Lunar Legend Tsukihime is that one game from TYPE-MOON that got turned into an anime, and later a manga. I had this manga on my Amazon.com wishlist for a while, but it never found its way into my shopping cart. There were a lot of requests to review this manga in my post about my legendary backlog, so here we go!
When he was young, Tohno Shiki was in some kind of accident. When he recovered, he discovered that he could see squiggly lines on everthing. After tracing those lines with a knife, any object just sorta falls apart. The power makes him feel sick, though, so he doesn’t see it as a good thing. Luckily, he meets some woman who gives him glasses that nullify his super vision.
Fast forward eight years or so and we see that Shiki has decided to move back to his original home. Apparently he was living with relatives, but his family is uber rich. But with richness comes rules. Like a lame 7pm curfew!!!
While Shiki is coming home early from school (due to his anemia, which is probably due to his super eye powers), he feels a crazy strong urge to slice up a woman. Later he wakes up in his home and thinks it was a dream. But the next day at school, the woman he killed starts stalking him! Uh oh… Things are getting pretty weird.
This volume had a lot of plot setup, especially since the story is so complicated. Even so, there was quite a lot of story, and it ended up being a really fast read. The art was really effective in setting the mood of the manga. I’d say this is primarily a horror story, since there’s so many disturbing images (chopped up Arcueid, chopped up innocent people, etc). I don’t remember if the anime was this spooky, but the manga sure is!
Character Designs and Art:
I really like the character designs, but sometimes the characters are drawn really strangely. I guess a good word for the art would be “inconsistent.” Besides Shiki (and his one male friend), every character is a super cute girl! Arcueid’s white sweater is pretty darn awesome, and who doesn’t like twin maids!?
The Actual Book:
I’ve read about ComicsOne and DrMaster Books before. Typically the consensus is that the print quality of their books is terrible. I’d have to agree. I do think it’s getting better, but this is one of their older books, so it suffers from their past printing problems.
Basically, it looks like someone used a photocopier on newspaper stock to print this manga. The art all looks blurry, like it was scanned multiple times. There are also issues with contrast as well (I couldn’t make out the name of the knife printed on the actual knife, only the text below it).
As far as translating goes, I noticed that many parts keep the original Japanese text and insert the English translation below it. I guess it’s just a style issue, but the two sets of text sometimes make the panels seem a bit claustrophobic.
Despite the bad, bad quality of the actual book, I still think Tsukihime is worth picking up. The plot is really interesting, the characters are cute, and it’s got vampires! If you’re a fan of the series, I’d suggest picking up the manga, since I think I’m enjoying it more than the anime version.