Kara no Kyōkai

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The Garden of Sinners
Cover of the first Kara no Kyōkai novel.
(Kara no Kyōkai)
Genre Action, Romance, Supernatural, Thriller
Light novel
Written by Kinoko Nasu
Illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi
Published by Type-Moon (original creator)
Kodansha (commercial publisher)
Demographic Male
Original run October 1998August 1999
Volumes 2 (2004 printing)
3 (2007–2008 printing) (List of volumes)
Anime film series
Directed by
Produced by Hikaru Kondo
Atsuhiro Iwakami
Takashi Takeuchi
Written by Masaki Hiramatsu (ep. 1–7)
Akira Hiyama (ep. 8)
Music by Yuki Kajiura
Studio Ufotable
Licensed by
Released December 1, 2007September 28, 2013
Films 8
Original video animation
Gate of 7th Heaven
Directed by Various
Produced by Hikaru Kondo
Atsuhiro Iwakami
Takashi Takeuchi
Written by Masaki Hiramatsu
Music by Yuki Kajiura
Studio Ufotable
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Aniplex of America
MVM Films
Released March 14, 2009
Runtime 61 minutes
Original video animation
Directed by Hikaru Kondo
Produced by Hikaru Kondo
Atsuhiro Iwakami
Takashi Takeuchi
Written by Masaki Hiramatsu
Music by Yuki Kajiura
Studio Ufotable
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Aniplex of America
MVM Films
Released February 2, 2011
Runtime 33 minutes
Anime television series
Kara no Kyoukai
(TV edition)
Directed by Various
Produced by Toukubo Eita
Ishikawa Takaki
Kodama Yoshie
Written by Masaki Hiramatsu
Music by Yuki Kajiura
Studio Ufotable
Original network Tokyo MX, NicoNico, BS11, Bandai Channel, Asahi Broadcasting Corporation, Animax
Original run July 6, 2013September 28, 2013
Episodes 13
Original video animation
Future Gospel: Extra Chorus
Directed by Tomonori Sudou
Produced by Hikaru Kondo
Atsuhiro Iwakami
Takashi Takeuchi
Written by Akira Hiyama
Music by Yuki Kajiura
Studio Ufotable
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Aniplex of America
Released September 28, 2013
Runtime 32 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

The Garden of Sinners, known in Japan as Boundary of Emptiness (空の境界, Kara no Kyōkai) and sometimes referred as Rakkyo (らっきょ), is a Japanese light novel series, authored by Kinoko Nasu and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi. Originally released as a series of chapters released independently online or at Comiket between October 1998 and August 1999, the chapters were later republished by Kodansha into two volumes in 2004, and again in three volumes between 2007 and 2008. Ufotable produced a series of seven anime films based on the series between 2007 and 2009, and also produced an original video animation episode in 2011. A final anime film was produced and released in 2013. A manga adaptation illustrated by Sphere Tenku started serialization in September 2010 in Seikaisha's online magazine Saizensen.


Setting and themes[edit]

Set in Japan predominantly during the late 1990s, the series chronicles the life of Ryōgi clan-heiress Shiki Ryōgi, and her relationship with classmate Mikiya Kokutō. Both the light novel and the films are depicted in anachronical order with each chapter/film serving as part of one collective narrative.[1] The series deals with the paranormal and tackles mature themes such as suicide, rape, patricide, incest and murder.[1][2] Its lore and story draws inspiration from various religious philosophies and psychological concepts such as multiple personalities; the anima and animus; the nature of sin; life, death and reincarnation; and the paradoxical nature of the Taiji.[2]

Kara no Kyōkai is set in an alternate universe to Tsukihime and Fate/stay night; in which it serves as the prototype for both series as well as introducing many of the concepts prevalent within the latter two.[3] In particular the main protagonist, Shiki Ryōgi, possesses similar abilities as Tsukihime's protagonist, Shiki Tohno, and another character, Aoko Aozaki's sister, Tōko Aozaki (who was briefly mentioned in Tsukihime), also being featured. As one of Kinoko Nasu's earliest works, it introduces some of the most fundamental concepts in the universe of Type-Moon's works, including souls, the Akashic Record/Origin, Counter Force, Magic, Magecraft, and Mystic Eyes.[2]


Mikiya Kokutō becomes intrigued by the mysterious series of violent deaths occurring in his town and Shiki Ryōgi, a beautiful but unsociable girl. As he tries to become closer to Shiki, he realizes that Shiki is connected to the mysterious deaths and that the supernatural forces involved with both could kill him. It is revealed that in Shiki's family, certain members of her family possess two distinct personalities, both aware and conscious of one another, but possessing different qualities. The dual consciousness, and Shiki's upbringing as a demon hunter, has caused her to reject other human beings.

However, upon meeting Mikiya, she gradually finds happiness through their relationship and a schism develops between her two personalities. As a result, she winds up in a traffic accident and is left in a coma for two years. When she awakens, she finds herself unable to connect her past memories to her current identity. Reunited with Mikiya, now employed as an investigator for Tōko Aozaki, Shiki assists Tōko's detective agency, Garan no Dou, whenever combat is required, while struggling to come to terms with her identity.

Main characters[edit]

Kara no Kyōkai follows the story of Shiki Ryōgi, a teenage 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). Trained as a demon hunter, Shiki originally possessed two distinct personalities, a male personality SHIKI (織), and the original female personality Shiki (式), until a traffic accident kills her male personality and leaves Shiki comatose for two years.

When she awakens, she is reunited with Mikiya Kokutō, a friend who had fallen in love with her and promised to attend college with her. Mikiya, whose hopes of attending college with Shiki had been crushed when she fell into her coma, dropped out of college and began working as an investigator for a puppet-maker and powerful sorceress, Tōko Aozaki. To remain close to Mikiya, his sister Azaka also joins Tōko's detective agency, Garan no Do. With Mikiya, Shiki works for Tōko to investigate paranormal events and resolve them with force if necessary.



Kara no Kyōkai 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 later formed Type-Moon, and in 2001, featured a portion of the book in their 2001 Tsukihime fandisk, Tsukihime PLUS-DISC, which saw Kara no Kyōkai gain significant popularity, leading it to be released as a dōjinshi publication at Comiket 61 on December 30, 2001. On August 6, 2004, Kodansha released the series as a commercial publication, which enjoyed immense popularity, with 5,000 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.[4] In 2009, Del Rey Manga announced printing of the Kara no Kyōkai novel. This was confirmed in the first volume of Del Rey's Faust release.[5] However, Del Rey became defunct before it could happen.

No. Title Japanese release English release
1 Overlooking View
Fukan Fūkei (俯瞰風景 Thanatos.)
A View from Above
Faust Vol. 1, August 19, 2008
ISBN 978-0-345-50206-3
2 A Study in Murder – Part 1
Satsujin Kōsatsu (Zen) (殺人考察(前) …and nothing heart.)
3 Remaining Sense of Pain
Tsūkaku Zanryū (痛覚残留 ever cry, never life.)
4 The Hollow Shrine
Garan no Dō (伽藍の洞 garan-no-dou.)
Kyōkai Shiki (境界式)
5 Paradox Spiral
Mujun Rasen (矛盾螺旋 Paradox Paradigm.)
6 Oblivion Recording
Bōkyaku Rokuon (忘却録音 Fairy Tale.)
Kyōkai Shiki (境界式)
7 A Study in Murder – Part 2
Satsujin Kōsatsu (Go) (殺人考察(後) …not nothing heart.)
Boundary of Emptiness
Kara no Kyōkai (空の境界)
8 Future Gospel
Mirai Fukuin (未来福音 recalled out summer)
The Garden of Oblivion
Shūmatsu Rokuon (終末録音 the Garden of oblivion)

Drama CD[edit]

In September 2002, a drama CD based on the series was released.

Animated films[edit]

The series was adapted into an anime film series, divided into seven chapters, which were animated by the studio ufotable.[6] 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, Murder Speculation – 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 Recording (忘却録音, Bōkyaku Rokuon), Murder Speculation – 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. A compilation film of the first six films with some new footage was released on March 14, 2009, in preparation for the release of the final seventh film. In connection with the film's release, the novels were once again reprinted, as three volumes with new illustrations.[7] A North American premiere of the fifth chapter was held on May 22, 2009 at the Anime Boston convention.[8]

The series was released on Blu-ray with a new chapter, Gekijō-ban Kara no Kyōkai Shūshō: Kara no Kyōkai, in Japanese with English subtitles.[9] A DVD of the said chapter was released on February 2, 2011.[9] Aniplex of America released the imported Blu-ray box set on February 8, 2011.[10][11] The box was immediately sold out and has not been reissued since.[12] However, the individual films were available for rent on the PlayStation Network until mid-2012. A new limited edition DVD boxset was released in late 2012.[13] Likewise, Madman Entertainment released a limited edition DVD boxset in October 2013.[14]

3D conversion of Kara no Kyoukai first movie called Overlooking View 3D (空の境界 俯瞰風景 3D, Kara no Kyoukai: Fukan Fuukei 3D) was released in July 2013.

An eighth film, Future Gospel (空の境界 未来福音, Kara no Kyōkai: Mirai Fukuin), was released in September 2013 and had grossed US$1,710,413 by October 20.[15] Aniplex of America has released Future Gospel (now subtitled -recalled out summer-) and Future Gospel - Extra Chorus on Blu-ray in late April 2015.[16] Aniplex has also released the Japanese import of all 7 Kara no Kyoukai movie on Blu-ray in November 2015.


Other stories[edit]

# Title Director Original release date
Remix "Gate of Seventh Heaven"   Various directors March 14, 2009 (2009-03-14)

Timeline: August 1995 - January 1999

This remix collection extracts the key themes and scenes from first six movies. The hour-long movie is organized in chronological order, beginning from the 2nd movie, followed by the 4th, 3rd, 1st, 5th and 6th. It's a mixture of mostly existing scenes, and some new scenes. 
OVA "Epilogue"   Hikaru Kondo February 8, 2011 (2011-02-08)

Timeline: March 1999

Mikiya finds Shiki in the same place he first met her, this time in the snow. They talk, and during the course of the discussion, Mikiya finds out that he is talking to Shiki Ryogi, the shell, or archetype, of Shiki. She explains that her origin is nothingness, and she is somehow tied to the Spiral of Origin. Because of her emptiness, she desired no interaction with the world, and so created the personalities of SHIKI and Shiki. She also explains that she is the reason that Shiki still has murderous impulses, not SHIKI. She then asks Mikiya what he wishes for (principally, healing his wounds from Shirazumi), as she has the power to grant it from her connection to the Spiral of Origin, but he desires nothing. He is content as he is and does not wish to be special. They talk at length about humanity and the soul, and she says she will "sleep", probably forever. However, as she departs, she says that such a thought is "silly" as she knows she will see him tomorrow. Mikiya, now standing alone, walks home. 
Short film "Future Gospel: Extra Chorus"
"Mirai Fukuin - Extra Chorus" (未来福音 EXTRA CHORUS) 
Tomonori Sudou September 28, 2013 (2013-09-28)

Timeline: 1998

Side stories. Adaptation of the manga by Takashi Takeuchi. Premiered and sold with Future Gospel. 

Theme songs[edit]

Each of the theme songs to the series are performed by Kalafina, a project formed by Yuki Kajiura. Outside of the ones for Future Gospel, they were found on their album Seventh Heaven.

  • Overlooking View (俯瞰風景, Fukan Fūkei)
  • A Study in Murder – Part 1 (殺人考察(前), Satsujin Kōsatsu (Zen))
    • "Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku" (君が光に変えて行く, Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku)
  • 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 Recording (忘却録音, Bōkyaku Rokuon)
    • "Fairytale"
  • A Study in Murder – Part 2 (殺人考察(後), Satsujin Kōsatsu (Go))
    • "Seventh Heaven"
  • Future Gospel - Extra Chorus (未来福音 Extra Chorus, Mirai Fukuin - Extra Chorus)
    • "dolce"
  • Future Gospel (未来福音, Mirai Fukuin)
    • "Alleluia"


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


  1. ^ a b "The Garden of Sinners (movie series)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  2. ^ a b c Kara no Kyoukai Special Pamphlet - Encyclopedia, Aniplex USA
  3. ^ "Madman Entertainment Announces New Acquisitions at Supanova Sydney 2013". Anime News Network. 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  4. ^ Watanabe, Kei (November 30, 2007). "Kara no Kyōkai: The Anime Movie Versions of the Popular Dōjin Novel, Presenting to the Public from the First of the Month" (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  5. ^ "Faust 1 by Faust Editors". Del Rey Manga. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  6. ^ "Kara no Kyokai Film in the Works". Anime News Network. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  7. ^ "Akibaos article on the new novels" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  8. ^ "5th Garden of Sinners' U.S. Premiere at Anime Boston". Anime News Network. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  9. ^ a b "Kara no Kyoukai Gets New Final Chapter on BD with Subs". Anime News Network. 2010-08-26. 
  10. ^ "Aniplex USA Adds Kara no Kyoukai - the Garden of Sinners". Anime News Network. 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  11. ^ "Aniplex USA official website". Aniplex of America. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  12. ^ "Ufotable Diary". Ufotable. 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  13. ^ http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2012/05/26/aniplex-panel-announcement-round-up
  14. ^ "Madman Entertainment Announces New Acquisitions at Supanova Sydney 2013, October 19-20". Anime News Network. 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  15. ^ "Japanese Box Office, October 19–20". Anime News Network. 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  16. ^ "Magi English Dub, Garden of sinners -recalled out summer- Trailers Streamed". Anime News Network. 

External links[edit]