Kara no Kyoukai, also known as Garden of Sinners, a series of 7 films with a psychological / supernatural focus. The third film is called Tsuukaku Zanryuu or Remaining Sense of Pain, and is 58 minutes long, and seems to occur shortly before the events of the first film.
This series of movies almost feels like an anime series, and is the current focus of an online anime watch club I’m participating in. I will share write-ups written for the club, which aren’t written in the form of notes, but also aren’t me trying to come up with a specific point (thus far).
Final and important note – these write-ups are written after watching each movie, not the whole series of movies. Spoilers of movies beyond the one numbered in each entry will not be tolerated.
I took notes for this movie as well, about half of what I did for the previous entry. I also took a bunch of images again, and here is the album – more striking/plot relevant moments in general, rather than a showcase of the use of colours.
Whose film was this? Fujino had the most time and development, Kokuto had the most people actually thinking of him and referring to him, right? But this movie was Shiki’s movie. There are those who say that in a dream, everyone is you. You are the one chasing, and you are the one chased. You’re the one doing both the choking and the one being choked. Likewise with this film.
Shiki keeps referring to how Fujino and her are birds of a feather, how they are alike. If that is true, then whenever we see Fujino, whenever we learn more about her character, we’re actually learning more about Shiki – Fujino’s character being explained is Shiki’s character development. The movie seems to believe that as well, because it takes time to actually explain to us where and how the two of them differ. You know what they call a character who is only there in order to highlight another character, to help us understand them better? A supporting character. Sure, many antagonists (of which villains are a sub-group – parents can be quite antagonistic as well ;-)) are supporting characters in this sense, but, check what I said about dreams. The “antagonist” Shiki is fighting against here is the same one she’d been fighting against last movie, which is herself.
Kokuto is an interesting character in this sense. First, in three movies he’s drawn to him 3 supernatural girls. This is somewhat alluded to in the first movie, when Touko says how he is drawn to “soulless dolls”, referring to our three girls. Shiki says, everything has a flaw. Kokuto is drawn to these flaws, and in turn the flawed one seek him out, for he gives them warmth, shows them kindness, and they are drawn to him like moths. That Shiki says everyone’s flawed doesn’t actually make it so, by the by, it’s a continuation of the universal truth which SHIKI uttered last movie – we address others as if they are as we are. Shiki is flawed. Kokuto? He’s too kind, but that’s not exactly a flaw.
Kokuto, you know how Shiki has, or at least had two souls? It’s actually not that simple. Shiki has two souls, but Kokuto is her heart. This is another way in which this is Shiki’s film. No, Kokuto isn’t like Shiki, but his actions toward Fujino are equivalent to how he had treated Shiki, and shows why she is so drawn to him. The other girls being drawn to Kokuto is merely a reflection of Shiki, for we get to hear what Fujino thinks, we get to see how she feels, whereas Shiki is much more of a cipher, and most of what we know of her comes out of her mouth, or Touko’s, and both are quite suspect narrators – they’re not even narrating, they’re saying these things to other characters, and one has to wonder how well they actually know Shiki, and this includes Shiki herself.
Everyone is flawed, the “Garden of Sinners”, which is as obvious a reference to Earth, where Adam and Eve had been cast after they had been banished from the Garden of Eden. Original sin, no respite. The movie opening with a rape scene had come out of nowhere, and I guess was a good way to set up the scene of this movie, how it’s all morally grey – not the rape itself, but the whole “discussion” about murder versus massacre, how even Kokuto doesn’t feel bad these people die, etc. But circling back to original sin, which one is it? The rape, the father who tried to stifle his daughter’s burgeoning powers? If we look at “original sin” and the biblical reference, along with Shiki talking about how everything is flawed, especially humans, then the sin is the same one as in Catholicism, it’s the one of being born. We can’t help it, but people like Fujino whose body had no hope, whose soul had no hope, and whose father had ordered her death, had truly gotten the short end of the stick.
Why did Fujino survive? Why is Shiki alive? Shiki killed herself, that’s my take away from the 2nd film. Shiki now killed Fujino, so Fujino could live. But could they have lived without Kokuto? In my mind, it’s without doubt that “Would Kokuto approve?” is something that Shiki considers. Touko called it “Unconsciously, Shiki still understands the importance of life,” but to me it’s a lesson driven there by Kokuto. To paraphrase SHIKI once more, it’s because she now has some appreciation for her own life. To be so close to death, to live on the boundary as she had called it between the place one is human and where one stops being human, she must be ever aware of it.
On an aside, and also related to the whole rape and detachment thing, one could almost consider it to be a series about body issues, about where the soul dwells, and the relation to our body. Kirie had two bodies, but one soul, Shiki has two souls within one body, and Fujino has a soul without a body. Fujino and Shiki complete one another, she just needs to transfer something over. Shiki hunts down those who can complete her, almost. On a slightly more concrete literary over-analysis, Fujino’s body is trying to kill her with an organ her kind has no need for, while Shiki shows she is the master of her own body and sacrifices a “trivial” appendage in order to achieve her goals.
On a small aside, I felt satisfied when the movie referred to Fujino’s destructive power as a combination of “red and green”, when I’ve already spent so many words in the past entries discussing how red and green within this series show us that someone is going to get treated in a gruesome manner, something which was quite apparent in this film in the sequence amongst the containers, where Shiki first confronted Fujino with killing intent.
This movie had felt the most complete out of all of them thus far, and I give it 7.5/10. I thought it was a good movie. Obviously, my thoughts about it are affected by watching the previous two, and had I watched this one first, I might have liked it less – though I suspect still more than I did the first.