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Shingetsuten Tsukihime

 

Grade: B

Genre: Horror

Reviewed: Sub

Episodes: 12 episodes

Notes: Legend of the Moon Princess; also seen spelled as Shingetsutan

 

 

Introduction:

Shiki Tohno was seriously injured as a young boy. Hw was then able to see "life lines" on objects and people which, when cut, will instantly destroy them. Years later, a mysterious beautiful woman appears and claims that he had "killed" her. The vampire and Moon Princess, Arcueid Brunestud, now requests his help in her pursuit of other vampires.

Animation/Music/Voices:

The backgrounds are often quite beautiful but the character designs are disappointingly simplistic, different than the opening sequence. The blood and lifelines are utilized well, adding suspense. The score had gothic/classical influences and was quite good. Voices were appropriate, nothing notable.

Review:

Some time after his accident, Tohno Shiki is given a special pair of glasses by a mysterious woman that prevents him from seeing the lifelines. He lives normally, but away from his family and is now in high school. As the series starts, he moves back home with his sister Akiha after their father's death. One day, Shiki is walking home from school when he meets a beautiful woman, Arcueid Brunestud who claims he killed her the other day. Shiki tends to have blackouts and thinks that her murder was just a nightmare. Arcueid is a vampire princess who now wants Shiki to help fight Roa, a rogue vampire who is responsible for a number of recent murders.

This series starts off with an interesting premise and quite a bit of blood and excitement, but by the end it winds down slowly and disappointingly. It becomes more of a weak romance and the plot doesn't go anywhere exciting and the action scenes become standard. Shiki is the usual reluctant hero. Aruceid is the experienced ageless creature yet naïve about the modern world, which doesn't make much sense since it seems she's been living among humans for a long time rather than just awakened. She starts to develop feelings for Shiki, which is nicely handled. Other than Aruceid, the characters are not terribly interesting or developed. Besides Akiha the sister, there is: Ciel a friend and upperclassman in Shiki's school who is also a vampire hunter; Shiki's would be girlfriend; and two maids. The series seems more focused on Shiki's relationship with these women, bordering on a harem anime, than on a cohesive tight knit story.

Apparently this series was based on a game with much more background mythology of the various types of vampires and how they evolved. If more of that had been incorporated, this series would have been more interesting. By the end some things are left unexplained but enough is explained to satisfy the viewer. There's also a nice twist involving Shiki's accident it but takes too long to get there. Overall, watch the first few episodes and when it gets boring, skip to the last couple of episodes.

Rated PG-13 for violence. Recommended for vampire fanatics and those who like a bit of blood and romance.