I love Kara no Kyoukai. My first experience with Type Moon was the Fate/Stay night anime. I very much enjoyed the anime, but didn't play the visual novel until several years later. I had Kara no Kyoukai recommended to me by a friend. First movie....SOLD!
I saw all the movies, but the novels were sadly untranslated for a long time. I finally read those last year and quite enjoyed them. Expands on many things that I wanted to know more about.
One of my faves. It has awesome everything, except maybe movie 4 which was pretty underwhelming for my taste and had Shiki clash with a friggin' zombie. Movie 6 made me fall in love with Azaka, and while understanding people who were miffed by its cheerful nature and storytelling focus shift, I'm all for it, since in a more solemn adaptation, Yuki might have not written something like KnK6 track 02, which is my favorite in the whole OST. But my favourite chapters are 1 and 7, I think.
I've read the first novel, and it expands on some points indeed, but I can't say I liked it as much as the movies.
Also, a milestone in Yuki's career in general. The birth of Kalafina, pure undiluted anxiety/tension/passion in the form of Oblivious and a shift to a much wider usage of atmospheric SFX-driven tracks (present in earlier works as well, but becoming more frequent here and onward). Plus, a handful of unforgettable classics in the soundtrack, as per usual.
i honestly don't watch a lot of anime, but kara no kyoukai has to be one of my favorites! the story, the art, the music i remember i watched the first movie when it first came out because i heard yuki was doing the music i was hooked right away~
Honestly, since I saw the movies before I read the novels, I love the movies unconditionally. Nasu himself loved the movies, since they addressed some of his concerns about his own work and improved it in certain aspects.
At its core, past the urban fantasy, Kara no Kyoukai is a mystery. Each movie builds a separate aspect, and the nonlinear storytelling keep us from having all the answers until the very end. 4 let us know how Shiki and Mikiya meet again, how Shiki first learns to use her Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, and how much of a devious woman Touko is. She totally faked the weakness of her runes specifically to force Shiki to use her Eyes.
Besides, Nick, you're ignoring how badass Shiki is. She was pretty much as strong as a newborn from all the muscular atrophy she suffered, she was confused, lonely, and empty, and she still killed that zombie and the spirits that wanted to possess her.
I love the 4th movie, but the 6th can go to hell, as far as the plot is concerned. I didn't even need to read the novel to notice something was wrong (ufotable, if you want to go for another "public", make an OVA). Don't get me wrong, though: for some odd reason I like Azaka. In fact, I like basically the whole cast, aside from Misaya and Satsuki (lol isn't it sad, Sacchin?).
It's not a matter of softening it. You can tone down something while at least maintaining its general plot, or at least the main idea. It's a matter of rendering it useless and making it seem like a spin-off/filler/whatever when it dealed with so many important and interesting issues. Well, you know they managed to grasp the public they intended to when people call Azaka "moelicious". Too bad they had to sacrifice at least half or even more of the actual plot in order to show her cuteness.
Both are paper blank for me, at least in the movies. Satsuki did have a fairly nice background in the novel but he was too saltless for me.
Forgot to mention it, but anyway: my favorite movie is the 7th one. Best everything.
Well, luckily for me, I've never read the sixth novel. Although it didn't escape my attention that the whole thing about that mage "returning" Shiki's memories was rather, well... brief. As in, one scene and a couple of lines, lol. But oh well. For Track 02 and for Ayumi Fujimura as Azaka's seiyuu I can give this one a lot of slack.
Concerning 4, Shiki is far from being a problem there. On the contrary, she looked quite nice with long hair (and like many other anime girls whose hair I liked, she just cut it... Sometimes I wonder if anime trolls me). And she was really badass there. But the zombie itself... Ugh. Me wasn't sold. Maybe because the two previous antagonists were living people with their own feelings and tragedies, making me think that Shiki would spend the whole cycle dealing with those, and...
The movie is good for about as long as the first half for me.
Movie 7? Of course. Culmination, revelation, catharsis, grand finale. Not to mention the godlike Tokyo Konsei track and Seventh Heaven.
I read the novel one year after I finished the movies, but just like you, I noticed something was off with it. Reading the chapter just made things worse (well, I did almost sleep with Boukyaku Rokuon so I guess the movie just wasn't good for me by itself).
My boyfriend also hates the zombie lol Guess it's the kind of enemy that doesn't deserve to be killed by Shiki LOL I like the movie for its huge character development so I tend to go over this part. Well, I did find it awesome for her to jump for the 4th floors so let her fight the zombie lol
Misaya is the student who controlled the fairies and used them in her revenge. Satsuki, or Kurogiri rather, was the magus who had control over the Universal Language. He was the one who restored lost memories and defeated Shiki. For the record, the scene where he fights Shiki is pretty much as short in the novels as it is in the movies, with about as much closure.
Frankly, I don't get your complaints about the zombie. So far as narrative is concerned, it all made sense to me, and it was awesome watching her kill the zombie with her finger. Besides which, Shiki never really dealt with the tragedies of her opponents. She didn't care about them and defeated them mostly because they annoyed her. The only one that was personal was Lio.
It's not that it doesn't make sense, it's just that the zombie itself is lame (let's face it, it's just a random zombie). And I consider Kirie and especially Fujino to be personal, but not to the same extent as Lio was and not in the same way.
What can I say about this series? It's dark, violent, convoluted, hard to understand...but I absolutely love it. My admiration for the story went even higher after reading a translation of the novel. Re-reading/rewatching makes me think about aspects I hadn't considered before, and casts everything in a slightly different light. I really admire stories that are able to do that. It's my way of justifying the insane amount of cash I spent on buying the blu-ray box set...
It really is something you're either really into or you aren't...I've not encountered many people who sit on the fence. The sixth movie was a bit weak in terms of portraying the story but it did at least look and sound lovely.
I didn't appreciate the fourth movie much at first either, but in the context of the 'bigger picture' it's a really important turning point for Shiki's life..and the music is possibly the best of the seven (the third one comes a close second though). Watching the movies in chronological (rather than release) order made me realise how important it is. That and the fact that she looked even better with long hair...
If anyone's interested, there's an interview with Nasu and Takeuchi around somewhere that highlights how Nasu is a massive fan of fellow novelist Natsuhiko Kyogoku. Reading his first novel, The Summer of the Ubume, I could see where a lot of Nasu's influences come from. If you enjoyed reading KnK, I really recommend it.
Although in order to understand the plot it may be a good thing to watch the series chronologically, I'd never do that, since part of the reason why I love this so much was due to how things began to slowly "make sense" by the end and how lost I felt during the whole thing. Yeah, I loved the fact that I was trolled most of the time (?).
I didn't see the zombie as lame, just proof of concept of the sort of world they live in. Touko herself said that the "strange attracts the strange." Shiki was strange and had become stranger, attracting those wraiths. Since Touko blocked them with a ward, they took possession of a corpse and attacked Shiki that way... though it is hinted that the zombie was partially Araya's doing.
Kirie took Mikiya, which pissed Shiki off. Shiki didn't care about Kirie. Her only interest was in taking back what was hers. "Finders keepers," in other words. It's recovering stolen property, with not a damn given about the fate of the thief.
Fujinon was more of a worthy opponent mixed with a threat to put down when crazy. The on-off switch drove poor Shiki a little bananas, but it wasn't personal. It was simply a job, with a twinge of pity at the end because Shiki wants Mikiya's approval more than she lets on.
In other news, I really enjoyed the non-chronological order of everything. From the start, if you wanted to figure things out, you had to pay attention to every scene. The 5th especially required you to be on your game. M024 made it all worthwhile.... plus, the little things like Fujinon in 6th and Kirie in 4th were all great bonuses.
i'm going to be looking into this Natsuhiko character, Martin, so many thanks for the heads up.
By the way, if Martin suddenly stops posting, and there is a news report about an "incident" in the UK, and there are talks of how the only thing missing from the victim's home is a Blu-Ray box set, it wasn't me. er, I mean,