Shingetsutan Tsukihime

January 12, 2013

Due to the hilarious and nonsensical antics of Carnival Phantasm, this is one reason why I decided to check out Shingetsutan Tsukihime. I had lots of high hopes for this series despite me should have watched it immediately right after Carnival Phantasm but it is better late than never. Unfortunately, yes unfortunately, this series did not turn out to be what I expected. It was far than what I was hoping for. What was I hoping for? I had hoped that there would be some comedy elements in it but to my surprise there is literally none! NONE! NOTHING! Oh dear. So this is just a supernatural drama based on the visual novel erotic game of the same name. So did Carnival Phantasm mislead me? I have only got myself to blame. But there is no harm in watching another anime, right?

So the story centres around this high school kid, Shiki Tohno. He doesn’t remember much of his memories in his early life because of some traumatic accident and yeah, he has this vision power thingy. He sees other things that normal people couldn’t. Don’t worry, he doesn’t see ghosts or spirits. With the death of the family head, he returns to live with his sister and soon ends up getting involved in finding out more about the deep secrets his family hold and the secret of his own past. Oh, did I mention about meeting a vampire too?

Episode 1
When Shiki was young and hospitalized, he could see strange lines drawn everywhere but nobody believed him. Then he meets a woman named Aoko Aozaki who claims she is a sorceress. In present time, Arcueid Brunestud claims her neck victim by sucking her blood from her neck. Elsewhere Shiki prepares to pack his stuff and leave the Arima family whom he has been living with for a long time. At school, he discusses with his friends Arihiko Inui and Satsuki Yumizuka about the serial killings that is happening in Misaki City recently. All the victims have fang marks on their neck. Work of vampires? Ciel sees Shiki coming out from the school’s office and knows he has submitted his change of address. Apparently he didn’t remember about telling her himself so she thought he might have forgotten about her too. Thankfully no. They both have lunch together as we learn Shiki is returning to Akiha, his sister’s mansion after the death of his father. Though he is the eldest son, it is his sister who will continue the family. Due to a traffic accident 8 years ago, he cannot remember much due to the shock and has been living in a relative’s house as his father wished. With the serial killings still a hot topic in the news, Shiki wonders what kind of person this killer may be. Ciel says it might be just an ordinary person that blends in society standing next to you. Was that a joke? Shiki doesn’t feel good in class so he gets permission to leave early. He remembers when Aoko gave him a pair of glasses and he couldn’t see those lines anymore. She says his eyes have a special power given only to him. When the time comes to protect somebody he wants, he’ll need it. As Shiki walks along, Arcueid passes in front of him. His heart starts pounding faster and before he knows it. The park is bloodied. There is a bloodied knife in his hand. She’s dead. Man, that’s a huge pool of blood. Now it’s his turn to collapse.

When he wakes up, he finds himself in himself in his room at Akiha’s mansion. Since he was late, she sent her servant Kohaku to pick him up. However she says there was no one else in the park besides him unconscious. Hmm… He thinks back and remembers how he took out his knife to stab Arcueid many times. He was like a cold blooded killer. Looking at his knife, it looks clean. His uniform is clean. Was it a dream? Later during dinner, Akiha chides him for not having proper manners. As long as he is to live under her roof, he shall abide by the rules of the house. Gee, you don’t expect a new guy to just know everything right away even if he’s your brother, right? Hisui becomes Shiki’s personal servant as he learns there are no televisions in this house because Akiha hates those noisy idiot boxes. He thinks of going out to get some stuff but she says it is already curfew. 7pm curfew. 8pm all gates are locked. 10pm don’t even think about going outside your room. What kind of boring life is this? A young boy like him won’t stick to that curfew so he sneaks out to the convenience store to buy some magazines. On the way back, a guy suddenly drops dead on him. He’s got fang marks on his neck too. Suddenly Shiki is being attacked by Wolverine! Oh wait. Isn’t that Ciel? She flees and Shiki passes out. When he wakes up, it is already morning and he is in his own bed. Then he tries to look for the newspaper but couldn’t find anything relating to the murder. He tries to convince Akiha there a murder had taken place before his eyes. But when Hisui shows the magazines he bought, Akiha thought he is trying to tell her he hates this house. Shiki leaves for school and takes a detour to the park. To his surprise, he sees Arcueid sitting on the swing waiting for him. So she’s for real. And she’s not dead.

Episode 2
Does he remember who she is? Maybe this will jog his memory. Arcueid describes every part he dismembered her. Yeah, he cut her up into 17 pieces!!! You can’t blame the kid for freaking out. So he runs away to school. The rest of the day he’s just acting strange, spacing out. So much so he’s just jumpy when Arihiko or the teacher calls him. He sure doesn’t look okay. During recess, when Ciel joins them for lunch, Shiki asks if she likes to cosplay. She is surprised by his question and denies. I guess he must be dreaming then. At the end of school, Satsuki walks home with him. She remembers during a winter in her second year, she was trapped in the sports shed. She shouted for help and somebody opened the door. She couldn’t see who he was but thinks he was Shiki. Or at least someone who looks like him. By the way, the padlock to the shed was split broken in half. Shiki couldn’t remember it. What she’s trying to say is that if she’s in trouble, she believes he’ll come to her rescue. Well, Shiki himself isn’t so confident about being that reliable. Once Shiki arrives at the gate of his mansion, he is shocked to see Arcueid standing there. Seems she has used up quite a considerable amount of magic to find him. Looks like he doesn’t want to stick around so he makes a run for it. Unfortunately he ran himself into a corner. More precisely, a dead end. Arcueid is cool. Shiki is panicking. I’m sure she could’ve explained more about being revived and that she is not human if not for a pair of demon dogs attacking her. She uses her powers to kill them and this weakens her state (she is still injured from Shiki’s kill). Noting that the enemy has known her location, they need to head somewhere safe. Kohaku thinks Shiki is late but Hisui points she saw him 2 hours ago at the gates and left with a woman.

Shiki and Arcueid take refuge in a hotel. She explains that she is a vampire (an easier term for us to remember I guess). He can’t believe she’s a vampire. He can’t believe he killed her. Will denying do him any good? So how do you explain her standing right in front of his eyes after being killed by him? That’s why he still denies killing her. Still, she blames him for hurting her and it will be dangerous if she is attacked now. By who? Vampires. Crap. Mentioning about the serial killings, it is the work of the subject she is looking for. She wants him to be his shield. Shiki doesn’t want to get involved in a fight since he is just a high school student. Well, I’m sure he’s just a normal high school student who killed a vampire, eh? However she shuts him up saying he has no right to refuse. What a way to put the blame on him. Because of him, she’s weak. When night falls, Arcueid senses the enemy approaching. They need to get out of here because it is ‘feeding time’. As they make their way out via the stairways, a demon dog bites Shiki’s leg. Arcueid uses her strength to hold it down to let him escape. So much about being her shield. Shiki almost throw up when he sees the bloodied elevator with corpses. You could say the entire hotel became a slaughter house for Nero Chaos and his familiars of beasts coming out from his host body. Nero identifies Arcueid as the princess of Shinso (True Ancestor). He lets loose a beast on Shiki but Arcueid shields him. Who’s the shield again? They both escape via elevator and Shiki stabs Nero’s hands multiple times to chop it off. Despite that, Nero’s hand reattaches. Outside, Shiki wonders if they can win against him. Not at her current condition. So looks like Shiki has to get involved and fight too because now that Nero has seen his face, he won’t leave him alone. No use trying to stay out now. He never had that right anyway.

Episode 3
It’s morning and Shiki finds himself in Arcueid’s room. Don’t worry. Nothing happened. Except he collapsed last night and she brought him here. As for Nero, he won’t be moving so freely in daylight. Shiki asks why he saved her. Simple. She needs his help for a few things. Define ‘a few’. Shiki remembers his time with Aoko. He told her about the lines he sees. Whenever he cuts them, the objects break apart. He demonstrates to her and not only the poor beetle got sliced but the entire tree! Aoko slapped him for doing something unnecessary. She wants him to not take off these glasses until the time comes because his eyes make him obstruct the meaning of life. The news on TV reports the incident at the hotel whereby over 200 staffs and guests are missing. Despite blood and animal fur everywhere, their bodies are missing. Then they begin to list the names of the missing people (I wonder how long they’ll take if they mention every name) and among them is Satsuki. Shiki remembers she told him it was her birthday yesterday and her parents took her out to the hotel restaurant as her birthday treat. So how now? Is he sad? Is he mad? Is he going to turn bad? How can you be her saviour now that she is dead? Now that a friend has become a victim, it made him realize he has been running away all this time. Yeah, if he had only knew. Too late pal. Since he is involved, he wants Arcueid to explain. He at least has this right. The vampire world is divided into Shinso and Shito (Turned). Shinso already exists in nature but Shito are humans that have their blood taken away by Shinso. Though Shinso don’t necessary need human’s blood, some enjoy a taste for it. So that’s how Shito was born and since it’s Shinso’s fault to begin with, that’s why Arcueid has been trying to get rid of them.

Now it’s her turn to ask why he killed her. Explaining to her about the lines, he also gives a demonstration on the chair. She explains it as Demon Eyes of Direct Death. When something is born, its death is already decided. Shiki can see that so you can say he has the eyes of death. Arihiko calls Shiki’s house to find out about Shiki since he didn’t turn up in school but Akiha picks up. When he also learns he didn’t come back, he makes up a blatant excuse Shiki was staying at his place yesterday and thought he went home. That night at the park, Arcueid’s plan is to be the bait to draw Nero out so that Shiki can cut him down. The plan works as Nero confronts her. He feels confused because he doesn’t feel her power. Either the Church got her or his power overwhelmed her. It doesn’t matter since it’ll be easy to kill her. Shiki thought he could ambush him from the back but he lets loose his beasts to keep him company. He mocks her for stopping this low to have a human save her. Although Arcueid is weakened, she still has enough power to fight back and chops off his arm. But that arm turns into a snake and constricts Arcueid. Shiki has disposed the beasts and aims for Nero but he easily blocks it. I don’t know why he suddenly lost his cool when Shiki pointed his blade at him but before he knows it, he starts breaking up into pieces. Arcueid has gotten herself out of her slippery situation and points out Nero was too confident that led to his downfall. She reveals Shiki was the one who killed her. So now do you believe you have been killed by a mere human? Just a high school student, that is. Shiki tires out so as reward, Arcueid kisses his eye. That’s it?!

Episode 4
When Shiki gets back to the front gates of his mansion, he collapses. Hisui brings him in. Next morning, he thanks her for doing a good job on the bandages but she says it was her older twin sister Kohaku who did them. Then having breakfast with Akiha, she tries to ask him about his whereabouts last night but he can’t say. So is it true what Hisui saw? Him leaving with a woman? Well, I’m not sure if they would rather believe he was out for a one night stand or fighting vampires. Trying to confirm if he was at Arihiko’s place, Shiki says he wasn’t. Funny, isn’t it? Because Arihiko said he was. Some good friend he has there. She wants him to stop making not only her but Kohaku and Hisui worried as well. Kohaku breaks up the tension by suggesting a homecoming welcome party for Shiki since he has reflected greatly on his actions. Shiki returns to school, thinking everything is over. After being greeted by Arihiko, he is shocked to see Satsuki in class. How is she still alive? Apparently on her birthday she caught a cold and didn’t manage to turn up at the hotel. Phew. Sometimes being sick is a blessing in disguise. With everyone safe and sound, Arihiko teases Shiki that he maybe was out flirting with a woman. Since Shiki is acting strange, they think they must’ve hit the spot. His denying even seems more suspicious? So how? Run away!

Shiki is back home celebrating his party with the rest. Akiha points out Hisui was the one whom he often played with when they were young. Shiki seems to gradually remember those times but thinks there was another boy among them. However the girls don’t remember and think he might have mistaken them for a guest as their family used to have lots of them over. When Shiki goes get a drink, he learns from Kohaku how worried Akiha was last night that she didn’t sleep. The siblings then chat for a little while. He apologizes for not contacting her for 8 years and felt sorry for uncle and aunty Arima. He also felt alienated from his father but was always worried about her and thought she would suddenly become alone. But since she has become the head of the family, he notes she has become strong. And pretty too. Maybe he should get some rest before the night wind weakens his body. Dead in the middle of the night, Shiki is surprised to see Arcueid sneaked into his room. She’s on top of him! She’s here because she says he wants her? Really? He doesn’t remember. Then she hugs him. Because she wants his blood! Thankfully that was just a dream. Or is it? Hopefully it stays that way. Next day during recess when Shiki sees the news that some bodies from the hotel incident is found, he gets restless and heads back to class. He sees his classmates gathering at the window. They are fascinated with that foreign beauty who wandered into their school grounds. Hey! Isn’t that Arcueid. Furthermore, she waves to Shiki and calls out his name! Wow. What would his friends think?

Episode 5
Before some other guy could ask her out on a date (because Arcueid is really going to be that friendly), Shiki takes her away to clarify things. Why is she in school? Can’t she? How will he explain to his friends? Just tell the truth? What? Will they believe all the vampire fighting stuff? Arcueid thinks he is suspecting her since the murders haven’t let up yet. So is Nero still alive? Arcueid reminds him she hates blood and does Nero look like one who loves blood? Sure, there may be bloodied corpses he leaves behind but he sure didn’t drink them dry, right? So who is he? Just a murderer and the person she is looking for is not him. If she had only said this. If he had only asked. Knowing she wants his help to search for her target, he agrees to meet her at the park tonight. Oh, Ciel saw them too. Now the hard part is to leave the mansion past curfew time. Hisui notices him leaving and wonders if he has an important appointment. Since it’s a yes, she gives him keys to the mansion’s doors. Why? He is her master after all. After meeting Arcueid at the park, she explains about her target named Roa. This guy is somewhat eternal and no longer attached to physical flesh, which serves as a container for his reincarnation. He has already reincarnated 18 times by replacing those containers. So right now she doesn’t know how he looks like but knows he is in this town. Then a strange acting guy stumbles upon them and she wants Shiki to look at him. He takes off his glasses and is shocked to see him with deep cracks on the verge of breaking apart. Arcueid chases him to a corner and uses her power to vanish him. As explained, these people are Shisha, humans whose blood was taken by Roa and serve as his agents to supply Roa with blood they take via their vampire activities. If they continue to hunt Shisha like this, he’ll definitely react. Later she asks why he wanted to help her. Though he still doesn’t want to get involve, he felt painful when a friend got involved. She thinks he may be able to defeat Roa but he’s not confident. She feels he is underestimating himself.

In school, Ciel invites Shiki to talk at her tea club (she is the only member). She wants him to stay away from Arcueid because she is dangerous and selfish. The kind that will fight and drag somebody to hell in the end. So she knows her? Not really. Huh? Must be ‘the other’ woman reason, eh? At the park that night, Shiki saw some guy running away and thinks something happened. Turns out he was trying to flirt with Arcueid and got more than he bargained for when she thought he was the enemy. Yeah, maybe she’s dangerous. The next few scenes feel like Shiki and Arcueid going on a night date rather than searching. That’s because every guy is turning their head and eyes towards Arcueid. She’s a real looker, isn’t she? Haven’t they seen a beautiful babe before? Or is it so odd for an ordinary bespectacled high school kid to be walking with such a beauty? The hit the video arcade and the movies before having a drink at the diner. When Arcueid is going to treat him, Shiki immediately pays for the bill and brings her out from the place. That’s because she was going to pay will illegal money! For somebody to have lived for 800 years, you think she would’ve known at least how human society works. But Shiki is concerned that she shouldn’t be standing out like this since they are looking for Roa. Arcueid notices a scratch on Shiki’s arm that he must have got when they were running away. Suddenly she can’t hold back her instincts. Feel like sucking it? Fortunately she manages to hold herself back and calls it a night and leaves. Along the way, she dodges Ciel’s weapon attack. Despite their goal is the same, Ciel feels Arcueid is a danger to Shiki. She also knows she is at her limit and sooner or later will give in to her instincts. Well, she held it back for 800 years, didn’t she? This attack is just a warning and the next time if something happens to Shiki, she is going to pass her judgment.

Episode 6
I guess those late nights must be making Shiki tired, eh? Akiha thought he should make priority in taking care of his body rather than going to school. If not, he can try getting up early or hire a tutor. But she is glad that has got used to this house’s lifestyle. Really? His face doesn’t seem to indicate it. In school, he heard rumours that a group of boys from a certain class are missing. Did they run away or became victims of vampire. Not funny. Shiki’s friends want to meet up at the amusement park but Shiki doesn’t look like he can make it. They think it’s his ‘girlfriend’ so this made Ciel to tell him off at the top of her voice to stay away from that woman. It makes her sound so jealous. Later Arihiko tells him he is so dense that it’s a crime. About what? It’s his fault that the atmosphere between Satsuki and Ciel feels odd lately. What? There he goes… Really. What about? He does it again… Later talking with Arcueid, learning that Shiki has a sister and wanting to go meet her (and do all those fun stuffs like they did the night before), Shiki tells her off he is not with her for entertainment. Back home, Akiha heard from Hisui he wanted a TV and could arrange one. She may not like those noisy boxes but is willing to compromise. That night, Akiha asks Hisui about Shiki but was told he is in his room sleeping. But when she knocks on his door, there is no answer and she enters to see no sign of her brother. Oh, the window is wide open. Well, well. Shiki goes to meet Arcueid at the park and since it’s way past their meeting time, he thinks she got mad and left. Thinking she may have gone on a date, he goes find her. He did find her. She is seen receiving money for a job she had done. A modelling job. That’s about it. Nothing fishy. She’s working because she wants money to treat him. But Shiki has a thing or two to say about her working and even that modelling job. What? Oh, now he cares about her? Is he her mother to nag her?

Suddenly she feels the presence of Shishas. They turn out to be the missing boys from Shiki’s school. Chasing them to a car park, Arcueid handles a couple of them. Shiki goes after the last one and as he is about to cut him, the Shisha puts up an innocent face claiming to be his friend. Shiki hesitated for the moment but Arcueid tells him not to get distracted because he is already dead. The Shisha lunges at him but Shiki stabs him before he got his neck bitten. After that, he felt a little sick so Arcueid goes to get some medication to make him feel better. I think she just bought half the shop. Walking back, Arcueid says he doesn’t have to do this anymore but is going to since he has decided to help her as her wounds haven’t healed yet. All the more he can’t leave her alone. Then they both go up a building and I’m not sure why Arcueid has Shiki point out to her certain buildings. Doesn’t she know what a train station or park looks like? Arcueid assures him she doesn’t have funny thoughts when she asks the direction of his school and home. Shiki wants to know more about Arcueid. Like how long she’s been around. 800 years. That’s what you call staying alive. She then suggests they should go on a date. Say what? She wants to try dating. Living for 800 years, she hasn’t tried that? Wasn’t there a decent guy around?

Episode 7
It isn’t that Akiha likes amusement parks but she is tagging along because she’s worried that if she takes her eyes off him, he’d do something funny. Not trusting him, eh? Yeah, when he got back last night, Akiha was waiting for him at the door like how a wife waits for her suspicious husband. Since Shiki can’t reveal the details of his night activity, she won’t ask further but will install a security camera at the gates in case this kind of thing happens in the future. Was that going too far? Well, does she need a reason to be worried about her brother? So the siblings meet up with Shiki’s friends who are waiting for him. I guess Arihiko changed into a gentleman after learning this beautiful girl is his sister. After Shiki introduces them, Akiha ignores Ciel. She is straight to say that she can’t get along with her! Call her rude but at least she’s honest. So why can’t she get along? Some woman instinct thingy I guess. Ciel doesn’t mind since she can ‘hold it in’. I don’t think that’s a good sign too. So it’s true. It’s awkward between Akiha and Ciel that you could feel World War 3 might explode any time. Shiki is glad Arcueid isn’t here and how complicated it would get. He remembers turning her down her request to date since he already had appointments. Suddenly there Arcueid is at the amusement park waving at him! Oh God! This is going to get complicated. Why is she here? She went to Arihiko’s house last night and he told him about it. Akiha asks about their relationship and Arcueid puts it as ‘always borrowing him’. Another woman she can’t get along. She’s going to have a long talk with Shiki after this. Oh boy. You’re so screwed. Ciel thought she had warned her but Arcueid doesn’t take orders from her. I think Shiki is in serious need of stamina training because after one roller coaster ride, he’s already tired. And I don’t think the ride was that scary. Next, they ride the Ferris wheel and they use rock-scissors-paper to decide the seating order. Call it fate or luck because the girl who ends up with our lucky guy is Akiha. Ciel and Arcueid got grouped together and you can deduce the rest. In the carriage, Akiha wonders if he is trying to get away from his nagging sister. He assures he doesn’t hate her and still can’t reveal the details. Fine. But at least she wants him to grant her a wish. To stay away from Arcueid. Man, that’s going to be tough. Arihiko wonders if Satsuki is okay because he knows she likes Shiki. What can she do? Does she stand a chance among the ‘competition’?

During the lunch break, Akiha sparks off the argument among the girls when she tells Arcueid not to follow Shiki anymore. I guess Arihiko tries to change the subject about the good food but nobody is listening to this side character. Yeah, Shiki is having a headache. This is much worse than hunting vampires at night. I don’t know what the girls are arguing. Maybe about everything. And all of them are related to Shiki. Finally the girl who has been keeping quiet all the while, Satsuki puts her foot down that they are inconveniencing Shiki. I mean, they’re here to have fun, right? Arihiko suggests going to the hotspring where they can have naked fun together. He’s just kidding about that last bit, right? Arcueid and Satsuki talk in the hotspring. The former asks if she likes Shiki but Satsuki says he only sees her as his friend. Arcueid begs to differ because she thinks he sees something special in her. I thought he sees everybody that way? Arcueid dismisses Shiki as her boyfriend because she doesn’t think that is his intentions. Despite she is prettier and all, it doesn’t matter because she’s not human. Haha. I think Satsuki thinks she’s joking. So for Ciel and Akiha who didn’t want to get naked, sat outside waiting for the rest to finish. How can they sit together without talking? Erm… Maybe it’s better they don’t. But Ciel starts to ask about Shiki’s accident 8 years ago that left him unable to remember due to the shock. She thinks this is convenient for Akiha as her family holds some secret. Akiha denies but Ciel finds it odd because as she sniffs her hand, she notes she smell different than a human. Akiha feels offended and ends the conversation as she decides to head home first. Lastly, another murder has happened at the amusement park. How did that lady get teeth marks on her neck in that Ferris wheel if the door was closed? Was she alone? If so, didn’t anybody see something strange flying into the carriage?

Episode 8
The friends are surprised that such a murder took place so close to where they were. But what concerns them more is Akiha’s sudden departure for home. Shiki suspects Ciel might have said something but she doesn’t know. That’s because she’s been acting strange ever since. Back home, Akiha suddenly collapses and rings panic bells to Shiki and Kohaku. Shiki stays by her side as requested. Akiha didn’t want a doctor called because she knows her body better and will heal in time. Otherwise she will hate him. Shiki wonders why the sudden collapse because Akiha seemed fine all the while. Kohaku thinks it’s a mental thing. This happens often when she feels uneasy. Don’t worry, Shiki isn’t the cause that made her a worrywart. When Akiha wakes up, she is glad Shiki is by her side. She mentions she dreamt about the time she caught a cold when she was young. It felt like she returned to that time for a moment. On his way to school, Shiki meets Arcueid. There is no progress in her search and due to Akiha not feeling well, he can’t go out with her for a while. Hey. Arcueid pouting? Is she jealous he is giving more attention to Akiha than her? In school, Shiki talks to Ciel and wants to know what kind of person she is. No, it’s not that he is interested in her. Without giving away too much, Ciel says everyone has a secret or two. She enjoyed her happy times with everyone and wished it would last forever. Whatever happens, she’ll be by his side. Huh? Did Shiki get all that? Then when he comes home, I’m not sure why he didn’t knock on Akiha’s door. He opens and sees the, most shocking thing he has ever seen. Akiha is sucking on Kohaku’s breast! No, wait. She’s sucking her blood. From her boobs? Now it’s his turn to act strange and spacing out. When he talks to Kohaku about seeing her in Akiha’s room, she denies and thinks it must be his imagination since she was out doing errands. Then talking to Arcueid to confirm if Roa is a male, she can’t really tell though he was originally male. But there are similar traits his host shares. For example he takes one whose blood has something different and inhuman.

Shiki ventures into his late father’s room to check out some of his books but is spotted by Kohaku. He feels this house isn’t normal because the book he is holding has words that read everyone will die quickly and no one have died normally. Kohaku thinks it’s coincidence. Yeah, odd coincidence. So I guess the only person left to ask is Hisui. He wants to know if everyone is hiding something from him. The things that he had forgotten from his past. Conveniently Akiha’s violin string breaks so Shiki rushes to her room instead of waiting to get his question answered. Will it anyway? But he sees her running into the woods and follows her. At the garden house, he can’t believe seeing her hair glowing in red beneath the full moon. And another good timing with Arcueid coming by to say Roa has appeared. By the time they reach the scene, the presence has already disappeared. Or rather being masked. Arcueid asks if Shiki and Akiha are the only family members. Since he insists, she feels something odd. However she decides to leave him hanging and call it a day. So ask a question and leave him wanting for more answers. Isn’t that unfair? As Shiki walks home, he spots a strange guy at the vending machine. So strange that all the lights around him goes out. Okay, maybe the right word is dangerous because that guy starts attacking him. Shiki defends himself and from the way he tries to cut him with his knife, Shiki realizes this guy can see those lines too. He cuts Shiki’s old wound and sends him writhing in pain. He wants him to remember the meaning of that wound. However he got struck by Ciel’s weapon before bursting into flames. Now with Akiha coming to her brother’s aid, I don’t think I’ve heard her sound this concerned about Shiki before.

Episode 9
Now it’s Akiha’s turn to sit by him as Shiki moves uneasily in bed. He dreams of himself deep in a forest with someone calling his name. There are bodies everywhere and when a blood drops on his eye, he goes crazy and starts slicing. When he wakes up, he tells Akiha about his midnight crusade with Arcueid to hunt down the serial murderer. He’s doing it because he is different from other humans. It’s because he is part of the Tohno family. Next morning, Akiha has left early for school so Shiki confronts Kohaku. He shows him the wound on his chest healed. It’s not the kind of wound that will heal in a day or is her treatment that good. He wants answers. He feels there is something wrong with this house. Like there is some secret to it as if something happened that nobody should know and everyone avoid talking about it. Mentioning he really did saw her in Akiha’s room, Kohaku tells him in every generation the head of the Tohno family inherit blood of those who are not human. Since Akiha is the head, she can’t suppress the blood herself. She doesn’t know what will happen if she can’t but only Akiha knows how painful that is. Shiki doesn’t buy her crap because she can say it with a smile. Plus, he can’t ignore something like that now. Later Hisui goes to see Shiki in his room. She gives indirect permission for him to snoop around since Kohaku is out doing errands and she herself is ‘busy’ doing other things.

Shiki goes to his father’s room and finds a key in his drawer. Which door will it open? Don’t know. Just try and insert in every keyhole he can find. So I guess the most suspicious room is the one that unlocks. Yeah, the one that leads to an eerie basement. To Shiki’s horror, he finds a mini cell and writings in blood crying for help. Then it’s like he remembers the past when he starts seeing vision of that other boy running out from his cell like a bird tasting true freedom. It leads him to the garden house whereby I think that boy tried to stab Akiha but Shiki stabbed him first. Akiha is crying by that kid’s side. So surreal that Shiki’s wound starts to open up again just remembering this incident. Soon, their father took out the knife from his chest and killed Shiki! When Shiki opened his eyes, he found himself in hospital and the doctor told him he was involved in a traffic accident that glasses pierced through his chest. With his memories finally intact, Shiki realizes how everyone had been lying to him. Only Arcueid had been telling the truth. So now does he understand her lines of him being a murderer who has already killed? Akiha’s ‘Shiki sensor’ must be working well so much so that she felt something strange had happened back home and rushed out in the middle of class. To her horror, she realized Shiki has discovered the underground cell. She finds him in shock and utter depression. Later Akiha slaps Hisui for letting Shiki go. Hisui’s reason for doing that was because she feels they couldn’t continue keeping it a secret. Though she knew it would be painful for Akiha, she felt only Shiki can save her. Shiki remembers Aoko telling him he will continue living with those eyes because there is something he has to do. That’s why he must be grateful for this miracle and should never stray. Shiki feels he has taken the wrong path ever since. Akiha too is at her limit.

Episode 10
Maybe Shiki is lazing around is his bed that Arcueid needs to give him a wakeup call about his promise to meet. Yeah, she waited all night for his no-show and is pretty pissed. Well, she doesn’t look angry. Noticing him down, she suggests they go out on a date. If he does, she’ll forgive him. That easy? So Shiki skips school just to accompany Arcueid in this so called date? Yeah, the vampire movie they watch must be so boring that Shiki yawned! Then at the aquarium, Arcueid asks a hypothetical question if she wasn’t a vampire what their relationship would be. Because she likes this a lot. The hypothetical stuff? At the diner, Shiki wants to know more about her. No, not that he is interested in her in that sort of way. So we learn she learns the world through knowledge. She wakes up, gathers all the knowledge she can, goes back to sleep when she’s done. So she wasn’t awake straight for these past 800 years, eh? Shiki thought he hurt her feelings when he sometimes thinks she’s not a vampire because she’s eating hamburger and the likes. She asserts she hates blood. Arcueid wants Shiki to bring her to a place where he wants to go. Of all places, his high school. This guy is real boring. Arcueid is thrilled since this is a place Shiki has lots of memories she doesn’t know. In his classroom, she wants to know what he does here. Duh. Study lah! But the next thing she says is worthy to think about. Why does he study things that are of no use since as a human, his time is limited? Yeah, why do we study chemistry if many of us don’t become chemist? Arcueid thinks she is broken. Because her excess emotions like happiness and pain have grown a lot. She has never felt this fun since waking up. Maybe she’s never been awake this long. Maybe this is just a dream. Maybe it’s because she’s with Shiki. I’ll stick with the last one. When Arcueid says the next time she opens her eyes, Shiki will be gone, that guy suggests something that all of us would never have thought will come out of his mouth. He wants to go on another date with her after everything is over. Do something useless without the burden of responsibilities with all their spirit. That’s a promise. He’s not feeling sick, isn’t he?

As Shiki brings her to the tea club room, just the mention of Ciel’s name, instantly Arcueid becomes mad. Wow. Talk about a sudden change in mood. Even if she’s a vampire, she’s still a woman. Arcueid explains Ciel is a dog of the Church. Shiki thought he knew her for a long time but that’s because she made him think that way. The reason is she thought Shiki is Roa’s reincarnation since he is from the Tohno family. Why is she interested in Roa? That’s because she was Roa’s previous reincarnation. She was his host before reaching her limit going on a massacre spree. That was when Arcueid killed her. But she’s alive, isn’t she? Well, she can’t die and she’s not a living thing either. Huh? To repent her sins, she continuously pursues Roa. Shiki brings up about that stranger who attacked him the other night. Ciel appeared and saved him. If that guy was Roa, Arcueid would have sensed him. He further describes the stranger covered with full of bandages and someone who probably knows him. Then the clock strikes 8 and what a convenient time for his wound to start acting up. Yeah, there are a bunch of Shishas attacking them too but Arcueid easily disposes them. Arcueid sees the blood over Shiki’s chest and starts feeling uneasy. She doesn’t want him to come close. He grabs her shoulder and this activates her instincts. Now she’s acting all strange. Before any harm could come to Shiki, Ciel’s sword drops in between them. So what now that Arcueid has shown her true nature as revealed by Ciel.

Episode 11
Ciel is about to pass judgment but Shiki protects Arcueid. Why? Because he believes her word that she hates blood. Or is it? Well, Arcueid doesn’t seem convincing with her body language. I guess that was all a lie, huh? Arcueid runs away. So as Ciel explain things, from what I understand, it is Shiki’s fault for turning Arcueid so. Ciel further enlightens Shiki about non-human beings known as residents of the Moon. Among them was a noble princess called White Princess. She was pure and the princess of the Shinso. One day there was a snake who offered her to drink from something to quench her thirst. But it proved to be extremely poisonous because the snake wanted the princess. That snake was Roa and soon the princess fell. Soon after she sealed herself and lived only on penance. The past 800 years she has pursued Roa’s shadows, waking from her sleep. A repeated cycle of execution and returning to sleep without a connection to anyone. Doing her job just like a machine. Shiki rushes off to find her but at the bridge sees the guy with bandages. Akiha confronts him. She wants to settle things but is no match. From the way this guy says things, Shiki realizes he is the other boy whom they played together. I’m sure you must’ve guesses it too. It’s revealed that Akiha was the one who released him from that underground prison but because of that something happened to her father. He dismisses it was against his will and was under somebody’s command to kill. He is about to go in for the kill but is pierced by Ciel’s weapon. She identifies him as Roa. He is not pleased that she tried to kill him since she was also him in the past. Repenting her sins, says she? Anyhow he kills her. He decides to let everyone live a bit longer and flees. Ciel’s blood absorbs back into her body and revives. She says this is her true form.

Back home, Akiha apologizes for hiding the truth from him. She also knew everything from the start and didn’t tell him because she wanted him by her side. She gives him her father’s diary that contains the truth. Father and his group commenced an attack on the Nanaya family deep in the forest till they were completely destroyed. However there was a kid who was the only sole survivor. He is Shiki and because he peculiarly shared the same name with his son, he adopted him into his family. The Nanaya family expels demons so to suppress the Tohno blood, their existence was useful. One day, disaster befell on his own son as he tried to kill Akiha. However it was the adopted Shiki who got killed. The original son went mad so father had to punish him. Though he stabbed him, he could not kill him and locked him in the underground cell. Akiha gave part of her life to adopted Shiki and both Shikis trade places. Shiki goes out to look for Arcueid and finds her in her room. I don’t really care much about the drama they’re talking. I’m sure it’s about apologizing and trying to make amends. But what I remember was Shiki hugging her, then she hugs back and it leads them to something steamy in bed. Gosh. What happens when a human makes love to a vampire? By the time Shiki wakes up, he finds a goodbye note from Arcueid. Maybe he’s bad in bed because there were no other words to express how good it was… Haha! Just kidding! I hope sex wasn’t a parting gift…

Episode 12
Shiki goes to find Arcueid but she is not at her usual waiting place at the park. Only Ciel. She mentions he is only going to his death. But will he listen? After that great se-, oops, I mean suddenly knowing the loneliness she felt he still wants to be by her side. Church reinforcements will arrive in a few days. Can’t wait that long. Seeing his determination, Ciel agrees to tell him where she is now. She is at his school fighting Roa. Ciel cautions that Roa has obtained powers equivalent to Arcueid so she has no chance of winning. Those who become Roa’s host body cannot suppress the hatred that swells in them. She knows it better because she went through all that. Reaching the school gates, they split up. Shiki arrives on scene first and doesn’t want Arcueid to do anything reckless. Do you consider freezing him as one? Though Arcueid slices Roa’s body into several parts, it regenerates. Like putting back a puzzle. I thought she should see this coming so why is she so shocked? Now it’s Roa’s turn for payback. He slices her till she’s covered in her own blood. Shiki freed from his paralysis wants her to drink his blood but she refuses. Whatever reasons he throws at her be it the promise, it wasn’t enough to convince her because she breaths her last breathe. Putting her body aside, Shiki is now one mad kid and Roa still the crazy bastard. The guys face off but clearly Roa is much better and corners Shiki. However he got distracted by Ciel’s weapon and this gives enough time to Shiki to stab the ground. The walkway crumbles. When Roa gets out from the rubble, Shiki ambushes him from the back at knifepoint. He is going to liberate him and with Ciel’s help, thrusts the knife into him. Ciel wants to take the ‘credit’ for killing him because no matter reasons Shiki has, the act of severing a life is a sin.

Back home after Shiki tells Akiha the matter has been settled, she cries her heart out. Then at the usual tree, Shiki finally sees Aoko once more. When asked if he was able to protect the one he loved, he was unsure. After getting to know her name, he always felt she was like a teacher to him for teaching important things. Before she leaves, she tells him there is no reason for him to come back here again. Life returns to normal for Shiki. He attends classes and wonders what happened to Ciel. She is no longer around. In fact his friends do not recall such a person. Satsuki sees Shiki. Guess what she wants to say? And when you see her running away in tears, I guess you already know what he answered. Shiki is sitting alone by himself in the classroom when to his surprise sees Arcueid. Though he still remembers the promise, she wants him to forget about her. In fact, he doesn’t need to apologize he couldn’t keep the promise because he already did. Maybe his company was fun all the while. Including that se-, oops. Shiki doesn’t want it to end and confesses he loves her but good things have to come to an end I guess. She waves goodbye and disappears. I hope that wasn’t just his hallucination. Though saddened, he hopes that the next time when everything is over, they should go on a date together, do useless things with all their spirit, without purpose or obligation. The question is how long will the next time be.

Vampire Sucks…
Oh well, so this is how it ends? I can’t say I am satisfied but because of the overall gloomy feel of the series, it just didn’t make my day. Seriously. There were many things that I didn’t comprehend so much so I thought you needed to play the game in order to understand the full aspect of other things and the entire story as a whole. Of course I didn’t play the game so I went to trusty ol’ Wikipedia to get some answers. For example, the reason why Shiki wanted to kill Arcueid when he first met her was because of his Nanaya blood that flows deep within him. As revealed, this original family of his exterminates demons so it is natural that his instincts would react in wanting to kill Arcueid. Hah. He so easily killed an 800 year old vampire in broad daylight. Unless I wasn’t paying attention, this reason wasn’t spelt out in the anime. Another example is Arcueid’s appearance at the end. As I found out, this is one of her endings in the game and because of Roa’s death, Arcueid regained the power Roa took from her, Since she could not hold back her instincts, she decides to go back to sleep (hence the disappearing). Roa was also the one responsible for the killings in Misaki City. It got me wondering who this Nero guy is too. If he was just a murderer, why was he searching for Arcueid in the first place? Then he died so fast and I can only conclude that the reason of his appearance was so that to make Shiki to join Arcueid in the hunt. Otherwise, he’d be still giving that lame excuse of being just a high school kid. There are probably more questions that boggled my mind like who the hell is Aoko or what non-human creature Akiha is (what kind of creature has your hair glow red?), the entire Shinso and Shito business, but to prevent myself from falling into comatose state for all those confusing questions (simply because I didn’t play the game to understand it better), I’d better let it slide for my own safety and health. That hazardous, huh?

The entire series is one big gloomy affair. As mentioned there were no funny or comical parts. Even if there were seemingly a handful, they felt quite lame. For instance when Arihiko guessed right Shiki was out flirting with woman, the way Shiki reacted was considerably lame that it looked funny. And I don’t think that scene was meant to be funny either. Another big grouse that I had was the stiff and wooden action from the characters. I thought this was only a trait of certain characters but I soon realized that this is how the characters move. In a way, they felt unconvincing, no impact and emotionless. For example, when Akiha or Arcueid start pouting, you know the kind of action where you just swing your ahead away from the eyesore in front of you? Let’s say it doesn’t feel convincing and at first I was wondering what was she doing in the first place. The action also felt lame and sometimes stiff. So much so I thought the people in this series shouldn’t really fight. Serious. Talking about recycled scenes, Ciel’s jump towards the moon felt like one each time she makes her exit from the scene. And it looked so lame that it looked funny. And I don’t think it was meant to be funny either.

In the midst of the supernatural drama and everything else, they try to put in some romance but you could have guessed from the tone of my blog that it won’t do quite well in this area too. You could say that outing at the amusement park is my ‘favourite’ because from the way the things were going, I thought they needed to put some cat fight over a single boy. Good and bad, the rivalry remained verbal. My guess is that this anime is an Arcueid route so we have Shiki ending up falling in love with her and only to lose her in the end. When they go hunting at night, it felt more like an outing than a serious hunt. Another point to ponder: If Roa is dead for good and unable to reincarnate any further, does this mean Arcueid isn’t going to wake up from her slumber anymore? I didn’t quite understand the explanation that Ciel was interested in Shiki because she thought he was going to be Roa’s reincarnation. If he was, don’t you think she would have killed him a long time ago? So my only guess is that she of course has feelings for him. Otherwise, why go to great lengths to exact her judgment on Arcueid over the slightest thing that she deems threatening to Shiki? So in the end, what exactly happened to her? Did she go back to her church since her mission of hunting down Roa is over? Satsuki got rejected but is she going to try again and not give up? I mean, half of the competition is gone at the end and unless Shiki suddenly has siscon, then the prospects look slightly better for Satsuki, right? Maybe Shiki isn’t so much into ordinary human girls…

Since this show is a year 2003 production, the drawing and art is of that era. As compared with Carnival Phantasm, the characters here obviously look quite different so much so it felt that Carnival Phantasm gave the characters of this series some update and uplift. I mean in that series, the characters looked better (obviously) and much cuter as compared to this original TV series. Because of that, that is the main reason why my expectations went downhill in hoping this to have some funny moments. Tsukihime characters are really serious and gloomy so there is no room for goofing around like how you see the characters were in Carnival Phantasm. They were really naughty, cheeky and definitely livelier. If only that multiple date nonsense was here… Perhaps I should have come to expect this because I did see Fate/Stay Night and knew how much different the parody was than the original series.

The voice acting too is rather okay and nothing outstanding. Kenichi Suzumura is the voice of Shiki (Sougou in Gintama, Kairi in Peach Girl) while Hitomi Nabatame does Arcueid (Nobue in Ichigo Mashimaro). Other casts include Fumiko Orikasa as Ciel (Rukia in Bleach), Shizuka Itou as Akiha (Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku), Kana Ueda as Kohaku (Rin in Fate/Stay Night), Yumi Kakazu as Hisui (Mikaze in Stratos 4, Tsubasa in AKB0048), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Roa (Pete Pumps in Ginban Kaleidoscope), Kenta Miyake as Nero (Schnitzer in Mouretsu Pirates), Kaori Tanaka as Satsuki (Megumi in Yumeria), Takahiro Sakurai as Arihiko (Shito in Zombie Loan) and Akiko Kimura as Aoko (Kisaragi in Happy Lesson). The opening theme, The Sacred Moon by Toshiyuki Omori is an instrumental piece but it gives out an ominous feel with all those choir voices in the background. Rinne No Hateni by Fumiko Orikasa is the ending theme and is a slow and sad piece.

It makes me wonder when was the last time Arcueid was awake because as seen several times in this show she doesn’t know how modern society works. And I thought she would be smart enough to at least learn how to do so instead of asking or doing the obvious that makes her look dumb. Okay, maybe she knows but just that she wants the guy she’s interested to show her how. There’s more fun in that. And when she said she hates blood but finally giving in to her instincts, is she half lying? To say a vampire hates blood is like saying humans don’t need air to breathe. Well at least Arcueid doesn’t show other typical weaknesses of a vampire such as being weak in the sunlight (though she moves more freely at night) and especially the holy powers of the church. Hmmm… Maybe Ciel wasn’t wearing a cross or have holy water so we don’t know for sure. Since we didn’t see garlic either in this show, I can’t safely assume Arcueid is immune to it either. I can imagine how comical she would look like if those typical vampire weaknesses were prevalent.

It is said that everyone has a secret or two they want to keep but what happens when you find out a secret like what Shiki did? What will you do? Can you handle the truth? Do you regret it or do something to liberate yourself and move forward. Maybe that is why sometimes secrets are kept hidden so that ordinary high school kids like Shiki do not need to suffer any further. For his own good. Sometimes it is best just to lead a plain, peaceful, tranquil, boring and ordinary life. Nothing of the extraordinary happens. See all the troubles he went through? Not bad since he get to date and bed a vampire. Haha. Oh, one last point to ponder: If you have sex with a vampire, will you turn into one too? Well, if that actually worked, there would have been lots of murder rape cases than blood sucking deaths, don’t you think?

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