Tentacle-Free Anime: "Kara no Kyoukai" Movie 2 (2007) Review
- by Kazekun, 28 April 2014
This is the second review in what will be an ongoing review line of films by studio ufotable, focusing on their acclaimed series Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners. Each one won’t come out right after the other, but I will be covering every one of them this year. I understand these movies are each parts of a whole, and also counted as “episodes” rather than just simply movies, but seeing as how they are movies in their own right I figured it’d be best to tackle each of them individually and see how they all stand on their own.
Here’s the biggest problem with non-linear format stories, and why I generally love them or dislike them (very rarely do I hate them): They’re really tricky to pull off. I’m not against telling a story out of order, but only when it seems to make sense or is meant to enhance the experience. I’m not sure what was going through ufotable’s head when they decided to jump us back to August 1995, three whole years before the events of the first movie (and I haven’t read the light novels, nor do I know where the story goes from this point on) but I don’t think it worked here, overall.
In an interesting juxtaposition from last ‘episode’, this one was all about the characters and much less about the action side of things. This surprised me, 98% of this film is talking with one crazy action foot chase at the end, but I definitely wasn’t opposed to it. One of my complaints in my last review was that for the length of film we got we also got very little in the way of character building and that hurt the story in my opinion.
In this one I got to really care about both Kokuto -who is actually the main character in this story(!)- and Shiki, who has a very intriguing mystery added to her character. And it’s this “gift” she has that I think is the hook I really needed for this series to get me. I’m more than certain it’s the same gift we saw in movie 1, but I’m ready to see the history and mystery behind it expanded and brought to the forefront. That’s going to be fun.
Other than seeing Kokuto and Shiki’s friendship (and possible future romance?) blossom, not much happened in this movie; there is a murder mystery throughout but it’s pretty easy to figure out who is doing all the killings by the first time we see it happening. And I’m sure ufotable was aware of that so they focused more on the character driven stuff and left the murder mystery to be the B-story.
The animation is just as brilliant in movie 2 of Kara no Kyoukai as it was last time, if not better. It’s absolutely stunning how much detail and vibrancy is placed within’ this series. The stories may be weak, but ufotable’s got the upper hand on most anime when it comes to animation. The blood looks like it was draped in a cosmic crimson color or space blood as I’m now trademarking it. Umbrellas look ungodly realistic for being umbrellas, and… what more can I say? There were genuinely times I was watching this and thought I was seeing a live-action movie.
The music, too, is beautiful and haunting just like last time. It’s some of the same tracks used from the last movie and I think, like a regular series, there will be some overuse of a single song but unlike most regular series I don’t see this getting any bit old. Yuki Kajiura does wonderful work here. And I don’t see any episode/movie going by without “Ongakushu” playing in the background at some point.
Murder Speculation [Part 1] doesn’t do a good job at enhancing the story as I know it so far, mainly due to its failing to tell a cohesively worthy prequel tale that adds to what we’ve seen in movie 1. But it does do a wonderful job at building two characters that really needed some building and I do feel like I understand Shiki from movie 1 better now that I’ve seen this. Also it is a Part 1, so I assume a Part 2 will come at some point, but thanks to the “next episode” preview Part 2 is not directly next. So, that’s going to be interesting.
Final Score: 2.5 Torn Apart Murder Victims out of 5
Have you seen "Murder Speculation" Pt. 1? How did you enjoy the movie and the review?
Tagged: Tentacle-Free Anime.