Tsukihime Lunar Legend Vol. #3 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Tsukihime, Lunar Legend

Tsukihime Lunar Legend Vol. #3

By Bryan Morton     February 28, 2006
Release Date: March 13, 2006

Tsukihime Lunar Legend Vol. #3
© MVM Entertainment

What They Say
The relationship between Arcueid and Shiki is deeper than others may realize. But can this relationship endure their heritage? Roa has finally appeared and Arcueid’s mission couldn’t be more evident than now. But how is Shiki tied to this? The Tohno family secret is revealed as Shiki’s memories of the past return...

Episodes Comprise
9 - Death
10 - Vermillion Crimson Moon
11 - Misfortunate Night
12 - Lunar World

The Review!
Tsukihime comes to and end, and it doesn't half take its time getting there.

Audio is provided in both English and Japanese 2.0 stereo - I listened to the Japanese track for this review. With this disc being very dialogue-heavy, there wasn't really much opportunity to make use of the side channels - there are some background effects that provide some directionality, but that's about it. Dialogue does come through very clearly, though, and there were no obvious defects.

Tsukihime continues to be a very good-looking show. The style of animation and detail used adds a lot to the atmosphere of the series (one of its strong points), while both the quality of animation and the transfer are very good. Night-time scenes come across very clearly with no apparent colour blending. Daytime scenes are colourful and bright. Subtitle tracks are provided in both songs-and-signs and full translation forms - the yellow-on-black font used is clear and easy to read. Video is presented in its original 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format.

No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Following the theme of the previous volumes, the main menu again uses a full moon and night sky as its background, this time featuring Akiha in her school uniform, while the opening theme plays. Sub-menus are provided for episode select, extras and language setup - with no transition animations to slow things down, it's all very quick and easy to use.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
As he lies recovering from his injuries, Shiki childhood memories begin to return - and they're not pretty. When he awakes, he's not quite sure if what he's seen was real or a dream, but he's got more important things to think about. First, Akiha wants to know what he's been doing outside the house, while Shiki's got a few questions he wants to ask her himself - but while he's as honest as he can be, Akiha's still evasive. Some pointers from Kohaku and Hisui finally help him to start unravelling the mysteries of his past, which will eventually lead him to Roa.

There are a lot of revelations made in these episodes, as the writers seem to have saved them all until the last possible moment. From Roa's identity, both now and in the past, through Shiki's past to Ciel's true nature, there's a lot of ground covered – but sadly, there's not much that's truly surprising or unexpected. You would also maybe expect to have some feeling of suspense around these sorts of scenes, but Tsukihime's almost devoid of that. Things just happen, get noted, and the story moves on – no muss, no fuss, and no real reason for the viewer to really get involved with the story.

A little more interesting is Shiki's developing relationship with Arcuied, who in amongst all that's going on around them find the time to go on a date with each other – to a vampire-slayer movie, of all things. With Arc essentially having been alone for several hundred years now, going through the motions of tracking Roa, killing his current incarnation, then lying dormant again, the "friendship" she's managed to build with Shiki is the one thing in her life that's new and different. They're just doing the things that normal people do all the time, but with her being far from normal it's an experience she wants to enjoy – so while it's another series of scenes where you could say that nothing really happens, it finally cements the relationship between Arcuied and Shiki as he realises how much she means to him. Sadly, fate has decreed there'll be no happy ending.

The time eventually comes for Arcuied to deal with Roa, which she's determined to do on her own. Both Shiki and Ciel eventually intervene in the battle, as they both have reason to want Roa to be dealt with permanently even aside from Arc's own history with him. Roa's been around long enough in his various forms to have impacted on the lives of many different people, and here we get three of them joining forces to make sure it doesn't happen again. The final showdown leads to some very good-looking and well-presented fight scenes, the only taste of action on these discs, but it's almost over too soon.

There's an epilogue scene at the end of the final episode that serves to tie up a few things from earlier in the series, but even then there are a few issues that, when all is said and done, are left untouched. Tsukihime's big problem throughout the series has been its pacing, but rather than pick up the pace as the conclusion got closer it seemed to get even slower – there's plenty going on, but the way it's presented it just doesn't feel like it. I've enjoyed the characters in Tsukihime, who have all had a good amount of work put into them, but the story itself has been definitely lacking.

In Summary:
Tsukihime started well, but sadly fails to live up to its early promise. While there's plenty of atmosphere and a lot of good character work is done throughout the series, the main story has a hard time supporting them, while poor pacing robs the events and revelations on this volume of the impact they should have had. The end result is a show that falls short of expectations.

Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.


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