Kara no Kyoukai, LN Recommendation of the Week!

Article at a glance:

  • Kara no Kyoukai features a unique story with deep character development, particularly focusing on the multifaceted protagonist, Ryougi Shiki, and her dual personalities.
  • As one of Type/Moon’s foundational works, KnK introduces many concepts and lore that are explored further in Tsukihime and the Fate series.
  • The narrative complexity and rich details make it perfect for multiple readings, complemented by Takeuchi Takashi’s exceptional artwork.

I was honestly surprised by the lack of Kara no Kyoukai content on the website. I recently had a chance to go through my old articles and I noticed that I haven’t talked much about KnK here. Which is a shame because it is among my favorite works from Nasu. But well, today we are here to fix that. KnK was written around the same time as Tsukihime and a few years before the Fate/Series. And hence Tuskihime and Fate explore a lot of different concepts that were first introduced in KnK.

I know that the Fate/Series and Type/Moon in general are known for their characters. But people forget that the Type/Moon-verse also has some pretty deep lore. And this is where it all started. So welcome to another edition of our recommendation series and this week, we are talking about Kara no Kyoukai!

Introduction

Kara no Kyoukai or The Garden of Sinners is written by Nasu Kinoko and Takeuchi Takashi, just like most of the major Type/Moon works. The LN was serialized from October 1998 to August 1999. It is very short at just 2 volumes or 10 chapters. It was also adapted into 8 anime “movies” by UFOTable. I say “movies” in quotes. They’re only movies because they were released in the theatres. Other than that, only 2 of the 8 are proper movie-length while the rest are quite short.

Plot

Ryougi Shiki possesses the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. These eyes allow her to see the “death” of everything and “kill” anything by destroying its origin. At the beginning of the series, she just woke up from a two-year coma caused by an accident. Before the accident, she used to have dual personalities, a male Shiki and a female Shiki. After the accident though, she is unable to feel the male personality and hence feels a disconnect between herself and her memories.

The story follows Shiki on various odd adventures as she tries to uncover the truth behind her accident. Sound complex? Oh don’t worry, it gets even more complex down the line. You see, all the members of the Ryougi family are raised with two personalities. Why? Well, you’ll find out. The plot of KnK is quite awesome and it leaves a lot of room for re-reading. You’ll always find something new whenever you read this LN again or decide to watch the anime.

Characters

Shiki is a very interesting character. You’d think that if the male personality is gone, she’d just take on the female Shiki’s personality, right? Nope. Instead what we get is a 3rd personality who puts up a cold facade like the male one did but acts more like the female Shiki in general. As the story progresses, this dynamic only gets more complex keeping her as an interesting character throughout. The other MC, Kokuto Mikiya doesn’t get this kind of character development but he is there to support Shiki and their dynamic is also awesome.

Then there are quite a few good side characters too like Asagami Fujino, Aozaki Touko, Arya Souren, and more. The cast is quite strong in general.

Summing up

Here’s why you should read Kara no Kyoukai:

  • Amazing plot
  • Interesting world-building
  • Huge re-read value
  • Shiki
  • Awesome art

I usually don’t comment on the art for LNs but I think we can all agree that Takeuchi Takashi’s art is always so good. With that said, I will take my leave here. See ya!

Also, check out this week’s anime recommendation here!

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