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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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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