Kara no Kyoukai– hire better writers plz

I’ve never had a good relationship with Type-Moon. My first run-in with them was in the form of the Fate/Stay Night anime over two years ago, and I went into that with the bar set quite high due to the original’s high level of praise. I came out of it severely disappointed. The fans did, too, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was my first impression of Type-Moon, and first impressions are everything. Since then, I’ve had something of a bias against them. So naturally, when Kara no Kyoukai was announced, I hardly even cared.

My fanboy ears did perk up a bit when I heard UFOTable was on the job, though. While I’m not a fan of everything UFOTable puts out, they’re a good studio and I was confident they’d do justice to Type-Moon’s allegedly legendary brand of writing and produce something that wasn’t an insult to my intelligence. They almost did it, too! If only they had more than 50 minutes…

I’ll get the ugly stuff out of the way first: this writing is pretty bad. I understand that this one movie is the first in a series of seven, but a complete lack of introduction and/or exposition about these characters is pretty unacceptable. The movie should spend less time talking about flying and floating and more time establishing who these characters are and just what the fuck it is they do. The plot progression is pretty choppy, too, but I think that actually works. They way they present the story makes it seem more complicated than it actually is, but it works decently. Aside from that, though, this writing sucks. Too much wishy washy BS and pretentious musings about nothing for my tastes. Give me Eva over this any day.

Thankfully, the movie is just about perfect in every other way. UFOTable can put out some pretty good TV animation, so them plus a sexy movie budget is quite the site to see. It’s almost GITS:Innocence level, except for with less bad 3D graphics. Lighting effects, backgrounds and character animation are all top notch. The cinematography is great, too– the movie has a lot of great, well composed shots that almost distract me from the silly dialogue. Sure, they’re not Shinbo or Anno level, but what is? As far as music goes, the soundtrack doesn’t especially grab me but it works well in the context of the film. I’m not really a Yuki Kajiura fan anyway.

I know I sound like I’m taking a crap on this movie, but in retrospect it wasn’t an all together unpleasant experience, I just wasn’t all that impressed. The visuals and the rest are captivating, but the story is just so stupid that it leaves something of a giant stain on the whole affair. Type-Moon fans will eat it up, but I guess guys like me will still wonder just what all the fuss is about.

also: badass female leads suck. women should fate/stay in the kitchen

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33 Responses to Kara no Kyoukai– hire better writers plz

  1. as says:

    all type-moon works are like this, but when Nasu writes them there tends to be 1000 pages of other stuff to hide the fact that his stories are based on metaphors that make no actual sense. plus I think he wrote this one in high school or something.

    still tsukihime was pretty good. when I say 1000 pages, I mean 1000 actual pages, too.

  2. digitalboy says:

    introduction of characters? How much pussier can you get than that?

  3. I’d like to know who these people are before they go slicing up things on rooftops thx

  4. machan says:

    I agree, I was not particularly impressed by the flying/floating conversation…and what exactly did she want to do with kokuto? I don’t understand at all. And that last comment must be a joke.

  5. TheBigN says:

    “I understand that this one movie is the first in a series of seven, but a complete lack of introduction and/or exposition about these characters is pretty unacceptable. ”

    Thank you. I don’t mind not knowing a lot about these people and what they do at the start of the series, but at least give me a little damn information please.

  6. Magusman says:

    They should Fate/STay in the kitchen and make me a godly sammich.

  7. digitalboy says:

    @machan, if you mean me, then no. I like it when I don’t get a character introduction, because to me that’s a waste of time. I don’t need the show to tell me what’s going on – I can decide what the cahracters are like myself my watching it and interpreting them.

  8. Then you have bad taste.

    I’m not asking for a Crusher Joe style stat sheet but I’d at least like for the film to establish the basics for something like 20 minutes before moving on to the main story (which sucks, too.) Type-Moon needs to learn how to write. Too bad their fanboys are too busy sucking them off for them to notice that they’re horrible.

    It could be that the movie is assuming you know shit because of the novel, but this is also a fatal flaw which hurts a lot of modern anime since some people just aren’t familiar with the source material.

  9. Rob says:

    “It could be that the movie is assuming you know shit because of the novel, but this is also a fatal flaw which hurts a lot of modern anime since some people just aren’t familiar with the source material.”
    In my opinion, 100% true.

    I read the novel beforehand. I watched the movie. I drooled like a blathering retard through the first half of it. There is more characterization in the novel version. They explain about Shiki, and what kind of family she’s from, how she came to be how she is, and a bit about Kokuto. Briefly, but enough to take it from “This is Shiki. Her eyes turn colors that make her able to see stuff and she has an arm that can choke ghosts from far away for god knows what reason.” to a level of reason.

  10. Link says:

    I think you need to go play F/SN and stop crying about how much Type-Moon has destroyed your hugpillows.

  11. Olf likes F/SN so it’s probably bad

  12. digitalboy says:

    for the record, I’m not a type-moon fan, only experience with it was the okay tsukihime anime. I really don’t get any of this difficult to comprehend, there’s a hot girl with a knife and some associated of hers, and they kill shit, what’s there to explain?

  13. If that’s all it is then I don’t see why people like this so much. It’s fine as a B-rated action movie, but not much more than that. I don’t see any artistic merit in this beyond the visuals.

    But it seems like there should be more, though. The novel apparently has more stuff, and I don’t see why they didn’t work that stuff in there. I mean at least tell us where the hell it is these people work. They never even made a simple detail like that clear! I mean seriously, explain shit like that. You need to establish your setting before going off on your merry way with the plot or else you’ll just alienate people. I don’t mind plot points being vague, but I do mind when simple setup crap is just ignored because they assume you know it from some book that only Type-Moon retards have read. It’s not good film making.

  14. digitalboy says:

    there are 5 motherfucking movies, you will learn something, especially since the preview for ep 2 was obviously for a flashback movie. And I already pointed out, how the hell is it not clear? The girl obviously lives on her own, the gu obviously likes her, they both obviously have something to do with mysterious chick, they all obviously know about ghosts and shit and obviously like to fight them. There’s your motherfucking setup.

    I thought you liked Code Geass and yet you don’t realize that something can be silly and pointless but still great? After all, Geass’ first episode was fucking confusing – i had initially thought Lulu was some vengeful Japanese only for the story to mean something totally different as they reveal more. The reason I’ve been fanboying about this movie is that I am a director who’s a fan of good directing, and shit that masters tone like this gives me an indestructible hard-on.

  15. 7 movies, actually.

    Still, you’re making a theatrical film, not a weekly serial. You need to capture the audience with that one film so they’ll come back for the next one. I wasn’t captured, but I’m forgiving so I’ll see the next one anyway, but there are people who aren’t as forgiving as me.

    Also, Code Geass’ first ep wasn’t confusing at all. Maybe you’re just young and stupid?

  16. digitalboy says:

    it was confusing fo rme the first time I saw, but come to think of it I had only seen like 2 shows subbed and read slow as shit, plus it was on youtube, I prolly couldn’t tell WTF was going on lol.

    And anyway, a film is never going to capture everyone. the people who care will care, the people who won’t won’t, that’s just common sense. It doesn’t need to appeal to everyone. It’s obviously done something right if I’m liking it, and if it’s getting this much buzz, which most are going to attribute to type-moon fanboys, but as a living example of the contrary, I’m counting the movie down as ‘appealing’.

  17. >>It’s obviously done something right if I’m liking it,

    D:

  18. roast-beefy says:

    Lose me somewhere in the middle of a series and I assume I’ll be brought up to speed later.
    Lose me at the end and I get to decide things for myself.
    Lose me at the beginning and you suck at writing.

    Skipping this shit.

  19. It’s worth seeing for the animation.

  20. roast-beefy says:

    But I don’t care about the animation quality :V

    That’s a lie, but I certainly would never watch something for that reason alone.

  21. machan says:

    @digitalboy: sorry about that, I was referring to the comment about badass females, since that would also mean the likes of yoko, motoko kusanagi and natsume maya also suck

    I don’t really have an opinion on the whole character introduction aspect of it; as people have already stated, there’s quite a few more movies down the road that can make up for it. I’m mostly bothered by the story of the floating blind girl in this movie–there was too much pseudo-philosophical talk going on. If they had mentioned the flying/floating thing after a little more speculation and perhaps only twice, it could have been a short and poignant metaphor. Unfortunately like many series, they took one idea and stretched it thin.

  22. My favourite anime girl of all time is Kaede Fuyou. That should clue you into whether or not I was joking.

  23. namelessLoli says:

    Actually, the movie not revealing much and leaving you curious about everything works in perfectly with Nasu’s writing. He reveals things gradually. Before long, things end up making a lot of sense and coming together nicely. I’m sure that its slow, mostly incomprehensible start will be its crutch though. So unfortunate…

    Well, I’m not here to preach up the show. Not everyone will love it, of course. I just wanted to say that if you stick to it, you may find you like the story after all.

  24. Deranged says:

    The books were like this too… not so forward with any information of character introduction. If it follows the same out of order progression as the book, the next exposes alot about Shiki and her past which is extremely interesting. This section was just as confusing as it was in the book but with the other chapters it started making more sense. With more movies out, this will all start making more sense. The movie itself was great in art and music, but it was a confusing beginning.

  25. dm says:

    I think it’s wrong to think of this as a standalone film. Everyone in the audience went into the theater knowing that they were seeing the first of seven parts, and with the parts being released every couple of months (at least the first three), it’s not so different from an OAV on a two-month release schedule, or even a monthly TV series.

    As such, I think leaving a lot to puzzle over is fine — in fact, I enjoy it more (until I find out that, no, it doesn’t really make any sense at all after watching the final episode). The first episode didn’t leave me confused so much as intrigued, and ready for more clues.

    I didn’t even mind the dialogue — it felt more like characters feeling their way in a situation than like Philosophy Expounded.

  26. Veldril says:

    Kara no Kyoukai is like a big jig saw puzzle. You have to piece information bit by bit, in this case from one movie to another movie. When you see the following movies, you will think back to the older chapter and realize how did somethings could happen in the previous chapters.

    The novel is indeed harder to read. The information is even more cryptic, and the story is told in non-chronological order. For example, the epilogue is half written as prologue and lure reader to think that the one who saw a girl (Fujoh) committed suicide is Mikiya, then the scene that mikiya awakes is written before the scene Shiki kills the ghost, etc. By the way, the whole novel itself is already written in non-chronological order so it would not be surprise if the first chapter would be a bit confusing.

    I feel like Rakkyo is a work for adult audience. You have to think hard watching the anime (at least it not as hard as reading the novel). Nasu, the author of the story, graduated in Philosophy so it would not be strange if story will contain a lot of metaphor and philosophy that require you to think. Just watch it when your mind is clear and ready to think about something.

  27. It’s not confusing, it’s just stupid. I’m surprised he graduated with a degree in philosophy, since he sure doesn’t show it!

    That said, I will watch the rest and see if it all does come together in the end. But right now, this opener is pretty weak. As far as 7-part OVA/movies/whatevers go, Giant Robo had the better opening episode.

  28. type-moon corp says:

    Wild, I think that type-moon works are a very polarizing thing in a sense that you either like it or you don’t. The first movie was pretty much straight up from the first pages of the novel. If you were reading the novel you’d pretty much get the same experience as the movie. A good deal of Shiki’s backstory will be revealed in the next movie. Like her accident, split personalities etc. I did find that whole flying/floating thing to be rather uncharacteristic of Nasu though, I mean I never really saw such near incoherant wannabe philosophical babble in FSN and Tsukihime.

    Personally I, I’m not taking KnK seriously as a group of feature films, that was never the intent. I don’t even know why it’s getting the feature film treatment, it should’ve been released as an OVA series or something. Either way, since you are someone who prefers girls of the loli moe variety I can understand why type-moon wouldn’t appeal to you. When it comes to eroge/visual novels they were the ones who set the benchmark for the “dark” themed VNs where the protagonist is outclassed by women who have substantially more power than them. Before that, eroge with supernatural elements and dark themes were mostly about raping girls as some kinda monster, with paper thin plots. I think type-moon stuff appeals more to people who like tsundere archetypes and such rather than the standard issue ditzy, vulnerable moe girls.

  29. I didn’t even notice that Shiki had a split personality.

    Also loli tsundere are kind of cute. Grown up tsundere are just sad since when women grow up they should know better.

  30. Veldril says:

    I am not very surprised that you think the Philosophy in the movie/novel is kinda stupid, lol. That’s maybe because you don’t familiar with the Eastern Ideal and Eastern Philosophy, which is quite (or rather very) different from the Western thinking. The reason why I really like Nasu’s works maybe because I can follow and understand what he’s trying to say.

    But it really is in every Type-Moon’s work. Tsukihime talk about a philosophy of life and Fate/Stay Night talks about Philosophy involving ideals. If you played the visual novel of both games you will clearly see it.

    Talking about Shiki, you can say that she is a tsundere, but in another sense she is not. I the later movies will show you that.

  31. DrmChsr0 says:

    Or maybe wah needs a new brain.

    Or hang out with better friends.

  32. Rok Kjonnoy says:

    badass female leads suck. women should fate/stay in the kitchen

    Uhhhh…I STRENUOUSLY disagree. With some exceptions, I don’t find the standard ‘submissive/homemaker/moe’ model of female anime characters interesting or engaging at all. And Ryougi is freaking awesome.

    I can believe that Nasu has a philosophy degree. There’s pretentious, genuinely deep, so deep that it seems pretentious, and so deep that it seems deep again. A lot of Nasu’s work falls into the third category. It’s mostly Shinto ideas with some Plato thrown in.