[Review used for reviewing the complete box set as well since the series is a short one and the review applies the same]
This is one remarkable anime series filled with beautiful music, and intriguing plot, awesome characters, a lot of great action, and enough thought provoking elements to make the series stick out fresh in your mind for a long time to come.
The story basically follows a character by the name of Shiki around as he mysteriously begins to remember bits and pieces of his memory and at the same time managing to forget a number of things throughout the beginning of the film. While the film is somewhat slow at explaining things in the beginning, all of the viewers questions become answered in the end (well most of them, the important ones at least).
Frighteningly, the main character of the story is immediately told by a woman he had never met before (or so he thinks), that he had murdered her in a gruesome fashion. Not only that but it's also established that this same woman is an extremely old vampire. As time passes Shiki's own past - which was once shrouded in mystery - becomes revealed as he hunts down an incredibly evil vampire with his new vampire acquaintance.
This isn't your typical vampire hunting flick though... this series is incredibly creative down to the very last detail. For example the vampires throughout the course of the series displays strange characteristics: for the most part they can interact during the day with humans and they all seem to be following a certain key story/plotline involving Shiki's new vampire acquaintance (I won't give away all the details but I guarantee it's original and quite impressive that so much was established in only 3 disc volumes).
The visuals are just downright stunning as is the music. With numerous images of both the moon as well as the sunset, the mood is set beautifully both the images in the series. The opening song is of significant note for it is extremely beautiful - a variation of it is played throughout the course of the series when important events are unfolding.
Again the characters seem to grow quite a bit as the series progresses - I've often heard this series compared to Witch Hunter Robin and while I thought Robin was just as creative and the characters just as developed at first, I was sadly mistaken... hands down this animation takes the lead. With the mood previously set by the music and visuals, the themes found throughout the film are enhanced by the odd character types we see: a boy who has the ability to see the dead/the lines between life and death (Mystic Eyes of Death Perception), who seemingly establishes a deep relationship with one of the undead who often seems much more alive than ever when around the boy.
The action sequences are truly exciting - in some animations that contain thought provoking themes you often find that the action of the series is neglected for the drama, in Lunar Legend this simply isn't the case. The cool character types (which includes a church inquisitor-type) fight it out in stylish, fast paced combat which surprisingly contains quite amount of gore (enhancing the story since gore of course means blood).
*Perhaps a Spoiler* Only being 3 volumes a lot was condensed into it making the plotline seem complicated. In actuality only some questions remain unanswered (or rather, perhaps not answered to the viewer's satisfaction). For the most part almost everything is answered... whether or not the ending is satisfying is another issue. I felt deeply upset with it but in the end it was the only way in which it could have ended realistically. One of the things I thought that wasn't answered as well as it could have been is the sister's curse, where it came from (it was hinted at that the family was cursed, certainly, but apparently being in the family isn't necessarily a qualification for the reincarnation on the part of the main evil character... while this was explored in the movie, some might find aspects of this major plotline to be rushed).
Whether or not such major plotline questions were answered to the viewer's pleasure, the series stands apart from others like it as one which is extremely well done and unique (if not for the word "vampire" which is often over used in my opinion).
This movie is truly an amazing work of art in my opinion and should be explored further by any fan of anime!