Saturday, 5 February 2011

Kara no Kyoukai - Epilogue

Despite my best intentions to watch this for the first time once my Kara no Kyoukai Blu-Ray box set (yes, I bought it) turns up, it appears that impatience has gotten the better of me - ergo, here I am talking about the epilogue to the series of movies which turns up within said box set.

The epilogue in question takes place a single, long conversation between Mikiya Kokuto and Shiki Ryougi, with the main starting gambit of the conversation being exactly "which" Shiki Kokuto is talking to.  As it turns out, the banter under-way here is with neither the "good" nor the "evil" Shiki, but rather the personality that lies dormant beneath them both.  This brings about a detailed discussion as to just who this Shiki Ryougi is as well as why and how she was formed and what role she plays in the overall individual we know - a discussion which suggests that this "original" Shiki holds far more power than either of her other outward-facing incarnations, and also one which more than dips its toe into far deeper territory as it discusses the origin of personality, how it relates to the physical body of a person and so on.

Indeed, this entire epilogue is really rather focused as a discussion on what it is to be a living, breathing human, whether it's Kokuto's happiness to reject whatever "miracles" this Shiki offers him in deference to just being himself and living life as it comes to him good or bad, or this Shiki's inability to either enjoy or appreciate what could be called a normal life due to her being buried under her other personalities.  In short, it's very deep and introspective stuff, so if you were hoping for more blood, guts and visceral action then prepare to be disappointed.

Being the sort to enjoy just philosophical and deep outings however, I found myself rather drawn into this simple yet involved half hour of pure dialogue (paired with some gorgeous snow-bound visuals, incidentally) - beyond the questions it asks of the Kara no Kyoukai story as a whole, it has some far broader queries to ponder about the nature of life itself which is worthy of discussion at levels far higher than this humble episodic 'blog.  While you could dismiss it as an effort at pretension on this franchise's part, I'd like to think that there's far more to it than that, and it certainly got my brain ticking over during the course of its running time, making for a fitting end to a series that was arguably always looking to assert itself as more than the sum of its often impressive parts if you want to de-construct it more seriously than as a work of entertainment alone.

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