Take Moon (テイクムーン) by Eri Takenashi
With Carnival Phantasm just wrapping up I decided I might as well spotlight it’s origin. Take Moon was a little comedy anthology that Eri Takenashi of Kannagi fame wrote while she was still at Type-Moon (not that she fully left as she is doing the character designs for Girl’s Work.) It took the mostly serious characters from Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night and puts them in utterly comedic situations to play out their personalities in as exaggerated manner as possible. So Arcueid goes from eccentric vampire to am undead blonde airhead while Saber is portrayed less as a hungry young swordswoman and more as a bottomless pit. But it is all done in a loving manner. It has the lighthearted feel and spirit of fandom present in an amateur doujinshi with the polish of a professional manga. The first book is all Tsukihime characters where as the second book add in skits from Fate/Stay Night. You can tell that Eri Takenashi has a bit off a soft spot for Arcueid and Ciel but almost everyone gets a turn in the spotlight. Even Hanei Misawa and Bazett Fraga McRemitz get some screen time.
I will warn readers that the manga has two major barriers. The first is it assumes that you know the Nasuverse characters inside and out. No real effort is made to introduce the characters or their worlds. Eri Takenashi not only assumes you have played all the Type-Moon games but that you also know the fandom in-jokes surrounding the games. You don’t just have to know who Kohaku is but know her mad scientist persona that she has gained outside of the main games. The second barrier is the fact there is no official English release and the second volume has never been fan scanned. I think it would be neat if someone picked it Take Moon considering the increased interest due to Carnival Phantasm and its short length but I am not holding my breath.
Speaking of Carnival Phantasm the instant question is, “If I watched Carnival Phantasm is there any reason for me to read Take Moon?” The answer is of course. While some of the stories are pretty much a direct interpretation most of the stories have been modified. The anime adds in characters that were introduced after Take Moon was written like Riesbyfe Stridberg or Red Saber but throws some characters like Arihiko Inui and Zouken Matou from main character roles to minor cameos. Heck the whole Phantasmoon skits from the anime are based on one page of a longer and very different Phantasmoon story in the original manga. Both have stories unique to their iteration as well. I mean if nothing else you don’t want to miss out on the Mystic Eyes of Breast Enlargement. It is a delightful little piece of fun for fans of Type-Moon and Eri Takenashi alike.