Kara no Kyoukai Movie 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 2) is a slow paced and methodical psychological thriller with some supernatural elements. In itself, it is actually rather good. Compared to the rest of the series, it is by far the most mature and deliberate of all the offerings. Sure, there is some angst, there is some darkness, but the tone of the movie is almost like a classic detective film.
Overall, this is a classic character driven story, and while the characters themselves are not all that unique they manage to hold everything together. Still, there is a bit too much in the way of flashbacks for my taste, and the fact that the main characters use names so frequently gets grating after a while. Overall these are relatively small quibbles for a character driven story. The resolution between the characters is perhaps the strongest point of this story. And no, I don't mean the romantic bit (though seriously, those guys are slow), but rather the philosophical one.
It is also notable that while there is a strong philosophical moral behind this film, and yes it is shoved down the viewer's throats, it is overall a good thing in this case. Usually, it comes off as condescending and annoying. In Kara no Kyoukai Movie 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 2) however, this comes off as a very natural conclusion.
Notice how I didn't have to point out anything about the earlier parts of the series? Well, that's a good thing. It means that on its own merits, Kara no Kyoukai Movie 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 2) is an enjoyable experience. It is well above the average anime film without having the crutch of earlier entries in the franchise. Once you factor those in, then the film can actually become stronger. If you've watched the movies up to now, then this is the strongest one other than the fifth in the series, and comes as a doubly satisfying form of resolution - the main characters find their place, and have developed into what they should be.
Writing (Story and Characters):
Let me start with this: I'm a sucker for something slow paced when it is done competently. Kara no Kyoukai Movie 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 2) is a slow paced movie done competently. There are a lot of psychological and philosophical elements that come together to tell a compelling tale.
The story in and of itself is quite good. Heavy Film Noir influences set the tone, and it leans heavily on the characters to drive it. It is, like many Film Noir works, about murder. But instead of focusing on the mysterious parts of it (and indeed, the supernatural bits), the focus is on how each character views it. Still, there is killing, and it needs to be stopped. The slow and methodical development from a dark mystery into the inevitable showdown is done very well.
The characters are not particularly interesting in and of themselves. They have their own distinct personalities, and they develop in an interesting way. They hold the plot together, and this movie rises and falls on one point: the relationship between the characters and killing. They all know it intimately, on different levels. A killer born, a killer made, and one who will avoid killing at any cost. All three know each other, influenced one another, and more than that, in a way need each other. Obviously, it could not end with all three alive. But that would be spoiling things.
Overall, the writing is solid through and through. It is a well conceived plot that rests on well developed characters. The fact that both story and characters work together is a big plus. There are moments when the excessive monologuing and flashbacks are annoying. There are moments where minor characters appear only for a cameo yet are irrelevant to the rest. With sharper editing and removal of those weaknesses, the writing here could be positively sublime.
But those cameos and monologs are about tying the series as a whole together. The fact that this is the seventh in a series is a double-edged sword. Familiarity with the characters makes the ending so much deeper, but also forces some of the weaker parts of Kara no Kyoukai Movie 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 2) into being. I judge about stand alone merit, and as such, the writing is very good, yet not great.
Art (Animation and Sound):
I love the Film Noir stuff from an artistic standpoint. Gritty atmospheres of the wrong parts of town, abandoned warehouses, a messy and dark shop, and so on... those are absolutely my forte. Kara no Kyoukai Movie 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 2) uses those elements in order to give a sense of maturity and resolution to great success.
Animation-wise, there are a lot of great things working for this film. There are some problems, but really, nothing that doesn't happen in even the most sharply produced bits of animation (well, maybe not in Pixar stuff). What makes up for the faults is the clever use of camera angles, the use of effects and filtering to set the tone, and a very intelligent use of the backgrounds. Each frame on its own is rather impressive, and you will find little fault with the character design (and the villain design is just brilliant) or depictions of movement.
The soundtrack is rather good, the voice acting is intelligent and restrained (for the most part), and the effect use is very good. My problem with the soundtrack is that it doesn't quite fit the narrative as well as it should. The dark atmosphere and tone of the film would be better served by some dirty jazz/blues rather than orchestral arrangements. Still, this is definitely a soundtrack you come to expect at the cinema and not in your average TV show. There is also some very intelligent use of effects which gives that little bit of extra oomph that things need.
As for the artistic merits as a whole, this is a solid showing. There are more impressive things in the super-high budget contemporary shows on TV, or in the more artistic front. But this tries to play on the gritty themes, and does so very competently. Is this spectacular art? No. But does it do the job it sets out to, and does so as a movie rather than a series? Yes.
I think my main problem with the art is that it carries a bit too much baggage from the earlier films. The soundtrack is part of the series, while it could use a different one to greater effect. The character designs could have used some updating, but we are supposed to know all the characters and changing them too much would be wrong in this context. Still, the callback to earlier parts does elicit some emotion. But overall, I think that this would be better served by treating it as more of a stand-alone piece.
Kara no Kyoukai Movie 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 2) is a good anime movie. Is it brilliant? Jury is out on that. Most of the weaknesses in it as a movie are because of the choice to depend on earlier parts of the franchise to fill the gaps. But, if you've seen the other parts of this series, watching this one too is a no-brainer... and even if you haven't, it is still enjoyable.
Kara no Kyoukai review Part 8
There's an old aphorism about saving the best till last, and Kara no Kyoukai ~The Garden of Sinners~ has done just that.
The seventh and final movie in the franchise doesn't simply follow the events of the second movie, but utilises threads from several previous stories to weave an interesting and sometimes disturbing tale of obsession. Part two of Satsujin Kousatsu (Murder Speculation), takes place in February 1999, one month after Oblivion Recording, and more than three years after the events in part one.<!--more-->
This time around it seems the serial killer from part one is back, and as the bodies are found one by one, Mikiya Kokuto searches for answers. He continues to believe Ryougi Shiki was not responsible for previous set of murders, and that she is innocent of the crimes being commited now.
Meanwhile, Shiki prowls the dark alleys night after night ...
One thing that really sets this movie apart from the rest of the series is that the plot is much tighter and more flowing than in most of the previous outings. There is also a conscious effort to tie up some of the loose ends left over the course of the series, and while there are still several unanswered questions, the second part of Satsujin Kousatsu does manage to offer some catharsis about Shiki and Kokuto's relationship.
That said, the writing isn't perfect. There are still some plot points that remain unresolved, and while they may not have a major impact on the narrative per se, they do leave one feeling that the overall storyline from the whole series is a little incomplete. In addition to this the dialogue suffers from an abundance of intelligence as every character can philosophise their actions in some manner. The upshot of this is that the movie can sometimes seem condescending or patronizing, and even though this questionable arrogance may be unintentional, the simple fact is that viewers may find themselves wanting to punch the screen from time to time.
While the writing may not be up to standard, the same can't be said of the visuals. Ufotable have, once again, pulled out all the stop for this finale, and it shows. The characters move with an animal grace that is rare to see, and the overall animation is stunning in its quality and choreography. The opening credit sequence is particularly noteworthy as it shows great imagination, as well as some stunning techniques that will hopefully appear in more anime. As for the movie proper, there are some fantastic lighting effects throughout which add a more ominous atmosphere to much of the story, especially when used alongside the often dark, dank backgrounds and settings. That said, there are occasions where the lighting is a little off (for example, characters are easily distinguishable in areas where there is no readily available light source), however this is a minor gripe as the majority of the movie is the most atmospheric and well animated episode in the franchise.
Sound is another area where the movie excels, although there are admittedly a few minor niggles here and there. The cast are at their best in this episode, and their experience with the characters, especially Kokuto (Suzumura Kenichi), and Shiki (Sakamoto Maaya), really does shine through. The performances of the seiyuu literally ooze quality, and while there is a penchant for philosophical monologuing at times, these are delivered with aplomb.
In addition to the acting, the audio effects in Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 might arguably be the best in the series. Each sound is clear and distinguishable, even when the habitual cacophony occurs during heavy action sequences, and once again the franchise proves that it can deliver very high production values.
The real triumph though, is the music.
In the simplest terms this movie is a definite contender for "best anime choreography of the decade" as it features some of the most breathtaking meldings of animation and music to be found in the medium, and the choice of tracks is nothing short of inspired. The opening sequence is a choral, hymn-like track which perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the movie, while the end theme, a bittersweet ballad, works very well with the movie's finale. Where Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 really shines though, is in the application of its thematic music. The tracks on offer have a generally dark feel to them (this isn't really a "nice" story after all), but added to that are visuals that have not only been timed extremely well, but feature some excellent animation, stunning set designs, and superb camera angles.
One of the issues that has plagued the Kara no Kyoukai franchise from the outset is that the characters are often underdeveloped, and while certain events over the course of the series provide opportunities for growth, these chances are all too often overlooked. That said, there is some development to be had, it's just unfortunate that the lion's share of it only occurs in a few movies, and this is one of them. It's the introduction of Shirazumi Lio that changes the dynamics of not only the story, but also the relationship between Kokuto and Shiki. He is the one thing that forces the pair to grow as characters, and his presence in the movie casts a pall over every story in the franchise.
Confused? I'll elaborate then.
Kara no Kyoukai has made the effort to portray Souren Araya as the main "bad guy", but while his goals may be the drivers for many of the events over the course of the series, he never affected Kokuto and Shiki in the way that Lio does. It's his formation of a very disturbed "menage-a-trois" that causes Kokuto to "get off his backside" for once, and pushes Shiki to the edge of reason. Lio is also noteworthy for the surprising amount of characterisation that has gone into his creation. He is a complete persona from start to finish, and while there is virtually no development on his part, he honestly doesn't need it.
To be perfectly frank, I found this to be the best installment in the series, and while it is somewhat more graphic than other episodes, this only serves to improve one's understanding of the characters and events (as opposed to simply being graphic in order to be "cool"). A case in point is one particular interaction between Lio and Shiki, which while being rather sexually charged, is more reminiscent of a child pulling the wings off a fly. It's this emphasis on improving the viewer's understanding of the characters that really sets the movie apart, especially as this is what has been lacking for most of the series.
If you're a fan of franchise, or of TYPE-MOON, then Satsujin Kousatsu Part 2 is a movie that you should definitely watch. As a standalone it holds its own against many other releases, but when the series is taken as a whole the movie is raised to a new level. That said, in order to fully appreciate the difference it's best to watch the rest of the series first, as while each episode functions as an autonomous tale, this particular film has been designed to convey an ending.
Kara no Kyoukai may not be to everyone's tastes, but whether you like it or not the one undeniable fact is that the franchise makes a great advertisement for the potential inherent in the anime industry, and given some recent releases like Break Blade, it seems like someone was paying attention.
Kara no Kyoukai 7: Satsujin Kousatsu (Part 2)is the final movies from the Kara no kyoukai trilogy,the story occurred after 4 years an event from the second movies,as the continued of the ending credit of kara no kyoukai 6,countless serial killer has occurred and that make Shiki as a murder suspect and that make Kakutou doing an investigation about the serial killer and didn't believe that the occurred accident about all the killing was involved Shiki....in this last movies,as the continued from the kara no kyoukai 2(part 1) its manage to answered the question in Part 1 for what happen before the accident and the other ''Shiki'' that disappeared and catharsis relationship between Shiki and Kokutou...and what make the serial killer to started to kill and who is the serial killer is being answered in Kakutou an investigation..with suspend and mystery as a main plot it really delivered well combine with a few of romance and gore and a lot of flash back between Shiki and Kakutou and the Serial killer past as a part of importance flow of story development..
The Art was good,nothing change alot ,the environment and the character movement was awesome,but some action scene was kinda dull to see.however the used of alot of dark colour as a main really bring the suspend and the mystery more interesting... and the character emotional really draw well and make the char exposed more..
The sound,was nothing that special mostly all the BGM was in an average,but using it in the right scene really create a mood to the viewer with combine the art and sound.
This movies mainly focused the relationship between Shiki and Kakutou,that make it interesting even it focused the relationship between them the main story are still in the lane,that make this movies is really an enjoyment to watch..compared to the other movies i think only this movies have the strong catharsis relationship between them...with less action but emotional....