Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: Tsukihime Lunar Legend (2006)

Tsukihime Lunar Legend (2006) is a Japanese supernatural horror anime show. It takes place in contemporary Japan. The show can be very graphic, so viewer discretion is advised. It also contains 12 episodes.

Shiki Tohno is a second-year high school student. In his childhood, he suffered a life-threatening injury. When he regained consciousness, he could see "death lines" (Mystic Eyes of Death Perception) which allowed him to slash and kill objects with perfect accuracy. However, this new ability gives him major headaches and weakens his overall strength. He wears eyeglasses so that he cannot see the death lines and live a normal life. After this incident, he was forced to live with distant relatives. Eight years later, he was summoned to return to the Tohno family house. There, he has a sister, Akiha Tohno, who has assumed responsibility of the household after the death of their father. With two personal maids, the Tohno family come from a wealthy background. As a result, Shiki has difficulty adjusting back to this traditional lifestyle.

On his way home, he meets a mysterious blonde woman with red eyes in the park. He later finds out her name is Arcueid Brunestud, a very old vampire princess whom he "murdered" using his Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. However, he does not remember the incident. Since his skills are highly useful, Arcueid recruits him to help her fight Roa. She is in a much weaker state (she can only use 30% of her power) and uses the remaining power to suppress her vampiric urges (e.g. need for blood). Meanwhile, Shiki notices his classmate, Ciel, has supernatural abilities and often rescues him when trouble arises. He later founds out Ciel used to be Roa's vessel in a previous reincarnation and fights for the Church to regain her humanity.

As Shiki helps Arcueid with her supernatural cases, he also investigates the lineage of the Tohno household. When he discovers Akiha drinking blood from one of the maids, he is determined to understand what really happened eight years ago. This will put him in very dangerous territory. Will he survive long enough to uncover the truth?

I found this series on Anime News Network when I was looking for similar titles under subject terms "vampires" and "horror" and "supernatural." Although this show is short, the plot was very interesting and suspenseful. There were times when I often questioned Shiki's behavior because he can come across as indifferent and uncaring although the accident left him mentally paralyzed. The level of action picks up dramatically in the last few episodes when Shiki fights the new reincarnation of Roa, which also answers many secrets about the Tohno family. The ending is also emotional when one of the main characters dies. Overall, it you are looking for a short and serious vampire anime, then I highly recommend this show.


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