Before Ufotable became the kings of making some of the best-looking anime ever, they started with lesser known works. The anime film that made the studio famous released in 2007 with the title Kara no Kyoukai. Though Kara no Kyoukai wouldn’t be only one movie but ended up being 8, adopting the light novel series created by writer Kinoko Nasu. What made Kara no Kyoukai’s order even more intriguing though was that it was in anachronical order—nonlinear order—meaning the first movie wasn’t the first in terms of the narrative’s timeline. This strange viewing order turned off some interested viewers of Kara no Kyoukai but equally made others swear the order made sense in one way or another. Today we here at Honey’s Anime—being fans of Kara no Kyoukai ourselves—decided to talk about how watching the series is best in release order versus the chronological order fans have created after careful research. This will be the first of three articles dedicated to Kara no Kyoukai with us breaking down each movie and why it connects more enjoyably in its rather strange format.
Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei (The Garden of Sinners 1: Overlooking View)
Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei acts as the first movie of the 8-movie series, but technically, it is the fourth if you go off chronological order. It makes sense how this works seeing as how we are introduced to Shiki and Mikiya—the series main protagonists—already knowing one another quite well, having strong feelings for one another and dealing with supernatural beings as if they have been around the block. Some of you might be wondering why this make sense to see what is essentially the middle of the series first but here’s why. Thanks to this strange out of order set up, we skip the usual issues with anime movies taking too long to build up their characters and world. Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei throws you into the heat of everything—with Shiki having to face off against a strange ghostly force—and does it in a intellectual way. You won’t understand every character and why they are okay with dealing with these strange forces—or why Shiki kicks so much butt—but movie 2 will begin to set up some informational pieces for you to put together.
Kara no Kyoukai 2: Satsujin Kousatsu (The Garden of Sinners 2: A Study in Murder, Part 1)
For those who begged to know how Shiki and Mikiya meet, Kara no Kyoukai 2: Satsujin Kousatsu immediately heads your prayers. Mikiya’s first encounter with Shiki is quite different than when we see her in the first movie. Shiki isn’t wearing her famous red jacket and she doesn’t look to be as rebellious as her later attire and attitude make her to be. However, it doesn’t take long for the viewer to realize that Shiki is still Shiki due to Mikiya witnessing her over a corpse of someone it looked like she killed. Kara no Kyoukai 2: Satsujin Kousatsu from here delves into their past meeting and sets up for a possible incident that awakens Shiki’s supernatural abilities.
Kara no Kyoukai 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu (The Garden of Sinners 3: Remaining Senses of Pain)
The third movie—Kara no Kyoukai 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu—is where we finally see Shiki and Mikiya again closer to their adult age from the first movie but still not yet at their full strength. Shiki and Mikiya end up in a rather bizarre rape story where we see Shiki has an affinity for getting involved in dark mysteries and we also meet with a third important character—their future boss—Toko who only had a minor role in the first movie, Kara no Kyoukai 1: Fukan Fuukei. Kara no Kyoukai 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu doesn’t add much to our mystery supernatural story but it does begin to explain how Shiki gains an artificial limb and why she has such power within it.
Kara no Kyoukai is amazing 8-part film series that is filled with wonder and wow from the first movie to its last. Yet, it’s a series that can be quite difficult to take in depending on your preference. While watching Kara no Kyoukai out of order might seem like a momentous task, this viewing method—in our minds—makes the whole experience feel stronger. Do you agree with our viewing method of Kara no Kyoukai? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime for the second installment in this three part article series as we look at movies 4-6 and how they interlock to make the overall experience that much more fulfilling.