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Lunar Legend Tsukihime
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 05/04/2005

Shiki Tohno is a young man gifted with a special power. Shiki can see the threads that somehow bind things, and he can destroy anything or anyone by cutting those lines. A mage approaches Shiki and gives him a pair of glasses which renders those lines invisible, giving Shiki a chance to live a normal life. Shiki's quiet existence is shaken with the appearance of a woman named Arcueid Brunestud. Arcueid claims that she is an eight-hundred-year-old vampire who's out to eliminate vampires who are victimizing humans, and she wants Shiki to help him in her quest...
Lunar Legend Tsukihime is the first of several more recent anime titles I picked up in lieu of my resolve to make's content more up-to-date. I was intrigued by the horror aspect of the series, which was certainly a departure from the romantic fluff I had been watching beforehand.
Lunar Legend Tsukihime opens with a scene from Shiki's childhood. Shiki's in a hospital. He's basly hurt from some sort of accident. Young Shiki claims that he sees lines everywhere, but people around him quite understandably presume that he's just delirious. Shiki is approached by a mage, who hands him a special pair of glasses. Shiki no longer sees the lines when he wears the glasses, and he is consequently shipped off to live with some relatives thereafter. Fast-forward to several years later. Shiki is a teenager now. His father had just passed away and he is now being called back to live with his sister Akiha at the Tohno household.
As Shiki makes his way back to the Tohno household, a mysterious woman appears. Suddenly there is blood everywhere, and Shiki finds himself home with his sister Akiha when he awakens. Shiki thinks he dreamt of killing the woman, but in reality, he really did kill her. She appears again the next day and introduces herself as Arcueid Brunestud, and she insists that Shiki help her in her quest to eliminate vampires -- since he weakened her considerably when he killed her.
I liked Lunar Legend Tsukihime's overall concept, a pity that the series suffers from excruciatingly slow pacing. Despite what the synopsis suggests, it's not a hack-and-slash action-packed vampire anime. Most of the screening time is devoted to extended conversations and character interactions, some of which are very interesting and some of which are rather bland. At one point you'd even be lead to think that it's a romantic anime wherein all the female characters have a thing for Shiki, but that's only how it looks on the surface. There's a deeper mystery surrounding the Tohno family, and an unknowing Shiki is right in the middle of it. And what about the religious crusader who appears just as mysteriously as Arcueid? The more obvious questions are eventually answered with each passing episode, but there are still loose ends left after the series concludes... especially since Shiki and Arcueid eventually end up developing a rather meaningful relationship.
The art and animation are extremely well-done. Character designs are beautiful, and having just recently been to Tokyo, I can say that Lunar Legend Tsukihime recreates the Tokyo day to night settings and scenarios perfectly. I really liked the intriguing opening and ending sequences too.
Lunar Legend Tsukihime is a rather different take on an old theme. It would have worked a lot better had the pacing been less tedious, but all the same it's a series worth watching.
Lunar Legend Tsukihime is twelve episodes long.

Lunar Legend Tsukihime
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Review Title:
Lunar Legend Tsukihime
Alternative Titles:
Shingetsutan Tsukihime
300 Minutes
General Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Action, Drama, Fantasy,
Horror, Mystery, Romance,
Supernatural, Vampires
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