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Hitsuji no Uta Review

by: sothis
October 10, 2004

story 8/10

Hitsuji no Uta screenshot On the surface, Hitsuji no Uta might appear to be just another vampire series, but deep down, it goes into fairly dark territory involving family histories and gruesome secrets galore. Young Kazuna has found his life turned upside down when the cravings begin -- and things go downhill from there. When meeting up with his long lost sister, Chizuna, he realizes that he is not alone in his family's curse, and she may be the only one who can save him...

I think the thing I liked the most about Hitsuji no Uta is that it was a fairly unique vampire series; that is, unique as far as what other vampire anime is out there. It fit more with series in the vein of Tsukihime than things like Vampire Hunter D, going with a more mellow and moody feel as opposed to action and flashy graphics. There isn't really a solid plot, it's mostly Kazuna finding out he has the "illness" (very early on in the OVA), and then him and his sister trying to cope with their family's history. There is a good amount of character development, at least in the sense that you find out a great deal about Kazuna's family's history, what happened to his parents, etc. This makes for a very dark and creepy series, to say the least.

Although the score is high, I will say that the only problem with Hitsuji no Uta's story is its pacing. Quite a bit of the story is "flashbacks" (as in, the main character hearing voices of what people in the past said), and thus, the story really could have been condensed in a shorter period of time. This made it feel a bit drawn out, but at only four episodes, that's OK I think.

animation 6/10

Hitsuji no Uta had a very unusual animation style which worked very well for the tone and feel. Dark gritty lines made up the characters and backgrounds, giving it a harsh tone. Very, very little color was used except for the bright red blood and occasional clothing colors. A very large percentage of the scenes were either in black and white, or dark browns and light brownish yellows. The color scheme reminded me a lot of Boogiepop Phantom, but not as dark.

Even though the animation style fit, it still had some major flaws to it. First of all, it was a bit too simplistic sometimes. Often, the backgrounds were extremely simple (too simple), or totally void of any colors or lines. The major problem, though, was the recycling of animation. I'd say probably at least 1/4th of the series was recycled, if not more. Not to mention there was absolutely horrible CG effects used for car scenes, which were also recycled. It's pretty obvious the kind of budget this OVA had, so you can't entirely blame them, but it still was fairly terrible, hence the lower score.

sound 6.5/10

The audio category is something else that I'd like to rate highly, but can't for a few reasons. The few tracks were well done and fit the mood of the series: one was orchestral in nature and sounded very gothic and dark, and the other was an electronic beat. Unfortunately, this was the only music that was played throughout the series, and it got a bit repetetive. The rest of the OVA had almost no sounds let alone various sound effects, which wasn't bad.

Voice acting was fine for all involved, and all the actors did a good job at making their characters seem mellow and depressed in some fashion.

characters 8/10

The character development (including characters that aren't even in the series itself) was a focal point to the series, and was established throughout the episodes. Because of the nature of the show, we are shown the characters' pasts in a very cryptic and mysterious way, which unravels itself through a series of flashbacks and discussions. By the end, twists are revealed about the relationships between the characters, which help to make the series more dark than it already is. There are several important relationships going on, though. Kazuna and Chizuna is the most important, as they are related by blood and must share the secret of the family amongst themselves. They have a very interesting relationship, to say the least. Next, Kazuna and his pseudo girlfriend, who have many bumps in the road of their budding relationship. Finally, Kazuna and his adoptive parents, which will make you sad as well. With great development and a varied cast, the characters in Hitsuji no Uta were definitely a strong point.

overall 7.5/10

Hitsuji no Uta succeeded in being a unique and interesting look at vampires, in a different way than all the other vampire series out there. If you need something high paced, this isn't for you. Patience is a virtue with Hitsuji no Uta, but I feel the slow pacing is worth the wait. Bear in mind, this is not a happy show, but with the subject at hand, who would expect anything less? I found this to be a fine watch, and I think you might too.

Anime Info

Kazuna is a young man with a fairly normal life. He attends high school, lives with his surrogate family, and models for his somber love-interest Yaegashi's paintings. But recently, he has suffered several crippling attacks at the sight of blood -- attacks which leave him incapacitated and out of control. Kazuna must now reunite with his sister who he has not seen in years, and discover the truth behind his family name and vampiric genes, before his bloodthirsty desires destroy himself, or others close to him.


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About the Author

sothis's avatar

sothis

My fav genres include sci fi and horror, but you'll find a lot of obscure reviews from me too, given I watch a ton to add to the database. My new reviews are written a lot better than my old ones, so when in doubt, sort by date! ^_^ Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.

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