Lunar Legend Tsukihime Original Soundtrack 1: Moonlit Archives -

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  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Geneon Anime Music
  • MSRP: 14.99
  • Aspect Ratio: PIOCD52422
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Tsukihime, Lunar Legend

Lunar Legend Tsukihime Original Soundtrack 1: Moonlit Archives

By Lauren Goodnight     August 18, 2004
Release Date: July 06, 2004

Lunar Legend Tsukihime Original Soundtrack 1: Moonlit Archives
© Geneon Anime Music

What They Say
Vampires are among us. Or are they? The lines between cryptic dreams and horrifying reality become blurred as Shiki searches for answers to an apparent murder that's tied into his uncanny ability to see perceived lines of death. Along the way, he'll learn more about his enigmatic past, while encountering an underworld of nightmarish beings and mysterious allies. Based on the riveting vampire series of the same name, the soundtrack to 'Lunar Legend Tsukihime' features 24 subtle instrumentals that emphasizes and flows with graceful piano and strings by composer Toshiyuki O'mori (Evangelion, Devil Hunter Yohko, Golgo 13, Urusei Yatsura) and includes the beautiful ending vocal 'The End of the Cycle of Reincarnation' sung by popular voice actress Fumiko Orikasa (Hellsing, Chobits, Gad Guard)

The Review!
Content: B+
Audio: A
Packaging: A
Extras: n/a


The Snarky Review: Maybe the real difference between Pioneer and Geneon is that Geneon brought someone on board who can line up red, green, and blue correctly.

The Serious Review: This is a beautiful and sufficient packaging that appeals to both the eyes and the anime fan's soul. The cover image is a dramatic juxtaposition of the main character's back and angelic markings/weapons and the blue-black sky. The title of the album and the Serphira III symbol, a pointed cross with wings and further trappings, are subtly displayed over the moon itself. This image is also on the back of the booklet. Inside is a track listing, some beautiful background shots, a nice array of character pictures, an essay by producer/composer Toshiyuki O'mori, the English and Japanese lyrics to the one vocal track, and the ubiquitous list of staff and "thank you"s. The case itself is standard Geneon fare: clear, with a deeply colored image visible through the plastic backing, and a back cover that ties in elements gathered from the interior of the booklet. On the back, the listener is treated to a track listing, the Sephira III symbol in gray, the title of the show, the title of the work (Moonlit Archives), and five small pictures of the main cast. Above the track listing is a minuscule version of the original series logo.

Music Review:
This may be one of the most difficult discs to review that has crossed over my table. Toshiyuki O'Mori has delivered an album of solid and distinct background music that stands as a smart homage to Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) and Yoko Shimomura (Parasite Eve, Kingdom Hearts). The reason I reference those two composers is that they have been influential in video game music in the past 20 years, and this disc consistently sounds like video game music. Moonlit Archives is, as a whole, strong in some ways and weak in others, but it stands as a whole. This is important because it flies in the face of my normal review procedures, i.e., choose the best and "rest" tracks and summarize the work. This work refuses to bend to that rule.

Moonlit Archives is strong in composition in that its themes are relevant to the listener from beginning to end. The strings lilt from song to song, draping over the piano melodies and choral interludes much in the same fashion as moonlight drapes over the night world. There are tracks that stand out, not because of superior quality, but because they follow the temporal arrangement of the storyline in the anime as opposed to the arrangement that would best support their different-ness. One such track is "Captivate", a sax-and-drums number that plays out between two softer tracks. It is neither better nor worse than the tracks that surround it, but it doesn't flow well with that which surrounds it.

The music here is beautiful and skillfully composed. I personally like daydreaming to it, and it seems to be the kind of classic, time-defying stuff that made such soundtracks as Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer and Tonari no Totoro into classic anime music fare.

This album's greatest weakness, by far, is how the tracks end. Each track seems to have been composed only to the very end of the 2-3 minute scene for which it was used. This may SOUND normal in theory, but in practice, it makes the album as a whole feel disjointed. Two minutes into a song, I don't expect it to just end, without so much as a quick run down the ivories or a soft "good-bye" from the violins. And yet, that is a recurring problem throughout the work: the listener is drawn into the composer's world seductively, then the world evaporates. It happened again and again throughout, as some tracks have neat, clean endings and others don't.

In summary, Lunar Legend Tsukihime: Moonlit Archives is a beautiful, if bumpy, ride into someone else's dream. Dark and flowing, it evokes powerful images in the listener's mind and conveys great love and emotion. Each track carries a weight, a drama all its own, you could say, that lifts the listener and takes them far, far away. The occasional out-of-place jazz track and the songs that have no ending will jar even the most determined dreamer, but the music itself makes up for the silence. This is one case in which quality and quantity should make a mark in your choices about this album.

Sacred Moon,Inscrutable,Castle,Urgency,Insanity,Doubtless,Betray,Wounds,Destiny,Captivate,Cherish,Crescent,Haunting,Dusk,Precious,Homage,Beleaguer,Vain,Delusion,Maze,Justice,Tormenter,Demoniac,Prayer,End of the Cycle of Reincarnation... [on Air Version]

Review Equipment
Running time: 48 minutes


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