- Genre : Supernatural thriller, suspense, action, drama
- Movie: 58 mins
- Studio: Ufotable
Shiki is a special girl with a special talent. A volatile potentially destructive power that’s been nurtured and trained by her father all her life. She is different than most people but she isn’t unique. There have been other little girls born with gifts or curses that set them apart, and the world has not always been kind to them. Today, we tell the story of such a girl. One forever held apart from her peers for having one of the most basic human rights out of reach. The ability to feel pain. Well physical pain at least, her soul aches and her mind screams. But that is not the only secret she hides. How can you befriend a deeply hurt girl who can’t even feel it? And what do you do with her after? The world can be cruel to those that are different, you should hold on to kindness when you can.
The Garden of Sinners chapter 3: ever cry, never life. (Remaining Sense of Pain), continues the short live tradition of giving these movies ridiculously long titles. I mean really, look at this light novel sounding thing. I guess they were light novels to begin with so… The nice thing is that it spares me the struggle of coming up with my own post title. No way is there any need to add extra words to this!
As some of you may know, I’m slowly making my way through The Garden of Sinners movies in order. You can read my thoughts on the two first ones here and here if you like. There’s no real reason to proceed this way. The movies are almost entirely stand alone and are presented in anachronistic order. However, you do get to really see the evolution of the production as so far the studio remains the same. It’s pretty impressive, especially with a studio like ufotable that invests a lot in design and animation.
There was a subtle but highly impactful stylistic shift between the first and second movie that favored a more familiar look with sharper outlines and an even more saturated palette. The Garden of Sinners chapter 3: ever cry, never life. (Remaining Sense of Pain) continues in that vein. It *looks* a lot like the last movie but there have been a few minor improvements in the visuals. Most notably, the rich color palette is more eye catching and interesting thanks to some high contrast scenes and the inclusion of soft color gradients in previously flat features.
I can’t say I caught much in way of production symbolism this time around. Aside from Fujino’s character design which is ironic on purpose.
The reason for stepping back from visual cues may be the actual narrative. This story seems to take place some time between the first and second movie, and it’s the most straightforward yet. For once, we even get a clear and unambiguous conclusion. For those that may have dropped the movies early on because they were annoyed by their cryptic nature, you may want to give chapter 3 a shot. It does seem slightly better rated than the two previous movies, as well.
This attempt at earnest storytelling is admirably weaved into most elements of the movie. Light is played with for atmosphere, rather than color, which looks more… believable. Dialogue makes more sense and characters speak in complete if mundane thoughts. They’ve even tried to add little casual movements throughout, to soften that extreme stillness of the previous films. This is not as successful as it could have been and small movements often end up looking awkward. It’s as if ufotable can only do highly dynamic action or none at all.
Like I said, most people seem to have preferred this movie to the first two, although not by much. I went the other way. It was my least favourite so far.. although not by much. Once again the narrative continues the bleak exploration of the emptiness and violence of existence, layered with themes of identity, but in trying to create a clearer and more upfront story, it presents the underlying thesis in a simpler and ultimately more immature way that ended up making me roll my eyes. It just went laid it on way too thick for the plot to properly sustain the philosophy, in my opinion.
There was also the Fujino problem. As a new character introduced specifically for this movie, she takes center stage for most of the runtime and is responsible for acting as a catalyst for the events of the movie and she’s…kinda boring. Ok that’s not entirely fair. The true issue is that, as the movie points out on numerous occasions, she’s just too similar to Shiki. On the surface they seem like very different characters but they are in fact just two variables of the same basic archetype with similar backgrounds and reactions. With only 3 notable characters for the entire movie, I would really have appreciated more variety. Not to mention that for my money, I simply prefer Shiki. It was frustrating to spend time on this ultimately forgettable girl instead of digging into the truly interesting mysteries of Shiki’s existence.
We did however get a few clues. Although I must say, Shiki’s power remains extremely ambiguous. She’s good with a knife and has interesting eyes? That seems to be it so far. Oh she is amazing at tying an obi maybe? I’m not sure, someone may be helping her with that.
As usual Koturou and Touko are both delightful. And there was a line I particularly enjoyed: ” you’re different, you understand how precious death is”. This was a comforting and cheerful line for me.
Although I’m not sorry I saw this movie, I honestly could have simply skipped it and I don’t think I would have missed out on much. Hopefully the next one will be better
Favorite character: Touko
What this anime taught me: Blue scenes can be surprisingly warm
Don’t be the chaser, be the one who gets chased. You are the Tequila, not the lime!
Suggested drink: Painkiller
- Every time anyone mentions Fujino and pain – take a sip
- Every time there’s a pool table – take a sip
- Every time someone loses a limb – take a gulp
- Every time it’s raining – get some water
- Every time anyone mentions Keita – take a sip
- Every time Fujino cries – take a sip
- Every time anyone smokes – take a breath
- Every time Fujino gets mistreated – gasp
- Every time anyone says “twist’ – take a sip
Here are a few more screencaps. If you want to see the rest, they’re HERE