A great war occurred in the 20th century between humans and monsters. Since that time, the monsters rule the world in fear but keep relatively hidden from public view. A boy named Bokka ponders the past and wonders what became of the Meros Warriors who defended the world so bravely against the demons. He soon meets Kurofune and learns of the power of the Meros and the I-bar machines they ride in battle. Warriors are the only ones who can see and hear the Melody of Oblivion, a phantom girl hidden away waiting to be rescued and be the savior of mankind. During a battle between Kurofune and a demon, Bokka discovers something only his wildest dreams could possibly imagine...he too can hear that melody. Throughout his journeys, Bokka meets many monsters and their agents, friends, and companions as he discovers the true extent of his new powers. He must continue to battle evil in the hope of releasing Boukyaku no Senritsu and free a world that has forgotten its once beautiful melody.
In all honesty, Melody of Oblivion could have had potential to go in many good directions. However, due to poor character development, confusion with plot linearity, and a set of 4 ridiculous ending episodes to any series I have witnessed, that potential was unfortunately wasted.
In our story, we find Bokka, a teenage boy living in a new century following a bloody, violent war between humanity and their enemies, the monsters. Warriors fighting for humanity, the Melos Warriors ultimately lost and became nothing but a legend. After the first episode, our protagonist finds out that he holds the same power as the legendary Melos Warrior
and embarks on a journey along with a busty sidekick and trusty motorbike vehicle, the Ibar machine. During his journey he contends with the Monster Union, an organization of humans working alongside the monsters and the sole enemies of the series ( their catch phrase “Viva! Monster Union!” will more than likely cause bleeding of the ears ) and meets several other Melos Warriors as well as other supporting characters. Which brings me to my next point.
Character development. Many characters were introduced, but they had very little background to them. Particularly the monsters, who in this series take the shape of humans, were introduced, but over the course of the series played absolutely very little role or none at all. They simply took up space. The Monster Union characters also made me laugh, because their designs were ridiculous and many times I found myself not taking them very seriously. Which in turn, made me think that this bloody, violent war we are led to believe happened, was nothing but a farce.
I was also bothered by the linearity. You never know how long it’s been since the characters arrive in one location and the next. At some point in the series you are informed that it’s been a year since our protagonist left home, but you are left scratching your head thinking “Really? He’s been gone that long?” You have no sense of time, and that is rather annoying.
I will say that the music was perhaps the only thing that I liked overall about the series. The opening and ending themes were rather good, not the best, but better than others I have seen. There’s the occasional violin instrumental track ( particularly when our heroes are having a heated battle against the monsters ) and catchy background track.
Without spoiling the ending, the last four episodes are a complete train wreck. They made absolutely NO sense. Perhaps I didn't get what it was trying to achieve, but it greatly diverged from what was shown along the course of the series only to take a drastic, out of nowhere turn. There are many series that are also guilty of this, but Melody of Oblivion didn't quite justify the sudden jump.
Melody of Oblivion could have been much better. It’s a decent series, but do not expect something grand. Had the characters been given more development or simply, more screen time for those that were introduced along the way, perhaps it could have been different. If there's anything to take away or enjoy, watch it to laugh at the ridiculous, but sometimes entertaining Monster Union members and their crazy antics.
The first time I saw this series I spent the next day frantically attempting to relay what I had witnessed to some of my friends, however, I was at a loss:
MONSTERS. SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS. FLYING MOTORCYCLES. COW-BUS. MAGIC ARROWS. INVISIBLE GIRL.
And that was just the FIRST TWO EPISODES.
Melody of Oblivion (or MOO, as I've taken to calling it) is a series i'd recommend to everyone. Why? Because it is a spectacular failure. Wonderfully awful. The series tries very hard to take itself seriously but that's a lot more than i'd expect out of anyone viewing it. I've come to refer to this show occasionally as 'the
little train that couldn't.'
I can't help but laugh at the overly-dramatic dialogue and rampant pseudo-symbolism that is used throughout the series. It is the kind of show I watch and honestly can't believe what I'm seeing. There are parts of the show that are seemingly random without a little bit of careful analysis, so you have to invest a little bit of thought into watching this show, but I for one say it is absolutely worth it. If you could sit through the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion, then watching this show should be a piece of cake. It's a rewarding series to watch, especially since at this point very few people have heard of this show it seems, so you get to have the fun of recommending it to unsuspecting friends. With my friends that have seen this the series has become a kind of 'rocky horror picture show.' It is just that kind of awesome.
That said, There are some things the series does well, for one: the parts in the series that are SUPPOSED to be funny are usually pretty humorous, and the charters do develop reasonably well, and if you like unwarranted fan-service then this is the show for you.
All in all, this is a series that grows on you (not unlike a fungus). Give it a chance, it's a series that needs some love.
...In a world where monsters have taken control, and human sacrifices are made to please them...
That basically sums up the story here. Smaller story lines tend to form while watching, but end very quickly, often in the same episode. If you enjoy subtle horror, and action as the hero tries to save the day, then you have a good anime here.
But wait! What is this? The last four episodes involve crude humor that is not pleasing in any way... some could call it... freakishly startling? It does have a point in the story line, these weird images they show before and
after breaks in the last four episodes, but the story that they are part of is a thought, merely a cell of importance, it would seem that the guy who wrote it thought it would add to the romance which was... there... at parts. It seemed that all it did was turn you away from the show and ruin any good feelings you had for the series.
I would also like to add, due to my love of voicing opinion, that this series is in no way scary seeing as every monster you come across doesn't look scary, and they tend to act stupid and run around in animal suits. It might symbolize something... it might not... but I must say, most of what happened, especially towards the end, made no sense.
With all that said, if you read it all, I STILL favorited the show. I Loved the story. I'm sorry, I know it was somewhat perplexing and had to value, but it was worth watching, it even made me sad when it ended! I was hoping for... a better ending (Like I said, the last four stunk.... bad) but it was poetic and entertaining. I recommend it fully.
I've never really been compelled to write a review about a show before, but Melody of Oblivion is truly one that deserves some sort of warning before going into it. I naively thought that a show made by J.C. Staff (with some help from Gainax) would be something thought provoking, or at least, entertaining. However, incompetent storytelling, bad characterization, terrible dialogue, and extremely poor use of allegory and symbolism torpedo any potential this show could have had.
STORY: The premise of the story was what compelled me to at least try Melody of Oblivion. I thought that a storyline about a warrior fighting a war that
has long been decided and against the wishes of the people of the world would be interesting, and maybe with better writing it would have!
What I got was a story that was nearly incomprehensible with overuse of extraneous and often inappropriate symbolism. The most egregious example of this was a large-scale battle near the end of the series that was intercut with scenes from a farm where (it was implied) girls in cow bikinis were being milked, along with scenes (intercut in the same battle!) where the villains and heroes are in a karaoke room (?!). These had no bearing on the story! They undercut any emotional impact from the scenes that followed it! Why were they there?! I hate this show.
The last four episodes are particularly guilty of overuse, almost to the point of total incoherency. I did not enjoy them very much at all.
ART: The backgrounds and backdrops for some of the locales in this show are mellow. Some have the appearance of watercolors, which looked very nice.
However, the character designs and animation are sort of ugly. A lot of attack scenes are overly long, reused liberally, have more gratuitous fanservice, and a lot (particularly of the main character) contain more pointless symbolism.
CHARACTERS: Barely developed. Frankly, only a few them (the leads) even seem to go through a character arc at all throughout the course of the series. Some of the villains are particularly one-dimensional, mainly the ones near the end of the show. Why did they join with the Monsters? What were they getting out of it? Who knows! Guess that character development was thrown out to make way for more train track symbolism!
OVERALL: There are really too many flaws and too much wasted potential in this show to recommend it. What should have been a dynamite combination between J.C. Staff and Gainax became a muddled mess. Avoid.