Studio: J.C. Staff
Genre: Action, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Super Power, Supernatural, Vampire
Release: S1 (2003)
I was taken by Kara No Kyoukai so much, I had to know about the guys who made it. That’s when I came across Type-Moon’s other works, including Shingetsutan Tsukihime.
Not really a fan of the cliche type of vampires and bloodsuckers- heck, I even considered dropping this show after hearing there were such characters- but thank God I still gave it a shot as this heavily heartrending piece is well-justified. Don’t expect overly cheesy lines nor ridiculous abs here!
Originally a Japanese eroge doujin visual novel game, the immense reception it acquired paved this first-born of the company Type-Moon its very own anime adaptation- not to mention the financial resources for their future projects such as Melty Blood, Canaan, Kara No Kyoukai and the famous Fate/Stay Night.
Synopsis: The story follows a high school student named Tohno Shiki. Similar to Ryougi Shiki of Kara No Kyoukai, he suffered a life-threatening injury in his childhood resulting in him being able to see ‘death lines’. Having these Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, Shiki is able to kill anyone and anything by breaking the lines of said object he sees, no matter the sharpness of the weapon used.
For him to lead a normal life, a mysterious woman named Aozaki Aoko appears before Shiki and gives him glasses that suppress the death lines, telling him to wear them until he needs to protect someone.
After the accident, young Shiki was sent away from the Tohno household and was given to a relative to be raised. Eight years have passed, his father dies and Shiki is then invited back to the Tohno household by the new family head- his younger sister Akiha.
Just when ordinary days would seem to continue, Shiki comes across an oblivious Arcueid Brunestud on his way home from school. Unknowingly, he feels an urge to kill and loses control of himself. He chases down a defenseless Arcueid and dismembers her to pieces using his Mystic Eyes of Death Perception.
Thinking that everything is just a dream, Shiki denies to himself what he did to the blonde Arcueid. On the next day he finds her waiting for him in the park, saying with a smile “You killed me.” Arcueid reveals that she is of the True Ancestors race of vampires, and forces Shiki to be her bodyguard to compensate in weakening her and jeopardizing her mission. From here on, Shiki’s past and the fate that is to befall Misaki Town is slowly revealed.
Sadly, the fact that Tsukihime originated from an eroge gave it some flaws. Overall, the anime is wonderful if rated by itself, but the problem starts when you compare it to the visual novel- it’s not entirely accurate and fans aren’t very well pleased with that. Be it budget constraints or if it was really intentional, a lot of content was rushed, some changed, and others left out in the dark, leaving a different impression than what the original intended. But hey, I can live with that as long as there’s other content that will compensate.
What other content? The music is a good place to start. It’s just superb- marvelous, even! I’m a sucker for anything that’s string and wind orchestra paired to classical piano, and they just had to excel at it! The captivating songs of the series alone made Tsukihime a special place in my anime-loving heart. It’s been years and yet I never tire of listening to the OST. Oh! Another thing to note is its impressive opening sequence- the fact that they deviated from the norm of using a J-Pop or J-Rock song made the series all the more unique.
Trivia time! Aoko Aozaki of Tsukihime is actually Touko Aozaki’s (Kara no Kyoukai) sister! And that Touko was the one who supposedly made the glasses Aoko gave to Tohno Shiki. Aoko stole it from her though- haha!