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Song of Wind and Trees Review

by: sothis
October 26, 2004

story 6.5/10

Song of Wind and Trees screenshot The story of this hour-long OVA is fairly simple to say the least. It was made for fans of the manga, and thus, you'll be fairly confused unless you get a primer. Luckily the version I watched came with just that, so I was able to get some back story before plowing into "I don't understandville". The basic premise is that Serge joins a boys academy, and is unknowingly placed with the school slut of sorts, Gilbert. This young man uses his body for good test scores and such, since he dislikes school. His sadistic guardian funds the school, so Gilbert's behavior is overlooked, to say the least. Meanwhile, prim and proper Serge does not approve of his roommate's behavior, and thus the story begins.

The story itself is very slow and quiet, but it fits the content well. The whole point is to see the growth between Gilbert and Serge, but given the length, we aren't shown a great deal. There are giant gaps in between certain events that happen with the two, leaving you to wonder what happened in the meantime. In addition, the ending (or lack of one, really) leaves much to be desired. I can easily say that this would appeal to fans of the manga, since I haven't read it, and was left with many unanswered questions.

In general, as a light romance of sorts, this wasn't half bad, but might be boring to some (comparable to Maria-sama ga Miteru as far as pacing). I do need to make a big note that this is, in fact, yaoi. Granted, it isn't full boy-on-boy action all the time, but there are a few sexual scenes and some kissing (as well as nakedness). Would I classify this as blatant hentai? No, because the majority of the story isn't like this. But if you are squeamish about these things, don't watch this, period. Unlike such shows as Earthian which are branded yaoi and really are nothing of the sort (or are shounen-ai at best), this has definite yaoi parts, and a very sexual theme.

animation 7/10

The animation, for this time period, isn't half bad. Backgrounds such as ivy-covered walls and streets were detailed and seemed made out of watercolors. The character designs will remind you of something in the vein of Brother, Dear Brother or something else from that time period. Very round heads, round eyes, limited facial features. Many of the male characters look very feminine, which is appropriate considering the show's base in homosexuality. The colors used weren't very inspirational and tended to look dull and washed out. Browns and yellows dominated the scenes, with the occasional purple or vibrant color which didn't seem to fit. All in all, decent visuals.

sound 7.5/10

I'd say the audio to silence ratio was about 50/50, but it seemed to work. The musical selections were mixed with harpsichords, pianos, and other orchestral instruments. Given the time period this took place (1880s) and the mood and feel (a prestigious boys academy), the choice of instruments and tones fit very well. Silence accompanied tense or dull parts, which fit well also.

The voice acting was decent for everyone, and seemed especially fitting for Gilbert and a few of the other boys. They tended to be especially feminine, which obviously fits with the storyline.

characters 6/10

Gilbert and Serge are the two most important characters in the OVA, and consequently, are the only two we really learn about. As with the story, there is a great deal of information that we aren't privy to throughout the OVA, making this information a necessity to know about before watching. These two boys grow in various ways, mostly in a romantic way. Unfortunately, I felt like this wasn't shown very convincingly, perhaps due to the length. As I mentioned for the story, there are gaps between situations, making their growing closeness seem unrealistic in a way. I kept wondering WHY they had suddenly bonded more than they had, or why Serge was suddenly caring about Gilbert more than he had. It just seemed to come out of nowhere, but again, this surely was because this was made for fans of the manga who already knew the in between bits.

Other characters were plentiful, but not really developed in any way, nor did you remember their names after you saw them once. Purely in the background, with nothing much to add to the main storyline.

overall 6.5/10

If you are looking for a slower romance and don't mind the boy-on-boy thing, this might be something for you to check out. You just need to remember that the story seems incomplete unless you've read the manga, and not all things will make sense to you. Besides this fact, it was a decent flick from the 80s, with a good selection of music. So who knows? Try it out if you think it sounds good to you.

Anime Info

  • OVA (1 ep x 60 min)
  • 1987

When nobleman and gypsy-born Serge Batouille arrived at Laconblade Academy, he had no idea his life would change forever. Upon arriving, he is roomed with the sexually-voracious and flirtatious Gilbert Cocteau, which ensures that life at the prestigious school will dole out more complications and confrontations than either boy has dealt with in the past. Together, these two young men brave love, growth, and the pain of youth, all while growing closer together than anyone would have thought...


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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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