「空の境界 未来福音」 (Kara no Kyoukai Mirai Fukuin)
“The Garden of sinners/recalled out summer: Future Blessing”
Kara no Kyoukai returns for one last (?) hurrah, and it ends up being every bit the Garden of Sinners many of us have come to love. Scrumptious visuals from ufotable highlight another fitting soundtrack from Kajiura Yuki, the supernatural mystery elements return in full force along with a few characters from the original heptology. The action doesn’t quite live up to some of the previous iterations, but it wasn’t really needed here, and its absence allows the Mirai Fukuin to really serve its purpose as the final, character oriented topping on the Kara no Kyoukai cake. And what a superb topping it ends up.
The first part, Mobius ring, ends up totaling about two-thirds of the movie’s run time. This side story brings us the supernatural power of foresight (alternatively future sight), which ends up being divided into two types:
Character-wise, the mad bomber known as Kamemura Mitsuru ends up falling into the latter and Shizune Seo, formerly introduced as Azaka’s roommate in Oblivion Recording, ends up possessing the former ability. What results are the tangling of two separate, but related stories in the meetings of Seo x Kokutou and Mitsuru x Shiki, and it’s something that—aside from being superbly weaved together—ends up highlighting what I feel has been an ongoing theme of the series: a focus on the duality of all things.
We saw it previously already in regards to the personality split between Shiki and SHIKI, we saw it again in Overlooking View in the contrast between flying and falling, and we saw it in Paradox Spiral’s reference to the counter force and the spiral motif in general. With the contrast here between both types of foresight and the obvious difference in how our two main users have chosen to use their powers—one chose not to act believing the future is set in stone and the other chose to act because they believed there was no way they could fail, it’s quite obvious that this theme of duality continues in Mirai Fukuin, and it’s something that ends up powering the entire story line here.
Because if there’s one thing that’s true, there’s almost always a give and take behind something. It certainly sounds great to have foresight, but at the same time, it has to be noted that there are drawbacks within it too. Just as even the power of immortality has its drawbacks—you’ll eventually be left watching everyone you knew pass you by—foresight has it too, and here it involves the fact that after awhile, the act of living isn’t so much living as it is merely following down a path already set for you. Needless to say, life can get extremely tedious (or even pointless) if you know everything that’s coming, and it’s a notion that ends up being highlighted by this first part in particular.
Perspective goes a long way however, and I for one ended up loved how all the thematic duality ends up being tempered by an emphasis on this fact. Because even if something seems to have drawbacks that far outweigh its benefits, the fact remains that how you use it and how you view your circumstances go a long way. Just as Seo ends up finding out that there’s a silver lining to her abilities, Mitsuru realizes that he could’ve used his powers like the Mother of Mifune did—in a positive way rather than merely as a “mechanical bomber man with no hope or disdain for the future.” Suffice to say, Mirai Fukuin clearly had a thematic message to send, and it sent it quite clearly with how it did things here. At the same time, it wrapped things together by filling in the blanks behind Seo’s storyline, added some worthwhile development our main cast, and set things for the second part while it was at it…
Finishing up things here is the mobius link part of the movie, and fittingly, this part ends up quite straight forward. It’s essentially where the toppings are complete, and really, I don’t think there’s a better way to end the series with a glimpse into how things turned out after everything was said and done. Ryougi Mana ends up every bit as awesome—she takes quite after her mother—as I expected her to be, and there’s something to be said about seeing Mitsuru end up in debt to a gang run by Shiki of all people.
The reappearance of a powerless Mother of Mifune is where things are really brought full circle though—SHIKI, Shiki, and Mana all visited her on separate occasions—and it’s a notion highlighted further by how Mitsuru’s life has changed since his bomber days. Not only did he end up living a life of failures since—ironic considering how successful he was until then—he’s of the belief that it’s better to build something than to break it down, and everything here ends up linking (now you see why they named it mobius link) up to the first part in some shape or form. Ultimately, it’s great when a series is able to weave such a story together, and the bottom line is Mirai Fukuin does a darn good job of it all. It may be the end of one of my personal favorite series, but the way they did things here makes it easier to accept by far. And well, there’s nothing else really to say here aside from:
Why do you keep telling fortunes? Now that you can’t see the future, you can take it easy!
I guess… it’s because helping other people is the only way I can use this power.
ED: 「アレルヤ」 (Areruya) by Kalafina