So, weird things are going on in Misaki Town, and it's up to a anemic teenager to save it. But Tohno Shiki isn't just any anemic teenager, he's got the eyes. As a child, Shiki survived a near-fatal injury. As a result, he gained the ability to see the lines and points of things; by touching these, he kills or destroys the living thing or object, respectively. After the near death incident, Shiki's weak body made him unfit as an heir, and was kicked out of the Tohno household. Several years later, Shiki’s younger sister and current Tohno family head allows him to come back. Thus, the story begins.
The writer of Tsukihime, Kinoko Nasu does a damn good job of building an incredible setting. He describes Misaki Town in fine detail, instantly immersing any who read it. Nasu builds it's lore, and keeps you wanting to learn more and more about it as the story goes on. In this world, vampires known as True Ancestors rule the night, and only a select few know of their existence. The magical elements that exist here are just as mysterious as the people who use them. Every character has an amazing back story behind them (some of which I wish I got to see more of...Isn't it sad, Sacchin?). Shiki, hands down, is my favorite character. Everything about him, from his thoughts to the things he does are extremely believable given the situation. He's just really easy to relate to. He even has that cool factor about him.
Now seeing as Tsukihime is an interactive Visual Novel, it branches off into to multiple routes depending on the choices you make in the story. There’s Arcueid, the titular vampiric carefree airhead, Ciel, the kind and caring upperclassman, Akiha, the prim and proper type, and Kohaku and Hisui, two maids who are polar opposites of one another; Kohaku is cheery, and Hisui is cold and stoic. Watch out, though, because you can actually make bad choices in the game, getting someone killed as a result. Yep, but it's all good. Ms. Ciel will help you figure out what you did wrong! Either way, take your pick; it’s kind of like those “Choose your Adventure” books, except with less page turning and more sex.
|The lovely heroines of Misaki Town.|
|The artwork can get pretty bad...|
|...and then there's the not so awesome artwork.|
So you've heard good things and bad things about Tsukihime, but the question is "Is it good?" It's a resounding "Yes." The story is worth every playthrough, especially if you're like me and want to learn about every character and more of it's mythos. My favorite route is Arcueid, hands down. Just learning about her dark past while Shiki struggles with his Mystic Eyes of Depth Perception (Yeah, that's what they're really called) made me root for these characters all the way. I recommend this to anyone who loves Visual Novels, especially those sharing the TYPE-MOON branding.
Oh, and like I stated before, Tsukihime was adapted in a 12-episode Anime by Geneon. While I love to see visual and light novels (and even manga on the rare occasion), the Tsukihime anime just seemed watered down. I can understand why that would be, but trying to cram a 40+ hour visual novel into a TV series (a 12 episode one at that) wouldn't do it justice. I say read the visual novel first, and give the anime ago if you're a fan. Even then, I think you're better off forgetting that it even exists.
More Info: Tsukihime on the Visual Novel Database