Director: Sakurabi Katsushi
Length: 12 Episodes
+ Wonderfully animated
+ Well organized and thought out story
+/ Series takes a while to piece together to enjoy
Lunar Legend Tsukihime is blend of all the right elements to make up a great anime. The relatively short series accomplishes an in-depth story that puts together the story one piece at a time. If you can get past the pacing of this series, you're in for a great story.
3 out of 5
Lunar Legend Tsukihime Anime Review
Written by: Raye on 1/10/2004
For some reason, Japan has been using vampires a lot more in anime than teenagers born with special abilities that allow them to release their ki in giant energy blasts lately. Examples of Japan's recent fascination with the undead include such titles as Hellsing and Vampire Princess Miyu, along with movies like Vampire Hunter D and Blood: The Last Vampire. You wouldn't expect a series entitled 'Tsukihime,' which literally translates to "Moon Princess" in English to deal with gothic themes at all. Nonetheless, Lunar Legend Tsukihime, also known as Shingetsutan Tsukihime in Japan, proves to be a series to give other short anime titles a run for their money.
This is one of those shows where you just have to follow each and every episode closely in order to completely enjoy the storyline. Touno Shiki was born with unique vision. His eyes could see the "lines of death," which, if penetrated, would cause a person or object to be completely destroyed upon insertion of a sharp object. With this ability in his possession, Shiki proved that he could be a force to be reckoned with, despite his average appearance. However, a woman who Shiki refers to as "sensei" gave him special glasses that prevented the young boy from seeing the lines of death. Now in high school, Shiki encounters a mysterious woman who happens to know him. Confused about his relationship with the long blonde-haired woman, Shiki is determined to learn more about his relationship with the woman, along with his desire to discover more about his powers, his family, and his very own past, all while battling bloodthirsty vampires.
After viewing Tsukihime and planning this review I wondered what's not to like? It's wonderfully animated and has a very in-depth storyline that practically forces you to remember what happened in the previous episode(s) if you want to even make sense out of the show. If there are any gripes I have about this show, it's the fact that Roa, the big bad guy, is pretty much a joke. I'm quite tired of how you are led to believe that there'll be an insanely good battle, but it turns out to be plain and ordinary, allowing fights in prior episodes to be more memorable than the final fight. It's just so anti-climatic, you know? And this may sound like a personal complaint, but I just don't care too much for the opening and ending themes. Sometimes, those things make an anime title memorable. Tsukihime just lacks in the music department. There's nothing the show gives you to start humming out of the blue one day at work.
I can't remember the last time there was such a series only limited to thirteen episodes that was so well organized. The only title that comes to mind is the Tenchi Muyo! OAV. Tsukihime possesses a lot of backstory. You'll be confused after the first episode, but slowly, things will come together. Definetely, this is a series that cannot be watched by the Dragon Ball Z-influenced anime viewer who anticipates a fight in every single episode or is expecting everything to be drawn out for them. As for the elements of a good story, Tsukihime has it all. Yes, there is action, there is suspense, and believe it or not, there is a love story involved too. That's what really impressed me about this title; that admist the vampire-slaying and crazy relationships between the handful of characters, the creators were able to sneak in a bit of romance into the show. Speaking of characters, as mentioned, there aren't a whole lot of them, which is a good thing in the case of a series of such a short length. Because of this, Tsukihime is able to set backgrounds for all of the people who count, and as the series moves along, we are able to understand the cast more and more. When the feelings of side characters are able to be comprehended, you know something's working right.
Tsukihime is a nice refreshing break from a lot of your typical titles that involve too much drama or too much comedy. It's a blend of all the right elements to make up a great anime. Unfortunately, it just isn't something for everyone to enjoy. Viewers who lack the motivation to put the pieces of a puzzle together will be turned off by the series and would probably quit watching out of boredom sometime in the middle of the series. It's understandable, since Tsukihime is not a very fast-paced title overall. I myself will say right now that this is not a title that you must watch. If you've got the spare time, watch it all in one sitting. If not, try to limit yourself to watch just this one show because you'll probably forget some of the backstory if you are trying to juggle a bunch of titles to watch at the same time. I'll only recommend this show to anime fanatics who just have to watch every single series out there and to those who are intrigued by interesting and in-depth plots. Tsukihime is quite an impressive piece of animation that wasn't too short or too long, but honestly, it's just not for everyone.
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