This short anime series is based on visual novel Tsukihime, and while I didn’t see Lunar Legend back in 2003 when it aired, I believe it garnered its share disappointed fans of the franchise.
Lunar Legend Tsukihime (Shingetsutan Tsukihime) 2003
And I know that’s not saying much – disappointing the average anime fanatic is not hard, but I was able to quite comfortably side-step all of that while watching, since I didn’t know anything about the franchise before I kicked things off.
However, by the end of the anime, I had noticed where some parts of an obviously fairly rich and detailed storyline had to be left out of the adaptation. So too, it was clear that wider context about certain characters had been omitted as ‘assumed knowledge’. Neither of those things detracted from the story too much, but I did do some quick reading afterwards to fill in a few gaps.
One of the things I found interesting was the blend of genres. Perhaps not an even blend, but there’s horror, suspense, gothic touches, drama, action and also romance. So there are a lot of balls in the air during Lunar Legend. I can see some viewers finding it muddled – but for me, what held everything together were unanswered questions about the main cast.
In that vein, I guess the high point of the ending wasn’t actually the confrontation between Arcueid & Roa but the reveals about Shiki’s past. I think that was what I was most keen to discover from the beginning.
I will say that nothing within the series quite lived up to what the OP seemed to promise with its drama, costume and setting, but that’s not to say I disliked Lunar Legend Tsukihime either. And even though Shiki was kind of a flat character, it was good to see Arcueid trying to get him to live.
Time for some dot points!
- Despite some creepy moments and some memorable battles, my favourite episode actually comes from the amusement park, I was laughing at poor old Akiha’s childishness fairly often, I must say
- The mid-episode title cards I really liked
- The OST really adds to the gothic feel – as does Akiha’s mansion itself
- Interesting to see a pocket-knife as a main weapon.
I suspect that if you’re a die-hard fan of the visual novels then you might not enjoy this anime a whole lot, but I was drawn in via the promise of slowly revealing secrets. I probably won’t watch it again but I could say that about a lot of things 😀