Interestingly enough, Hashire, Melos! has already been adapted into an anime once before (twice, actually, but here I’m focusing on the 1992-movie), so while waiting for the final instalments of Aoi Bungaku, I figured that I might as well check out a completely different interpretation of the classic story by Osamu Dazai. It of course isn’t as good as Ryousuke Nakamura’s version, and it even seems that the entire part of the author writing this story was completely new. But nevertheless, this movie shows that even the original story without this interplay between author and fiction had a lot of potential.
Because of the different ages, direction, themes and focuses, you really end up with two completely different stories that just happen to have some of the same characters. The dialogue in the movie isn’t as complex as the Aoi Bungaku version, nor is it an as big of an emotional roller-coaster, but it does allow for much more time to flesh out Melos and Celine, the two lead characters. And it’s in these two that the power of this story lies.
They’re both two men with their own strengths and weaknesses, and my favourite part of the movie were their reasons for doing the seemingly stupid things that they did: they’re well-backed up and powerful motivations. The ending is a bit rushed and predictable, but it’s not what’s important to the story at all; heck, even the movie realizes this by telling how the story ends right at the very first scene.
The music isn’t anything special, but the animation is really what you’d expect from a movie: very smooth and detailed with a real minimum of still frames. Despite again, this animation being not as expressive as Ryousuke Nakamura’s version I still very much recommend this movie because it really has its own points where it shines, and despite my rather repetitive complaining, I didn’t feel like watching a copy of something that I already watched once before at all. This movie adds quite a bit of depth and colour to the already interesting characters of Melos, Celine and Dionysius.