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TOKYO — The first bigscreen installment of a popular comic which started on a website set a house record during its December bow.

Bowing Dec. 1, “Kara no Kyokai — Garden of Sinners” toon recorded 19,137 admissions in its first four weeks on release, drawing standing room crowds to all of its 70 screenings at the Theater Shinjuku theater, according to toon production company Aniplex, a member of the Sony Music Group.

 The theater has also reported brisk sales of  “Kara no Kyokai” goods, moving 12,000 copies of the toon’s program.

 The toon started its run as a late show, but long lines, forming hours before the doors opened, persuaded management to add morning screenings. Also, another theater in the chain, Theater Daiya in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district, also started morning and late evening screenings.  

Popular on Variety

 The toon is one of seven planned episodes. Opening day tickets for the second, which bowed at Theater Shinjuku on Dec. 29, sold out in minutes to waiting fans. 

 The toon began as a series of stories written Kinoko Nasu and illustrated by Takeshi Takeuchi, members of a dojin, or comic collective. Posted on Nasu and Takeuchi’s dojin website “Takebouki” in October 1998, the first five stories drew an enthusiastic response. Two more installments followed in 1999 and the collected stories were released on disk by the Type-Moon dojin in 2001. Kodansha later published a novelization of the stories that became a bestseller.

 The new seven-part toon series is produced by Anplex, together with Kodansha and toon houses Notes and ufotable.

 The heroine of the series is Ryogi Shiki, a girl who can see “death lines” — the signs of impending death — in all living things. Awaking from a two-year coma, she dedicates herself to hunting monsters that have invaded her world, using a special knife.