Shingetsutan Tsukihime Review

by Chad

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.

I’m no fan of vampires and bloodsuckers – I even considered dropping the show after knowing there were such characters! But no sir, I gave it a shot and I’m glad I did as this heavily heartrending piece is well justified. Don’t expect cheesy lines nor ridiculous abs here!

Shingetsutan Tsukihime, arcueid brunestud, shiki tohno, tsukihime shiki, yumizuka satsuki, tsukihime arcueid, akiha tohno, tsukihime akiha, melty blood, tsukihime ciel

Originally a Japanese eroge dōjin visual novel game, the immense reception it acquired paved this first-born of 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 Fate/Stay Night.

Shingetsutan Tsukihime, arcueid brunestud, shiki tohno, tsukihime shiki, yumizuka satsuki, tsukihime arcueid, akiha tohno, tsukihime akiha, melty blood, tsukihime ciel

Plot: The story follows a high school student named Tohno Shiki. Similar to Ryougi Shiki (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 anything by breaking the lines of said object, 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 keep them until he needs to protect someone.

Shingetsutan Tsukihime, arcueid brunestud, shiki tohno, tsukihime shiki, yumizuka satsuki, tsukihime arcueid, akiha tohno, tsukihime akiha, melty blood, tsukihime ciel

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.

Shingetsutan Tsukihime, arcueid brunestud, shiki tohno, tsukihime shiki, yumizuka satsuki, tsukihime arcueid, akiha tohno, tsukihime akiha, melty blood, tsukihime ciel

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. The next day though, he finds her waiting for him in the park and said 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 reality that is to befall Misaki town is slowly revealed.

Shingetsutan Tsukihime, arcueid brunestud, shiki tohno, tsukihime shiki, yumizuka satsuki, tsukihime arcueid, akiha tohno, tsukihime akiha, melty blood, tsukihime ciel

The fact that Tsukihime originated from an eroge dōjin game (including hentai and dating sims at that) gave it its flaws. Overall, the anime is wonderful – but it showed room for improvement. What I felt was the awkward blending on the focus of the episodes. After building you up with the main plot element unraveling the mysteries one by one, upcoming episodes would distract you with those that emphasize on character development and romantic relationships between the protagonists. So it spoils the original tension. But hey, I can live with that.

The music is very very much superb as I’m a sucker for string orchestra accompanied by classical piano – conveying dark, eerie and depressing vibes. It’s not something you would listen to alone, but it definitely adds to more than 50% of the scenes’ feel when put together with the visuals. I also was impressed by the OP theme, the fact that they deviated from the norm of using a random J-Pop song made the series all the more different.

Shingetsutan Tsukihime, arcueid brunestud, shiki tohno, tsukihime shiki, yumizuka satsuki, tsukihime arcueid, akiha tohno, tsukihime akiha, melty blood, tsukihime ciel, aoko aozaki, tsukihime aozaki

And yes, all you Type-Moon-ers who don’t know yet – Aoko Aozaki is actually Aozaki Touko’s (Kara No Kyoukai) sister! And that Touko was the one who supposedly made the glasses Aoko gave to Tohno Shiki.

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