Shiki Toono awakens in a hospital to find the walls and people around him covered in black lines. Unable to recall his past memories, Shiki is told that he survived a fatal car accident, which left a fragment lodged into his chest. His attraction to the lines lead him to trace over an object, revealing his ability to destroy it. After realizing only he is able to see these lines, Shiki is given a pair of glasses to mask them, before starting a new life with his relatives.
Eight years later, the death of his father leads Shiki back to the Toono mansion, his childhood home. One day, leaving school due to anxiety, he passes by a mysterious woman. A sudden urge overtakes him, and once again, he uses his ability to trace the lines that cover her. Soon after, he wakes up in the mansion, questioning whether what had transpired was a dream or reality.
Shingetsutan Tsukihime tells a tale enveloped in adventure, romance, and mystery. As Shiki begins to unveil his past, what lingers in the unknown soon comes back to haunt him.
Tsukihime was originally a visual novel for the PC released by Type-Moon in 2000. It was later adapted into an anime series that was not well-received by fans (to the point that fans deny the existence of the anime) and a manga series that is still being published. I played the Tsukihime game not too long ago, and I loved it. It had one of the greatest and most touching storylines I've ever seen in a video game, but it also had many disturbing scenes as well. I was able to buy the first five volumes of the manga (volume 6 is rare and expensive
at the moment), and I can safely say, the manga is a worthy adaptation of the original game.
EDIT AS OF 7/13/2011. Thanks to the magic of scanlations, (DrMaster is dead! How else am I supposed to read the manga now!?) I have been able to read all of the manga version of Tsukihime.
Shiki Tohno is a high school boy living in a seemingly ordinary town. He possesses a rare power, the "Eyes of Death Perception." With this, he can see what looks like black lines on people and objects, and if he cuts any of these lines, it will kill the person or object. He gained this power after what was apparently a near-death experience as a kid. Seeing "The Lines" puts stress on his mind and body, but he is able to live day by day for shortly after he gained this power, he was visited by a mysterious woman named Aoko Aozaki. She knew what was happening to him, and she gave him a pair of glasses that, when worn, hide the lines. She instructs him to take off the glasses only when absolutely necessary, and then suddenly leaves him.
The manga, like the anime, follows the Arcueid path from the game. In the original game, there are five paths, but the anime and manga could only follow one. While the manga unfolds like the Arcueid path from the game, it does incorporate elements from the other paths, and even includes a nod to Kagetsu Tohya, the sequel to the Tsukihime visual novel. By the third volume, the manga starts featuring scenes not from the game, but scenes exclusive to its canon. Without giving away anything, I can say that the plot of the manga is just as good as the game. While it drops a few scenes from the game, it leaves in all of the fascinating powers and most of the plot twists, and adds exciting new sequences of its own. The story is a dark one, but an extremely captivating one. 10/10.
Art-wise, it's not some of the best ever, but it does improve over time Some characters, like Shiki, Arcueid, and Ciel, look very close to the original designs from the game, but other characters, like Akiha and Arihiko, don't look as nice. (This is irritating for me since I think Akiha is one of the prettiest video game females ever, and to go from the game's design to this is especially jarring!) But the art is not horrible by any means. For one, the action sequences look fantastic. Also, the game, since it was a visual novel, consisted entirely of text and still images. The manga has more images, but scenes that were originally only described with text now have actual imagery in the manga. This I felt was a plus, even if it means that the manga is even gorier than the game. 8/10.
This is Tsukihime's strongest attribute, and the biggest reason it and other Type-Moon works have attracted such a strong fan following. Tsukihime's characters are some of the greatest ever. Shiki is a great lead character, able to smile and lead a happy life despite all of the terrible things that have happened to him. Arcueid is one of my personal favorite fictional characters ever; she's a beautiful and fascinating individual that steals nearly every scene she's in. Just about every character is not who they appear to be at first glance, and they all have their reasons to do things, including the villains, who thankfully aren't one-dimensional baddies who just want to be evil for evil's sake. I can't say much more without spoiling anything, but it's safe to say that you'll come to love at least one character in Tsukihime.
While I am giving a 10 here, I do want to say that the characters of Satsuki, Hisui, and Kohaku don't seem to be as multi-layered as they were in the game. The manga does excise details from the VN, so this may be why this is the case. 10/10.
My enjoyment of the manga version of Tsukihime is very close to my enjoyment of the game. Full of moments of terror, heartache, happiness, and so much more, Tsukihime is an absolute blast. This has become one of my favorite manga series of all time, and I intend to see it through to the end. 10/10.
Tsukihime comes with my upmost recommendation, even if you haven't played the game. Keep in mind, it is a horror series, so I wouldn't recommend it to the faint of heart, (Hope you don't mind attempts at rape!) but everyone else should check this out.
While I still think the VN version is superior, this is still a great read, too. (I will say, I like the ending here more than the endings of Arcueid's routes in the VN.)
Tsukihime, yet another manga about vampire beauty and some boy possesing mysterious power. It seems boring doesn't it? The thing is that it is the opposite!
Story 9: It is great one, the main idea is that Shiki (protagonist) from the time which he had near-death accident 8 years ago, can see some mysterious lines which are the visualisation of death itself. In addition he can cut through them which leads to certain death of the thing he slice! Good start right? But in the same time background of action is typical one - you know some serial murderer case and Shiki involved in this because
of meeting (one of the most interesting one in all of the mangas) with Arcueid Brunestud - beauty and in the same time vampire. The thing i love so much (like in the Berserker) is storytelling and retrospections in the story which is greatly developing later on.
Art 8: Not the one I like the best but nice one, and what is important we can clearly see improvement of it throughout the manga. But some scenes are just epic with the way they are draught
Characters 10: Yes, it is the best thing in the whole series. Each of the personalities are just extraordinary and very deep. They are the fillar of Tsuhikime and I deeply believe that everybody after reading will agree with me. The way emotions are showed, how they are changing and evolving from hatred to love from fury to lust... I am just speechles here.
Enjoyment 10: Simply - I read it without any breaks with my eyes devouring what I saw and what i felt by reading, this strange feeling of uncertainity. Is that good enough to subscribe how enjoyable it was?
Overall 10: Summarizing we have got one of the most epic manga ever, not only in it's own genre but in common too. I highly recommend this manga to anyone who likes extraordinary mangas with great story and deep characters.
I hope that my review was helpfull for you, thanks for reading :)
Although i appreciate the lengthy detailed reviews of others, i'll keep mine a bit shorter and without actual examples in the hopes of drawing in any passerby's to an amazing manga while avoiding any and all spoilers. Let me just say this manga really is amazing, the characters are excellently developed and the story actually comes together in not so easily predictable ways. If i may say so, it appeals to me with one of the most touching stories i'v ever experienced as well as some very disturbing moments, all compiling a fantastic story that is well paced and perfectly balanced. The art isn't perfect,
but it certainly doesn't detract from the enjoyment. Honestly, i love this series, just word of advice, don't watch the anime series, it feels entirely different. Visual novel is amazing too.
So, this manga is based off the hentai game and that adapts one the original routes in its entirety. It seems interesting enough, we’ve got vampires killing people and some romance developing in the background. I wonder how they will handle this.
Our tale begins with our main character Shiki Tohno who’s moved back into his family home after years of being taken care of by distant relatives, which he went to live with after a major incident that nearly killed him and gave him the ability to see lines of death. While getting used to being
back with his sister and their twins maids, a mysterious case of vampire like murders is spreading out through the city like wildfire. One day while returning from school he comes across a mysterious foreign woman and like a good japanese citizen he cuts her up into multiple pieces, in what can be described as a psychotic rage. After a few days pass the same woman who he murdered visits him and reveals herself to be a vampire named Arcueid, who’s come to the city in order to kill a powerful vampire known as Roa, who is behind the recent murder cases and other supernatural shit that's going down in the city. It turns out though that she’s been badly weakened by Shiki’s attempted murder, so she decides to strong arm him into helping her complete her mission and so begins their partnership together.
Tsukihime is probably one of the more interesting stories that have been done by type-moon, which doesn't revolve around "people die when they are killed" or "the archer class is full of archers". Jokes aside though, the story is pretty much Shiki and Arcueid going around together and killing lesser vampires while looking for Roa, which does get boring and repetitive after a while. Like how many times can you fight the same generic vampires before it gets stale? On the bright side, they do kind of flavor it with external and internal problems. For example, one external problem they face is when they go against Roa and this one vampire that’s made out of wolfs and shit. On the other hand, the internal problems they face are more about the main two characters and their dark sides coming out. One being that Shiki at times devolves into a bloodthirsty killer and Arcueid……... well, she’s a vampire, so it’s self-explanatory what's going to happen.
There isn't really much to comment on, besides what’s already been mentioned, except for the bond they have together, which turns into a romance, which as far as romances go it isn't that bad, all things considered. Because I have seen quite a few romance stories that use a couple who are a completely different species altogether and use this as an excuse for cheap melodrama and over the top emotional expressions, that make me want to vomit. Luckily though, the story doesn't do this and instead their relationship and how it was developed felt very normal. Because it was very simple and to the point, it wasn’t bogged down by being overly emotional or being so pitch perfect that it felt robotic. It’s basically just them hanging out when they're not killing vampires and their relationship developing from that, so the romance is at least pretty decent.
All in all, the story was pretty ok and even shockingly grounded for a supernatural series. The last thing I can really comment on is probably the negatives. For starters, this story feels very dated and doesn't have enough punch to it. It has a very dated presentation and I feel that when this story originally came out it was pretty interesting and fresh in people's minds, but stuff like fate/stay night have kind of made it obsolete. Maybe if this series got a readaptation then maybe it would be better, because some of the ideas the series came up were interesting. One example of which is the way it explores the concept of vampires in this world. I also find it interesting how the series plays on the many legends surrounding vampires and explains them in a very straight forward matter, like why vampires need to drink blood and the like. The original source material for this was written in a basement by a group of people who were starting a game company, so i’ll give the writing a bit of slack for that. At the end of the day tsukihime isn't badly written, especially when you consider the fact it's a manga adaptation of hentai game, so for that i give it a slightly good score.
The main character Shiki at first seems like another bland protagonist, who’s a quote unquote normal highschool boy, but as the story continues we find at that that’s not the case. Even though he has this generic upbeat, pacifist, loner attitude, he has quite a few interesting traits that aren't really found in a quote unquote normal highschoolers. For example, he doesn't fear death and all too often makes very light jokes or comments about death and shit like that. He also has this kind of evil side to him, where he becomes this near unstoppable sociopathic killing machine when he is the presence of supernatural beings. Unfortunately, he can't control this bloodlust and it leads him to at times go slightly insane, where it’s interesting to see him try and hold on to what humanity he has left when that side of him tries to take over.
Arcueid is also interesting to a point. She has a very cat like personally, being very free spirited and not really getting bothered by much. The most interesting thing about her though is that she was originally a weapon made to seek out and destroy anything her creators told her to, but because of interactions with Shiki and the bond they formed together she basically broke out of her eternal cycle of wake up, hunt down and kill vampire, sleep, then rinse and repeat. Now because that cycle has been broken, she actually has time to enjoy the things in life that she never got a chance to enjoy, like going to the movies or just chilling in general, which is a concept which she really hasn't had the time to explore or learn more about.
I found the interactions between Shiki and Arcueid really interesting, especially when they talk about concepts like for example, would you eat something that is equally intelligent as you or when Shiki takes Arcueid to places she hasn't been before, where she learns to have an attachment to the world around her.
The side characters are pretty basic for the most part. The thing that’s pretty cool about the characters in general though is that we often get to know what they are feeling and thinking. Sadly, because the original source has so many routes that explore the characters in many different ways, so we don't get to see the full potential of each of the characters, as this manga only covers one route, in which it's mostly Arcueid that's gets focused on. What I will say about the other characters’ routes is that the focus on them is interesting to a point and there is definitely more there than you would have first thought. An example of this is when we find out that Shiki’s adopted family actually have a demonic bloodline and are half demons, that drink blood and go into a frenzy every now and then.
The main bad guy, Roa feels very flat and comes off as some sort of psycho yandere. The reason for why he was like this was also kinda stupid. Basically, what happened is that he fell in love with Arcueid and didn’t understand the emotions he was feeling at the time. Eventually he came to think those emotions where hatred and because of that started this century’s long personal war, which caused many deaths and even turned a few unlucky souls into vampires. So because of his reasoning he just comes off as really flat and not that interesting, even if the idea itself of a person experiencing emotions and not understanding them is kinda interesting. They just didn't really do much with that idea and kind of left it vague and up to interpretation.
The artwork is not the best they could’ve done, as is it looks pretty choppy at times. Now one positive thing I can say about the artwork is that it kind of fits into the kind of setting that’s presented. It also has somewhat ok fight scenes as well, that don’t really flow and basically boil down to how many body parts can our main characters remove in one strike. I like the characters designs, because I am a big fan of most things type-moon.
So what I liked about this manga in particular is the romance, that was quite well done. The vampire fighting scenes were pretty cool was well. I also like how the main character is slowly losing his sanity, as he uses his powers more. I think the concept of being able to see death is interesting for an ability that people can have.
If you're a fan of type-moon or you want a human vampire romance that isn't like vampire knight or twilight then you will like this manga, but if you're not into romance or stories with plots that have been used before then I guess you won't like this.
The Fate series has come a long way over the last decade in anime, creating an expansive universe that can bewilder newcomers. So, in this analysis, we’ll take a comprehensive look into all the anime related to it and trace the threads of Fate.