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Hitsuji no Uta Review

October 10, 2004

story 8/10

Hitsuji no Uta screenshot They've done a good job with this series. It did feel a bit uncoordinated at times, but this is a four episode OAV and it's often very hard to avoid such things happening; there is simply not enough time.

Hitsuji No Uta is a series that I've anticipated for awhile and it was great to be able to sit down and watch all four episodes in a row. The topic is drama, horror and vampires. While it didn't feel very "horror like", there certainly were strong vampire and dramatic elements to it. It succeeds in the angst department, and together with the animation it presents a very dark (feeling) environment filled with suffering and revelations. This is also about brother meets sister, and their way of coping with this disease. There is nothing happy going on in this series, it's dark and angsty; If you like that then you will probably not have a problem with this one.

animation 6/10

Don't get me wrong, it does have some very interesting character designs and they do a good job with how the environments are drawn. However, the reason I only gave it a 6 out of 10 for the visuals is simply because they reuse a lot of animation, use a lot of stills and the CG animation was quite mediocre. If we are to focus solely on the "design" aspect I would've given it 7.5/10 - 8/10. The character designs are a bit unusual; they look a bit gloomy by default, but that might be becuase the whole setting is a bit gloomy -- not many happy moments happen during the show, after all.

sound 6/10

I would give the ending theme 8/10 because it's very good in my honest opinion. It's lengthy, has a nice duet with two competent singers, incorporates some nice passages, uses classical instruments, etc., and there is also a very enjoyable interlude. But, the essential stuff lies in the series, and they reuse the same tracks many times. At first I liked these tracks, but after awhile I almost grew tired of them. I would give the music in itself 7.5/10 because it was fitting for the theme, but all that reuse drags down the score.

The show is only released in Japanese language. The VAs (Voice Actors) did quite a good job, but in this case I think they made a mistake when they put Megumi Hayashibara as the VA for the main character's sister (Chizuna); she sounded too childish for her physical appearance. Regardless, she did a good job as always though. Though, I would've preferred a VA which sounded similar to Shiki's sister in Tsukihime -- a bit darker and smoother in the voice.

characters 7/10

The problem, as often with short OAVs, is that the characters are not given the proper time to develop; there wasn't much development. On the other hand, looking at their personallities one might say that they did develop quite naturally. The majority of the characters appear to be very introverted, meaning that they aren't very socially outgoing (simplisticly speaking). This puts a damper on the whole concept of development in a way. I think something was missing in this department all in all. I would've liked to get to known the characters more, but alas, there was no time.

overall 8/10

It's a hard one. I'd either give this a 7.5 or an 8. It's one of the more dark series I've seen in a while, it does well in setting the right mood (as I've said several times already) and does have an interresting story. While vampire stories are quite cliché by now, HnU actually does a good job in presenting something different. Despite the simple animation with re-used frames, stills etc. I felt that they came naturally. The stills did not feel forced. At first I was a bit perplexed when the characters talked yet there were no lip movements. I then noticed that they used an animation technique which didn't make it feel awkward, rather it helped the mood at times.

I recommend the manga "Lament of the Lamb" which this OAV was built upon. The manga, licensed by TokyoPop, will spawn over 7 volumes (that's how many they've got lined up on their homepage right now at least). The first OAV episode followed the manga and basically ended where the first manga volume ended, but seeing as they've got 7 volumes they either have to include lots of 'in between' stuff or develop the story and characters further than they did in the anime, which I think will be the case.

As far as rewatchability, sure thing. This is a 4 episode OAV (roughly 1 hour and 45 mins of screen material) and it does not take much time to rewatch it. HnU does a good job in setting the correct mood and I find the animation design visually interesting aswell.

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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comments

enzymesuki914 avatar enzymesuki914
Dec 9, 2011

I enjoyed the manga, but to me this is a very generous review of the anime.

To each their own of course, but I don't think the anime really captures the story as well as it could have, and while the anime's art is very similar to the manga, they look awkward when animated to me.

I reccomend the story itself, but whether as manga or anime is up to the individual.

Onizenko avatar Onizenko
Dec 21, 2010

Interesting. This review caught my attention. That, or I am a terrible procrastinator. Nevertheless, cool review. :)

Hiyapeeps avatar Hiyapeeps
Sep 21, 2009

so it sets the right mood then? XD

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