Posted by psgels on 27 December 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Oh my god… I’m amazed by this small OVA called Hitsuji no Uta. After watching 3×3 Eyes and reading the premise, I expected this to be another one of those action-flicks. “Boy lives random normal life, but then meets his sister and discovers he’s a vampire and together they bust up crime with lots of action”, or something similar. Heh, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The only “action” for Hitsuji no Uta takes place in the character’s minds.

It’s easy to hate this OVA, though. The animation ranges from mediocre to downright abysmal. There’s a huge amount of reused cells, and at times the animators just get too lazy to even move the characters’ lips when they’re talking. There’s one particularly ugly shot of the main character in the first episode that’ll have every cynic press the x-button as soon as it gets repeated for the third time. But seriously, the scriptwriting more than makes up for this.

First of all, this “vampire”-ability is nothing more than a disease. None of the characters have any superpowers. This is just a story about two siblings with an incurable mental disease: they freak out with a lust for blood. Hitsuji no Uta is how not only the brother and sister deal with their disease, but it’s also about the people around them. The few that wish to involve themselves to try and take care of the siblings.

The animators may have been just a bunch of monkeys, but the writers of Hitsuji no Uta are brilliant. They make sure that every single character is fleshed out and developed. They make sure that the dialogue is smart, that the characters feel more than just a bunch of idiots. The two main characters may have a mental disease, but that doesn’t prevent them from rational thinking. Even though they’ve been living apart for more than ten years, they feel drawn to each other because of their similar fate and blood-relation. And the writers did an excellent job in conveying this to the audience.

One thing I absolutely love about checking out these random series, movies and OVAs is that you never know when you hit an unknown gem. Hitsuji no Uta is one of these gems, when it provides an engaging realistic character-study about a curse-struck family. While it’s easy to label it as an emo-fest, those who look beyond it will be rewarded with two hours of excellent drama.

5 Responses

  1. Necromancer says:

    I was browing through AnimeSuki and noticed this and was wondering if it what it was and if it was longer than 4 eps, I’ll have to go check it out now

  2. Martin says:

    @Necromancer: it is only four episodes long sadly. The problem there is that there are seven volumes of manga to squeeze in, which doesn’t do the pacing any favours.

    I didn’t think the OAV was too bad but I agree that animation isn’t up to much – it’s so dull and washed-out. If you enjoyed this though (which by the looks of things you did, moreso than me), I highly recommend the original manga – it’s a great story which doesn’t always come through in the animated version. It’s published by Tokyopop so is fairly easy to find though.

    Two positive things I will say about the OAV are that the end theme is a really nice tune and that the voice acting is superb. Since it’s such a character-driven piece the seiyuu really shine, and certainly deliver in terms of drama and emotion.

  3. ryvrdrgn14 says:

    I really liked this OVA because it was certainly different. I didn’t really notice the ‘cheats’ in the animation when I watched it because I was too into the story. I could say that it was almost verging on incest too in a way. o_o

    Though it’s not really the same genre, you could also try watching “Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora”. It’s also short and 6 episodes. It’s about a boy and a girl meeting in a hospital. ^_^

  4. Daniel says:

    I must say that I was kind of impressed by the minimalistic animation. though minimalistic, there were little more they could have done with animation that would have contributed to the anime as whole. and that is skillful I think.
    minimalistic animation also makes more room for the feelings and imagination, which is what this anime rides on. so lazy or not. I don’t think the animators could have done any better job on this without altering lots of the important elements in the bizarre atmosphere.

    Though I understand why most people watching it will think its lame, it is a deep anime with a small audience group. I think I did well to pass the first episode.

  5. Matt says:

    borrrringggg

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  • Rinegar
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 04:43 PM)
    Hey, nice reviews, I began to make my own reviews as well, so check them out if you are interested! https://www.animetier.blogspot.com
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 03:40 PM)
    Okay, Cossette no shouzou rewatched now too. This was on the high end of Shinbou’s cinematography and pretty much the best he’s outputted even if it has its choppiness/stiltedness in parts. It remains a creepy, surreal, trippy and grim, forboding, gruesome and immersive atmospheric ghost story that feels like it could have gone on a bit long and bar the three main focused characters could have had a little bit more depth.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:16 PM)
    It was only really entertaining for how nuts it got.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Aku no hana’s manga never really felt like much more than “crazy shit happening and femdom” = guilty pleasure to me.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:07 PM)
    @Emma: Gankutsou was fine in my opinion tho, as it was so out there that I never saw it as a real attempt at adaptation.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:06 PM)
    I don’t have much exposure to Cumberbatch beyond seeing him talk on film programs and also his role in that Star Trek movie, kind of want to see him in imitation game.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:06 PM)
    @K-off: Don’t give ‘em ideas m8, that actually sounds like a pitch that they would pick up.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 12:04 PM)
    There is a shoujo manga adaptation/rework of King Richard, there is also a romeo and juliet anime, it was one of the worst thing Gonzo produced, still didn’t dislike it as much a gankutsuou though.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:58 AM)
    @Bam He’d probably find some dumbass way to make it into shonen. Maybe Raskolnikov battles Alyona Ivanovna before he kills her.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Whoever made Aku no Hana should totally make a Catcher in the Rye adaptation tho, as they’re both fittingly pretentious and empty.

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