Kara no Kyōkai translations

So here I am, having just produced a sorry excuse for a blog, just to have place to post my translation of Kara no Kyōkai, which I have chosen to translate as Empty Boundaries. Yes, I know the title has a lot of meanings within the story, and yes I know there are a lot of ways to render it. This is the one I chose.

I’ve had a doozy of a time translating this, but it was very fun all the way. The first thing you’ll notice about it is that the translation is very…well, loose might be a word you could use. Obviously, English and Japanese are two very unrelated and different languages, and translating (or localizing, if you prefer) one to the other will necessarily require no small amount of rewriting. There is a time and place for stiff, strict, and exact translation, but written prose is—in my opinion—certainly not that place.

I know a lot of the people who will be reading this are also fans of Kinoko Nasu’s other works within the fictional semi-shared universe of his own creation. I know that a lot of in-universe terms re-occur in these other works, and that over the years, a lot of these terms have been translated—either by fans or in an official capacity. While I’m familiar with a number of renditions of these terms, I have, for one reason or another, ended up not using much of them. A lot of it has to do with a lot of them not really flying off the text so well, and so I regrettably had to change them. Please note, I don’t bear any ill will towards those other translators who have put their own stamp on Nasu’s creation, nor the fans who have painstakingly charted the details of this universe. It’s just that I thought that, for the purposes of Kara no Kyōkai‘s translation at least, some of these terms would not serve.

If you like it, hate it, or have some criticism to send my way, send it to riflespam@gmail.com. Lord knows there’s probably a dozen or so typos still left in there, right beside the details where the devils dwell.

Empty Boundaries – Volume 1 (contains Parts 1-3)

Empty Boundaries – Volume 2 (contains Parts 4-5)

Empty Boundaries – Volume 3 (contains Parts 6-7, and epilogue)

You can also get it by way of Google Docs, though I’d prefer if you download it since it messes up my stupid gradients for the title text:

Empty Boundaries Translation Folder (Google Docs)

As Bob requested below, I’ve uploaded the images from the books. Full disclosure, I actually don’t have the picture for part 7. The picture I used was supposed to be for the “Boundary Goetia” interlude chapter. I could never scan the images myself at a satisfactory quality, and all the scans on the ‘net omit the part 7 illustration for some reason. So if anyone can provide the picture, I’ll happily put it in.

Volume 1:


Volume 2:


Volume 3:


154 Responses to “Kara no Kyōkai translations”

  1. I was wondering if you can upload the images/illustrations for the novels? for archiving that is.

  2. I just started the series the other day without realizing that it wasn’t completed, so this quite nice. Do you plan on doing any other Nasu stuff like DDD?

    • Short answer: maybe.

      Long answer: maybe, and it’s probably gonna be Mahō Tsukai no Yoru, if I somehow develop the knowledge to rip the text from the game, and then put it back in after translating it without breaking it, between now and release time. Which, considering the ridiculous delays it’s suffered, might actually happen.

      • There are already a few guys planning to translate Mahoyo when it’s out.
        Another way to get a lot of appreciation would probably to go for DDD, it’s something we’ve also been waiting for years.

        Thanks for the translation!

      • I’d suspected as much about Mahoyo. Oh well, I wish those guys the best of luck! I’ll see what I can do about DDD. Haven’t really read it yet, so I can’t comment on the story, but we’ll see.

  3. Thank you very much!

  4. Wow. Thank you.

  5. The way you apologize for the quality of the translation is so moe…
    Anyway, it must have been a long project, and congratulations are in order.

  6. Dude. I love you so much. This is amazing.

  7. I love you. I’ve craved for so long to read my precious Azaka. Good job.

  8. CrimsonMoonMist Says:

    Amazing stuff!
    The movies were great and all,
    but nothing beats the character insight and the likes you get in a proper novel.

  9. Wow. This came completely from left field. Good work!

  10. Is there I chance we will see an .epub version? Like for the iPad?

    • If I knew how to do one, I’d do it. But sadly, I don’t. Anyone enterprising enough is welcome to take the text and rejigger it for a new format, though.

      • You can always use an online converter, such as this:
        Don’t let the url delude you, it’s a multi-converter. Just choose input format as .pdf, and output as .epub.

        I tested it and it converted files just fine, except that I used FBreader to look through converted file (no suitable book-reader at hand, sorry) and it couldn’t display japanese characters. The point is, I don’t know if it is a converter, or a FBreader issue, so it seems that you (or anyone else), will have to test it yourself. Or just to find a suitable converter.

        P.S. Well, if you absolutely cannot into it, I can look through this issue further.

  11. I’m just going to read it right now (well, need to refresh my memory, obviously, other translations were published ages ago), so I can’t say this, based on actual quality of your work, but, seriously, it doesn’t matter somehow. Really. I’ll just say it out loud: You, Sir, are fucking awesome! Without you, I wonder, if we would read Kara no Kyoukai in english at all. I mean, no one from current translation scene took it, no one was interested in it, or motivated enough to translate it (I even started (and of course, continue) to study Japanese, just to read (and if no one would, translate) my favorite authors, who knows how many years from the starting point, though) No one took the job, except of you. And the fact that you just clenched your teeth, and did it, without looking back, makes you a true hero.

    The fact, that there wasn’t any announces, or progress reports, just make it’s release a wonderful surprise for us, readers. Though, it has a dark side, in a way, that no one actually knows, just how much work you had to do, and hardships to endure.

    お疲れ様でした!I think, you should celebrate :3

    P.S. Yes, it’s a bit bold of me, but would you consider possibility of translating DDD, as Cyb already mentioned?

    • Thanks for the compliment! Among the stories of Nasu that I’ve read, KnK is my favorite one. Despite being his first novel, and consequently having a lot of stuff that is quite frankly a bit amateur for him, it’s the one where Nasu consistently returns to character interaction and concerns itself so much on “the human heart in conflict.” I found it a bit criminal that no one had actually translated it in full.

      I never announced anything because I feared that I would only be mocked for taking so long! As I wrote above, however, the entire process was a fun treat, and aside from the translation itself, there wasn’t any true difficulty. Some of Nasu’s turns of phrase did give me a headache, though.

      As I replied to Cyb, Mahō Tsukai no Yoru will probably be my next one, assuming I can wrap my head around all the technical doohickeys, and assuming Nasu actually releases it before the heat death of the universe.

      • Pata Hikari Says:

        There are plenty of people who know how to work with the VN engines already, you could always pair up with one.

      • I suppose I could, but it wouldn’t hurt to learn myself between now and release time.

      • It really is a shame that no one translated it before now, there used to be some general interest until it was Licensed (that was…what 4 years ago I think? well that maybe off) but sadly nothing ever came from that license.

        Really is a shame, I’d love to own physical copies of these books.

  12. Whoa, thanks for translating this! I was thinking that I’d never get to read Paradox Spiral (and I refuse to watch the movie before owning it, so I still haven’t gotten to see it either), so this is amazing.
    I’ve gotten so used to strict translations of Nasu’s work (I mean no offense to any who have worked on these previously), so reading a more fluid rewrite is a real treat.
    But to be honest it does feel a little jarring to read different translations of chapter titles while the previous ones are so common- I mean, each chapter has two right away with the older Japanese translations and the actual English titles, so it might make discussions very difficult when there are three versions to choose from.

    • A fair point. I had to redo them mostly because Nasu is a fan of the title drop, and if I had used some of the traditional renderings of the titles, a few of them would sound a bit awkward within the text. Obviously, though, it’s up to you to decide.

  13. Sylvanoon Says:

    I am at a loss for words. I can only say that I love you, sir.

  14. I’m downloading this. Thank you for your hard work 😀

  15. Wow, I had just started on the third volume and was considering trying to do a translation of my own. But it’s great to know that other people were already doing it. Great job! Will read your work after I finish the dead tree version 🙂  お疲れさん~

  16. You…. are… amazing. I LOVE YOU. 🙂

  17. Fragarach Says:

    Sir, you are AWESOME!

  18. a word of thanks and appreciation. keep up the great work!

  19. GoldenNocturne Says:

    I thank you greatly for this. Do you have some kind of overall blog where I can follow any potential future projects of yours?

    • Nope. Started this “blog” purely for the KnK translation. Hopefully, I’ll have some more up at some unspecified later date, but if I do, you’ll hear nary a pip from me until it’s done. If I’m going to show something, it’ll have to be finished, finished, finished.

  20. shinkansen Says:

    This looks awesome. Thanks for all you work!
    Just as a note, the first part of DDD has been translated, and the second part is likely under progress. If you look around then I’m sure you can find it.

  21. Hmm, skimming through it I see what you did the the Nasu terms. I think it’s fine, there are double meanings everywhere anyway. That reminds me, I really should get back to work on Fate/hollow ataraxia…

    Might I ask how long the project took you?

    • I started the project in like November 2009, and worked on it in bursts until I finished the first draft of Volume 3 this May. Everything after that was just editing, rewriting, editing, rewriting. So basically, 1 year and 6-8 months! Phew!

  22. duskOphiuchus Says:

    Thank you very much for the translation. I’ve been waiting for years since Del Rey originally stated they would release it in English then completely ignored its existence. So it’s good to finally be able to read this after so long.

  23. So this is a full translation of knk? Im a little confused because i thought there was more than 3 volumes.

    • To clarify, I divided them like they were in the newer paperback novel releases. So Volume 1 has Parts 1-3, Volume 2 has Parts 4-5, and Volume 3 has Parts 6-7 and the epilogue.

  24. You are amazing. Thank you so much for taking your time to do this and sharing it with us!

  25. Thank you very much, I’ve wanted to read the novel for so long!

  26. Diego Kouga Says:

    Thank you so much!! Now i can finish read this!! You are the man!!!

  27. You have my eternal thanks for this! This is one of the best news I’ve gotten in recent times. I was so sad when BT stopped translating this. Thank you! :3

    • I’ve just finished the fourth and onto the fifth and I must say, the way you modernized the translation pretty much hits home.

      But one question has been nagging at me though. In the third novel, when Kokutou swears after he finds out from Touko that Shiki has gone after Fujino, most probably to kill her, you have added “Son of a bitch” as his swearing and it was “You idiot!” in another translation. Not knowing Japanese, I can’t go to the original text but can you explain, what did he actually say?

      • Alright, dialog analysis time! The exact dialog in Japanese is 「馬っ鹿野郎……………!」 (“bakkayarō!), which is obviously a way of saying “idiot” in Japanese. But context and intonation is everything. Notice how it’s “bakka” instead of “baka”? That means he geminated the shit out of that word, which is what Japanese do to emphasize something, usually if they’re really annoyed/frustrated/angry/all of the above. It turns a vulgar word like “bakayarō” into something with a little spice. “Malutong” as we say it in Tagalog. Now Mikiya, who’d just been informed that *SPOILER!* Fujino is dying, as well as the fact that Shiki is after her (with the implication that she will kill her) *SPOILER!*, is in the kind of situation that would make a guy like him do a sort of impotent display of anger. You know how sometimes you say “son of a bitch” when you’re stymied and don’t know how to proceed, or are surprised, or are angry (it’s a multipurpose swear word, really)? Well, I was trying to evoke that when I chose to translate it as “son of a bitch.” Sort of having its multiple meanings overlap into one phrase, informed by context such that the reader can instantly put his own intonation of “son of a bitch.”

        And yes, I just typed out a long explanation for four words of a vulgar phrase. Welcome to creative writing.

      • Thank you and hey, I totally appreciate your long explanation; makes my understanding even better of this series.

        I’ve followed Kara no Kyoukai since the movies released and it was a such sucker punch when Delray didn’t do much even after acquiring license. I literally had given up hope of ever reading these novels but wow, props to you to finally get this through. I can’t express my gratitude.

        Would you be working on other Kiniko/TM projects as you mentioned on your about page? Also, is Mirai Fukuin anywhere in your agenda?

      • Glad you like the translation! Del-Rey not releasing anything really was a shame. Still, if I understand correctly, the rights should be transferred to Kodansha USA. Who knows? Maybe this series can still lean gently upon a bookstore’s shelves at some point.

        As I’d said above, I’m really looking at Mahō Tsukai no Yoru when it comes out. It seems to be shaping up into a nice little story, with some intelligent attention paid to setting detail and atmosphere (in other words, really utilizing the 80’s setting). As for Mirai Fukuin, as far as I know, there’s already someone who has translated it, so it seems I’m not needed on that front. I haven’t really read it, but I’ve been told it’s a nice sendoff.

      • The point it does lean on publication, I will buy it without a heartbeat. Thanks for telling me about Mirai Fukuin, just found its translation. I didn’t go look for it because I didn’t want to spoil anything without reading the actual light novels, which now I can do thanks to your version.

        Btw, Mahō Tsukai no Yoru had me interested since I saw its trailer with supercell’s Hoshi ga Matataku. It would be awesome, if you are interested in taking it on because I don’t expect the translation to be out very soon, even the game hasn’t released yet. Best of luck in your next project and if you ever have a need of proof reader, I’d be glad to pitch in.

  28. Thank you for your efforts, will definitely be reading this soon. 🙂

    I do wonder though, was this a purely solo ordeal or did you have other people gauge the accuracy of the translations as you went along? That is, is this something like your interpretation of the work, or is it perhaps a less biased translation work?

    • I had my old Japanese professor on hand occasionally to make sure I was translating properly. As for proofreading and editing, I had a couple of friends. In the early stages of the project, I had a few dudes (refugees from the PA Forum anime purge, really) do a good bit of proofreading for me. There are two seriously cool anibloggers who helped me out with the entire thing. Without them, there would be a lot more typos finding a home within the text. I’m hesitant to mention their names or websites because I’m not sure if they’d want me too, but they are all cool guys, and they know who they are.

  29. willyvereb Says:

    Thank you alot.
    I guess it’s time to finish up reading the series…:)

  30. you wouldn’t mind if i distributed these in a torrent (obviously with credit to you) would you?

  31. HappyAussie Says:

    Dear sir, you have made my day, no week, no entire month. I wont bother with a longwided thank you comment, so I’ll be concise. I appreciate the work you have done and will enjoy reading it. Thank you.

  32. Thank you so much for the translations! I’ve been picking my way through my Japanese editions, but I have been waiting for a full translation to come out so I can check my own interpretation. Very much looking forward to reading this — and I’ll pass on the link to several friends who’ve also expressed an interest in reading the light novels!

  33. I am so loving this right now. I can FINALLY enjoy this whole story.
    Thanks, i really appreciate your effort!

    It also warms my heart when you say you’re willing to work on Mahoutsukai no Yoru when it’s out. I’ve been hyped up over it for quite some time.

  34. AWESOME!
    That’s says everything that could be said for the effort you gave to translate the series, so I won’t comment further.
    In respect to your net handle, “cokesakto”, you should consider requiring everyone who downloads this to buy you a bottle of coke sakto (… then again, you’d buy out the local Coke company if that happens due to the sheer number of people who’d be more than willing to buy you a drink :D).

    • Ah, someone who knows about my handle! Would you by chance be a kababayan, or just a Coke product aficionado? In any case, you can be sure that I drank a bottle most nights I was translating this, so I’d have no need for much more. Glad you like the translation!

      • I happen to be both.
        I do have a question though. I’m wondering where I could find a copy of the original Kara no Kyoukai novels (ie. in kanji and kana), either locally or via the net (though I’d prefer not to buy it online due to difficulties on that matter). I’m currently studying kanji, and I’m having difficulty finding a copy of literature in written nihonggo that already has an english fan/official translation as a sort of guide (and reward of course) for grammar studies.

      • I don’t really know any places where you could find Japanese novels here, I’m afraid (assuming you live in Metro Manila). I bought mine online, in Amazon Japan to be specific. If you’re studying kanji, Nasu is a pretty difficult place to start. He uses some of the old, barely used ones a fair amount. Start with the modern editions of classics like 人間失格 and こころ. Also, I found reading Japanese editions of novels you already like in English to be really helpful, and a fascinating way to learn how they’d render certain things. Reading the Song of Ice and Fire series (氷と炎の歌) in Japanese was some of the best fun I had.

    • Izumabakumatsu Says:

      Sorry for replying to this one instead of the one below this one but I can’t find the reply button on that comment.
      At anyrate, here’s a place you can find net LNs, untranslated ones.

      Over at the light novel section.

      I vaguely remember there was another place I frequented years ago but after my comp crashed a few years back, I can’t seem to find it, especially since I remembered it too late after that fact. THat place had a bigger collection than the one at the link above.

      As for IRL, I dunno. Obviously we live in different countries.

  35. You, sir, are amazing.

    Technical terms notwithstanding, after skimming your translation of /7 of /7, it retained the poetic impression that I so adored in the B-T translation. (And yours is complete. 😀 )


  36. hey “cokesakto”

    you are welcome. 😀 HAHAHA.

    see you at school bro.

  37. Thank you!

  38. Thank you. I don’t how to show my gratitude.

  39. blacksaber Says:

    hey, thanks for finishing this novel!

    I once ask TakaJun why did he stopped doing that (in BakaTsuki and Beast’s Lair), and he said he got words that the novel will gets it’s Official Translation by one of the publisher. And yeah, I really waited that time to come, thou, it didn’t come and I order my own novel to read it by myself. To think that the kanjis was so hard and such, lol. I haven’t finished my first volume because of that :))

    Anyway, thank you cokesakto for translating what’s left of Kara no Kyoukai. This is really good news 🙂 I’ll be sure to link this to my other friend for it 🙂

    Cheers from the other Typemoon Fans!

  40. Thank you SO. SO. SO. SO much for this.

    Seriously. I’ve been studying Japanese for a long time just so I could read the rest of this one novel.

    You are fantastic.

  41. Izumabakumatsu Says:

    THis is rad. I guess this is some new publication after the movies? Cause I see it’s in 3 volumes instead of the old 2 and there’s a pic of the new Touko, plus the pictures aren’t quite the same as mine. Do you want them??? THere’s only one pic in the 7th chapter… and since THere’s quite a few difference of pics, I think it might be good for you to see them all instead.

    Still though, this is great. I certainly didn’t know nayone was translating Rakkyo.

    SO you’re gonna do Mahoyo next? The novel that’s ‘publicly unavailable currently’ or the upcoming VN??? At anyrate, good luck.

  42. Lawrence Kim Says:

    F*** hell!! There was someone who really translated this into english!! I love it mate!!(Though I’m a korean) I mean, for english practise. lol I would have been really hard for ya to translate kanjis..;; I know how difficult that is, cause I’m a korean and use kanji.

  43. Lawrence Kim Says:

    You know… the story line is too complecated (but very interesting) that even korean translations are too difficult to understand… even though use of languages between korean and japanese is very simillar. But in english? You got a fan here!! 😀

  44. humdeedum Says:

    Thanks a lot for the translation. Kara no Kyoukai is great and I’m glad I’ll finally get to finish it.

  45. Just came here to say
    “THANK YOU!!!”

  46. Wow.
    Man you cannot even suspect the joy you’re bringing.
    It’s been years that I’ve waited it. Even before the anime, I just read a synopsis and began to lurk everywhere to a translation.

    Thanks so much.

  47. Thank you very much for this.

    I have a question, if you don’t mind answering.

    The pages illustration… are they supposed to be on the right side or the left side of the book? The page numbers suggest that they are for the left side, but title illusration on the left side is pretty unorthodox for a western style layout…

    • Well, to be honest, I was also doing this to teach myself InDesign. I can remember having a problem making something work in the damn thing that I band-aided by putting the title page on the left side, but later figured out how to do without having to make my weird fix. I ended up forgetting to flip the goddamn title page though, so yeah, I always intended it to be on the right side, like a print-ready copy. As a matter of fact, since this is my first foray into InDesign, I’m noticing a lot of newbie mistakes now that I’m looking through it. Some first line indents that went too far, that sort of thing. You’ll have to excuse the layouting mistakes. It was my first. I’d fix it if everyone wasn’t viewing at least one file pretty much 24/7. Oh well.

      • Yah, it’s alright; nothing that a simple printing swap can’t fix.

        In any case, having read the first book (slow reader, I know), I might as well put my impressions…

        I certainly like your translating style. It put certain flair compared to dry, literal interpretations. The terms that deviate from fan-accepted are quite jarring to read, but I understand the choices most of the time.

        I did however, find several typo. And it seems to confuse tenses a lot of time (for example, past tense and present tense in the same paragraph of describing the same character’s actions). Though, being a non-native speaker, I can’t really be sure whether those are mistakes.

  48. Was going to look for some Kara no Kyoukai artwork and found this. Fate? Anyway thank you so much for the hard work. Will enjoy this on my iPad 2 😀

  49. This is a marvelous, thank you very much.

    I also find this my favorite among Nasu’s work, and thus to me this is a goldmine made text (well, you can shaft in Mirai Fukuin in my favorites if you happen to consider it a separate chapter / work).

  50. i.. it`s like a dream come true… i never thought i would live to see this work getting translated.. THANK YOU !
    *cough cough* sorry, been a little dramatic and all.. but ever since i play fate vn, especially ubw route i feel like nasu work is getting a irreplaceable place inside mine..

    thank you so much for translating this, and yeah i like your style 🙂 announcing your works after you think it`s finished :thumbsup

    oh, but is that means if theres something like update you wont make them anymore?

  51. Jonathan Lee Says:

    I picked up Kara no Kyokai a while back.
    Think there were only 3 animated movies at that time.
    Stumbled upon it again, With all 7 movies done, + the remix and epilogue.
    Still wasn’t enough.
    I had to enjoy it as close to the original work as possible.
    Regretfully, baka-tsuki isn’t done yet with the translations.
    Then.. By chance.. I find myself here. All 7 volumes, translated and waiting for eager readers.
    Made possible by you, good sir.
    Thank you =]

    PS: I’m curious about “cokesakto”
    Is that what I think it is?

  52. Thank you so much for translating Kara no Kyoukai! I’ll be reading this soon! Too bad Del Rey still hasn’t published anything yet…

  53. Thanks for translating it fully! I study Japanese, but I’m still not at the level where I could read novels…(I can barely read manga lol (need the furigana too)). For this series, I watched the movies, remix, and epilogue, but really wanted to understand it completely, and this would complete the void :).

    I’m really upset that Del Ray has no news at all for translating this series. Despite already having this translated for me, I’d still definitely buy it when it comes out legally in the US.

  54. Tsukasalink Says:

    I just love you by doing this! Thanks!

  55. […] Therefore, I am currently reading Empty Boundaries, the light novel for this series, translated here. The light novel version is quite interesting. It is told from different perspectives in each […]

  56. Hey cokesakto, any chance you can translate Mirai Fukuin? Not because any existing translations are bad, but consistency in writing style and prose would be nice.

    • Yeah, I was thinking about that. Of course, the fact that a pretty serviceable translation already exists kind of puts me off doing it. But I’ll see if translating a few paragraphs of it will get me in the mood to finish the rest.

  57. I guess I’m just part of everyone else here, but damn, this is wonderful. I, too, did not expect this to ever be translated, so thank you very much. If you ever do something in the future, be sure to let me know! ^^

  58. Hmmm, do you have the translation in text form (or as a LaTeX file)? I would love to make a epub out of it and this would be fairly easier.

    • I do indeed have it in text form, but without the illustrations. And of course, when I was putting it in InDesign, I was already editing it along the way, so the text version is outdated. I could probably just get the text from the InDesign files if you really want it. As you can see, I have absolutely no idea what you need to make an epub version of this, but I’d be extremely thankful if you ever made one!

  59. This made my day. Totally. I’ve lost all hope of reading past volume 4 until today, so yeah ^^

  60. Anonymous Says:

    If you don’t mind me asking, may I get a list of special fonts used? Such as the one for Shiki’s and SHIKI’s thoughts, Alaya’s special font, etc.?

    • Sorry it took me so long to reply. Work can be a bitch! But sure, here you go:

      The title text, part headers, and the chapter headers: “Burton’s Nightmare”
      Feminine Shiki: “Balthazar”
      Masculine Shiki: “Cambria”
      Toko casting a spell: “VTC Goblin Hand”
      Alaya casting a spell: “Vafthrudnir”
      Alba casting a spell: “Du Bellay”
      Azaka casting a spell: “Zapfino Linotype One”
      Satsuki casting a spell: “Sonyanna Script SSi”

      That should be all of them.

  61. NotQuiteAnonymous Says:

    Del Rey didn’t forget about Kara no Kyoukai. They actually translated and released the first volume in their Faust Anthology. But that’s all that came out of that.

  62. Thanks for the translation, found this by pure chance and it made my day, just one small question, why did you choose to translate the title as “Empty Boundaries”, instead of the most commonly known “The Boundary of Emptiness”, leaving that little doubt aside, I want to send my best regards to you for providing Nasu fans with this blessing.

  63. If you don’t mind me asking, have you ever heard of the novel series Legend of the Galactic Heroes? (Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu) If I provide raw scans, would you be able to translate it, or know someone who would?

    If not, it’s fine. It’s just hard finding someone who knows enough Japanese to do a good translation (and after reading your translation of the KnK novels, I have to say you did a superb job.)

    • Coincidentally, I’m making my way through the show now. Good stuff, mostly! I imagine the novels go a bit deeper into the character psychology. I don’t know about translating the novels, though. I’d have to read them and see if I really like them enough to do it in my spare time for enjoyment. I do translation as a trade, and it would take a really monumental liking of the book (like in KnK) to get me to translate it as a labor of love. Sorry I can’t help you more, man, but I promise you I’ll read the novels and see what I can do.

      And thanks for the compliment! It’s nice to hear that people are actually liking the style I used.

  64. Datmaidrapist Says:

    So exactly what are your plans in Mahoyo? translating and transcribing or working in a translation patch?

    We’re getting a demo this December 15, that’s why I’m curious.

    • Ideally, it would be a translation patch, but I don’t know if I or my friends have the technical know how to do it. All depends on the game engine. It’s probably going to be easy enough to extract the text, translate it, and arrange it in the right way. But I don’t really know about putting it back in the game. At the very least, I will in all likelihood take care of the textual portion of the job. And yes, I will also most likely work on translating the demo coming in December as well.

  65. thank you so much for this

  66. Do you plan to buy a copy of TM Ace 7?

  67. Bibliothecarius Ironicus Says:

    Hey, Thank you so much.

    For your hard work
    For bringin this to us


  68. You made my day. You REALLY made my day!! I craved for the Light Novel so long since I wanted to know more details that aren’t there on movies. I’d say thank you very much, as a Kara no Kyoukai fan, now I can save this to my phone and read it when I have spare time.

  69. Have you tried the Mahoyo demo?

    • Well, I know I promised that I wouldn’t really tell if I was doing a translation or not, but what the hell. Yep, read it, and currently translating it. I’m taking a break off everything except translating it this Christmas, and hopefully by January it’ll be done, but no promises.

      • lol. That’s very nice to hear. I’d like to give the translation a try but, meh, skill isn’t enough. Btw, you know how to extract and repack the xp3 file? I can’t seem to manage to do so. I’ll still try though, as a little help. :3

        And I was the one who extracted the script. The one in MU, hoping someone might pick it up for fun. 😀

        Thanks~! And (advance) Merry Christmas!

  70. Yo. I don’t know if you are still interested in Mahoyo. (I hope) but here is a rip of the script: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=LGIMDBCR

  71. […] So… I hunted down the original, Empty Boundaries, the light novel for this series, translated here. The light novel version is quite interesting. It is told from different perspectives in each […]

  72. You have no idea how happy this made me. I’d pretty much given up hope of ever reading this since the Del Rey releases failed to happen, and here I discover (completely by accident) that someone went and translated them anyway!

    By the way, I thought your translation was pretty good. It was smooth and easy to read, and most importantly complete.

  73. Whoaa,, Thanks a lot for your awesome work…
    I’ve seen its movie pretty long time ago, and it made me wants to read its novel like crazy
    And here i am, finding your translation and downloading them right away 😀
    So, once again, Hontou ni Arigatou 😀

  74. […] the fan-translated Kara no Kyoukai series and fan-translated Fate/Zero series. They are available here and here, […]

  75. THANKYOU so much for your awesome translation…

    I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet but I have heard that there are some nasu terms which may have been translated differently than other people’s.

    if you know those terms, could you please list them for me??

    THANKS once again for your translations, i never actually thought that someone would ever finish this series =D

  76. this is great~ thank you for your hard work ❤

  77. Great Work and thanks for translating this novel.

    I’m interested on making these epub available if possible (if Joe still haven’t done it yet). All I need is the text format and I’ll just grab the pictures you left on your blog. Thanks again.

    • Sure, go ahead! I’ll email you the text files (and the InDesign documents if you wanna) sometime within the week.

      • Should I assume you already got my e-mail address or I just didn’t receive any e-mail yet..?

      • Hey man, sorry it’s taking me longer than I said it would. I was pretty busy. It’s taking a bit of time because I’m poring over the text versions that I have and comparing them to the InDesign versions. The problem here is that the InDesign versions have a few revisions that I did while I was putting the text in, but didn’t get reflected back on the text versions. So I’m going over the entire text, trying to amend it. Clearly it’s taking a fair bit of time, though. However, if you’re willing I could just send you the InDesign documents (.indd) files if you can use them, which would expedite this entire affair. That cool?

  78. NotForYouToKnow Says:

    Thank you so very much for these translations.

  79. Hi, it’s about the little poem at the beginning of part 4. The translation you did actually inspired a friend of mine to write something similar so, without his knowledge, I’m posting it here 🙂 tell me what you think about it.

    A feeling of discordance,
    Something hated.
    An existence being denied.
    Affirm them as truth
    And never know pain.

    A feeling of harmony,
    A wish to be desired,
    An existence, permitted.
    Deny them as whole
    To know all about pain.

    Between their hearts, hollow dwells.
    One affirms, one denies.
    Between their minds, emptiness lies.
    Between their souls, I reside.

  80. I don’t have Adobe InDesign which implies I can’t read .indd files. But take your time. I can wait for those .txt files. Sorry if I sounded impatient or anything, I didn’t mean it like that.

  81. Thank you very much for your translation. :3

    Do you mind if I share it converted to ePub? Keeping text and your credits untouched, of course. Thank you again.

    • I mean I have finished it, ePub and Mobi versions, and I am only waiting for your permission. Regards.

      • Whoa, seriously? Then by all means be my guest and release them! I hope Hienno doesn’t mind (sorry man, I know I was too slow in getting that text ready!). In the end, I suppose what matters in the end is that an ePub version actually gets out there. So go do it!

  82. I don’t mind whichever, as long as it isn’t a conversion from .pdf into .ePub. It usually bring bad results on the page Layout and the paragraph segments.

    • I know what you mean, but I think I’ve done a good job editing xhtml files… I’ve used Sigil to edit .xhtml files and converting it into .ePub, and I’ve tested it on my Kindle 4 and all seems Ok.

      But I’d be very grateful if you could check it and give me your opinion, and any advice you might give me. Thank you in advance.

  83. Here are the eBooks in two flavors, Mobi and ePub:


    Enjoy it.

    Now the question: What have I done?
    – I have edited the text to fit the eBook format and make it comfortable to read. Changing styles, headings, font sizes, tabs, etc.
    – I’ve resized covers and images to fit the 6 inches eBook format. But it’s very easy resize and replace them, as you wish.
    – And I also added a linked index, linked footnotes, table of content, and metadata.

    Feel free to modify or improve the eBooks. 😀

    Kind regards.

  84. The text and layout look good.
    I’d rather use a color page cover as I read them on Caliber directly, and maybe some other might read them on color eBook too. I would also center the images too. The lack of pictures between the chapters arc could also be added. Overall, you nailed the essential.

    • Forget about The lack of pictures between the chapters arc could also be added. It’s the pictures that got left out on TOC chapter jump… Maybe insert the chapter link to the image instead of the header?

      • Yes, you’re right, I’ll fix. 😀 And I will also do a version with color covers. What resolution should I choose? By the way, I have clean scans of the covers of vol. 2 and 3. :3

      • Adding the images would be great. And maybe cokesakto can add these to the post itself??

        Thanks for the MOBIs.

  85. Just some constructive criticism. Bear in mind that I do not know Japanese, and am commenting as a reader of (pretentious literary) English, as well as works translated into English.

    I commend you for your dedication to this wonderful novel/franchise, and to Type-moon’s works in general, and am awed by the time and effort that you are willing to spend on translating. Thank you for presenting your unique take on this particular work, and though I may seem to be nitpicking, specifically with regards to your methodology, please understand that I am just expressing my humble opinion, and that I have nothing but good intentions.

    I’m not a die-hard weaboo/Nasu purist TM-fag who insists on absolute literal translation, but I am of the opinion that you embellish a tad too much, and some of your English-isms and attempts to “localise” come across as a little stilted, and detract from the general atmosphere and style. I’m all for flow and fluency in terms of (English) grammar and stuff, but I think that economy of words is equally important. Excessive woolsey-fication in adding to or changing the original text does no justice to both the author and the translation effort, and may cause confusion in readers regarding facts/ and or canon.

    Good translation and good style can, and does, co-exist, and often with the added condition of copious footnotes. The English translation of A Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien Anos de Soledad), and Edith Grossman’s translation of Don Quixote are two convenient examples. Another example closer to our topic is the official rendition of “spiral of origin”, which is the profound (albeit comical-sounding) “Vortex of Radix”. I understand that the ambiguous and esoteric (and pretentious, some might say) nature of much of Nasu’s terms makes it no mean feat to render them into English, and you have risen to the task admirably well. As for style, one admittedly does not have much to work with on a Nasu piece, but it would be really nice if you did not embellish as much as you did, as it made some parts seem like they were written by a better writer (vs. Nasu). Your take on the title was quite interesting and fresh, and brought to my attention an additional layer of meaning.

    These are just some of my views on your translation, and translations in general, and I understand that you have addressed a lot of these in your post above, and have stated the rationale behind your choices. On the other hand, I hate to see such a unique (and individual) effort of translation fall short of perfection by a mere finger-breadth. You just have to move a bit more (and use a good editor), and you will reach the balance between accuracy and style. I am sorry for any comprehension fails or lapses in logic that I may have committed, and kudos to you for your work. Thank you for sharing this translation with us, and all the best in your future endeavours, translation-related (*cough* Mahoyo *cough*) or otherwise.

    • If you do Mahoyo (we all hope you do) perhaps can visit Mirror-Moon and work with them. They may have editors who want to work on it, but no translator. They also might be able to implement your translation into a patch. Plus, working with other people and getting feedback is the best way to learn, whether it’s on the job getting paid or with a hobby like this. I learned a lot about typesetting and proofreading manga by working with different groups.

    • Fine, solid points, and ones I’ll certainly keep to heart as I do Mahoyo. You’d best believe that there are parts in my KnK translations that I’d like to go back to and re-edit a paragraph, but in the end, that was the best I could do at the time. I make no claims of expertise as I do these translations, but I do certainly try to strive towards it, so the criticism is very welcome. I do try to aim for that balance, but acknowledge that I stray from it more often than I probably should. This will change. Good editors, and refining stylistic choices will probably be what I will work on most heavily.

      On the tangential subject of footnotes, which you mentioned, I really don’t find them to my taste when translating something for the purposes of reading leisure. Often, footnotes are there for academia, and so are entirely out of the scope and possibly distracting for a book read for leisure. You’ll notice there’s only one footnote in my entire translation (Volume 3, Part 6, p118), and even that was a sort of surrender on my part. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

      Also, stylistically speaking, Nasu was working with the gothic literary tradition here (in my opinion, at least). I mean, the hallmarks of classic gothic storytelling is all here, up to and including the somewhat exaggerated wording, descriptions of inner thoughts, and melodrama. So I would say that at least some of the overwriting is intentional, but I also perfectly acknowledge that I am also to blame for some of it. Mea culpa. As I said above, it’s going to change.

      Again, thank you for taking the time out to comment on what needs to improve. It’s very, very welcome and appreciated.

      • No problem, thanks for the reply. if i haven’t mentioned before, you’re really good already. and good point about the gothic-influenced style. never really thought about KnK’s style in that way.

  86. Hi! Before anything else, I would like to thank you for this translation! I’ve been waiting some years until someone translated the whole novel to start reading it, so thanks a lot 🙂

    But as I was reading I guess I found a small error in the translation. It’s on page 98 from the first novel, it says:

    “The story of violence in the room is quite visible now: sixteen arms, sixteen legs, four torsos, four heads, and wet blood spatters in every direction.”

    Shouldn’t it be “Sixteen arms and legs”? because there were only four bodies, so only eight arms and eight legs.

  87. Good job!
    Would you please send the plain text version of this novel to my e-mail so that I could read it in mobile devices? Thanks a lot for your translation.
    mail addr: litakuya [at] gmail.com

  88. Has anyone told you that they love you yet? Thank you so much!!

  89. So would it be possible for you to edit all of the made up stuff out?
    “creative writing” really shouldn’t get in the way of your translations.
    Unless you goal is to cause misconceptions on Nasu’s prose. If that is your goal, then good job?

    I asked another Type-Moon fan to take a look at your translation(Comparing Takajun’s, Del Rey’s, your translation, and the original Japanese).

    And the example he gave me:

    “Japanese: 八月になったばかりの夜、事前に連絡もなく幹也がやってきた。
    Del Rey: On the night it turned August, Mikiya suddenly dropped in out of the blue.
    Fantranslation: It is a night somewhere in the beginning of August, and Mikiya comes by to visit without any prior notice, as per his MO. Popping open the door, I see him standing idly in the hallway, facing the entrance like some sort of servant-in-waiting.

    The first part may be more accurate in the fantranslation, but everything after “as per his MO…” is simply invented.”

    So it appears your translations are “accurate” if you ignore the made-up crap. According to your translation Mikiya “standing idly in the hallway, facing the entrance like some sort of servant-in-waiting.” But this never happened. This gives your readers the wrong impressions. And because of this I’m not sure if I should continue reading OR if I can recommend KnK to other fans.

  90. […] you can visit https://emptyboundaries.wordpress.com/ s/he translate & download file in this post Empty Boundaries – Volume 1 (contains Parts 1-3) Empty Boundaries – Volume 2 (contains Parts 4-5… BIG Thanks & CREDIT to her/him to hard work & share. Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  91. Just wondering.
    Will you translate Mirai Fukuin as well ?

  92. […] Get the fully translated light novel here. Don’t even get my started on Del ray not using the licensing properly. […]

  93. Thank you so much for translating. 🙂

  94. Thank you so much for this translation 😀

  95. You must be quite humble to think that this excellent blog is an “sorry excuse for a blog”

  96. wizteddy13 Says:

    Whoa, can’t believe I actually found this.
    Thank you SO MUCH sir! 😀

  97. Thank you so much. Today is my happy day.

  98. thank you very much.

  99. ありがとうございます!

  100. getting to read these novels was a blast
    awesome work and thank you so much 😀

    ~just wondering,
    do you plan on working on the new novel as well?

  101. jianreyes02 Says:

    Salamat kababayan! 🙂

  102. […] started by looking at the light novels. And I rather liked them. So I decided to watch the series that were based on them and I love them. […]

  103. jianreyes02 Says:

    found a raw novel of the newest kara no kyoukai book, Garden of Oblivion would you translate it also?

    here http://www.nyaa.se/?page=view&tid=483168

  104. Hi, i ‘m a “sort of” translator working on Japanese manga for a public house in Vietnam.
    I ve always thought of english as a language which is a little mechanical and inflexible. That was until I read your piece, simply mind blowing and beautiful. Word choices, grammar, the feeling each sentence gave, all amazing.
    I love how you made a different tone of words for each character, Shiki, how her gloomy yet profound view showed the beauty of a dark world, and mikiya, simple and straight. It matched their personality just well.
    Thanks for bring me KnK, I love this LN so much. Because u made me to.

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