Garden of Sinners 2 box art

  • Genre : Supernatural thriller, suspense, action, drama
  • Movie: 1 hour, 1 min
  • Studio: Ufotable

Shiki is a girl who’s isolated but never alone. She keeps the outside world at arm’s length because they would never understand what’s happening inside. Shiki’s own world is complicated, violent, frightening… It runs in the familia. It’s better for people to keep their distance. Better for Shiki’s and better for them. She’s managed to stick to this principle all the way to prep school. But beautiful teenage girls tend to attract attention, and Kokutou is very eager to get to know her better. But the boy is kind and patient. He doesn’t pry. He’s particularly difficult to push away. Shiki’s world just got even more complicated. Meanwhile, a string of gruesome murders are happening in the real world. Will the two collide?

If you’ve read my review for the first Garden of Sinners movie, you know that I was drawn to it’s experimental production style. It was a bare bones storytelling experience that invested a lot in the mechanics of an animated narrative. I sort of film school nerded out over it. I didn’t go to film school… I mostly studied chemistry. Nerding out is pretty much my go to, as you can imagine.

The Garden of Sinners II (1)
off to a STRONG start!

The first movie of The Garden of Sinners struck a delicate balance (and one that did not work for most), by complementing an occasionally lack luster plot with very interesting animation narrative devices. As you can imagine, visuals and sound design become particularly important in that context. So how did the second movie stack up? That sort of depends on your preferences.

Let me get this out of the way right now. The Garden of Sinners Chapter 2: …and nothing heart. (Murder Speculation Part A) is in all things a much more conventional movie. Except for the title. That’s impressive. I didn’t even add on to it for my post because I ran out of space!

The designs have been cleaned up and are much closer to what we’ve come to expect from traditional anime. Well the designs in and of themselves stay pretty much the same. But the art style has removed all the extra artistic effects in favor of sharper, more detailed and vibrant images. It’s visibly prettier. Color still plays an important role but in a much more obvious way (scenes becoming bathed in mono color schemes or colors getting singled out and intensified).

The Garden of Sinners II (33)
see what I mean by pretty?

Basically, the production decision making this time around valued a visually attractive product. Even the animation, which is once more extremely slow and calm except for bursts of intense action, has been smoothed out creating a pleasurable watching experience. There’s a chase scene towards the end of the movie that is downright breathtaking (my header gif is just a little taste of it). There is no doubt that The Garden of Sinners Chapter 2: …and nothing heart. (Murder Speculation Part A) is an all around animation boost. Visual storytelling was traded for eye candy and it’s up to you to figure out if that’s a plus. Personally, I think it evens out.

By contrast, sound design was much more integrated to the plot. I don’t think anyone will be listening to the soundtrack on their way to work, but the playful use of music contrasting intense silences definitely added a lot to the story.

Maybe because the non verbal narrative was somewhat pared down, the story itself is much clearer and better defined this time around. Despite being the second movie, it is chronologically a prequel to the events of Thanatos. We are introduced to Shiki and Kokutou at the time of their first meeting while they are both still in school. The characters remain fairly mysterious but are considerably more fleshed out. You get a pretty good sense of exactly who everyone is and how they relate to each other, in a way that was not previously clear. The background plot of a serial killer on the loose is likewise much more defined and wraps you into the mystery.

The Garden of Sinners II (15)
wait who is this guy?

When I say the characters seem more three dimensional, I should really specify, the *main* characters. Of which there are only two: Kokutou and Shiki. Everyone else remains a barely there extra that might as well be a plot significant piece of the scenery.

Unfortunately, as the title implies The Garden of Sinners Chapter 2: …and nothing heart. (Murder Speculation Part A), this is only the first half of the story and many questions are left unanswered. Despite this, The Garden of Sinners Chapter 2: …and nothing heart. (Murder Speculation Part A) is less open ended than its predecessor and provides a more satisfying conclusion in my opinion. in fact, a lot of questions actually come about due to events of the first movie, rather than any plot holes in the current one.

It should be said that part B only resumes in the 7th movie, so the story was always meant to have a long interval between the two halves and was probably written with that in mind.

Random thought: Shiki wears all sorts of kimonos this time around. Still, exclusively kimonos for some reason.

The Garden of Sinners II (9)
wait…no school uniforms??? what is this???

In mind… Although I do miss the interesting directorial choices of the first movie, The Garden of Sinners Chapter 2: …and nothing heart. (Murder Speculation Part A)’s more accessible and fleshed out storyline offers plenty of incentive to watch this movie. It also offers a great mystery to sink your brain teeth into. I am now considerably more interested in seeing where the story goes!

Favorite character: Kokutou

What this anime taught me:  the deafening silence of snow is the same the world over.

So who’s this Moderation guy everyone keeps telling me to go drink with?

Suggested drink: First Love

  • Every time someone calls out to Shiki – take a sip
  • Every time Kokutou strikes up a conversation – root for him
  • Every time there’s a new victim – take a gulp
  • Every time the weather’s bad – take a sip
  • Every time SHIKI comes out – take a sip
  • Every time we see a doll or doll parts – take a sip
  • Every time we see the police – take a sip
  • Every time Kokutou narrates – pay attention
  • Every time Shiki bites her thumbnail – get a snack

The Garden of Sinners II (2)

 Here are a few more screencaps. If you want to see the rest, they’re HERE


11 thoughts

  1. I’ve got to make time to watch this…

    “see what I mean by pretty?”

    Absolutely! In a “this is beautiful but it’s the last thing I’m ever going to see” sort of way!

    1. you’re istncts are pretty good… You can see the production roots of Demon Slayer in this series. It’s interesting

  2. This is at the top of my watch list, the moment I find it.

    Also I love how the main girl looks like a side character from Fate.

    1. A lot of them look like characters from Fate. I expect its on purpose but I haven’t actually confirmed it.

  3. If I remember correctly, Part A and B actually bracket the entire story: the first one starts the story, and the second one ends the story and all the others come in-between. This non-linearity makes it hard for me to remember which one my favourite film was; I’m vaguely remembering part 4, but can’t remember whether I mean the chronological or narrative order. I think it’s part 4 in the narrative order, the fourth film, but it’s bees so long ago that I can’t really remember even after reading summaries.

    1. And my summaries are generally useless….It would make sense that this is the first story chronologically.

    2. #4 chronologically is the first film, with the suicide jumpers. #4 in narrative order is the one that comes chronologically after this one, where Shiki wakes up in the hospital. And yes, you remember right about the two parts of Murder Speculation.

      My personal favorite is #3 (which is actually third in either order), largely because Fujino Asagami was by far the most interesting antagonist to me.

      1. Not me. Actually depending on how you look at it I might gree. havent finished watching them yet though

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