The Swirl of the Root

The Swirl of the Root (根源の渦, Kongen no Uzu?, "the Vortex of Radix" in the English localization), also known as the Root (根源, Kongen?, "Radix" in the English localization), the Akashic Records (アカシックレコード, Akashikkurekōdo?), or occasionally, Heaven (空, Sora?), is a metaphysical location within the Nasuverse that acts as the "force" that exists at the top of all theories in every dimension, as well as the source of all events and phenomena in the universe. It is also referred to as the "Outside of the World," as opposed to the World and the Reverse Side of the World. Existing outside of time, it stores and archives information of all possibilities and events, past, present, and future, of the world. It is the place from where all souls, including those of Heroic Spirits recorded on the Throne of Heroes, originate from and to where they return after death.

The Swirl of the Root in Kara no Kyoukai

In Kara no Kyoukai, the Swirl of the Root, or Akashic Records, is the name used to pronounce 「 」 (quoted empty space, equivalent of " "), which is also referred to as "Emptiness" (空, Kara?) that is part of the title.[1][2] Although, because the Swirl of the Root is a name, it automatically can't be said to be the same anymore, since 「 」 is a space of nothingness that can't even have a name.

Reaching the Root[edit | edit source]

The ultimate ambition of the Magi is to reach the Root and many focus their experiments into discovering a path to it. The First Magic and Fifth Magic were the result of reaching the Root, while the Second, Third, and Fourth Magics were meant as a means to reach it. There are various methods used in attempts to reach it, usually involving reaching the pinnacle of a certain concept. There are also methods meant to reach it through manipulating certain systems, such as the Holy Grail War using Heroic Spirits returning to the Grail as a way of making a hole to it. Once a route is used, it is closed for good upon becoming established. If one isn't entered, it can be left until someone does claim it, thus closing it off for good.

Although Magic was a goal for many magi before the creation of the Fifth Magic, it is not their ultimate objective. The main goal for magi remains the Root itself, and the "truth" of the universe that it holds.

Seeing the Root, touching it and then managing to understand it will completely erase the meaning of "impossible", granting the magus what some would describe as "the capabilities of God".[3] Needless to say, this is impossible for even the most talented magi.

Individuals with a Path to the Root[edit | edit source]

Notable Attempts to Reach the Root[edit | edit source]

  • Souren Araya attempted to reach it by using the path to the Root that Shiki Ryougi's body presented.
  • Touko Aozaki studied the human body while aiming to recreate the original human body, under the belief that modern humans could no longer reach the Root after becoming too diversified genetically.
  • Norikata Emiya wished to accelerate time to observe the end of the universe and the Root that would appear afterwards.
  • Nagato Tohsaka, due to his martial arts background, believed that he could reach Akasha by attaining a state of nothingness and enlightenment.
  • As it has no connection to this actual world, the Church, which is only interested in this world, finds it completely meaningless.

Those who have touched it directly have never returned to the world. Those who have managed to touch it ceased to exist on the spot, as their human souls are either going back to "where they came from", becoming absorbed into the Root, or something similar. The exact details are unknown, so even magi who have left their names in history have refrained from touching it.

There are also Magicians who have come close to it, but backed away before touching it, like Aoko Aozaki, and magi who have gotten close to it to stabilize their own Magecraft in a hurry. Aoko believes that it is possible those who end up there "become God" in a sense, so there is no reason for them to come back. It is also possible they cannot come back because "being God" isn't truly such a wondrous event as humans may think. Both those who succeeded and failed touched it and couldn't return to the world. It may be they told people about it is because the first person to become God wanted companions out of loneliness, or that their work on that side was so massive that they needed other companions.[4] 

References[edit | edit source]

  1. [v] Kara no Kyoukai Special Pamphlet - Encyclopedia: 「 」 [Others], p.028-029 [T]

    「 」 [Others]
    If you really wished to pronounce this term, call it "Kara".
    Its meaning varied depending on each individual's understanding. To put it in simple terms, it was the Spiral of Origin.
    However, since the Spiral of Origin was called the Spiral of Origin, it was no longer ' '.
    To properly express this term was a source of headache during the production of the drama CDs.

    「 」【―――】【その他】
    仮《かり》に読み方をつけるとしたら、から。
    受け取り方は人それぞれ。端的に分かりやすくいうのなら、根源の渦。
    が、根源の渦は根源の渦、という名前がある為、やはり「 」とは別物である。
    これをどう台詞《せ り ふ》にしてもらうかがドラマCD時での悩みのタネだった。

  2. [v] Tsukihime Dokuhon PlusPeriod - TSUKIHIME Dictionary: Root [Term], p.179

    Root [Term]
    A term that has nothing to do with the story of Tsukihime at all.
    For more information, please consult Kara no Kyoukai.

    根源【用語】
    月姫本編には関係しない。
    詳しくは空の境界を参照のこと。

  3. Mahou Tsukai no Yoru - The Swirl of the Root is where all wisdom is stored and all events are decided. Seeing, touching, and understanding that would make you be able to change even the meaning of "impossible". Its name would vary depending on your culture, but you could call it the location of God.
  4. Mahou Tsukai no Yoru - General True Magic and Root Information
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