Tsukihime was my first Visual Novel, and the engaging story, well thought out world, and the cast of equally lovable and complex characters completely drew me in. The game came out in 2000, and is SUPER dated, with minimal and poor CGs, no voice acting, and no hand-drawn backgrounds. Like, they literally just took real-life images and placed a blue filter over them. Despite it's age and clear lack of budget, the sheer strength of the storytelling and characters massively outweighed the minor gripes I may have had. Tsukihime has undoubtedly become one of my favorite stories of all time, however as far as an anime adaptation goes, it seemingly has never received one, unfortunately. Or at the very least, the community would rather sweep it's mere existence under the rug. So, on to the main topic, what do I think of the infamous yet elusive Tsukihime anime? Honestly, despite what people say, this really isn't the worst thing to ever exist. It tries it's best to adapt some semblance of the Tsukihime story to the point where a newcomer might kind of enjoy this series just a little bit. However, what I can't ignore is how unfathomably insulting this series is when stacked up to the source material. First of all, it was basically doomed from the start when they gave it only 12 episodes. A 50-ish hour Visual Novel was definitely not going to fit in such a meager amount of time without cutting some corners, which they definitely did. They basically adapt Arcueid's route but try to cram in the plot twists from Ciel and Akiha's as well. Just about everything from Hisui and Kohaku's routes are 100% omitted, basically. That aside, this anime somehow manages to present itself poorly in almost every single aspect imaginable, which absolutely baffles me. The artstyle is terribly dull and ugly. The colors are drab, grey, and lifeless. The character designs are all adapted to look more "serious" and "edgy" and it completely falls flat when compared to their original designs, which are full of color and personality. I get that this shift in artstyle was likely done to preserve the crushingly dark tone of the series, but that can be done without making everything look as lifeless as a Dead Apostle. On top of this, the animation itself is absolutely atrocious. The "action scenes" if you can even call them that, are painful to watch. There's really only a couple instances where there's any fighting, but most of it is just really slow with as little movement as possible. There were approximately TWO scenes in this ENTIRE series where it looked like they kind of tried even just a little bit, and even then they are probably not much better than average. Every time the characters are even a meter away from the camera, they become indistinguishable meshes, and every little movement is just so painful, with absolutely zero impact or weight to any of it at all. It's hard to believe that this came out of J.C. Staff, considering that they produced Utena under their studio name just 5 years prior. Obviously, the studio behind the production definitely doesn't absolutely determine it's quality, but still, I would imagine there would be at least some level of quality control. Sure, this show came right at the beginning of the 2000s, when digital animation was still fairly new and people were still adjusting to it, so a certain level of jank is probably a given, but this is just too much. The original Hellsing, which came out two years prior, looks MILES better than this show, and people constantly rag on about how poor it's production quality was. I think there's a lot of similarities to be found in these two shows, actually. The old Hellsing, however, actually looks like it was made by people who care just a little bit. There's not much positive I can say about this anime, but hypothetically, if you had never heard of the Tsukihime Visual Novel and came across this anime, and were also able to get past it's copious and glaring production issues, you may find yourself enjoying the story at least a tiny bit. However, if you have not seen this and want to get into Tsukihime or Type Moon in general, this is not the way to go.

Essentially, TL;DR, I would absolutely not recommend this series as your introduction to Tsukihime. If it was, I'm sorry, but I hope that any mild interest you may have picked up could lead you toward playing the Visual Novel. Hell, Tsukihime also has a manga adaptation that's actually pretty damn good. I would highly recommend either of those choices. If you're already familiar with Tsukihime and just want to watch this anime for educational purposes, (which I did) I can't say I'd really encourage that because it was pretty painful for me, and ultimately it didn't really feel worth it. Well, here's hoping that we get a ufotable Tsukihime anime once they're all done with Fate.

45 /100
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