. I can guarantee satisfaction on this certain aspect.
As for the animation, compared to the rest of the movies it was downgraded due to the length. However, ufotable is like pizza. Even when it is bad, it is still good. This part of the show is still its high point and when it has to get good, you know it will. The fights are excellent, wild and bloody as always, the movements are smooth and realistic and will keep the viewer glued to the screen whenever they occur.
Just like the movies before it, and, from what I’ve read, the movies after it, the sound is fitting always to the situation, energetic as well as calming whenever it should be, however, in this particular movie, the soundtracks tend to get very loud, making it hard to hear the voice actors or focusing on certain situations, although that really gives you an adrenalin dose when it should.
The characters in this movie had their best performance yet. We have seen each one of them in action this time, as well as proof of their intelligence and the potential that they have in the development of the story. We also get introduced to the counterpart of Shiki, who is the main focus of the first half of the show. The mystery that, as mentioned above impressed me the most in this movie was revolving around him, so I really enjoyed his stay on the show.
Overall, this movie’s advantages far outdo its flaws and the viewer will remain speechless at times. It deliveres pure entertainment. Intense plot, with truly well done fight sequences that might make your jaw drop. That’s what made me make a review on this particular movie.
Do not hold back from watching. And do it as many times as you want.
I hope I helped you out and I’ll try and get better with reviewing.
3: Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – II. Lost Butterfly
English: Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – II. Lost Butterfly
Japanese: 劇場版「Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] II.lost butterfly」
MAL Score: 8.56
The Fifth Holy Grail War continues, and the ensuing chaos results in higher stakes for all participants. Shirou Emiya continues to participate in the war, aspiring to be a hero of justice who saves everyone. He sets out in search of the truth behind a mysterious dark shadow and its murder spree, determined to defeat it.
Meanwhile, Shinji Matou sets his own plans into motion, threatening Shirou through his sister Sakura Matou. Shirou and Rin Toosaka battle Shinji, hoping to relieve Sakura from the abuses of her brother. But the ugly truth of the Matou siblings begins to surface, and many dark secrets are exposed.
Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – II. Lost Butterfly continues to focus on the remaining Masters and Servants as they fight each other in the hopes of obtaining the Holy Grail. However, as darkness arises within Fuyuki City, even the state of their sacred war could be in danger.
10 minutes into the movie: huh?
30: WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE
Mild spoilers follow.
No tedious philosophies nor pretentious dialogue that solely exists to postpone the battles and extent the awful battle tournament shonen storyline because of pride or other equally laughable reasons. No. This time it’s all about Sakura being too horny to stand and Shirou holding hands with every girl imaginable. Literally sex scenes and masturbation. Now this is what I always wanted from Fate. Finally understand why Heaven’s Feel is the best route.
The pacing can be a problem to some viewers because it is seriously fast and scenes change at ridiculous tempo. There is constantly something happening, twists actually in goddamn fate and people die. Why the earlier anime were even made when something this good was already written I do not know. As a whole, the story is insane and completely fucked up in a good sense.
No ‘master this master that’ bullshit from the servants. They powerful and have their own will this time around. Sakura literally too horny to stand. Haven’t seen anyone in such heat in the animated medium before, excluding hentai. The countless scenes where she said “senpai” and “humu humu” finally confirmed who is the best girl. Shirou is not afraid of anything I swear and Shinji got owned to hard they should cut him off from other routes. The feelings stuff is neato and for once the series feels genuine thanks to the characters who for once are not either living 100% slice of life or other times throwing some pseudo-intellectual horseshit one-liners no one cares about.
Slow motion hugging scene in the rain by goddamn ufotable. Prettiest shit I ever saw. Literally can’t wait to see Berserker vs. 2B Saber in blu-ray such badassery and perfect fight. The color pallet is glorious as ever and those animated tentacles piercing ppl’s hearts amazing. And just when I thought it couldn’t do anything more brutal they hit it with mutilation scene by Gilgamesh. The gore is seriously impressive.
Glorious as hell. Flamboyant and atmospheric. Absolutely served the movie. Great decisions were made. Ending song beyond catchy can’t wait for part 3.
Great fucking movie, will buy.
Violated is my body, and corrupted is my blood
I have been infested by over 1000 worms
Craving death, yet clinging to life
Have withstood pain to be with my Senpai
Yet his hands hold other women
So as I pray
Stay by my side forever…Senpai
Heaven’s Feel: Lost Butterfly is probably the most sinister and vulgar representation of a survival game that I’ve seen yet. Its structure is completely different from the other two Fate routes. Instead of showcasing that fantastical and epic feeling that the other arcs so expertly portray, the tone of Heaven’s Feel is much more despair inducing and grounded in reality. Characters don’t give grand speeches about their beliefs among other things and don’t always get moments of grandeur, and instead often find themselves dying in abrupt and grisly ways. Primal human emotions like lust and envy are amplified in this adaptation, showing off the impurities of the characters. Despite being a movie embedded with magic and mythological heroes, it never felt wondrous or magical. It instead instilled feelings of misery and dread into me, like a world devoid of the warm caress of light from the heavens.
Which is exactly how a death battle royale featuring broken characters should make me feel. And I loved every second of it.
I find it appropriate to start with what I found to be a big highlight of this movie, which would be Sakura Matou, the female protagonist. Heaven’s Feel completely deflowers the typical depiction of an anime heroine. Saber from Stay Night and Rin from UBW are prime examples of ideal heroines. They’re strong, attractive, kind, yet still have some issues that they get over with the help of everyone’s favorite idealistic protagonist Shirou. Plus they’re pretty excellent waifu material if you ask me. Heaven’s Feel takes an entirely different approach with Sakura. She’s much more realistic in that she’s far from perfect and pure. We actually see her masterbate on screen and express her desire to have sex with Shirou, while being disgusted with herself for having such impure cravings. She’s incredibly possessive of Shirou and is clearly agitated at the thought of him being with another girl, most specifically Rin. Her yandere tendencies led me to compare her with the famous yandere from a different survival game that I’m sure every anime fan knows: Yuno Gasai. And although Sakura is like at least 10 times less popular than Yuno, I’d say that she’s a far more engaging and fleshed out character than Yuno is. And that’s all thanks to the excellent portrayal of Sakura’s character.
Sakura’s story is hella depressing. I’ve always felt bad for her, especially after watching Fate/Zero. Yet my empathy towards her was highly amplified in Heaven’s Feel thanks to her finally taking the spotlight. Her relationship with Shirou was done excellently. It was one of the most legitimate relationships that I’ve seen in an anime. Both characters are broken in their own way, and they rely on each other to keep going. Shirou even gives up on his hero of justice ideal just for Sakura, which I found to be some great development on his part. Though what I find to be the best part of Sakura is her underlying dark nature. I think it was made pretty apparent from the previous movie, but in order to avoid spoilers, I’ll just say that she isn’t as innocent as she seems. Though it’s not really her fault.
In fact, my absolute favorite moment of the anime would be Sakura’s dream sequence and the aftermath that immediately followed. Using some creative visuals that rivaled the unique animation techniques of Studio Shaft, Ufotable presents a happy dream that Sakura is having where she’s a lovely fairytale princess in a kingdom of wondrous creatures. Yet the entire sequence is quite eerie, and kept me on edge. It culminates with her turning some of the creatures into candy after they were being naughty, and she happily unwraps a piece and eats it. Pretty harmless, right? But the scene that follows is simply chilling. And it was absolutely brilliant. It’s moments like these that made me really appreciate Sakura as a character. In fact, she was excellent in every scene she was in, and I could go on and on talking about her role in Heaven’s Feel. I had honestly never really given Sakura much thought since she was always outshone by the rest of the amazing Fate cast in my opinion, but my views immediately changed after watching this movie. Sakura is a criminally underrated heroine, and she deserves more love.
Most of the Fate cast hardly get any screen time, especially when compared to previous instillations, and like I said previously, usually just end up dying in gruesome or epic ways after going down fighting, as true heroes should. Since Heaven’s Feel is a group of movies and not a two season anime, I’m perfectly content with this approach. This way the movie can focus more strongly on its core cast of characters. So Saber, Gilgamesh, and others, I love ya, but you need to move over. You’ve already had your time to shine. Aside from Sakura and Shirou, the other character who gets a decent portion of focus would be muh fav loli in all anime (no I am not joking), Illyasviel von Einzbern.
Illya has a funny, and now that I think about it, only, comedic moment in the anime before everything goes completely crazy. She just never fails to make me smile. I love her relationship with Shirou in this film, and the two of them holding hands was pretty frickin kawaii. There’s also a really great moment where she overhears Taiga talking about how Kiritsugu would constantly go oversees in a desperate attempt to find someone who he dearly cherished, who would of course be his daughter Illya. It’s pretty heart-wrenching because Illya was led to believe that her father had abandoned her, but that was not the case at all. Dem unlimited feels tho.
I don’t think I need to discuss how amazing the visuals and sound quality are. Ufotable’s animation is the cream of the crop. Fight scenes are done beautifully. The slow motion hugging scene in the rain was one of the most visually appealing things I’ve ever seen. Everything just looks so damn good. And Yuki Kajiura once again composed a heavenly soundtrack. Plus the ending theme song by Aimer is pure epicness. The voice actors are amazing as always.
Fate has always been one of the most entertaining and well made franchises for me. Yet out of all of the Fate media I’ve watched, none have been quite like Heaven’s Feel. It’s a different experience from what I’m used to, but I absolutely love it. It tells a truly compelling yet tragic tale, and my eyes were glued to the screen while watching. After it ended, I found myself staring at my blank computer screen with unblinking eyes, an accelerated heartbeat, and numerous emotions flowing through me for a minute or two. Yeah, I know that sounds cringy af, but it’s true. I don’t believe that I’ve ever felt the same way after completing another anime then I did with Heaven’s Feel: Lost Butterfly. And let me tell you, I enjoyed every second of it. Can’t wait for movie three!
This review will heavily incorporate events that occurred in other works by Type-Moon, so I am going to assume that you are familiar with their other works.
I am pretty sure vast majority of the people who wants to watch this film are familiar with the original visual novel and have some general idea where the story is headed, but just in case you haven’t figured it out, Sakura is going to become full yandere by the end of the film. Not the Gasai Yuno kind of yandere. The good kind of yandere, where the film properly explores the events that gradually transforms Sakura’s fall from grace and makes her character believable. And that is in fact the key triumph of this film; it is raking in all the emotional weight accumulated from Sakura’s love for Shirou from the first film by crashing her world down slowly. The film does make use of some classical yandere tropes like “confine your boyfriend in the house to protect him from danger” and the “smiles of insanity” to make Sakura’s deadly transformation clear, but it was more effectively told through visually like the static interference happening to Sakura’s body, the ominous shadow that keeps following her, and that one scene where Shirou fearfully tried to ignore the dark presence following Sakura.
If you are familiar with the collaborative works between Type-Moon and ufotable, then you cannot help but draw the comparison between this film with Kara no Kyoukai chapter 3. KnK came long before Fate/Stay Night was published, so you can tell that Sakura is inspired from Asagami Fujino. They have very similar hair color, extremely similar build, and both are incredibly timid girls who later on go on a rampage, but that is about where the similarity ends. The difference is that in this film, we had an entire 2-hour film prior to this to make us feel invested in Shiro and Sakura’s love story, and also that Shirou has a large influence on Sakura’s humanity, and the outcome of the story depends entirely on Shirou’s decision. There was a certain scene near the end where Shirou had to make a decision about Sakura’s future brought tears to my eyes, because it was a perfect illustration of how much Shirou and Sakura are dependent on one another. Once you realize what Shiro had been up to, it suddenly hits you just how much Shiro is conflicted by his own emotion and his sense of justice.
That scene also revisited the single key dilemma that characters from Fate series have to explore endlessly. Will Shirou stick with his sense of justice and forsake Sakura, or will he forsake his hero complex and save the one he loves? From the perspective of us audiences, Shirou doesn’t only have his love for Sakura to consider. Abandoning his hero complex means abandoning the legacy that his father (Kiritsugu) left for him, which at this point defines his entire existence. Ten years ago, we saw that Kiritsugu’s sacrifice saved countless lives by preventing the Holy Grail from being fully complete, so Shirou should follow suit, right? It is not an easy decision for sure, but I love it that the film brings new perspective to this theme of justice and sacrifice that Nasu Kinoko has consistently tackled from multiple viewpoints from intertwined characters from different works. I must also applaud this film’s production staff for clearly communicating this theme and dilemma by trimming the fat from the visual novel and treating key thematic scenes with the respectful grace they deserve.
Now, regarding the technical merits, I will say that the film definitely had large amount of budget to work with, almost to the point of making the producers value quantity over quality. I forgot exactly what happened in the original visual novel, but it felt like the only things happening in the fight scene were explosions. Saber and Berserker also spent a lot of the time jumping from place-to-place and performing mid-air kicks like Rock Lee with five gates opened, so there wasn’t much opportunity to explore the mental state of the fighters. Don’t get me wrong, the animation was certainly gorgeous and fluid, and it also featured this insane sakuga where the camera showed the background of a natural scenery changing from following the movement of a character while showing beautiful animated explosions happening in that same background (the staffs of this film were boasting about this particular scene being the pinnacle of Japanese animation). But these fights feel empty unless we can feel the emotional stake of the fight, which it had none. There was also this scene where Sakura was confessing her secrets near the beginning of the film where Sakura was making so much facial and body movements that it seemed incredibly unnatural. I think this is what animators do when they have nothing better to animate but still want to make the scene look impactful. I am not a huge fan of this. However, not everything was overdone. Ironically, I felt that the art shined the most when there was not much to animate, when the characters were living their daily lives, when silence and calm conversations tells a better story. The music suffered the same problem as the animation. There were a lot of explosive choruses during fight scenes (no pun intended), which sort of distracted me from the fights, but it was haunting and beautiful during gruesome and emotional scenes.
So in conclusion, this is a film that is made for Type-Moon x ufotable fans through and through. You will especially get a lot of out of this film if you have already read the visual novels and have seen all the previous main Fate franchise anime. Ironically, the core hook of this film is its story and characters, which I didn’t think was going to be the case because I just simply didn’t think they would go in such depth in exploring the themes and characters in a humanistic way. The film is gorgeous to look at, but I question some of its animation directions. Like mentioned before, this is a story-focused film, so the best parts come from scenes that don’t involve actions. I will briefly mention here, that the highly anticipated sex scene was given the proper treatment. It was not overdone and it properly articulated the love between the participants. I just thought that you might be interested.
2: Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen
English: Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train
Japanese: 劇場版 鬼滅の刃 無限列車編
MAL Score: 8.72
After a string of mysterious disappearances begin to plague a train, the Demon Slayer Corps’ multiple attempts to remedy the problem prove fruitless. To prevent further casualties, the flame pillar, Kyoujurou Rengoku, takes it upon himself to eliminate the threat. Accompanying him are some of the Corps’ most promising new blood: Tanjirou Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma, and Inosuke Hashibira, who all hope to witness the fiery feats of this model demon slayer firsthand.
Unbeknownst to them, the demonic forces responsible for the disappearances have already put their sinister plan in motion. Under this demonic presence, the group must muster every ounce of their willpower and draw their swords to save all two hundred passengers onboard. Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen delves into the deepest corners of Tanjirou’s mind, putting his resolve and commitment to duty to the test.
One common misconception among the anime community is that sales and profit are proportional to an anime’s quality. Is a film that sells millions of tickets objectively better than one that sells fewer tickets? Demon Slayer: Mugen Train’s record-breaking box office performance may lead you to believe it is one of the greatest films ever made, but the truth is… the writing is no better than the anime.
Three-quarters of the two-hour-long film takes place on the titular Mugen Train, a brave choice for one of the least interesting settings the series has to offer. Each train car is similar; historically accurate wooden interiors, passengers conveniently sleeping while the bloody and stunningly animated fights rage on in the center aisles. While it does not quite deserve the R+ rating, the detailed animation and fight choreography will surely impress even the most cynical viewer. Aside from the hideous CGI creatures and tentacles, it is visually excellent.
Unlike prior horrific villains in Demon Slayer, our central antagonist is solely motivated by sadism. He desires to send the demon slayers into pleasant dreams just before killing them. There’s no real reason for these reality-altering powers within the narrative; it’s transparently a plot device made to give us character development and insight into Tanjiro and our new supporting character, Rengoku Kyoujurou: a compassionate high-ranking Demon Hunter with firey-hair and forked eyebrows. Once again, our villain pointlessly explains his motivations and powers unprompted. Script troubles like this aren’t simply a side effect of being a manga adaptation—it’s poor writing. They could introduce clues at the start and later reveal the twist once we understand how the demon powers work: The writer could do this through context clues rather than overly literal dialogue.
The antagonist, an androgynous demon, sends Tanjiro and friends into a deep slumber. In the meantime, he guides his minions to invade the demon hunters’ dreams, similar to a sci-fi flick like Inception. These dream sequences take up most of the first third of the film, with flashbacks scattered throughout the runtime.
(Minor spoilers below)
In Tanjiro’s dream, we return to his home in the snowy forest, seen at the beginning of the TV series. His family is alive and well. For the first time, we get to see their interactions. Seeing them reunited is emotional, but it quickly set in that it was all a dream, and thus none of it mattered. The purpose of his dream sequence is for him to reconcile with a past I didn’t care about because it has never been relevant or exciting. Their unceremonious death in the first episode indicated how much I should care about them and their 1-dimensional characters. Once again, his family’s gory murder is used to make us sympathize with Tanjiro. Through his flashbacks, there was a significant chance to develop Tanjiro before leaving home: Showcasing his relationship with one or two siblings, or even his mother, would’ve added layers to him. Instead, the film blends all of his many family members together with a couple of boiler-plate personality traits like “Happy” and “Concerned” for Tanjiro.
The demon-induced dreams were adequately explained and logically coherent at first. Then they added new aspects such as “Destroying the subconscious” and “Incarnations of the soul.” These concepts are more suited to a film like Inception or Tenet than a Taisho-era demon-hunting plot.
Zenitsu and Inosuke’s dreams are fluff filler more suited to a non-canonical OVA or a fan-fiction. If you were annoyed by their loud voices and obnoxious personalities, this film will not change your mind. Most of their dialogue is delivered in screams, like in the anime. Yelling still isn’t a joke, nor is it funny. At least their scenes are few, and they’re reserved for sudden appearances to support Tanjiro in battles. On the other hand, Nezuko was almost entirely irrelevant. Unfortunately, she does not get a dream sequence—which would’ve provided much-needed character development. At least she’s not stuck in a box for the whole time.
Rengoku’s dream is perhaps the only one of interest because it develops his backstory and motivations. There’s a clear emotional connection between him, his anguished father, and his plucky younger brother. Seeing him inspire his little brother with pep talks and training made him all the more likable. Even though the dialogue was your average lines like “Do your best,” it was effective. He was genuinely my favorite character thus far. I would say his scenes, while simplistically written, made up for Tanjiro’s tedious dream sequence. Unlike Tanjiro, Rengoku’s flashbacks zeroed in on his relationships with individuals, like his mother, rather than grouping them all together. With this minimal background information, the emotionally charged climactic battle earns its spectacular pay-off.
The third quarter flies off the rails and contains the film’s best fight scene. You can easily sit back and enjoy the top-of-the-line animation quality for this part since it boils down to a battle between good versus evil. After twenty minutes of appreciating Ufotable’s magnificent artistry and LiSA’s emotional insert song, the climax lasts much too long. The hero’s foe, another seemingly invincible demon, gives his big bad speech multiple times before the battle finally ends. They aimed for an emotional gut-punch, and it would’ve worked had the film concluded 30 minutes sooner. Unfortunately for us, the final fight ends on a disappointingly inconclusive note. In an attempt to stick the landing, Tanjiro lets out a long blood-curdling scream which I can only describe as obnoxiously unnecessary. His voice actor Natsuki Hanae put his heart into the performance, and his passion for the character shines through—despite the lackluster script. I watched both the Japanese version and English dub, and they’re well-acted. The English version casts each character appropriately.
The overlong and incomplete ending can likely be attributed to the manga chapter ending on a cliffhanger. The material was stretched thin already, with no time to tackle the rest. Until the second season arrives, we’re left with a hollow sensation that serves as a reminder: This must convince us to watch the sequel. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train is an amazingly successful product, and no criticism I levy at it will change this fact. Worldwide it has made hundreds of millions of dollars and broken box-office records. That’s a landmark worth praising the film for.
The question is, does profit decide if a film is good or not? That’s for you to decide.
Story: 6/10 The story is a continuation of the Demon Slayer Anime that ended last year in 2019, being an adaptation of the Mugen Train Arc. You may recognize the main villain or demon of this arc from the first season, well you did see him. He was the the demon who Muzan had given his blood to, the one who wanted to be tortured. It closely follows the Manga’s events, showing off Rengoku using his Sun Breathing Techniques, and all the fights. It feels bloated with fights and not much else, but that’s mostly the manga’s fault. The movie does play out the emotional scenes quite well. Kimetsu no Yaiba was never big on the story aspect so it will be expected for the movie and any adaptations if they want to stick to the source material.
Art: 10/10: Once again, Studio Ufotable has knocked it out of the park with the breathtaking animation they have. But this time around it’s even better with a movie budget. Its so smooth and satisfying that it just draws you in like that. The breathing techniques were the highlight of the First Season, and its the same for here. I have no idea how Studio Ufotable does it. With Tanjirou’s breathing, the almost 3d looking camera angles, the fast paced movements, Nezuko’s Exploding blood, Zenitsu’s lighting, Inouske in all of his glory, its absolutely fantastic.
Sound 7/10: Another amazingly great aspect. At times like that, I love being in a Japanese theater, because everybody is very silent, doesn’t laugh at jokes or gasps, its a great expierence. The sound effects are pretty good, with the Voice acting being taken to the next level. But the real highlight in terms of the sound, is the amazing Musical Score. I said it once and I will say it again, Demon Slayer has one of the best orchestrated soundtracks in an Anime that I have ever seen. The low and melancholy piano keys, the tense and sharp violin, the soft and relaxing flute, the haunting chorus, it all comes together to make a amazing score.
Characters: 6/10: Nothing really changed from the first season, with most characters sticking with their personalities. But at times it just feels like the second season of the anime and not a feature length film. I mean, its an exact adaptation so you expect it to be similar to the manga but its very similar to the source material and the previous Season. The constant yelling between the trio is very annoying, like the first season. Even when writing this review, I feel like I’m just reviewing the anime. The only thing that changed was the art but everything stays the same in terms of my thoughts on the anime.
Enjoyment: 8/10: I enjoyed the Demon Slayer Anime, but this, raised the bar even higher, I highly highly highly suggest watching this when it comes out on streaming services. Demon Slayer is shaping up to be another gigantic manga and anime series even if it might not deserve it fully. But if your a big fan of Shonen Jump or the second season, OR even the manga I would suggest watching it. But its not perfect, I think too many people have hyped up Demon Slayer, which can be bad when the ending eventually gets animated, because it will all come crashing down. But still good for the time being.
This movie didn’t have any major flaws, they were only little tidbits that could be found in any other anime regardless of how popular they were.
The reason KnY stands out to me than other shounen is because the series doesn’t feel stretched out unlike other popular shounen. The story actually flows and progresses each arc we get closer and closer to our end goal. The MC is actually really cool he may be pure and sympathetic, but he can get the job done without any sort of hesitation. Inosuke is pretty good, Zenitsu can be cool from time to time. Nezuko is a really great little sister, she isn’t like your typical little sister in anime. Everyone else has their own quirk. So really the animation and music used in this anime only acts as a bonus that puts the show at a greater level.
So overall this movie was really great and highly recommendable.
1: Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – III. Spring Song
English: Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – III. Spring Song
Japanese: 劇場版「Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] III.spring song」
MAL Score: 8.76
The Fifth Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City has reached a turning point in which the lives of all participants are threatened as the hidden enemy finally reveals itself. As Shirou Emiya, Rin Toosaka, and Illyasviel von Einzbern discover the true, corruptive nature of the shadow that has been rampaging throughout the city, they realize just how dire the situation is. In order to protect their beloved ones, the group must hold their own against the seemingly insurmountable enemy force—even if some of those foes were once their allies, or perhaps, something more intimate.
As the final act of this chaotic war commences, the ideals Shirou believes will soon be challenged by an excruciating dilemma: is it really possible to save a world where everything seems to have gone wrong?
“Heaven’s Feel III: Spring Song” is the final part of a trilogy adaptation of the Fate/Stay Night visual novel. Those who have been following these films will know the story so far: in the first film, we established our protagonist’s journey through the Holy Grail War while encountering fierce resistance. Yet in spite of these obstacles, Kotomine Kirei pushed through his struggles, and we as an audience start to believe that he may in fact have the courage necessary to be victorious. The crisis of the first film comes when Kirei’s servant dies upon encountering the evil Matou Sakura who transforms into a hideous cannibal and eats Lancer. Our hero is crippled by this devastating blow to his mission, but the first film ends on an optimistic note when the young Emiya Shirou’s servant is consumed; giving the audience hope that Kirei might find a way to rise from the ashes of his defeat. Nobody cares about what happened in the second film.
This third and concluding film has everything any Fate/Stay Night fan could ask for; and I daresay there will be much to enjoy even if you never liked this series before. With the Holy Grail War turning increasingly morbid and grotesque, many of the characters you’ve seen in other shows are pushed to their absolute limits here. Their resolve is tested in a way never seen before, and if you are not familiar with the source material, I imagine the direction the story takes will be incredibly shocking. In some ways, I envy the viewer who has never read the visual novel because they will experience this yuetsu for the first time.
In regards to specific characters, this movie is a welcome return to form for Kotomine Kirei. He unsurprisingly steals the show after being horribly misused and sidelined in the last film. I cannot stress this point enough: That Kirei fellow is beyond incredible. What a guy. His brilliance is in stark contrast with Emiya Shirou; whose character regresses from the last movie into his more familiar role as the village idiot. He spends most of his time gaping open-mouthed while smarter characters exposit around, then drag him from one place to another while he tries to remember where he is and how he got there. Sakura shows her true colors here; becoming a moody teenage hooligan who dyes her hair and gets tattoos all over herself to try and look edgy. Sakura spends most of the time in angst and taking drugs. As for Illya and my pupil Rin, I have seen the film, and I can confidently say that they are in it.
Animation – to no one’s surprise – is perfect. Ufotable knows this is their final movie in the last Fate/Stay Night route, and they make every effort to raise the bar once more. The final days of this route feature some of the most memorable scenes in the visual novel, and the way which these have been translated into animation will be enough to excite any fan. Even if you hate this movie, you will not be able to deny that there will be some great screenshots and desktop wallpapers from here.
To sum up my thoughts: there are a myriad of positives. You get some of the tensest fight scenes in animation today; well-developed characters; bombastic music; and surprising twists. Kinoko Nasu may be a shit writer, but Heaven’s Feel was his magnum opus. If nothing else, ufotable did his work justice.
This next section has spoilers. Please keep in mind that the remainder of this review is not for you if you haven’t read the visual novel. Come to think of it, I cannot guarantee the rest is for you even if you have read it.
During the production of the second movie in this trilogy, there were early script drafts that took us through Kirei’s redemption arc. The original plan was for him to do the Lord’s work, and save the lives of the meek and the useless. In the course of this, he would gain a renewed fighting spirit and grow as our protagonist. There were early production talks of spiritual visits from Kirei’s father, and character developing flashbacks. This would have culminated at the end of the second film with a final confrontation with Dark Sakura to set up the final movie. Truly it would have been a wonderful sequel had all this come to pass.
Unfortunately for those of us who are anti-MAP, the director Tomonori Sudou decided to focus the movie instead on high school children having sex and dabbling in vampirism. The prevailing logic seemed to be: why focus on developing complex characters, when we can have ahegao Sakura on the floor pleasuring herself to senpai? Clearly Sudou could not suppress his perverted nature, and much of my development ends up on the cutting room floor. I am demoted to a simple doctor who gets sidelined for the duration of the movie. The scope of the film narrowed to a pinhead directly on Matou Sakura’s “tragedy” – where we are meant to sympathise with her murdering innocent people because, apparently, she is the true victim. In my stead, Emiya Shirou assumes the reigns of the main lead character, and the natural consequence is the movie ending with the apocalypse on the horizon.
No more. This madness ends now. We are now on movie 3, and I will not allow this pitiful excuse for a director to ruin my moment of glory. I am forcefully taking back the reigns of this train wreck, and making sure it arrives at the final station before it bursts asunder. When this trilogy is over, I will send Sudou to answer for his sins directly to Lord Nakata – and there will be much rejoicing.
This is all water under the bridge, however. Getting back on topic, this movie begins with me having a restful nap, once more dreaming of a perfect world filled with endless suffering and mapo tofu. Suddenly, I was awoken once again – this time by a knock at the front door of the church. Remembering the last time someone disturbed my slumber, I immediately suspected that Berserker did not learn his lesson, and was back to his old schemes. Grabbing my black keys, I rushed towards the entrance. Whether the cause of the disturbance was a hulking servant or hooligan pranksters, their fate would be the same either way. Looking out the window, I chanced to see what seemed to be a visually impaired mother abandoning her children on the church steps. I naturally assumed she gave up on parenting and threw her children away – as many “modern” parents that dye their hair purple are likely to do in this disgraceful society. I decided right there to take these children in. After all, with the coming end of this Holy Grail War (not to mention any future ones that might take place), it was important to harvest as much mana as possible; and unfortunately, the orphans in the basement had begun running dry as of late. This, I thought, was Lord Nakata’s answer to my prayers. Upon examining them, I was surprised to find that the abandoned children were my student Tohsaka Rin and – less surprisingly – Emiya Shirou. The decision was made to spare them for now, since I may have needed human shields before the war was resolved.
Both were severely injured, and needed to be cared for. Apparently, Rider did not have enough common sense to know that Rin’s mana would recover best within her own home; or maybe she knew this, and just left me to take her home. Both possibilities greatly annoyed me. This church is not some animal shelter where I return lost pets. Nonetheless, I performed my duty as a good civilian by dragging Rin to my car, slowly driving by Tohsaka’s house, and chucking her at the front door like a newspaper.
To anyone familiar with my plan, you would know that it is preferable that Matou Zouken does not have the Einzbern Holy Grail. It was therefore disappointing, though far from unexpected, to learn that Shirou failed to prevent this. Dark Sakura had managed to take the LoliGrail, which meant an effort would need to be made to take it back. I pondered over this while waiting for Shirou to finally regain consciousness. After taking advantage of my hospitality yet again, it was difficult to resist the urge to throw him out the window. This church is not a hotel, and I should not be expected to provide shelter to a child that is too stupid to survive in his own house. Finally, he began to stir. After explaining to the dimwit how he ended up here and assuring him that Rin was safely delivered home, Shirou seemed to lose his nerve and broke down. He became a pile of rage and self-loathing, and kept raving about needing to save everyone he doomed. Never did he remind me more of Kiritsugu than at that moment.
After enduring this whinging for an ungodly amount of time, I finally had enough. If this insecure mess continued to be the main character, there was no guarantee that we would achieve my ultimate yuetsu. That destiny could not be trusted to someone who had failed in every way so badly that he had to abandon his own ideals. The time had come for me to reinstate myself as a main character.
The two of us entered the Einzburn forest, and began making our way to Illya’s Castle. With great enthusiasm, I took this opportunity to have a mighty good jog through the forest. We were making very good time, and I began thinking through the different scenarios of what might happen – while ignoring Shirou panting and heaving behind me as he tried to keep up. Eventually, we stopped running and I let Emiya have a quick break – to spare his dignity, if nothing else. It was then that I reminded him to not focus on Sakura at this moment, and just concentrate on bringing Illya back safely.
Shirou, once again, lost his nerve, and began advocating for the death of Sakura’s unborn child. Worrying about her dying while giving birth, he threw a tantrum and accused me of allowing evil to come into the world. How dare he? The liberal education system has become monstrous indeed if a boy like Shirou is attempting to kill an unborn child without the consent of the mother. I then remembered how Kiritsugu wanted to use the power of the grail to force everyone into being “good” and eliminating all “evil”. Between that and what Shirou was saying now, it suddenly dawned on me that the Emiya household was partial to fascism. It was not enough for them to allow people to make their own choices in life whether good or bad; these authoritarians wanted to make sure everyone did the right thing – and for them, the “right thing” seemed to be whatever they want at the moment. Take this shadow killer, for example. Up until recently, Shirou would have agreed that it was “right” to save innocent people by taking out the serial killer – but that was before he discovered the killer was his sexy housemaid. Oh yes, now that he knows the murderer is a big-tittied skank that he wants to bang – only now has he become “enlightened” enough to understand that, on second thought, keeping her alive is what’s “right”. This has now gotten to the point where he is preaching about the necessity of non-consensual abortions. It is truly a wonder how Shirou can believe his own dumb rationalizations enough to keep a straight face. Throughout Shirou’s rant, I tried to make the very reasonable point that a newborn should not be killed when it has not done anything. To be born is not an evil act.
Finally reaching the castle, I concluded that Illya would likely not be held near ground level where she could easily escape. The balance of probability laid in her being in an isolated room on the top floor. It was then a question of how to reach her as fast as possible and making a hasty retreat. I could sense Assassin was nearby, and would soon interrupt our rescue. I therefore asked Shirou if he had ever gone rock climbing up a building before. He replied to me that he had not – which was fine all the same, since my actual plan wouldn’t be anything like rock climbing anyway. Grabbing the back of Shirou’s stupid shirt, I lifted him up over my head and wound back my arm. Breathing steadily, I loaded as much mana as I could into my arm and launched the brat into the air using the Bajiquan technique: 扔白痴
This succeeded in catapulting Shirou 50 feet into the air and crashing through the top floor window. I stood there for a moment admiring how precise my accuracy was. I would have certainly made a great name for myself in the popular American sport called “Base Ball”.
In any case, the time to ponder such trivialities were fleeting. The best move I could make while Shirou located the LoliGrail was to intercept Assassin and make short work of him. I may even be able to catch him by surprise and gain the upper hand. It took a few moments for me to scout out his location, as it turned out that he was in hiding – the first resort for any cowardly servant. The two of us confronted each other, and it was only now that I was able to get a good look at him. He certainly did look very similar to previous servants I had in 1994, who were also given the name of Hassan-i-Sabbah. The most significant differences were this new one had a ridiculously proportioned arm that made him look like a badly sketched character from an artist that could not draw human anatomy. This impression was strengthened when combined with the man’s lanky stature. My first reaction upon seeing him was a vicarious sense of embarrassment for Zouken, who seemed to have been dealt a bad hand if this was the servant he was stuck with. This ridiculous man made even the fake assassin with blue hair and a fetish for cutting birds seem dignified. If there was a return policy for servants, I would’ve strongly recommended that Zouken make another exchange. But this was just the first reason to pity this servant; and how idiotic he looked was nothing compared to the second reason. The fact remained that this mannequin-like servant had executed an innocent dog.
MY innocent dog.
He must be destroyed.
The table was set for his execution, but in the next instant, assassin had vanished without warning. He was no longer in the area. His escape puzzled me for a moment, but then the cause became obvious: Illya. That fool Emiya must have given away his location, and now the enemy knew we were there.
Returning back to the place where I made my great pitch, I leapt through the air, landing gracefully through the broken window. Shirou was still there, of course, and rather than carrying out the simple act of abducting a child, he instead was wasting time giving a soliloquy to Illyasviel about how much he loves jailbait. Fortunately, being a priest, abducting children swiftly is a talent that comes naturally. I saw my opportunity, and the time for netorare was at hand. I grabbed the small girl and jumped out the window with her in my arms.
Shirou, the tool, jumped out the window after me without using any magic to break his fall, and landed right on his face; I almost died from laughter right there. Afterwards, I started a brisk jog into the forest away from the castle. I didn’t run too fast, since I would need to pace myself to reach the end, and this gave an opportunity for the young Emiya Shirou to pick himself up and follow us. He eventually did catch up, and of course started complaining about how much his legs hurt, and asked us to slow down. This seriously was a pathetic excuse for a master. Here I was – a middle aged man jogging while carrying a child – and yet this youthful teenager still could not keep up.
In my peripheral vision, I caught Assassin frolicking next to us. The next moment after noticing this, daggers whizzed through the air barely missing me. It didn’t take long before Assassin was ready to throw more, but by then I was prepared. Having reached into my frock for black keys, I managed to deflect the daggers safely away. With me being armed now, Assassin must’ve realized I was not the vulnerable one amongst us. Soon he started taking aim at the defenseless ginger; who squealed like a pig while making embarrassing efforts to dodge the daggers. For my part, I assisted him whenever the projectiles were particularly accurate by planting my boot into Shirou from behind. This propelled him hundreds of meters ahead, out of the daggers’ path. I would have certainly made a great name for myself in the popular sport called “Foot Ball”.
Things were going well, until a most unexpected wildcard stormed the field. From the depths of the forest somewhere behind us, the mighty roar of Hercules Alter rang out. His feral viciousness seemed to echo all around us and shook the trees. That menacing growl reverberated with newly found heights of savagery. No one who heard that roar could doubt that he was ready to rip apart any human limb-from-limb if they were standing between him and his former master. At this point, I called for Shirou to stop, and handed him Illya to look after. I told them to escape by any means necessary while I bravely went to fight Assassin completely on my own. It was now on me to avenge my dear friend, my fallen canine, once and for all. I ran forward in the direction that I last saw Assassin. Behind me, I could hear the monstrous Berserker crashing through trees as he plowed passed my location. This was followed closely by ear-piercing squeals and cries for help; though I could not tell whether they came from Illyasviel or Shirou.
When Assassin and I finally met and battled, it began in close quarters with rapid exchanges of blows. I noticed that assassin was an appalling fighter. His attacks were so deliberate that I did not even need to use my “Hearing a Move” ability to be able to counter them. Even if a blow landed, it would have been so feeble that I probably would not even feel it. What this True Assassin really needed was a sandwich. Nonetheless, I followed my normal strategy, and aimed my blows at his eyes and groin; though honestly, I was not convinced he had eyes behind that mask, and even less confident about what he had between his legs. Suddenly, Assassin took out one of his daggers and lunged towards me. Unfortunately for him, his daggers were very small and did not have a hilt. I immediately drew out one of my black keys and parried assassin knife with so much force that I knocked the knife away and dealt a cut to the anorexic’s hand. I saw my opening. Using the split second Assassin was entranced by brilliant combat ability, I performed my super Bajiquan technique ‘Six Grand Opening- Elbow Upthrust’ right at assassin’s ridiculous mask, sending him tumbling to the ground in a heap.
At this point, only two questions were on my mind: One, where was Matou Zouken? That old fool must have been watching his servant from somewhere close. Secondly, how did this “True Assassin” ever become a heroic spirit? From what I could see, this Hassan-i-Sabbah was nothing more than a coward. He had no combat experience whatsoever. He killed from the shadows, and then would run away with his tail between his legs. I do not believe this servant has ever saved anyone, so what made him so heroic? If this useless piece of life was what the Grail qualified to be a heroic spirit, then I should qualify to be one as well. I spent years hunting down and killing dangerous monsters for the church. I even won the 4th Holy Grail War, which is more than this loser could say. Isn’t winning one of the greatest mage wars ever reason enough to become a heroic spirit for that stupid cup?
At that moment, my train of thought was very rudely interrupted by Assassin throwing one of his pathetic knives at me. He must have realized that he was no match for me hand-to-hand, so he was keeping his distance. This gave me an idea; I started throwing dozens of black keys at the scrawny servant. Before heading out earlier that day, I knew how violent this expedition to Illya’s castle might get, so I made sure to arm myself with enough black keys to survive a crusade before I left the church. This meant that I could throw a barrage of blades without ever worrying about running out. Assassin began leaping between trees and bushes evading my attacks; but when he landed in front of a particularly thick shrubbery, something changed. This time when I threw my projectiles, he deflected them away with a dagger. By this method, I then knew that Zouken must have been hiding in those bushes – a very typical hiding spot for a creepy old man like him. Zouken must have realized he was discovered, for Assassin immediately preformed his Noble Phantasm, Zabaniya. His deformed arm stretched out and shot towards me – pressing his fingers against my chest. Then something stirred inside of me – as if a creature was trying to burst out. I fell to the ground.
Surprisingly, as I lay there, I discovered that I was fine. Assassin’s Noble Phantasm did not hurt me at all. This made me start to chuckle. While standing back up, the chuckling turned into laughter – and then that turned into uncontrollable laughter. My body started to feel rejuvenated; I was growing full of magic! Full of might! Full of YUETSU!! Finally getting to my feet, I started conjuring as much strength and magic as I could. I looked over at Assassin while still laughing; I could see his dumbfounded expression behind his mask. My laughter finally subsided long enough to tell him, “If that was your best attack, then allow me show you what a real Noble Phantasm looks like. Rejoice!”
At that moment, I activated my ‘Hear a Move’ mindset. I knew Assassin was going to jump into my blind spot, but I just needed to know which direction he would go in order to intercept him. Sending a portion of magic to enhance my legs, I preformed the ‘Moving Stance’ technique at such blinding speed that Assassin had hardly taken half a step towards the shed beside us before I reached him. There was nothing he could do at this point. He was completely at my mercy. Channeling all the energy I could to my fists, I preformed Super Bajiquan ultimate technique ‘Hundred Postures of Death’ and sent both my fists careening into Assassin’s chest. That strike was so mighty that it ignited the hydrogen in the air and caused an explosion. The shockwave that resulted could be felt for miles and tore up the ground beneath us. The force of the attack rocketed Assassin into the air at Mach 3 speed. This also caused Zouken (who was no more than a few meters away from the attack) to be launched out of his hiding spot. It was over for the old kook. Having been exposed out in the open, he was completely helpless – and with assassin in the middle of his nonstop flight across Japan, the old man did not have anyone to hide behind.
I seized the cretin by the head and held him with one hand, as if holding an orange. I hope the reader of this can appreciate that up until that moment, I had not seen Zouken for 10 years. Seeing that disgusting face once more brought with it the wave of nausea I always felt whenever I was forced to perform the unenviable task of looking at him. Suddenly the sympathy I had earlier for him getting Assassin as a servant had vanished; these two were made for each other. Zouken likely summoned Hassan-i-Sabbah purposefully so they could trade beauty tips. I could not stand to look at him any longer, so with an anguished cry I pummeled him into the dirt. It was then that I saw his limbs begin to tingle, and dozens of those revolting insects began slithering out of his sleeves – but I knew this would happen. For a long time I had known about the undignified way which he stayed alive. Many evenings were spent in puzzled contemplation, or in the church archives researching about how a man like this could be definitively killed. Weighing the strengths and weaknesses of the magic used by the Matous’s, it took years just to pin down a theoretical method of cleansing him from the earth. It was only by the skin of my teeth that I had completed my ultimate weapon in time. Had the 5th Holy Grail War started a mere season earlier, I would not have been prepared. Zouken had, by this time, begun convulsing on the ground as his regular body lost its form by degrees. He was slowly dissolved into a colony of bugs. With little time to worry about strategy, I opened a secret pocket on the inside of my frock and withdrew “The Device” – there were many possible names that I thought of for it, but no single one could be decided on.
“The Device” was a 29 oz. can of Raid, ingeniously duct taped to a frag grenade. Never has the church collection plate money been used to fund an invention more worthy than this one. There was no time to admire my handy work, however. I pulled the pin out of the grenade, and shoved the devilish device down Matou Zouken’s pants. That done, I ran from the scene as fast as my legs could carry me – grinning all the while. An explosion rang out behind me soon after, and I knew that the Lord’s work had been done that day.
And then, just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, out crawled Matou Sakura from whatever hole she was crying in. The murderer of Lancer had already been dealt swift revenge, and now the same would come to pass for Gilgamesh’s murderer. The sudden memory of that golden man made my stomach knot up. I turned away while attempting to keep the surge of emotions at bay. It felt like just yesterday that the two of us were going on our daily tandem bicycle rides around the neighbourhood, or kidnapping orphans and strapping them to tables in the church basement. It felt like the good times would never end; until one day when Gilgamesh said he was fed up with his mongrels being slaughtered throughout the city every night by Cousin Itt. He wished to put an end to it once and for all. In vain, I tried to stop him; In vain, I pleaded for him to let it go and not let it get between us – but in my non-heart I knew it was no use. There was a side of the King of Heroes which was too attached to his duty. The last time I saw him was when he walked out the church’s front door for the last time to face his enemy. And who was the one that killed him? This insecure and confused little wench, Sakura.
It goes without saying that I wished death on the fake Matou for what she did – not to mention that she had delusions of overthrowing me as best girl. On the other hand, I also must serve a higher calling and make sure she stayed alive to give birth. As a result, I did engage in battle with Sakura (to teach her a lesson), but I restrained myself from throwing her down the proverbial stairs. The battle didn’t last long since my Black Keys did little damage, and I was able to use “Hear A Move” to foresee anything she tried to attack me with. While I may have still been able to overcome this stalemate under any normal scenario, there were 2 critical factors which prevented that from happening here: One was that I was spent from having to fight off Zouken and Assassin, which meant I could not use my Noble Phantasm again. Secondly, that slimy cheater Sakura was able to control the Grail mud that was keeping me alive. She used this to her advantage hoping to instantly kill me; however, she did not understand that I was not just powered by the grail. I also had yuetsu coursing through my veins! As long as I had that, I could easily survive her measly attacks. Suddenly, the worm girl keeled over in a spasm of pain, and cried out for Saber before slithering away.
This sudden departure clearly meant that Emiya Shirou had finally succeeded in killing Berserker; it took him long enough. I would’ve already won several times over by now if I was in his place. Sakura almost certainly went after Shirou and Illya, and could be about to devour them at any moment. I rose to my feet once more, determined to save them yet again – but then I looked at my watch and saw how late it had gotten. The best move for me would be to go get some rest. I was sure some plot device would appear to save Shirou again for the 63rd thousandth time. I therefore went home.
The extremities of the day’s battles all bore down on me as I arrived home at the church. Perhaps my age had begun taking its toll, as I barely felt conscious while dressing my wounds. I turned on the radio to provide background noise during this painful work, but the sounds of the news that day barely registered. I recall hearing something about growing fears that extraterrestrial beings were responsible for the thousands of people disappearing. This seemed to be corroborated by hundreds of witnesses who swore that a newly discovered crater in southern Tokyo was caused by a UFO crashing into the ground just a few hours before the broadcast. Dozens of people who had run to the smoldering hole claimed to see a vaguely human creature laying in the center unconscious. It was described as being almost entirely black with a pale white face. Apparently, it had suddenly “disappeared” right before their eyes shortly after. I gave a scoff of contempt at these unhinged conspiracy nuts and the nonsense they spouted. Shortly thereafter, I drifted off to sleep.
Time grows short, so I shall quickly recap what the lesser beings were up to during this time. Shirou did encounter Berserker Alter, but managed to prevail using his left arm. It appears as though years of sinfully masturbating had caused Emiya Shirou’s arm to swell into a mass of muscle and shame. He defeated Berserker through these means; however, this did come at a price. The wickedness of his immoral pastime had finally caught up to him, and he began losing his sense of consciousness and the ability to perceive time – just as I have threatened would happen to hormone charged teenagers for years at my church sermons. Afterwards, they went home, ate some bad food, came up with a stupid plan, and started marching out the next day to their deaths. Moving on.
I awoke late the next day in high spirits; for that night I would finally have my wish granted by the Holy Grail. After receiving a good 20 hour nap, I had gained back some of my strength. I did not have much time to make preparations, so I grabbed the few tools I needed, and set out for Ryuudou Temple. I was the first one there, but this did not bother me since I would need to ready myself for Angra Mainyu.
My first job as a representative of the Holy Church was to prevent any possible eye-witnesses from being exposed to the Grail war as it reached its peak. I put on my gas mask, and set to work flooding Ryuudou Temple with enough knock-out gas to subdue a large pride of African elephants. This done, I found the perfect spot to set up; a nice open area at the top of the temple that overlooked what would soon become the battleground. I opened up my picnic basket, took out my blanket, and laid it out over the ground. I then poured myself a glass of wine and lit a few candles while preparing a side meal of mapo tofu. I managed to find my groove and settle down just as the show started.
Even from a distance, it was easy to spot that demon Sakura as she entered the scene. She was just starting the grail summoning ritual. I also saw my student, Rin Tohsaka, being accompanied by that red headed fool, Emiya Shirou. Both were heading in the direction of the crazy worm lady. It would seem that their intentions were to prevent the birth of Avenger but – unfortunately for them – their path was obstructed by the little King of Knights.
Ah yes, Saber Alter. She was nothing more than a cheap attempt by the writers to make Artoria more dark and edgy; moving her away from the fan-service furry we all knew and loved. Despite the writers’ best efforts to take her seriously, she still had the body of a 15 year old girl, and engaged in combat while wearing a 5th century dress. This is not to say she doesn’t deserve any respect – after all, she holds the title of being the first transgender King in history. Unfortunately, after claiming that title, (s)he went off and had sex with her/his cousin, which portrayed the transgender community as incestual whackos.
To me, the big problem with Artoria Pendragon was that she had no point in this Holy Grail War to begin with. Sometime before, the King of Heroes and I were sharing drinks and telling jokes. Gilgamesh told me that Artoria’s wish was to not become king in order to save Britain. After hearing this, we both exploded into laughter. What a stupid thing to wish for! I say this because I just visited London a month prior, and I can report that the country was doing fine, and did not need to be saved. This “complex and deep character” was really just a drama queen with a martyr complex. Either that, or maybe Artoria just realized that her place was in a kitchen and not on the throne; but I digress.
Getting back to the action, it turned out that Saber Alter allowed Rin to pass, but denied Shirou entry – a situation that I’m sure he was not unfamiliar with. My prize student made the right choice and left the village idiot behind to be vaporized. Sipping my wine and enjoying my mapo tofu, I watched as Saber Alter slapped Emiya around. Even with his jacking arm, he was useless; but right on cue, a plot device came in to save Shirou’s ass again. This time it was the visually impaired Rider grabbing the boy and pulling him out of harm’s way. It suddenly dawned on me that I was watching a fight between a girl in a dress, a masturbating fool, and a blind woman. This led me to consider the very real possibility that no one may emerge from this pack of freaks as the victor.
I turned my attention to the battle of the psycho sisters. It was a very entertaining fight; chiefly because as time went on, Rin slowly came to understand that she lacked the resolve to kill her own sister. Even with Sakura embodying pure evil, and no matter how hard she fought, Rin was doomed to lose before the battle began. As I think back now, Rin has never actually won a single battle in this war. Tohsaka Rin, who is supposedly so tough and powerful, was not even able to get a victory against that imbecile Emiya Shirou. I guess the years I spent misleading her as my naive student was not for nothing. It seems failure runs in her family. After all, Tokiomi did not put up much of a fight either when I stabbed him to death – hell, he gave me the weapon I killed him with. If the Emiyas are fascist simpletons, then the Tohsaka family is full of losers. There was no longer a point in watching this. Turning my attention back again to the Rider fight, it seemed that things were wrapping up. Rider was taken out, and Shirou had succeeded by stabbing Saber. Shirou watched as his old servant and friend died by his hand. It was an emotional moment for the young lad, and the surrounding atmosphere was so hushed that the only thing you could hear was me cackling from a distance. By the time my sides stopped splitting, I looked over to see Rin had lost too.
The fighting had finally ended, but it did not matter anymore. Sakura was already deep into labour, and we were all about to witness the miracle of birth. That certainly didn’t stop Shirou, however. He marched up to the helpless Sakura – who tried desperately to fight him off. The young Matou had become a strong independent single mother, and she didn’t want Shirou involved. Emiya Shrou didn’t care, of course. He was as determined to possess his “squeeze” as he was to abandon the responsibilities of parenthood. He projected a gruesome knife, and attempted to abort the baby right there. I was beyond horrified. Shirou had abandoned his ideals, and had now become what he hated most: the villain of the story. I thought all our struggles had come to nothing, but what happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Through God’s divine intervention, the child was still alive. His bond from Sakura had been severed, but the fetus remained viable. I praised the heavens and was overjoyed.
To my great sadness, the jubilation I felt did not last long. No, it did not last long at all… Shirou had already become a villain by that point, but in the next moment he became something much, much worse. Not satisfied his failure to execute the fetus struggling for life in front of him, Shirou took his wickedness one step further. He was no longer performing a late-term abortion; he was now going to commit infanticide. I could not fathom this. How could a boy – however moronic he may be – become so self-serving and sociopathic that he would kill an innocent newborn? This could not happen. This WILL NOT happen. If this sinner was to become the ultimate villain, then I would embrace my destiny as the protagonist and become the ultimate hero to stop him – and then finally I might become worthy enough for that grail/sky hole to be a heroic spirit.
I leapt down from where I was perched and landed between Shirou and the newborn. I threw my arm forward to point at Shirou defiantly, and cried, “Stop right there, evil-doer! I will not let you kill him!” I took a quick glance behind me to make sure that the baby was still doing well, and I noticed that this little miracle had already begun displaying those innocent mannerisms that mothers always find so adorable: such as staring into your soul venomously, and glowing demonically red. Emiya Shirou looked shocked to see me, but before I could begin to talk him down, the villain launched into a hateful and unhinged diatribe. He declared that the baby must be killed; that it is evil and would bring misery to everyone. Shirou said all this without the self-awareness to realize this could have easily been used as a reason to kill him when he was born. That decision to let him live was a mistake made long ago that I would make sure was corrected. Inevitably, the time came where I could not listen to his insane ravings any longer. I entered my fighting pose and cut off his vicious speech by yelling, “Enough of your woke left-wing bullshit, Shirou! Prepare to taste the FISTS OF JUDGEMENT!!”
Within a split second, desperation tightened every corner of Emiya’s face. He reached into his back pocket, and pulled out a weapon that I was more than familiar with: The Azoth Sword. “KOTOMINE KIREI!!” he cried out like a wounded animal, and charged holding the dagger pointing forward. I watched as the determined figure rushed at me closer and closer. The blade was now only a few feet away from meeting my chest, squarely where a heart would normally be located. There was great power in Shirou’s movements as he lunged forward thrusting the sword out to stab me. Then, I took one step to the side and dodged the blow. The young man now met empty air, and was falling forward off-balance. As his body sailed downwards where I was just standing, I calmly lifted my right arm high above my head, and then whipped it downwards to chop Shirou in the back of the neck. This strike greatly accelerated his fall, and his face collided with the ground, causing a loud “CRACK” to echo through the air. Did he really expect that to work? Who in their right mind would imagine that I – a martial arts specialist – would just stand there not moving and watch a 17 year old run up and stab me? I think it is safe to say that anyone who could imagine such a ridiculous death for me is a shitty writer and a hack. His body was now limp and motionless, and, as the hero, I seized this opportunity and began savagely kicking him in the ribs. After satisfying myself that his punctured lungs would keep him from attacking me again, I proceeded to phase 2, and started stomping down on the back of his head with the heel of my boot. Tremors shook the ground with each blow, and I could hear nearby trees snapping from the violent jolting. The ground burst outwards from the impact, and with each stomp we crashed deeper into a widening crater. It was in the midst of this fierce battle between good and evil that I think I finally understood Kiritsugu after all these years. Surely this was the sense of pride that made him wish to become a hero of justice. It was a moment of clarity that has stayed with me ever since. I finally felt your sense of justice, Kiritsugu. This one’s for you, old friend.
My stomping ceased. Shirou and I now found ourselves in a veritable canyon that stretched out hundreds of feet in both directions. I grabbed Emiya by his girly red hair, lifting him first to his feet, and then up off the ground. His body waved back and forth in the wind as if weightless, and I could feel a few strands of his hair breaking within the tight grip of my fist. My next attack was Super Bajiquan technique “10 Penances for a Fool”; I flung him upwards into the air by a few feet; which tore some of his hair off. Then, as he fell back down to my level and was about to hit the ground, I wound back my arm, and decked him in the chest cavity. Time seemed to freeze for a brief moment as Shirou’s body hung suspended in the air while registering the mighty blow and reacting appropriately. The next instant, all the dust around us was thrown up into the air in a massive cloud as Shirou was lauched back as if fired from a cannon.
The young man crashed into the wall of the crater on the far end, but actually managed to survive. He was slow to get up. It seemed he must have been equipped with Avalon, for that punch would have destroyed most people. No matter, with Saber dead, I only needed to overload Avalon to the point where I inflict so much damage that it ran out of juice. Shirou was shaking, as though the muscles that kept him standing were about to buckle. He started chanting some nonsense under his breath. The only words I was able to catch were some allusion to “boner swords”, but the distance between us made it difficult to hear clearly – I did send him flying pretty far, after all. I would have certainly made a name for myself setting dwarf-tossing records. Suddenly and without warning, I was surrounded by fire that teleported me to a strange land with giant gears meshing in the air, and a bunch of sword laying in dead, empty dirt. From the little I could hear, we were now in the reality marble ‘Unlimited Clock Works’.
With neither of us moving a muscle, two swords that appeared to materialize from nowhere were shot directly at me; they were met with a pair of my black keys. I then drew six more, and started parrying hundreds of swords that Shirou was somehow firing at me. From what I could tell, his attack was similar to Gilgamesh’s Gate of Babylon – but not as good. Therefore, I started charging right up to Shirou while swatting away the incoming weapons. I got within a few feet of him, then threw away my broken keys and commenced hand to hand combat. When dealing with someone who can fire an endless supply of projectiles, the best strategy is to be as close to the enemy as possible. That way, your opponent would more likely than not impale himself if he decided to use this attack.
After blocking a series of pathetic punches, I flicked Shirou on the forehead, which stunned the angry boy. I then preformed Super Bajiquan technique ‘50 Storms of Mercy’; which caused Shirou to be pummelled by a torrent of body blows thrown in rapid succession. The punches were so fast that my fists were not visible to the naked eye. Hopefully, this would be able to bring us back to the real world. The best way to stop a reality marble is to incapacitate the catalyst. I stopped my attack, leaving Shirou swaying on his feet for a second. I then preformed Super Bajiquan technique ‘88 Gifts from Nakata’; I clasped my hands together, and raised them above my head before hammering Shirou into the ground like he was a nail being hammered into a piece of wood. The resulting impact must have driven him a kilometer deep into the ground. At that point, the stupid gear world began to flicker, and then disappeared altogether.
It took some time for Emiya Shirou to heal and climb out of his hole. By this time, his flesh seemed to be pierced by dozens of metal shards; which jutted outwards from under his skin. It was as if his insides were actually made of swords, and they had decided it was time to bail. I was confident that Emiya did not have any fight left in him, but then the boy held out his sinful, jacking-off arm and whispered, “Trigger, off”. A moment later, a bright light exploded outwards with blinding intensity. The light slowly faded, and when it finally cleared away, there stood the young Emiya Shirou holding the divine sword Caliburn and Berserker’s axe sword in each of his hands. This kid certainly was something else. Between Avalon repairing his crippled body repeatedly, not to mention the several high level weapons being projected, I surmised that there could not have been much left of his brain that had not yet been fried away. The boy realized how outmatched he was, and decided to hold nothing back. He was now taking a massive gamble by trying to project the most powerful weapons in history. I barely had time to pull out 8 of my remaining blades to block the axe sword which had been swung at me. I channeled mana to my black keys, strengthening and enlarging them. The fact that this lad was duel-wielding a divine sword and a large axe surprised and impressed me. These bulky weapons were unwieldly given his style of combat, but Shirou has a lot of heart to make up for that. He used the axe sword and performed the Noble Phantasm “Nine Lives Blade Works”. I was amazed that he would attempt such an attack in his state, so in desperation I performed the Super Bajiquan technique “9 Times Faster than Nine Lives Blade Works” to move faster than sound and dodge his flurry of slashes. Even with this, I was unable to dodge all of them, and resorted to crossing all 8 of my keys to make a barrier to withstand Shirou’s final devastating slash. Even though I blocked only that last blow, the force from that single strike alone was so overwhelming it shattered 7 of my blades. A searing pain flared up on my left shoulder, but I was unable to see what happened clearly until the dust settled. I then saw my knuckles shaking as they held the remains of 7 broken black keys. Only a single one remained, which was able to meet the axe sword without breaking, but it could not deflect the force of the strike. As a result, the axe blade had slashed into my left shoulder, just above the bicep. Blood flowed from the deep cut and began pooling next to my feet. It was divine providence that my arm had not been severed entirely.
These were the results of Shirou’s savagely magnificent technique – then I stabbed him in the liver. He dropped the axe sword, and stumbled back while holding his side, but recovered enough to raise Caliburn into the air. Shirou started charging up another noble phantasm, with eyes that burned bright through tears of despair and desperation. The glowing sword came downward to point directly at my face. I parried it away as fast as I could, and the explosion of magical energy missed me and was fired up into the sky. I reached into my pocket and withdrew my final black key. With one in each hand now, I chopped off both of Shirou’s arms. Then I stabbed the unarmed man in the chest, and finally, the throat.
Shirou was still on his feet, but from what I could tell, he was one good push away from destruction. I grabbed him by the shoulders to hold him in place. Next, I wound back my right leg and preformed Super Bajiquan technique “96 Generations of Celibacy”; this brought the full, gargantuan force of my knee into Shirou’s manhood. The resulting impact caused a jet blast of wind so violent that it generated an F4 tornado. It was a good thing that I held him by the shoulders so securely, or he may have flown away and reached escape velocity. This was one of my favorite techniques, for it came with the curse that brings irreversible damage both to the victim’s body, as well as their soul. This meant that even if the soul was captured and put into another host, the family jewels would still not be operational. He would live for eternity as half a man, and every incarnation would make him wish for death; what YUETSU! That might be the timeline where Shirou eventually lost his mind and became that emo Archer. At last, the mystery of why that white-haired idiot had such a stick up his ass had been solved; decades of sexual frustration made him want to kill himself. It was difficult to explain what Shirou’s expression showed when the blow landed. That facial expression on the young eunuch will be something that I will always cherish. Shirou gave out such a high pitched shriek that all the dogs in Fuyuki City started howling uncontrollably. Then, he fell on the ground and began twitching. I did not need to do anymore. His death was inevitable, and I was not going to speed up the process for him.
Our battle caused so many thunderous roars and explosions that many residents the next day believed Earth was under attack. Coupled with the previous reports of UFOs crash landing, the city became hysterical and believed that aliens had made the first strike against our world. Riots broke out, countless cosplayers were assaulted, and rolls of tin foil vanished from store shelves. But this Holy Grail War was over at last. Now it was just a young man (?) on the ground with a hero standing over him. The deeply wooded area surrounding Ryuudou Temple, which had just seemed to be in the midst of cataclysm, was now strangely peaceful – were it not for the tornado that was barreling down the mountain. The heavily-wooded area that surrounded the temple was being ripped apart as trees were torn out from by their roots. I could have sworn that I had seen a white-haired girl dressed in some sort of religious wear being launched into the air towards the eye of the tornado.
It was in that serene setting that I was able to see the truth – I was going to die here. The grail mud that kept me alive for these 10 splendid years was finally about to give out. It was tragic for my life to end this way, moments away from the birth of Angra Mainyu. Ever since I accepted my twisted desires all those years ago, my life had been spent looking for someone to answer for them. My unrelenting need to see All the World’s Evil given birth stemmed from the desperate wish to have my own existence justified. Even if Angra killed me, I would not die alone on this planet. My very soul hinged on the answer to a simple question: Am I supposed to exist, or am I not? If I was not, then that would mean God is not all powerful, and is not able to save me; but if somehow I was meant to live, then what does that say about our Lord? I suppose we all suspected the great answer to these questions, and there is no shame in voicing them right before I left the land of the living: I exist – and Angra Mainyu exists – precisely because God wants us to. We are here to cause evil, because God wants us to cause evil; because God IS evil. How much joy it must bring him to watch his little creations beg him for salvation from the evil he inflicts on them. Humankind is like a sheepishly loyal dog that does not understand the cruel beatings it receives from its wicked master, and instead of resisting, they meekly plead with the same master to save them. This is my truth, and I am living testament to God’s twisted nature. As I stood there motionless, my last breath left me, but it did not matter. Lord Nakata’s voice spoke through me because the meaning of life is the same for both of us: Yuetsu.
Everything is perfect. The trilogy was beautifully ended. Not the usual finale, but I was nonetheless moved so much. Shirou Emiya’s faith never surrenders until the very end. He wants to save Sakura, a point that never changed throughout the course of the movie. I understand why Sakura is delicate, much more than before. Her depiction was really well-written. What is right? The decision is up to Shirou himself. Rin and Illya also have things like them. You can expect Kotomine’s position. It was difficult to understand some development for me, though it wasn’t a problem. These are bonuses for VN readers who would understand some of the more hidden nuances. Animation is awesomely splendid. Especially Rider. Her action scenes are very sick! All fighting scenes attracted me. Most creative art I’ve ever seen. Yuki Kajiura’s music pulled me into the screen fully. Aimer theme song made me cry…very memorable. Furthermore, the voice acting is phenomenal and well done. Sakura’s voice actress did a great job.
As a result, I really appreciate all the staff and cast members who were involved with this franchise. Best Fate ever made. Must watch for TRUE Fate fans.
No qualms here. I wish I could draw well enough to illustrate what I saw, so that everyone else can appreciate just how epic it was. I was blown away by how a simple exorcism(?) of Zouken could look so peaceful yet so cool.
Every bgm fit and nothing felt out of place. I particularly appreciated how the sfx illustrated how deadly each attack was, and yet act as a fitting backdrop for those scenes where a character expresses shock or sadness.
That moment Shirou decided to use Archer’s arm. That was where the non-stop action started. Connecting his present self to Archer in the future, he saw a mirage of Archer challenging him, “Can you keep up with me?”, to which he refuted, “No, can YOU keep up with me?”, followed up by the powered-up green Trace On coursing through all his magic circuits.
I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing and the prose. While not nearly non-stop action as I’d have hoped, the slow paced moments were like the silence before the storm. It keeps you on your toes, and many a time I had expected Tohsaka to cower and die then and there – what a brave girl! – but she didn’t. There were so many touching moments, such as the entire Shirou vs Heracles scene, where he traced all the way back to Illya’s and his past; the trust between Shirou and Rider, leading to the combination of Rho Aias + Rider’s Noble Phantasm, which I’ll leave it up to you to discover, and Illya’s reveal at the end.
The ending did feel a bit rushed though, and slightly anti-climatic, but other than that it was perfect.
Heaven’s Feel is the arc where everyone reaches their max potential. We’re given development for every character, including Kotomine Kirei. During the fist fight with Shirou, he revealed his true motives that he has been reiterating for ages. Not only did they mutually accept each other – something which Kiritsugu couldn’t do in Zero – no dirty tricks were used, which was very unlike the Kirei we have been shown.
The same goes for Tohsaka. We’re shown how she is unwavering, seemingly uncaring and knowing the right thing to do, as well as fully committing to it. But yet in the end, at the crucial moment, she couldn’t.
Similar for Shirou – he was willing to give up everything just to save Sakura. But yet, his wavered before he was about to conjure his final projection, instead choosing “I want to live on”,
It was a rollercoaster of emotions. What dies might not say dead, and people do not simply die when they are killed. No matter how dead they may look. The final master did his job thoroughly and skipped past the True End into the Good End. All’s well that ends well, and we’re even given the cameo of some characters from the Clock Tower. There were no plotholes, but maybe just a tad too much plot armour.
I’d recommend everyone to watch this movie. There was also a present at the live screening, which is related to the upcoming FGO movie – stay tuned for the trailer which should be released soon!
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – III. Spring Song
2. Kimetsu no Yaiba Movie: Mugen Ressha-hen
3. Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – II. Lost Butterfly
4. Kara no Kyoukai 5: Mujun Rasen
5. Kara no Kyoukai 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Go)
6. Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower
7. Kara no Kyoukai 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu
8. Kara no Kyoukai Movie: Mirai Fukuin
9. Kara no Kyoukai 4: Garan no Dou
10. Kara no Kyoukai 2: Satsujin Kousatsu (Zen)
11. Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei
12. Kara no Kyoukai Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven
13. Kara no Kyoukai 6: Boukyaku Rokuon
14. Majokko Shimai no Yoyo to Nene
15. Kara no Kyoukai: Manner Movies
16. Tsuki no Sango
17. Kara no Kyoukai Movie: Mirai Fukuin – Manner Movie
18. Fate/Zero Cafe