Best Kara No Kyoukai (The Garden of Sinners) Characters

With the Kara no Kyoukai (known as The Garden of Sinners in English and as Boundary of Emptiness in Japan and sometimes referred as Rakkyo) collaboration event that began on the NA server of Fate/Grand Order in the middle of February 2018 along with the collaboration event getting a rerun on its original JP server and Crunchyroll adding all 10 movie adaptations of the light novel series to its catalog, I couldn't have found a better time than to make a list about The Garden of Sinners.

To those unfamiliar to this series, The Garden of Sinners is a Japanese light novel series authored by Kinoko Nasu and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi. The series is one of TYPE-MOON's earliest works, set in an alternate parallel universe to other TYPE-MOON works like Tsukihime and Fate/stay night.

Basically, the plot revolves around a girl named Shiki Ryougi who, after waking up from a two-year coma, discovers a new ability known as the "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception" that allows her to detect vulnerable spots of anything through death seams, almost to the point that she's capable of killing God as long as it is living. Our cold and aloof heroine is then thrust into several murder mysteries in Mifune City, where she works for a small independent agency that tracks down paranormal activity. In the events that unravel, Shiki must uncover these mysteries lying beneath a bigger mystery all while finding her purpose for living.

For this list, we'll be counting down the best Kara no Kyoukai (The Garden of Sinners) characters. Feel free to vote and add to this list.
The Top Ten
1 Shiki Ryougi

Shiki Ryougi is hands down the best character in the series. As one of Type-Moon's main heroines, many aspects of her stand out when you delve into her lore. As the heir to the Ryougi clan, a demon-hunting family, she was born with two distinct personalities, one male and one female, in one body. This condition is almost like having a split personality, yet it's not exactly the same.

However, her life takes a turn when she encounters Mikiya Kokutou, who eventually becomes her love interest. In the late 1990s, she was connected to several serial murders. During this period, Shiki lost her male personality, leaving her female personality to grapple with an existential identity crisis.

Shiki's story is filled with mystery and action. She dispatches supernatural enemies using her knife and her Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, which allow her to kill any living thing, even gods. Throughout the series, Shiki maintains a cold and aloof facade, which she uses to mask the loss of her male personality. Despite this, she has a heart of gold and remains committed to Mikiya as she searches for her true purpose in the world.

In summary, there are three things I love about Shiki: her fight scenes, her relationship with Mikiya, and her role in the story. That is all.

2 Mikiya Kokutou

While Mikiya Kokutou doesn't possess any mystic power like characters such as Shiki, Fujino, or Lio, Mikiya still manages to be a pretty interesting main character and serves as the love interest for Shiki. Mikiya may be an average guy, but at heart, he's undoubtedly a nice and kind-hearted fellow who wouldn't hurt a fly.

No matter the danger, Mikiya always tries to show compassion and care for those he knows are innocent and pure of heart, even for those who have fallen into despair. While this sometimes poses a weakness for him, such as when he nearly got himself killed by Lio despite the latter's warnings, it also serves as a strength. Without this benevolent nature, he wouldn't have been able to support characters like Shiki and Shizune.

While he's not someone you'd expect to see fighting, Mikiya's compassion and kindness in his interactions with others ultimately make him stand out in this supernatural murder mystery franchise.

3 Touko Aozaki

You know a character is really clever when they're able to transfer their soul from one body duplicate to another on more than one occasion. One such character is the female detective of the paranormal agency, Touko Aozaki! A heavy smoker (well, it's the late '90s, so roll with it) and a laid-back agent, Touko always comes in handy whenever trouble's brewing for Shiki.

From making prosthetic limbs to replace lost ones to gloriously gorging one of her former friends with a nightmarish Phantasmal beast, Touko sure is one mean magus. In addition, she's the person who helped Shiki overcome the loss of her male personality and bestowed the trademark knife Shiki wields. She even took in Azaka as her apprentice. All I can say is that Touko is truly an expert in her field.

4 Fujino Asagami

Of all the antagonists Shiki faces, Fujino Asagami seems to be the most popular and well-loved. Almost essentially a prototype version of Sakura Matou from the Fate series, Fujino of the Asagami clan was born with appendicitis, which correlated with her Mystic Eyes of Distortion power being acquired since childhood.

Bestowed with a deadly power and taught to avoid and not feel pain, Fujino went through a lot as a kid. To aid with Fujino's illness, her father had a doctor give her medicine that allowed her not to feel any pain. In her older years, Fujino was subjected to frequent rape and torture by gangsters until one day, she was struck with a metal bat and regained her sense of pain. This prompted her to get revenge on the gangsters and unleash her rage anywhere she could.

With so much Fujino had to endure, it was hard not to feel sorry for a poor soul like her, especially when she looked up to Mikiya since he took her in one night after her encounter with the gangsters and served as a source of inspiration to her. While her actions eventually prompted Shiki to take action and stop her from committing more murders, Shiki was luckily able to save her by destroying her appendicitis.

In Extra Chorus, Fujino has lost her sight but has gained clairvoyance in exchange. As of Extra Chorus, Fujino did a really good thing in helping prevent a female student who was a friend of one of the suicide victims from committing suicide herself. Fujino, you have my love and respect.

5 Tomoe Enjou

And now here's everyone's favorite Shirou Emiya expy, Tomoe Enjou. If you've watched all the movies or at least caught up with the 5th movie Paradox Paradigm, you should probably know his true nature as a fake copy of the real original Tomoe (it's complicated).

Tomoe's role in Paradox Paradigm was undoubtedly interesting to watch and played a major part in the plot and climax of the 5th movie. Stuck in an apparent time paradox where he relives experiencing death at the hands of either his own parents or himself in various outcomes, Tomoe finds his savior after Shiki saves him from a band of gangsters chasing him down one night. Over the course of the movie, Tomoe develops a crush on Shiki.

Eventually, he and Shiki storm the Ogawa Apartment Complex and begin to delve into the mysteries of the enigmatic building. After supposedly losing Shiki to a magic hand pulling her into an unknown void, learning about the tear-jerking history of his family and how much he and they meant to each other, and teaming up with Mikiya to storm the building again while Touko goes solo, Tomoe eventually learns his true nature as a duplicate puppet of the long-dead real Tomoe at the hands of none other than Souren Araya. Before being eradicated by Souren in his attempt to attack him, Tomoe leaves his last words on the series with, "I was here..."

A tragic character indeed, especially for one who isn't the real thing...

6 Souren Araya

Well, if it isn't the prototype Kirei Kotomine (and maybe the prototype Amakusa Shirou Tokisada). An ancient magus hailing from an ancient period in Japan in which he failed to save his fallen ones, Souren Araya is the Badass Baritone Buddhist priest that acts as the main antagonist of Paradox Paradigm and the Big Bad of the entire series.

Being one of the few characters who was able to overpower Shiki's Mystic Eyes of Death Perception up until the climax, Souren is not a villain to be underestimated. Having orchestrated many events that caused the entire plot to happen in the first place, Souren was the sole person responsible for encouraging and unleashing the mystic powers of many young antagonists and the man behind the construction of the sinister Ogawa Apartment Complex. While motivated by seeking true wisdom for himself, he only wished to try and save everyone since he failed to do so in his past time period.

For someone who's committed so many atrocities, Souren really stands out as both an antagonist you love to hate and a sympathetic one as well. Alas, Poor Villain, indeed.

7 Azaka Kokutou

Ugh, did they really have to make her have an incestuous interest in her brother Mikiya? Incest aside, Azaka Kokutou is either the one Base-Breaking Character who annoys you the most in the entire series or an overall enjoyable character in the cast who got her own well-deserved movie.

From my personal opinion, I like Azaka overall as a character. She's cute, outgoing, and always has her moments of humor from time to time. Like when she was shocked to see Shiki eating oranges with Mikiya or when she tried to punch Shiki after waking up and then having her head fall down on rock-solid concrete.

Anyways, Azaka really got her time to shine in the 6th movie Oblivion Recorder. In Azaka's Day in the Limelight, she really gets to show off what she can do as Touko's apprentice and as a character when she investigates a mystery surrounding fairies affecting the natures of the students at her school. While I know not a lot of people are too fond of the 6th movie, I still thought it was decent and gave Azaka some much-needed screen time and development. Overall, I think Azaka is a decent character.

8 Shizune Seo

As one of the three future seers in the Future Gospel movie, Shizune Seo is just a young girl born with the ability to see the future of potential dead victims. Considering Shizune's young age and her first experience of foreseeing her dog's death without being able to change it, Shizune was understandably scared and saddened by this supposedly cursed power.

Things weren't much better when she foresaw a man getting run over by a dumpster truck, blood and all. But thanks to her meeting with Mikiya and learning to see her power as something to use to change her fate rather than see her fate as set in stone, Shizune's life changed for the better.

9 Lio Shirazumi

Speaking personally, I was very reluctant to add Lio Shirazumi to the list since I really didn't like that moment of Squick he had with licking Shiki like a wild animal. But considering he's a major antagonist with at least some background that gives depth to him, I decided it wouldn't be so bad to add him to the list.

While he becomes a major antagonist in the 7th movie, his fall into darkness was shown a few movies beforehand, prior to Murder Speculation (Part 2). He initially started out as a chill student who attended the same school as Shiki and Mikiya. One day, he developed a crush on Shiki and tried asking her out on a date but was rejected. This sent him into a downward spiral as he tried to cope with his rejection by taking it out on some bar patrons at an arcade.

In that event, he accidentally killed one of the bar patrons and was forced to eat the corpse in order to cover up any evidence of the murder. Thanks to Souren's influence on him, the beast awakens within Lio and sends him on a path of serial killing that he never wanted in the first place. Bent on making Shiki his love by force and straying from any chances of redemption, Lio commits many atrocities in his wake, ranging from nearly killing Mikiya to practically raping Shiki by licking her like a wild animal.

Regardless, Lio's actions were not without tragedy, and from what Mikiya sees from his perspective, Lio never deserved to be thrust into all these horrible acts that led up to his own demise.

10 Kirie Fujou

And now we have the main antagonist of the first movie, Overlooking View, Kirie Fujou. A terminally ill 27-year-old woman, all Kirie wanted was to experience moving freely due to her condition. Souren comes in and gives her the power to conjure a second spiritual body to possess and kill several girls to become friends with her.

This means business for Shiki and company, as it's up to her to investigate the mystery of the suicide victims who apparently jumped off an abandoned building. In the process, Shiki manages to exorcise all the ghosts of the suicide victims and Kirie's second spiritual body. As a result, Kirie experiences an exhilarating feeling when Shiki "kills" her.

Even though she had no malicious intent against the suicide victims, Kirie ultimately gave up on life and decided to at least experience the same feeling of death Shiki gave her. She falls to her death from the same abandoned building she made the suicide victims fall from. A poor and fragile soul, indeed.

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