When Kara no Kyoukai was first released as a web novel, it consisted of only five chapters, ending with Mujun Rasen as the complete arc of Araya Souren’s plan. A year after this publication, the sixth and seventh chapters were released as additional content, which in the case of the sixth makes sense, and in the case of the seventh makes none whatsoever, but that’s how it is. These seven chapters were adapted into the UFOTable film series which I’ve analyzed so far–but over time, the story was expanded. In the novelized publication of Kara no Kyoukai, an additional epilogue was added, which also was adapted into anime and released as a thirty-minute special along with the blu-rays.
I have nothing to say about the Epilogue, because it is literally an analysis of itself. Seriously, a lot of it reads like one of my videos, and the entire thing is a non-stop exposition dump for thirty minutes. A couple of the concepts presented in this film are kind of interesting to think about, but a lot of it just feels unnecessary and hard to relate to. Shiki goes on and on and on about the nature of her existence, and while I appreciate the attempt to sort of fill in the gaps a bit and expand on her character, it all feels pretty pointless and semantic in the end. I never felt like I learned anything which would alter my perception of the characters or events of the other stories. Altogether, I didn’t really enjoy the Epilogue and couldn’t see myself watching it a third time.
It wasn’t until working on these videos that I found out there have actually been two additional chapters of the series written, though I have no idea what context they were released in or when it happened. I also had no idea that the first one, Mirai Fukuin, had been adapted to animation by UFOTable just last year in the form of an hour and a half long film. So, the following are my impressions after seeing it for the first time.
And it’s, uh, really strange. It’s more or less broken into three parts, all of which are side-stories to the main plot and only two of which are relevant to one-another. The entire film is basically wall-to-wall exposition and thought dumping, and the tone is completely different from all previous films in the series. Most of it is set at day, using fairly normal colors, and while there’s a little bit of violence, nothing particularly dark happens. There’s no sense of mystery or horror to it whatsoever, and the few scenes it does have which relate to the main storyline are pretty tangential and unnecessary.
Mirai Fukuin is, if I’m being honest, totally boring. Seo’s storyline is nothing but “hey, wouldn’t it be interesting if there were like people who could see the future, but it made them sad because they’d have to experience tragedies twice?” Her character is pretty flat and doesn’t actually do anything in the end.
Mitsuru’s storyline has a somewhat interesting concept in that Shiki is able to actually kill his perception of what the future will be because of the fact that the future does not actually exist in a solid state. Other than that though it’s just amazingly straightforward, and barely seems relevant to the fact that later in life, he’ll end up working as one of Shiki’s underlings. The story set in the future also accomplishes nothing except to show us how Shiki has become a mafia boss, and introduce us to the unspeakably adorable creature that is her daughter Mana.
Weirdly enough, I never caught on while watching Kara no Kyoukai that Shiki’s family was a yakuza clan, and had I known that, the idea that the show was the exact story I’d always wanted to write would just have intensified. I love writing about gangsters, and especially little girl gangsters which Mana practically is, so that part of the story was pretty appealing. Unfortunately all we really get is a teaser that this is what Shiki and her daughter are up to, and we don’t get to see them actually doing anything interesting. The coolest part of this whole film feels like an easter egg in an otherwise really boring and straightforward story, told in the most obtuse way possible without the style and flair to back it up.
Additionally, on the blu-ray release of Mirai Fukuin came yet another additional thirty-minute special in the form of Extra Chorus. I have no idea if this was adapted from anything, but it’s a series of three short stories which take place inside of the main timeline. Towards the beginning, Touko says of Shiki’s prosthetic arm that the reason it feels awkward to her is that it’s being attached to her previously existing body and therefore inevitably feels “tacked on,” and I swear to god if that’s not a commentary on basically all of the additional Kara no Kyoukai content then I don’t know what it is.
The first and third stories are really laid back, and deal with a cat which Mikiya picked up and had Shiki take care of for a while in the time while she was recovering after Fukan Fuukei. There are tiny tidbits of details here that are kind of neat to learn, but I mostly found myself thinking about how Shiki and Mikiya aren’t really such charismatic and lovable characters that they’d be fun to watch in a context like this outside a plot-driven arc. Meanwhile, the second story is about Asagami Fujino, who has retained her powers after the events of Tsuukaku Zanryuu despite going blind for some reason, preventing the suicide of a girl who was friends with one of the victims from Fukan Fuukei. It’s an okay little story but totally forgettable.
If this feels like an awkward and kind of disappointing way to wrap up my series of Kara no Kyoukai videos, then I’ve perfectly communicated how I felt watching each of these films. Even though I like Kara no Kyoukai a lot, I really don’t think the story stands up much when you take away its atmosphere and punchy events. The exposition dumping and characters sitting around was never the main appeal of these films, but merely parts that worked in service of the overall tone and narrative. If any of these little stories felt fleshed out or engaging on their own, then they might’ve made cool additions, but none of them do, and I continually wondered why any of them existed. Of course, if the last additional chapter is adapted into its own film then I’ll surely check it out, but for now, that’s the end of the Kara no Kyoukai saga. I hope you enjoyed these videos overall, as I enjoyed making them, and look forward to whatever’s coming up in this channel’s future. Seeya.
Are you going to do an analysis of Future Gospel and Extra Chorus?