- Genre : Supernatural, drama, psychological, action
- Length: 1hour 29 minutes
- Studio: ufotable
You think you want to be able to predict the future, you think you want to know what happens, but you don’t. Life just isn’t the same without a little mystery! People with the power of sight rarely live happy lives. Unless that is, they can meet someone who understands. Someone kind and patient who can lift their burden. Or brutal and unyielding who can rip it away from them. This is the tale of three people who can see the future An innocent student, a disillusioned criminal and a weathered professional, and what happens to them when they meet a girl who refuses to bend to faith and a boy who can make faith bend to him. In the summer of 1998, a man has a close call with a truck while a string of serial bombings rocks the city and the Mother if Mifune watches it all.
The Garden of Sinners – recalled out summer – is the ninth movie in the franchise. I think it’s considered essentially a side story as it doesn’t focus so much on the main cast, but I think it could have been part of the official canon. I almost dropped the last two movies as chapter 8 wrapped up the main story so well, but now I’m glad I didn’t.
Generally speaking, the Garden of Sinners movies all have a very distinctive look to them. Design choices have been made! It’s up to each viewer to figure out if it works with their particular tastes. But like it or not, it’s difficult to deny the studio’s technical prowess and flair. These are well-made movies which know how to use the anime medium to their advantage….yadda yadda yadda. You’ve heard it all before. If not, feel free to read any of my previous the Garden of Sinners reviews. It’s basically all I talk about straight from the start.
Although I said the Garden of Sinners – recalled out summer – could be part of the main franchise, it is in many ways quite different from previous movies. Because it concentrates on characters we haven’t really been (or seen much of) before, these are new designs which bring a pleasant change. Mother of Mifune, in particular, has a physicality we haven’t seen at all in these movies before. Even the well known returning characters have been tweaked a little. Their designs have been rounded out. The best way I can put it is that they look “cuter”. This is particularly obvious with both party kimono Shiki (who I didn’t recognize), SHIKI and Touko who had a both subtle yet very noticeable design overhaul that had an unpleasant uncanny Valley effect on me. Why would you mess with perfection?
Much like the 6th movie, the Garden of Sinners – recalled out summer – was also a lot brighter than average. As in well lit. In fact, instead of using shadows to play with the atmosphere, the quality of the light itself is played with. From warm and inviting to harsh white and stark. I always admire when a director manages to make a sunny afternoon seem menacing.
This said movie 9 seems more practical in its production. It’s very pretty and may have some of the best animation the series has to offer but there doesn’t seem to be any of the experimental storytelling and deeper meaning that have been hallmarks of the Garden of Sinners. It’s a very well done straightforward production.
The story is pretty standard for this series. In the first part perspective changes from a young girl who attends the same school as Azaka and has a sad gift of seeing tragedies before they happen. She meets Mikya by accident on a trip home and tells him a bit about her life during a few hours shared together. In the meantime, a serial bomber with the ability to see future outcomes with one eye and the path that leads to them with the other has set his sights on Shiki. The two stories never cross but they show us how both characters deal with what is a heavy burden on their minds and souls, in very different ways.
There is this short monologue during this part that says that knowing what’s going to happen in the future essentially reduces your entire life to simply waiting for it to happen. I’m not exactly a big fan of surprises but when I thought about I realized how awful it must be to know everything that’s going to happen. It just makes your existence seem even more pointless and inconsequential.
Did I mention this is one of the more cheerful movies?
I liked the first arc, it was pretty much in line with what we have come to expect. Despite making up the bulk of the movie however, it was unfortunately too short for proper development.
The second arc takes place over a decade later and serves a bit as an afterwards to the entire series. We get to see what happened to that bomber who now works for Shiki. We also get a glance at an adult Shiki and spend some time with her aggressively cute ever so precocious daughter. To be honest this part of the movie felt like pandering. It brought nothing to the narrative was too cute in tone to fit with the rest and the kid kept making veiled remarks that were so obvious you might as well just bluntly monologue. It was annoying, we all know who you’re talking about, no point in the wink wink nudge nudge.
At the very end, a very short arc yanked us back into the past for a quick meeting between SHIKI and Mother of Mifune. I don’t have much to say about this close other than I enjoyed it.
Overall I’m happy I watched this movie. Personally, I would have taken the flash forward part out or at least shown Touko in it, but I have a feeling some fans really loved it. If you happen to have liked the Garden of Sinners franchise, there’s no reason to skip this movie. It fits nicely with the rest.
Favourite It’s gotta be Touko. Would probably be her even if she hadn’t been in the movie at all!
What this anime taught me: Anyone can see the future if they try hard enough
They say so many people die because of alcohol. Perhaps they never realized how many of them are born because of it
Suggested drink: Prediction (it’s basically ice cream)
- Every time someone goes on about the burdens of knowing the future – take a sip
- Every time we see a cellphone – take a sip
- Every time we see Touko’s rocking nail polish – heck yeah!
- Every time the date and time is displayed – take notes
- Every time anyone says “bomber’ – take a sip
- Every time Mikyia holds a cup or glass – join him
- Every time someone says “future” – take a sip
- Every time we see Mana – sigh
- Every time a character visits the Mother of Mifune – pay attention
I wasn’t able to cut back on the screencaps enough not to have a Pinterest board as well