Kara no Kyoukai News

Kara no Kyoukai is a franchise comprised of 8 movies
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and welcome to DREAMcast’s first Halloween instalment of The NIGHTMARECAST

Yes that’s right folks on this episode your host’s Donwun & The Old Boy wrestle with the interesting topic of your not so friendly protagonist THE ANTIHERO!

Now at first this might not seem like a particularly ghoulish topic for a Halloween podcast but when you come to think about it these so called dark hero’s have raised the bar in what people in general are used to seeing in terms of violence and horror. So to drive that point on in our conversation for once we here @ DC broaden our discussion into the wide world of Television and Film bringing up some the more recently enjoyed Antihero brands.

Things like Dexter, Breaking Bad, The Punisher, The BATMAN, movies where people are enjoying chaos, murder and horror: SAW, Piranna 3D, Nightmare on Elm Street…ya know the commonly know stuff

This leads me to ask the question what actually scares us nowadays in media.....in where we have a startling revelation about Katface(well, startling to me anyway)

Then once we get all that outta the way we get back to the Anime & Manga stuff in true Halloween fashion, which leads us onto what should be the epitamy of terror….DEMONS

DEVILMAN – a title me and katface have been looking forward to discussing on the podcast for a while now

We also discuss Demons in general and how in anime and manga they are pretty much seen as any other normal character…with no real emphasis on terror, hell or anything else you would think a demon would be about....more of a means to an end in terms of power and other exploitable traits....bah

Then we end with some nice Halloween recommendations

From Myself (Donwun) - Higurashi, Perfect Blue & Boogiepop Phantom

The Old Boy - Portus, I Am A Hero, Ibitsu & The Works of Junji Ito

and finally from our uninvited guest - Garden of Sinners Paradox Spiral & Noein

Oh did I not mention we are joined on this episode by an uninvited guest that has escaped from prison…..AGAIN!

And lastly here’s some are EXTRA LINKSrelated to some of the topics discussed on this episode

UBERHIKARI'S CHARACTER BREAKDOWN: PART1 & PART2

The Rise of the Antihero

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Well, the moment I've been waiting 6 months for has finally arrived. This past Friday, my copy of the 空の境界: The Garden of Sinners bluray box set arrived at my home from RightStuf, and after some preparations (mostly involving a stop at the grocery store for Haagen Dazs and popcorn), I set out on a loooooong marathon. Life is good.
 
For those of you curious as to why on earth any sane man would spend the equivalent of a next-gen gaming console on seven and a half movies, this post is for you. 
 
First things first, upon opening the box that arrived in my mail, I was greeted by yet another (and much cooler looking) laptop-esque box:

 Unseen: on the top it even has a little plastic handle for easy carrying
 Unseen: on the top it even has a little plastic handle for easy carrying

You know you're getting a fancy product when even the cosmetic box has a fancy box for it :D
Upon opening the second box pizza-style, I was greeted finally with the beautiful cosmetic case
 
On the left: English Translation booklet of the artbook's text (comes with it if you ordered this through Rightstuf)
On the left: English Translation booklet of the artbook's text (comes with it if you ordered this through Rightstuf)
The jet black material of the box has the fancy psuedo-leather texture usually found on extremely high quality parchment, and all text is written in silver.
There's a ribbon attached to both sides of the door of the cosmetic box so you can tie it shut if you wish for display reasons I guess...
 
Moving on, when you open the main box...
 


...the series logo and chapter subtitle names are written in silver on the left, and both the visual artbook and bluray disc binder are in a compartment on the right.

 
Here's what the visual artbook and bluray disc binder's exteriors look like. The bluray's is blue and the artbook is red. The material they're covered in is a very soft felt material.... rather cool to touch.
 

 Random page of the artbook. This is a snippet of the interview with Nasu, Takeuchi, and Sakamoto.
 Random page of the artbook. This is a snippet of the interview with Nasu, Takeuchi, and Sakamoto.

 The Bluray discs themselves... all glorious 8 of them.
 The Bluray discs themselves... all glorious 8 of them.
And that's what you get with the Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners Bluray box set. $400 of awesome and jaw dropping. All of the content on the discs is subtitled, and that goes for the extras disc as well. The 50 minute TV special on the bonus disc was particularly interesting since it gives a rather lengthy history on the creation of the franchise and talks about the movies' production.


All in all, if you're a Type Lunatic like me, this box set was made for you. Then again, if you're a Type Lunatic like me, you probably already bought one. Needless to say, the people that this is aimed at already know whether or not they want one.
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~~~ Originally posted on Nigorimasen! ~~~ 

 

Last Saturday, I went to San Francisco to see the Garden of Sinners (Kara no Kyokai) at Viz Cinema. It had the feel of a promotional event - there was a sample box set unpacked in the lobby and the host reminded people a few times how many of the ten sets were remaining. Even though it was long at about 5 1/2 hours, it seemed worth the experience of seeing it with a bunch of other people.

I was about 20 minutes late for the first movie because of traffic and I came in about when Shiki was stabbing her prosthetic hand. I read the translated 1st chapter in a copy of FAUST the night before so I knew the basic structure of the 1st film, though I wouldn't mind seeing the first half to establish the main characters.

They were only showing films 1, 2 & 7, which I think was okay for one day since the runtimes were 48, 58 and 121 minutes, respectively. (Films 2 & 7 comprise the two-part A Study in Murder storyline.) I was able to follow along with the main story; however, there were some characters like Azusa and Souren who just kind of appeared & are probably better fleshed out in the other four movies. The 7th film had a creepy ending to it & a touching epilogue.

I could easily tell the music was composed by Yuki Kajiura - some of the choral tracks reminded me a bit of what I'd heard in Tsubasa Chronicle. Some of the ending themes like "Oblivious" (1st film) & "Seventh Heaven" (7th film) were good closers performed by Kalafina, who also recently performed the ending theme to Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

I enjoyed watching the films despite the mystical elements about desires from past lives and the SHIKI/Shiki dualism feeling a little much for me. I would like to see the other chapters eventually but I wasn't ready to lay down $400 for the set. All ten boxes at the event did get sold by the end and at least 25,000 have been sold in Japan. RightStuf has sold out of their allotment (about 50?) but Amazon Japan still has it in stock for 41,618 yen (~$498 USD).

Before the 7th film was shown, there was a Q&A session with ufotable producer Hikaru Kondo and Aniplex producer Atsuhiro Iwakami. Kondo remarked how difficult & hectic the production was due to the small details they tried to include and that only bad memories came back when re-watching the films, thinking about the many retakes that were done. It was hard to convey to the hundred or so staff members that they needed to quality work. Part of that effort was replicating Touko's room within the studio and having meetings within that room. Iwakami admitted the action scenes were definitely difficult but so were the quiet scenes between Shiki and Mikiya as well as the military style crawl in movie 7.

According to Kondo, screenings of 1st chapter in a Harajuku theater were standing room only for the 1st month or so, which caused the staff to get confidence to finish the rest of the production. He also reminisced briefly about how he loves good packaging, like some Laserdisc releases were in the past. Iwakami said it was great to work with TYPE-MOON's Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi & they are looking forward to doing future projects. (TYPE-MOON's upcoming game Mahou Tsukai no Yoru was mentioned but there are no current plans to adapt that. Fate/zero is one of ufotable's upcoming projects and is slated to air later this year.)

 

 ufotable's Hikaru Kondo (right) signing a recently bought box set

There was a signing session at the end with everyone getting small promo posters, like the one at the top of this post. Some of those who bought box sets at the event also had the interior signed. (I didn't switched my camera out of macro mode so the few photos I took were out-of-focus.)

Related coverage:
bonertown looks at the box set for Analog Housou
Proper reviews on ANN (Zac Bertschy), Mania (Chris Beveridge)
ufotable blog (Feb. 5th & 6th entries)

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I would be lying if I said that upon seeing this glorious image of the series logo in modified for my native language didn't almost bring tears of joy to my eyes. Aniplex has answered my (and thousands of other Type Moon fans') prayers and will be bringing the Kara no Kyoukai bluray box set to US shores on February 8th, 2011.
 
Before I say anything else, let me state this very clearly: THIS BOX SET IS AIMED AT ALREADY EXISTING FANS OF THE SERIES. I don't mean to scare off potentially interested viewers, but one glance at the $400 USD pricetag and it's pretty evident. All 7 movies on bluray in 1080p with (proper) English subtitles, the new never before seen Epilogue OVA, the Seventh Heaven -Remix- Recap movie, an extensive artbook encompassing all of the key frame animations and much of the production art and interviews (for which the US release is coming with a translated into English version) - you are definitely getting a lot of bang for the buck, but if you aren't an absolute diehard fan of the series then this collection probably isn't for you.
 
 Needless to say, I am going to be putting forth my best effort to save up and buy this collection. 
   
Even if it means getting my hand cut off in the process...
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Next month's Halloween. What better way to celebrate the month than watch a horror/ suspense/ thriller title that will scare the daylights out of me or have me laughing senseless from seeming cheesy. I've picked 10 titles having a horror/ suspense theme to them that I have some interest in wanting to check out and you folks get to decide which one of them I should check out. Nine of the ten are on the serious side from what I've heard of them while one of them has a rep for the exclusive English dubbing from ADV that made the anime from a generic horror title to a comedy fest. Another one is divided up into seven separate movies. But if folks choose to vote for it, I'll cover all seven parts in separate reviews. As usual, you have 3 weeks to vote on what anime you would like me to check out with the one receiving the most votes by October 1 being the one I shall watch and review. As a teaser, I have a couple pictures below of some titles I have listed. You can vote in the poll at this link.
 
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It's still a giant work in progress and I have tons of ideas left I'd love to make use of, however this is just a quick sort of sampler of what I've made so far:
 
  EDIT: Removed the video due to enough useful help feedback (and I don't want to spoil the jokes for the finished product by showing them too much).
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I'm kind of envious of the people who can decide their favourite soundtracks right off the top of their heads. To be honest, I find picking a favourite out of everything that I've watched to date to be extremely difficult, simply because there are so many great soundtracks to choose from.
 
There are anime with beautifully composed instrumental music. For example, any of Makoto Shinkai's works, namely 5 Centimetres per Second: 
 
 
  
 
Along the same lines, the ef series, anime and games included, also had beautiful soundtracks, which is no surprise considering they were composed by the same person who did 5 cm/second's soundtrack as well (Tenmon is a genius):
 
 
  
 
Another anime that had an amazing soundtrack, which I'm sure people like Nis or HeeroYuy would agree with, had to be the Kara no Kyoukai series. At times the music would be odd, dark, and creepy, at other times it would be peaceful and beautiful, but the most important thing is the music fit every scene perfectly and totally enhanced the experience:
 
 
   
   
  
 
Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid was another case where every track was perfect for the scene, and for some they even added to the emotional impact:
 
 
   
  
 
On the other hand, there were shows that didn't hold strictly to the instrumental music, and had amazing and unforgettable tracks like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's Libera Me from Hell, which kept everyone on IRC going for months.
 
 
 

Finally, there are shows that completely surprise me with their vocal tracks. Sora no Otoshimono, which I initially thought was going to be terrible, had great vocal tracks for the end of some of its episodes, though this may only be in my opinion.
 

 
   
   
  
There are many more shows that I'd like to point out, but I'm afraid that I've already made it a bit too lengthly, so I'll stop at that. It's a bit too bad I can't go on about eroge soundtracks, because most of my favourite songs come straight from Visual Novels.
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I've just finished watching Kampfer 11, Needless 24, and Kara no Kyoukai 7. Here are some quick thoughts on them:
 
Kampfer 11 - ... what the hell did I just watch? I was laughing my ass off though out most of the episode. Kampfer has to be the worst show I've seen this season.
 
Needless 24 - As expected the series went with an anime original ending. Overall the series was average,  some parts were completely ridiculous, and some of the name of the moves are even more ridiculous (why it there a move called "Little Boy"?) Well at least the 1st op is f'ing awesome
 
  
Kara no Koukai 7- Words can't describe how awesome this movie was. Go watch it. NOW
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