Kara No Kyoukai is a series where Ryouga Shiki deals with so called investigations with the help of Aozaki, Mikiya, and Azaka through supernatural powers, gore, and suspense. This one however is an exception due to the fact that the character focus only narrows down through two characters who have the ability to foresee future called precognition (Shizune Seo and Mitsuru Kamekura) making the original cast side characters due to being a side story.
Storywise, not bad and not great either making good in between as a result. In the beginning, things started off suspicious making viewers guess what's going to happen depending on their point of view until it narrows down as the story passes which makes it pretty plain obvious. The beginning reminded me of Psycho Pass' and Naruto Shippuden's first episodes since I saw both which is like a preview knowing what will happen later on. Now let's get straight to the point, the dialogue was heavy and it lacked the action that it's parent stories lacked but there was however plot twists, moments, and development that beat to it filling in information that we the viewers needed to know. First half of the story (Moebius Ring) was great because it felt like Kara No Kyoukai series all over again but the second half (Moebius Link), felt a little depressing and captured since it took 10 years later and the only thing that caught my attention was Mitsuru's character since he changed after Moebius Ring. Overall the movie wasn't bad as expected after going through an epilogue which involved pure moments of words and non action concluding the entire series leaving another spinoff to be made. The ending was a bit suspense leaving viewer's what to decide twisting some of their minds that this is an alternate future but it's not, it's to prove what the movie's theme or message is.
I've always been a big fan of Ufotable's animation since Tales of Symphonia Animation and as a result, it got me to where I am right now. Ufotable's animation is crisp, smoth, blending, and beautiful bringing the story's tone to reality as promised. The animation however is more themed towards magic like since Ufotable adapted both Type Moon and Tales Of as of recently.
OST was beautiful and themely oriented through dark, suspense, and action scenes. I find the OST quite unintricated because of the way the composers detailed it by delivering melodies of blend like chrous and instruments. As for my opinion, it was pure epic because this is what the series and studio is all about which would later be implemented to other series like the Fate Series. Kalafina once again did a great job with the theme due to their style.
As for the characters, Seo and Mitsuru were pretty much like the main characters for the rest of the movie putting the original cast as main/supporing characters. Seo was more of a key character into helping the original cast defeat Mitsuru which would give Mitsuru character development. Mitsuru started off great because he was a villain/antagonist of Moebius Ring only to have his life changed forever by Ryoga Shiki who spared her life resulting him as the main character of Moebius Link and Vice Versa, her soon to be lover Mikiya Kokuto would also change Seo's as well. In fact other than having two supernatural people with foreseeing powers A.K. Precognition, there is another foreseer as well who is named Ms. Diviner who was suspicious earlier but didn't end up becoming one having her playing a major role in the series where she would predict Shiki's future along with Mitsuru and Seo only to overcome them through the sense of righteousness that future can only be a potential future and not an occurrence. A new character who is introduced called Mana Ryougi who is Shiki's and Mikiya's daugter 10 years later and in terms of analysis, she is considered a secondary main character in Moebius Link other than Mitsuru plus it was weird to see her as a daughter since other stories are disliked for taking place in the future but either way she played a role in Mitsuru's development and through her dialogue, it was obvious who her father is. As for the original cast, Azaka wasn't present but Shiki, Mikiya and Aozaki were. Shiki, Mikiya, and Aozaki played roles that are less than the original story but brought an outcome that concluded the story as they solve through mysteries and scenes that paced the story to where it is.
I have no negative review but a positive one since all of the above factors met the requirement. The only thing that was fun in the film were references like GameBoy and restaurants. Side Story like this just proved that side story is a great story once more. I'd like to see other Kara No Kyoukai in the future but this one kind of threw me off in a whole new perspective because I thought it was a story taking alternate universes in possible scenarios but after reviewing the story after watching it, it was shocking that they did in fact take place during the current timeline. I'd rate this 10/10 as a result.
Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin is a solid film. The artwork is top notch, the story is interesting, the characters are well rounded, and all in all, it is an enjoyable experience. It is also the proper epilogue of the Kara no Kyoukai series, as opposed to the so-called epilogue, which is just a bunch of philosophical musings in a pretty wrapping. But most of all, this can more or less stand on its own, which is a necessity for any movie. Prior viewing of the series (or at least the fifth and seventh installations) will add a bit more depth to it though.
There is some action, bits of a philosophy, a healthy sprinkle of slice of life, and most of all, it remains rather light hearted and fun. Don't expect it to be all grim and gritty, because it is surprisingly optimistic for the series of films. Still, while it does not reach new heights, this is definitely a strong showing on all fronts. There is not one part of it which is deficient from a technical standpoint, and while the sum of it all is just the sum of it all and nothing more, it is still a hefty sum of good components.
Still, I can't help but say that Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin is an enjoyable ride. It is a proper farewell to the franchise, and does so with top notch animation through and through, good sound work, a solid plot, good characterizations, and most of all, while open ended it gives a feeling of optimism that just hit the spot for me. Perhaps I should complain about stuff, but really, there is nothing that really annoys me about this movie... which I suppose is high praise indeed.
Writing (Story and Characters):
Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin has solid writing all around. The plot is good, the characters are well rounded, and the choice of making it a one hour piece followed by a half hour epilogue is rather inspired because it is executed well. Generally speaking, when something experiments a bit and it works out, this is a good thing - and surely it does for this. While it did not wow me with originality, this movie did impress me with its self-awareness and knowing exactly where its limits are.
The plot in itself is rather interesting. There is a lot of philosophy about the essence of the future as a concept interspersed throughout the Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin, and perhaps that would be the main theme of it. But also of note is how the different aspects were explored. Slice of life bits, along with stylized action sequences, complemented by a character driven attitude make it quite an original combination. There is no pretense of attempting to blow people's minds, but rather just a story about what different people do with different ways of viewing the future.
The characters are interesting. A boy who can see the future and how to achieve it, a girl who has premonitions, a fortune teller who works at giving relationship advice; all three manage to fit into different roles as well. The characters have their own personality and voice, outlook and philosophy. This is of course ignoring the knife wielding killing machine and the care free do-gooder, which also manage to have their moment in the spotlight. But really, the essence of this film is on the different perspectives of the different characters. Each gets their time, and it is not wasted.
For people who have watched the Kara no Kyoukai series, this is definitely more satisfying an epilogue than what is called the epilogue. For people who didn't, the writing remains well above average. Perhaps it could do more with developing the characters given another hour or so, but then it would lose a lot of the pacing which makes it enjoyable.
Art (Animation and Sound):
The artwork in Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin is top notch. The backgrounds and settings are gorgeous, the action scenes well choreographed, the movement fluid, and character design solid. The sound is subdued but professional, and fits like a glove. There is nothing too over the top, but really this movie says "if everything is done right, then there is no need to go far outside the box", and in this case it works like a charm.
The animation is gorgeous. Each frame can stand on its own, the movement of the characters gives each a personality, down to the body language. The character designs are intelligent and have just enough personality without ostentatiousness. Really, this is probably the strong point of the film - it is plain top-tier stuff, through and through. Very few manage to surpass this, and when you think of cinema quality, this is right up there.
The soundtrack is good, the voice acting smooth, the effects work is very fitting, and while this does not reach a new frontier, it is definitely in the higher echelons. No, this didn't wow me. Yes, it is professional, tight, and intelligent work in the sound department. Really though, it just helps express what everything else does, and takes the back seat to the other elements, helping achieve a nice cohesiveness between art and writing.
Kara no Kyoukai: Mirai Fukuin is a recommended view for everyone who wants a combination of action, philosophy and slice of life. It is a must view for anyone who has watched the Kara no Kyoukai series. Watch and enjoy!