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Kara no Kyōkai (空の境界?, lit. Boundary of Emptiness) is a Japanese novel series, authored by Kinoko Nasu and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi. It is also known under the nickname Rakkyo (らっきょ?). Its subtitle is The Garden of Sinners.

History

The series originated in October 1998 as a series of five chapters released online on Nasu and Takeuchi's dōjin-based website, Takebōki (竹箒?), with its final two chapters being released at Comiket 56 in August 1999. Nasu and Takeuchi were later to form Type-Moon, and in 2001, featured a portion of the book in its 2001 Tsukihime fandisk, Tsukihime PLUS-DISC, which saw it gain significant popularity, leading it to be released as a dōjinshi publication at Comiket 61 on December 30, 2001.

On September 2002, a drama CD based on the series was released, and on August 6, 2004, noted publisher Kodansha released the series as a commercial publication, which enjoyed immense popularity, with 5000 limited-edition versions of the novel being sold almost immediately upon release. Both editions of Kara no Kyōkai altogether sold more than 500,000 copies.[1] In 2009, Del Rey Manga will begin printing the Kara no Kyōkai novel. This was confirmed in the first volume of Del Rey's Faust release.[2] The series is regarded as being set in a world parallel to that of another Type-Moon series, Tsukihime, with the protagonist of the series, Shiki Ryōgi, possessing similar abilities as Tsukihime's protagonist, Shiki Tohno, and another Tsukihime character, Aoko Aozaki's sister, Tōko Aozaki (who was briefly mentioned in Tsukihime), also being featured.

The series is being adapted into an ongoing anime movie series, divided into seven chapters, which are animated by the studio ufotable after being announced.[3] The first chapter, titled Overlooking View (俯瞰風景 Fukan Fūkei?), premiered across Japanese theaters on December 1, 2007, with the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters, A Study in Murder (Part 1) (殺人考察(前) Satsujin Kōsatsu (Zen)?), Remaining Sense of Pain (痛覚残留 Tsūkaku Zanryū?), The Hollow Shrine (伽藍の洞 Garan no Dō?), Paradox Spiral (矛盾螺旋 Mujun Rasen?), Oblivion Recorder (忘却録音 Bōkyaku Rokuon?), A Study in Murder (Part 2) (殺人考察(後) Satsujin Kōsatsu (Go)?) being released soon after on December 29, 2007, followed by January 26, 2008, May 24, 2008, August 16, 2008, December 20, 2008, and August 8, 2009 respectively. In connection with the movie's release, the novels are once again being reprinted, as three volumes with new illustrations.[4]

An American premiere of the 5th chapter was held on May 22, 2009 at the Anime Boston convention.[5]

A new 65-second trailer and a 15-second trailer regarding the last film, Satsujin Kōsatsu, has been streaming on the movie's official Japanese website.[6][7]

The official Japanese website had announced that the series will be shipped on Blu-Ray with a new chapter, Gekijō-ban Kara no Kyoukai Shūshō: Kara no Kyoukai, in English and Japanese subtitles with a retail price of 52,500 yen (about US$620).[8] A DVD release of the said chapter is scheduled on February 2, 2011.[8] Aniplex of America will release the imported Blu-ray box set on Feburary 8, 2011.[9]

Plot

The following is mostly taken from the movie adaptions, not the original novels.

Overlooking View

Shiki and Tōko discuss the recent spate of unusual suicide incidents where several high school girls fell to their death. At night, Shiki visits the deserted part of town containing the Fujō buildings and stumbles upon the body of newest victim. She also notices several ghostly figures floating above the Fujō building.

The next day, Shiki discusses the building with Tōko. Tōko suggests that the figures are records and memories of the victims who have died. Shiki visits the Fujō building at sunset and battles a mysterious apparition. The next day, Shiki returns to the Fujō building and destroys all the floating figures and the apparition.

Afterwards, Kirie Fujō awakes in her physical body on her hospital bed after being killed by Shiki in her spiritual body. Tōko walks in and asks why she did it, Fujō replies just wanted to make friends with them, as she was stuck in the hospital with an incurable condition. After Tōko leaves, Fujō decides that the moment of her death when she was killed by Shiki was the most that she has ever felt alive. She wheels herself to the roof of the Fujō building, where she commits suicide by falling from the roof. Kokutō wakes up, feeling as if he had slept for a very long period of time.

In the epilogue, Tōko is walking near the Fujō building with Azaka Kokutō, where Fujō's corpse has been found. Tōko comments that she just probably could not fly today.

A Study in Murder (Part 1)

Mikiya first meets Shiki in a white kimono during a snowing day. At night, a man stumbles as he runs in fear from an unseen attacker, who kills him with a knife. The next day, Mikiya tells Shiki about the murder, but Shiki is displeased. When the police discovers the fourth corpse, the school reacts by prohibiting after school activities. Shiki bumps into someone she does not know, who asks her if four times isn't too much. Mikiya was holding a farewell party for an upperclassman, Lio Shirazumi, who was dropping out of school. At night, Shiki finds the fifth corpse.

Later on, Mikiya finds a letter in his desk from Shiki asking him out on a date. Shiki shows up, but talks and behaves in a boyish manner, leaving Mikiya confused. Over a meal, SHIKI, the male personality, writes out two different spellings, Shiki (式) and SHIKI (織), and explains that he is the rebellious impulse of Shiki, but lately they have been out of sync.

Mikiya's cousin Daisuke, who is investigating the recent murders, reveals that they have obtained a clue; Mikiya's school emblem was found at the latest murder scene. At lunch, Mikiya notices an injury on Shiki's arm, who admits that she got it during the last killing. Mikiya doesn't believe her, but Shiki warns him that if he doesn't back off, she will probably kill him. Daisuke reveals that they found the killer's skin underneath the victim's fingernails, and that the killer probably has an injury around the elbow. Panicking, Mikiya finds Shiki, drenched in blood in front of a corpse. Shiki smiles and says, "Be careful Kokutō-kun. A terrible premonition tends to attract a terrible reality."

After the cops find the crime scene, Mikiya pretends to not have seen anybody, but goes back to keep watch on Shiki's house every night. One night, Shiki shows up and chases him while slashing wildly with her knife. Shiki chases Mikiya to the road, where Mikiya falls. Shiki straddles him, holding a knife to his throat. Shiki asks Mikiya to say something, who replies with "I don't want to die." Shiki smiles and replies that she wants to kill him. Screeching tires are heard, and the scene switches to June 1998 where Mikiya has started working for Tōko. He visits the comatose Shiki in the hospital, stating that he has always believed in her.

Remaining Sense of Pain

A teenaged girl, Fujino Asagami, is being raped by a street gang in an abandoned bar. During one night, Mikiya finds a confused Fujino crouched in an alley and noticing she is suffering from pain in her abdomen. Mikiya accompanies her to his apartment where she falls asleep. In the next morning, Mikiya notices Fujino is gone and at the same time, the news report a murder scene in an abandoned underground bar where the victims' corpses were found with their limbs torn off.

Later, inside Tōko's office, Mikiya rants on Tōko about not having his monthly salary paid because she spent her money on a Victorian ouija board. Tōko talks to Shiki about the murder scene and asks Shiki to capture a suspected perpetrator per a client's request. Shiki, confident she will recognize the suspect because of their killing intentions, leaves without reading the suspect's background information. Shiki claims they will try to kill each other the moment they meet.

Mikiya asks his friend Gakutō to lend him money. Gakutō accepts, but in return asks Mikiya to help him find Keita Minato, a friend who was acquainted with Mikiya during his high school days. Fujino is shown dialing Keita's phone, but instead, Keita does not answer while he is cowering frightened. Later, elsewhere, Fujino is dismembering someone without actually touching him while asking for Keita's location. In another scene, Mikiya's sister, Azaka Kokutou, is chatting with Fujino in a cafe and Shiki approaches Azaka to tell her Mikiya will not come to see her. Shiki notices Fujino and stares at her with killing intent, but Fujino does not respond. Thus, Shiki does not recognize Fujino as the suspect during that time.

Later during one night, Fujino is dismembering another victim (In the novels, the victim was a friend of Keita who tricked Fujino to where she can find Keita but in reality he wanted to rape her). The moment Fujino kills him, Shiki appears to confront her stating that Fujino is similar to her because of her bloodthirst. As Shiki and Fujino get ready to fight, a sudden change in Fujino's character occurs that makes Shiki no longer desiring to fight and leaves. A flashback in Fujino's childhood reveals her playing with a knife along her toys, seemingly injured and bleeding. However, she continued playing as if she did not feel any pain. Back to the present, Fujino calls Keita's number saying she is finally feeling pain and therefore feeling alive. But she does not want Keita, the only survivor of the bar's crime scene, to tell she is a murderer so she can live normally and speaks of her intent to kill him.

Mikiya was with Keita listening to Fujino's phone call. Keita reveals he and his friends have gang raped Fujino for some time but she did not show any signs of pain or emotion except until recently when she was hit at the back of her neck by one of Keita's friends. Mikiya is disgusted on how Keita and his gang treated Fujino but he still helps him by bringing him back to Tōko's office for protection.

Mikiya then intends to talk to Fujino to stop her quest of revenge. Tōko tells him that Keita confessed that his friend stabbed Fujino in her abdomen in the night of the murders and that actually triggered her desire to kill. However, Shiki when she first met Fujino noticed she did not have any wounds. She states that her pain is still inside Fujino's body and she would resort to killing to relieve the pain. Mikiya leaves to investigate Fujino's past.

During one night, a driver is about to accidentally crash into Fujino, but is murdered before that happens. Shiki decides she must stop Fujino. A flashback scene shows that Fujino, with an injured leg, once met Mikiya years ago. As Fujino does not feel any pain, Mikiya thinks she is hiding her pain and tells her that pain is something that needs to be spoken about.

Mikiya discovers that initially, Fujino was able to feel pain, but her father (revealed to be her step father in the novels) artificially sealed her ability to feel pain in order to suppress her telekinetic powers. Tōko then deduces that Fujino was never stabbed in the first place, but she was indeed feeling pain the moment she was about to be stabbed. Her real pain is caused by an untreated and ruptured appendicitis and Tōko concludes Fujino does not have enough time left to live.

Shiki confronts Fujino on a newly constructed bridge that is sealed off, this time both wishing to defeat one another since Fujino can feel pain and joy for killing. During the fight, Shiki's left arm is twisted and rendered useless by Fujino's power. After constantly fleeing from Fujino's attacks, Shiki is finally able to 'see' through her telekinesis and able to 'cut' them with her 'Mystic Eyes of Death Perception'. Just before being delivered the final blow, Fujino uses her acquired 'clairvoyance' to destroy the entire bridge without the need to actually see her surroundings. An injured and agonizing Fujino tries to escape, realizing her desire to live and love towards Mikiya (and in the novels, her mother). She is found by Shiki who bends down and stabs her.

Mikiya and Tōko find Shiki outside of the bridge, who tells them Fujino lost her sensitivity to pain in the end and lost the desire to kill her. Instead, Shiki cuts through Fujino's illness. Tōko tells Shiki she will replace her left arm with a puppet arm capable of grasping spiritual embodiments. Mikiya calls a medical team to treat Fujino.

In the end, Mikiya confesses to Shiki that he is concerned about Fujino whose acts will haunt her mind and remain hurting her. Despite the terrible things she had done, she was more human than the gang who treated her. Mikiya also confesses he will stay by Shiki's side, by which Shiki also confesses she feels a 'small 'special' murderous intent towards Mikiya'.

The Hollow Shrine

Following the incident in the second movie, Shiki is being carried by ambulance to a hospital where she lies in coma (the cause will be revealed in the final movie). Mikiya visits her very frequently, leaving rose bouquets which garner him praises by the nurses for his commitment to visit Shiki all this time. Time passes, and Mikiya graduates from high school and then meets Tōko Aozaki in a doll exhibition, who then hires him.

During Shiki's near death experiences within the Void, she encounters her male counterpart, SHIKI, who sacrifices its existence. After two years, Shiki finally wakes up and finds Mikiya's 'recover soon' note along with a bouquet of roses. However, at this moment Shiki does not recall Mikiya's name. As she looks at the bouquet, she sees cracks running through the roses and right at the moment she touches those cracks, the roses begin to whither and shatter. While being treated by the medical staff, who are unaware of Shiki's new ability, Shiki is able to see the cracks on them and on herself and visions appear where people and even herself are being sliced through those cracks. Confused and frightened, she injures her own eyes.

Mikiya is told Shiki has regained consciousness but visitors other than family members will not be allowed to see her. Tōko, disguised as a therapist, visits Shiki, who has both of her eyes bandaged due to her self-inflicted injury. Tōko introduces herself as a sorcerer and points out that Shiki's feelings of loneliness and hollowed heart can only be cured by the care of other people. Tōko tells Mikiya that Shiki is okay, but he should not visit her yet.

During nighttime in the hospital, Shiki is being haunted by spirits who try to possess her body. During the day, Tōko visits Shiki every day and discuss about Shiki's dual personality. Tōko states that Shiki's condition is special because both Shiki and SHIKI integrated a combined personality and realizes that as SHIKI is gone, Shiki's memory created a lapse and therefore will not be able to conclude Shiki's involvement in the murders two years ago. Tōko also points out that SHIKI sacrificed itself for Shiki to survive.

Shiki, still having her eyes bandaged, is told by the medical staff she has recovered and can go back home, but she refuses as she is deeply frightened by the world full of cracks she sees with her eyes. Later in the night she tries to stab her eyes with her fingers but is stopped by Tōko, who speaks with Shiki about the 'Mystic Eyes of Death Perception'. Tōko tells Shiki she can teach her more about her new ability, which allows Shiki to 'perceive' and also 'touch' the 'death' of things. Shiki feels that is unnecessary as she does not feel the desire to live. Tōko points out that although Shiki does not want to live, she is also scared to die and under that condition, Shiki would be easily targeted by the spirits in the hospital and Tōko's magical protection would be voided. Disappointed, Tōko leaves asking Shiki if SHIKI's sacrifice was for nothing.

Later in the night, Tōko's protection shatters and a possessed corpse assaults Shiki. Back with Mikiya, Tōko describes Shiki's heart as being hollow and only through present and future experiences she will be able to build her new personality and 'shrine' in her heart. Mikiya starts singing softly 'Singing in the Rain'. As Shiki realizes how truly lonesome and frightful death is, she fights back the possessed corpse and both fall through the hospital room's windows. Tōko finds Shiki and tries to stop the corpse with her ignition sorcery but her attempt is unsuccessful. Shiki removes her bandages and battles the corpse using her newly acquired 'Mystic Eyes of Death Perception' skill. Tōko hurls a knife for Shiki to use. Shiki cuts her hair and uses the knife along with her 'Mystic Eyes of Death Perception' to slice the corpse. After rendering the corpse unable to stand up, the spirits possessing the corpse possess Shiki's body, but she fights back by stabbing her own body to reach the spiritual being's "existence" and cuts through them. Shiki erases the spirits and Tōko offers to teach Shiki how to use her mystic eyes. In exchange, Tōko asks Shiki to work for her.

Back in the hospital, Mikiya visits Shiki for the first time after her awakening. At the same time Shiki finally recalls Mikiya's name, saying that his (last) name sounds as a French poet's.

After the end credits, three people are visited by a mysterious man with a dark trench coat. He is shown with Kirie Fujō (from movie 1), granting her with a body that she can move; with Fujino Asagami (from movie 3), healing her back wound; and a down, blood-stained guy. When all three ask who he is, he responds, "A magus, Sōren Araya."

Paradox Spiral

Shiki's Arc

In the middle of the night, Tomoe Enjou stabs his parents to death in a fit of rage, before escaping his apartment in a panic. Not long after, a homeless burglar finds their bodies, but when he returns with the police, to his surprise, he finds them being greeted by the residents in perfect health.

Sometime later, Shiki helps fend off some school bullies that were attacking Tomoe. Seemingly taken by Shiki's presence, he quickly asks her to help hide him, ecstatically claiming that he is a murderer. Shiki agrees, and simply cites she “is the same as him” when he is surprised by her easy acceptance of his status.

For the next month, Tomoe stays at Shiki's place, their life punctuated with Shiki's nightly sojourns, and Tomoe waiting for the news report of his parents' murder. During this time, Tomoe notices a strange man in a red hat and coat following Shiki. Tomoe warns her of this fact, which she idly dismisses. When they get into an argument over this, Tomoe claims he loves her, and as he lacks any worth, he'd be willing to die for her. Shiki refuses the offer, and asks him to consider where he feels his real home is. Tomoe feels then that he cannot hide any longer with Shiki, and leaves.

Not long after, Tomoe is shocked to see his mother still alive. Confused, he returns to Shiki. To confirm Tomoe's murder, Shiki accompanies him in returning to his residence at Ogawa apartment: an ominous, circular complex colored red, which was completed recently.

When they enter the elevator, Shiki notices they are ascending in a spiral. Reaching the 4th floor, Shiki insists on not ringing the doorbell, and simply entering Tomoe's home. Inside, they are met with Tomoe's abusive family, even another Tomoe, and watch the family's final moments as Tomoe's mother succumbs to murder-suicide. Shiki explains that these are simply imitation puppets that are revived in the morning and are forced to relive their final day alive repeatedly. Because Tomoe did not ring the doorbell, they continued to act as if they had no visitor.

Shiki then brings Tomoe to the opposite side of the apartment, his “real home”. She explains that when elevator began operating, due to the construction of the complex, none of the residents realized the rotating elevator made them exit 180 degrees, into another set of flats. When they enter Tomoe's original residence, they find the rotted corpses of the parents. This side of the apartment is used to store corpses. However, this intrusion also causes the undead puppets of the other deceased apartment residents to attack them when they exit. Shiki easily cuts them down, but afterwards she is confronted by Souren Araya. It is revealed in a short flashback that sometime during the second movie, Shiki had previously fought Souren.

Souren explains that he controls the apartment, as part of an experiment that uses the building to simulate a “miniature world that concludes in a day”. After driving all the occupants to kill one another, he has been making them repeat their deaths over the past half year, hoping for a deviation in their deaths. He also reveals that he was the one who manipulated Kirie and Fujino in the previous movies to attack Shiki, as antithesis to her, in hopes he can force her to recognize her own “Origin”. As they are meeting early, Souren decides to capture her now.

Shiki's mystic eyes are unable to perceive lines on Souren's body, due to his great age (his Origin being “Stillness”) and mystical artifacts he grafted onto his left arm in preparation. She attacks, regardless, even able to cut through his defenses, but in the end, she is defeated by Souren, and absorbed into the building.

Tomoe, the lone witness of all this, grabs Shiki's knife and escapes back to her home.

Mikiya's Arc

Toko receives a tip from a friend on the police force rergarding a mysterious report made by a burglar that upon entering an apartment, he found a middle-aged couple murdered. However, when the police follow up and ring the doorbell of their apartment, the man who was seen dead by the burglar answers as if nothing was wrong. A particular interest is taken to Tomoe, the son of the couple, who is missing. Toko requests that Mikiya, who just returned from a month of driving school in the suburb to obtain his license, investigate the situation.

Mikiya finds the schematics of the strange apartment building, two separate semi-circular buildings that are separate apart from the lobby containing only one central elevator, and reports this to both Toko and Shiki. Apparently, the builder meant for the construction to be for a company dormitory, but instead opened it to the public. Mikiya also reports that the elevator was inoperable for the first month residents lived in the building and also manages to find background details on 30 of the 50 families residing within the building.

Mikiya is also given a katana by Shiki's family to deliver to her. Toko requests that she not assemble it within the office, as its age would cause all of the magical barriers to break. Mikiya also makes arrangements to meet Shiki, but is surprised to find her apartment locked, although there was never a lock on the door in the past.

Toko and Mikiya set out and investigate the building, Toko reveals that she helped design it and there is a reason only 30 of the 50 family backgrounds could be found, the others were faked using certificates of already deceased people. Mikiya is automatically affected by the strange building's architecture and design, which Toko explains were purposely designed in that manner to make the residents go insane. As Mikiya exits the elevator on the 4th floor, he is confused to find himself on the wrong side of the building than the blueprints noted, and is further confused when he checks on the residents of apartment 405, Tomoe's family, and finds them there, although they are supposed to be living in the opposite building in apartment 410. When asked by Toko to meet him one flight up the stairs, Mikiya is surprised to find that he arrived on the 6th floor instead of the 5th, although seemingly only going up one floor of the building. Toko tells him the confusion is due to the elevator rotating 180 degrees while lifting and augmentation to the stairway, which Mikiya deduces as pistons raising the stairwell one level, therefore effectively "switching" the apartments of the residents to the other half of the building after the completion of the elevator.

Mikiya then visits Shiki's apartment again but finds Tomoe there instead. He tells Tomoe that he is going to look for that now missing Shiki and questions Tomoe on his motives for helping to rescue Shiki. Mikiya brings Tomoe with him on the condition they make one stop first, despite disagreeing with Tomoe's sentiments that this is something he is just doing for Shiki's sake. Mikiya surprises Tomoe by bringing him to his childhood home where Tomoe regains his memories and realizes that he "has a home" and will fight for his own sake, not Shiki's.

Mikiya and Tomoe proceed to the apartment complex to rescue Shiki. They separate before entering, deciding to take separate routes, and agree to never search for each other again after parting so that neither one would feel guilty if something happened to the other. After bidding farewell to Tomoe, Mikiya enters the building and is confronted by Cornelius, a Magus from Toko's past, who assumes Mikiya is Toko's apprentice. Although Mikiya manages to stab Cornelius, it does no good. Cornelius superimposes his hatred for Toko on to Mikiya, even acting as if he were Toko, while slamming his head into a wall continuously, knocking Mikiya unconscious.

Final Arc

Oblivion Recorder

The movie starts off with an introduction from Kokuto Azaka on who she is and how she plans to win Mikiya over as her lover despite the presence of a dangerous woman named Ryougi Shiki. Afterwards, Shiki is sent to Azaka's school, the Reien Academy during winter break in order to help investigate a series of reports of fairies stealing the student's memories, and a suspicious suicide. The two immediately clash as Azaka is in love with her brother (Mikiya) and considers Shiki a love rival. While walking around the school, Shiki notices a fairy, and chases after it. Azaka who cannot see the fairies, is left alone and is attacked by an unknown person and has her memory stolen, only waking up in the evening with no memory of what has occurred. They discover the magus using the fairies is trying to erase everyone's memories of the event, but the school has a written record of the investigation. Azaka goes alone to check out the suicide site in the old building, as Shiki does not want to wake up this early. While there, Ouji finds her and requests that Azaka pray with her in the chapel, after praying, she reveal she is the one using the fairies to erase everyone's memories, and tries to erase Azaka's memory, and that she killed Hideo Hayama (the teacher who went missing) and used his body to create the fairies (as you need a corpse of some kind to create a familiar). Azaka is knocked unconscious from behind by one of the fairies, but she retains her memory and is found by Satsuki Kurogiri, the teacher replacing Hideo Hayama.

Shiki arrives and tells Azaka that the students of Kaori's class have all disappeared. Azaka says she is going to check out the suicide site, but Kurogiri strangely tells her that there is nothing there...and when reaching there, she finds that a large section of the building has mysteriously disappeared without a trace. Unable to find a trace of Ouji, Azaka falls asleep, and is woken up some time later by the dog left by her room mate. Shiki tells her that she has a message from Mikiya, who informs her of Kurogiri's real identity, that of a magus known as "God's Word" and a counter measure to his ability, as well as the cause of Hideo Hayama's death. Taking Shiki's walkman and earphones, Azaka runs past Kurogiri without being affected by his ability, and heads to the suicide site to discover all the students there in a trance, with lighted matches and open canisters of fuel, Ougi intending for them to commit suicide in the same manner as Kaori. Azaka and Ougi face off in the chapel, while Shiki faces off with Kurogiri. Azaka tries to convince Ougi to stop, revealing that Hayama died from a heart attack due to his drug abuse, and that the information she gained from the fairies was just a rumour circulated by the students and Kurogiri had stolen her memory first to make her come to the wrong conclusion. Ougi refuses to stop, and tries to kill her with the fairies, but eventually they rebel against her and Azaka destroys them and the source of the magic. Kurogiri reveals that Araya Souren requested he return to Japan in order to restore Shiki's memory, and Shiki tries to kill him, but Kurogiri simply says "You'll lose sight of me" and Shiki becomes unable to see him. After everything is settled, Mikiya tells Azaka that Kaori regained consciousness in the hospital. The bus arrives, but instead of getting on, Azaka pulls Mikiya away and insists on a date in order to make up for him going out with Shiki the other day (Movie 3, Mikiya is supposed to meet Azaka but sends Shiki to tell her he cant make it). At night, Azaka remembers a dream from her childhood, and remembers why and how she fell in love with Mikiya.

The restoration of Shiki's memory via God's Word as well as what happened to him after the events of the movie are left unexplained, though in the original novel much more about him is touched upon and he is killed by one of his students in a considerably karmic fashion.[10]

A Study in Murder (Part 2)

Set after Oblivion Recorder, a new spate of ferocious murders has caught the eye of both Shiki and Daisuke, Mikiya’s cousin who investigated the murders before. Shiki wanders the back alleys of the business district, searching for the murderer and avoiding attacks by local thugs while Mikiya becomes more and more wor­ried about her, beginning his own investigation that takes him down a path populated by drug pushers and prostitutes. The per­petrator, Lio Shirazumi, finds Shiki first but loses an arm in the resulting scuffle; retreating, he dis­covers Mikiya in his apartment which has become a madman’s shrine to Shiki. She is captured and tortured by Lio, still struggling with murderous urges, her salvation relies on Mikiya who may befall Lio’s uncontrollable cravings.

Characters

Major characters

File:Kara no Kyokai cast.jpg
Shiki Ryōgi (両儀式 Ryōgi Shiki?)
Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (drama CD), Maaya Sakamoto (movies)
A teenaged girl, who possesses the "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception", a supernatural ability that allows the user to see the inherent mortality of everything (both living and non-living) in the form of lines and a single point (which is the "origin" of the object) which is shown by having a rainbow-like color in her pupils. A cut along any line will bifurcate the object, no matter the sharpness of cutting tool used, and a stab at the point destroys the object's origin, causing instant death. She recently recovered from a two-year coma caused by a traffic accident. Prior to the traffic accident, she originally had two personalities, a male personality named SHIKI ( Shiki?), and the original female personality Shiki ( Shiki?). Children born into the Ryōgi family are generally male and are raised with two personalities, so the male personality is customarily called the "yang" personality, while the female is called the "yin" personality. It is easy to tell which Shiki is speaking at a given time because they both have a distinct style of speaking, most notably that the female Shiki refers to herself with the pronoun watashi (?), while male SHIKI refers to himself as ore (オレ?). After waking from her coma, Shiki discovers that she can no longer feel the male Shiki's presence and assumes that he died because of the accident. She also feels a detachment from her memories before the accident, and while she knows she is Shiki, she does not feel that she is. In the hopes of regaining herself and the "dead" Shiki, she puts on a cold façade that somewhat resembles the female Shiki's and tries to act as the male SHIKI did. Tōko understands the sense of detachment Shiki feels, but considers the current Shiki a third, new personality. She assists the Garan no Dō agency in handling paranormal cases when combat is required.
Mikiya Kokutō (黒桐幹也 Kokutō Mikiya?)
Voiced by: Kentarō Itō (drama CD), Kenichi Suzumura (movies)
Shiki's friend who, two years ago, made a promise with Shiki to attend college. He discovers a doll at an exhibition his friend asked him to attend and falls in love with its flawless craftsmanship. He is so charmed by it that he seeks out the maker, Tōko Aozaki, and then finds her residence. With his hopes of attending college with Shiki crushed because of her coma, he drops out of college to work under Tōko as an assistant investigator. Tōko holds his investigative skills with high-regard because of his ability to find her workplace, an abandoned building hidden to all except those who wish to find it. His character design was used as a basis for Tsukihime protagonist Shiki Tohno.
Azaka Kokutō (黒桐鮮花 Kokutō Azaka?)
Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (drama CD), Ayumi Fujimura (movies)
Mikiya's younger sister, who loves him. She becomes an apprentice of Tōko due to her rivalry against Shiki, and is talented in the magic of ignition. She is quite similar both in appearance and abilities to Akiha Tohno (though Akiha's ability consists of controlling external heat, whereas Azaka's ability is inducing ignitions). In an interview with Nasu, despite their rivalry, Azaka actually likes Shiki personally and vice-versa except their relationship with Mikiya has made it difficult for both of them becoming good friends.
Tōko Aozaki (蒼崎橙子 Aozaki Tōko?)
Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (drama CD), Takako Honda (movies)
Appearing as a puppet maker, Tōko is actually a powerful sorceress. She runs a business in an abandoned building called Garan no Dō (伽藍の堂?), a design agency that sell their work (range from architectures to craftsmanships) to whoever are interested, though Mikiya believes that Tōko is simply forcing what she wants to make on the customers. As the company only consist of only herself and Mikiya, she is the sole designer while Mikiya takes the job of her secretary. Due to Tōko's connection with the Magic Association, the agency occasionally takes on supernatural or otherwise abnormal cases despite Tōko has run away and distance herself from the organization long ago. She is the sister of Tsukihime's Aoko Aozaki, with whom she does not share a particularly good relationship. In the early editions of the novel, Tōko was portrayed with short blue hair. In the newer editions of the novels and the movies, she has been given long red hair; Nasu and Takeuchi, dissatisfied with older illustrations of Tōko, changed her hair colour to reflect her relationship to Aoko Aozaki, who also has red hair.

Secondary characters

Chapter 1

Kirie Fujō (巫条霧絵 Fujō Kirie?)
Voiced by: Rie Tanaka (movies), Miki Itou (Drama CD)
A bedridden girl who controls a ghostly version of herself above the Fujō Building (巫条ビル fujō biru?). She is the reason behind the supposed Fujō Building suicides.

Chapter 2

Daisuke Akimi (秋巳大輔 Akimi Daisuke?)
Voiced by: Hiroki Touchi (movies), Yuji Ueda (Drama CD)
A detective working with the local law enforcement, Daisuke is Mikiya's cousin who acts as an elder brother figure to him. Despite his scruffy and laid back appearance, Akimi is a diligent investigator who’s put in charge of unraveling the truth behind a series of strange murders which he suspect someone from Mikiya's highschool. Daisuke hold's Mikiya's investigation ability in high regards, and often share some classified information with him for suggestions.

Chapter 3

Fujino Asagami (浅上藤乃 Asagami Fujino?)
Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (movies only)
Classmate and friend to Azaka, both students of Reien Girl's Academy (礼園女学院 reien jogakuin?). A murderer in secret, her ability to feel pain was numbed since childhood to seal off her powers. Terrified of being seen as an abnormality, she hides her condition and her murders are seemingly a way of giving her inner peace. Fujino has the special ability to bend space/objects with her mind which she uses as a murder weapon, twisting the bodies of her victims until they are no more than broken bags of meat. She later also gains clairvoyance in conjunction with her power which allows her to bend objects without having to be able to see them. In the sixth movie, Fujino appears briefly during the opening narrative, using a cane to walk with Azaka helping her down a flight of stairs.

Chapter 5

Tomoe Enjō (臙条巴 Enjō Tomoe?)
Voiced by: Tetsuya Kakihara (movies only)
A teenager that Shiki takes in. He claims to have killed his parents because of constant dreams of getting killed by his mother. His origin is "worthlessness".
Kaede Enjō (臙条楓 Enjō Kaede?)
Voiced by: Miki Itou (movies only)
Tomoe's mother. In Tomoe's recollections, he stabbed and disemboweled her. However, in his nightmares, he sees her killing her husband, then him, and then herself.
Sōren Araya (荒耶宗蓮 Araya Sōren?)
Voiced by: Jōji Nakata (drama CD and movies)
A former Buddhist monk who has lived for around 300 years and a previous acquaintance of Tōko from the Sorcerer's Association (魔術協会 Majutsu kyōkai?, also known as the Mage's Association) in London. Though he may be considered an average Mage at face value, he is highly skilled in the creation of Bounded Fields. He carries a special six-layered Bounded Field named Rokudou Kyoukai (六道境界 rokudou kyoukai?) that is capable of preventing the movement of any thing within it. It is mobile, something out of the ordinary since Bounded Fields are usually impossible to move, and Araya typically uses it as a weapon. Not only that, but the building that serves as his lair has become so much a part of him that it is almost like a Reality Marble, cementing Souren as an extremely powerful Mage. He is the driving force behind the actions of the other antagonists through pressing them to awaken their innate abilities. His Origin is "stillness".
Cornelius Alba (コルネリウス=アルバ Korunerius Aruba?)
Voiced by: Kōji Yusa (movies only)
Director of the Sponheim Abbey, and acquaintance of Araya and Tōko. They were on good terms until the day Cornelius came to the realization that Tōko was a better Mage than he was. Even though he was popularly considered a better Mage than her, he became so obsessed with this inferiority complex that he occasionally becomes deranged when speaking of her. He joined up with Araya not because of the latter's goals, but solely in order to kill Tōko to prove his superiority. Though he is naturally more powerful than both Araya and Tōko, he is blinded by his arrogance and is not nearly as versatile as they are. He used several spells in the novel, including one that had power equivalent to a Noble Phantasm, but none of them made an appearance in the movie.

Chapter 6

Satsuki Kurogiri (玄霧皐月 Kurogiri Satsuki?)
Voiced by: Ryoutarou Okiayu
A Welsh magus designated to be sealed, known as "God's Word", with an ability to manipulate others through his words alone, causing them to believe what he says. He demonstrated this ability by "convincing" Ryougi Shiki that she could not see him, and she was unable to cut him. Was also the one who gave Misaya Ouji the ability to manipulate the fairies, and was himself capable of manipulating memories, including recalling ones the target cannot remember.
Misaya Ouji (黄路美沙夜 Ōji Misaya?)
Voiced by: Nana Mizuki
The daughter of the Reien's school chairman, was manipulated by "God's Word" into believing that her friend, Kaori Tachibana, committed suicide because she discovered that Hideo Hayama, a school teacher, was taking illegal drugs, and he drugged her in order to keep her silent, and nobody helped her. She planned to take revenge by using the fairies to force the students to commit suicide in the same way that Kaori Tachibana did, at the same site, but was stopped by Azaka.

Chapter 7

Lio Shirazumi (白純里緒 Shirazumi Rio?)
Voiced by: Souichiro Hoshi (movies only)
Originally introduced in the second chapter, he is an older schoolmate of Kokuto who quit school because he found something he wanted to do.

Gospel in the Future

Shizune Seo (瀬尾静音 Seo Shizune?)
Voiced by: Yuka Iguchi
Azaka Kokutō's room-mate. Has a collie dog named Akira.
Meruka Kuramitsu (倉密メルカ Kuramitsu Meruka?)
A Bomber and 14-year-old boy.
Mana Ryougi (両儀未那 Ryougi Mana?)
Shiki and Kokutō's daughter. She knows about her mother's male personality, SHIKI(織). Her wish is to "beat her mom so she can win over her dad".

Media

Novels

Chapter listing

  • Chapter 1 – Overlooking View (俯瞰風景 Fukan Fūkei?) Thanatos.
  • Chapter 2 – A Study in Murder (Part 1) (殺人考察(前) Satsujin Kōsatsu (Zen)?) …and nothing heart.
  • Chapter 3 – Remaining Sense of Pain (痛覚残留 Tsūkaku Zanryū?) ever cry, never life.
  • Chapter 4 – The Hollow Shrine (伽藍の洞 Garan no Dō?) garan-no-dou.
  • Intermission (境界式 Kyōkai Shiki?)
  • Chapter 5 – Paradox Spiral (矛盾螺旋 Mujun Rasen?) Paradox Paradigm.
  • Chapter 6 – Oblivion Recorder (忘却録音 Bōkyaku Rokuon?) Fairy Tale.
  • Intermission (境界式 Kyōkai Shiki?)
  • Chapter 7 – A Study in Murder (Part 2) (殺人考察(後) Satsujin Kōsatsu (Go)?) …not nothing heart.
  • Boundary of Emptiness (空の境界 Kara no Kyōkai?)
  • Gospel in the Future (未来福音 Mirai Fukuin?) recalled out summer

Animated films

Releases:

May 21, 2008 (Japan DVD 1: 俯瞰風景 - Thanatos) (Fukan Fukei)

June 25, 2008 (Japan DVD 2: 殺人考察(前) - ...and nothing heart) (Satsujin Kosatsu)

July 23, 2008 (Japan DVD 3: 痛覚残留 - ever cry, never life) (Tuskan Zanryu)

December 17, 2008 (Japan DVD 4: 伽藍の洞 - garan-no-dou)

January 28, 2009 (Japan DVD 5: 矛盾螺旋 - Paradox Paradigm) (Mujun Rasen)

July 29, 2009 (Japan DVD 6: 忘却録音 - Fairy Tale)

December 9, 2009 (Japan DVD 7: 殺人考察(後) - ...not nothing heart)

The first 5 DVDs seem to be currently available only in Japanese language versions for Region 2. An English subtitled version of #5, Paradox Paradigm, was shown at Anime Boston this past spring.

Theme songs

Each of the theme songs to the series are performed by Kalafina, a project formed by Yuki Kajiura.
  • Overlooking View (俯瞰風景 Fukan Fūkei?)
    • "Oblivious"
  • Murder Speculation (Part 1) (殺人考察(前) Satsujin Kōsatsu (Zen)?)
    • "Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Yuku" (君が光に変えて行く Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Yuku?)
  • Remaining Sense of Pain (痛覚残留 Tsūkaku Zanryū?)
    • "Kizuato" (傷跡?)
  • The Hollow Shrine (伽藍の洞 Garan no Dō?)
    • "Aria"
  • Paradox Spiral (矛盾螺旋 Mujun Rasen?)
    • "Sprinter"
  • Oblivion Recorder (忘却録音 Bōkyaku Rokuon?)
    • "Fairytale"
  • Murder Speculation (Part 2) (殺人考察(後) Satsujin Kōsatsu (Go)?)
    • "Seventh Heaven"

Manga

  • "Kara no Kyōkai the Garden of sinners", Sphere Tenku (September 15, 2010 - , Japanese online magazine "Saizensen")

Chronological timeline

1995
March
  • Mikiya meets Shiki for the first time on a snowy night.
April
  • Shiki enters high school and gets acquainted with Mikiya.
September
  • Murders begin to occur in the city. The most likely suspect is Shiki, but Mikiya thinks otherwise.
1996
February
  • Shiki is involved in a traffic accident and spends two years in hospital in a coma.
1998
March
  • Mikiya enters a university after graduating from high school.
May
  • Mikiya sees one of Tōko's dolls at an exhibition.
  • Mikiya meets Tōko.
  • Mikiya quits attending the university halfway through.
June
Shiki awakens. After getting discharged, Shiki agree to work for Tōko.
July
Shiki confronts an assassin that can bend anything with her mind who suffers from constant pain.
August
  • recalled out summer – Gospel in the Future (未来福音 Mirai Fukuin?) Möbius ring
September
  • Suicides begin to occur at an abandoned building.
October–November
  • A boy runs away from home, after having killed someone. While he is getting beaten by former classmates, Shiki helps him get away and he asks her for a place to hide.
1999
January
  • A mage resides in a girl's academy, using faeries to create havoc. Shiki infiltrates with the help of Mikiya's sister, Azaka.
February
  • The murders from four years ago resume, and Shiki finally confronts the killer.
2008
  • recalled out summer – Gospel in the Future -The Beginning (未来福音・序 Mirai Fukuin Jo?) Möbius link

References

External links

eo:Kara no Kyokai

ko:공의 경계ru:Kara no Kyoukai th:คาระ โนะ เคียวไค zh:空之境界

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