Kazuna's family has a history of suffering from a disease that creates an uncontrollable vampire-like thirst for blood. Knowing none of this, Kazuna was sent to live with the Eda couple as a child. As the sickness begins to show signs of being present within himself, he comes into contact with his older sister, Chizuna, who has been suffering from it since early childhood. Knowing that the sickness incurs a heavy weight upon those that suffer from it, Chizuna tries to ease her brother's burden, to help him learn to control his urges, but...
Considering that this series obviously had a rather crap budget, I'd say it was done rather well. Not that it doesn't have it's problems, but it's story still manages to be enjoyable, if you can get past it's faults.
A sort-of non-traditional take on vampires. Kazuna and Chizuna are vampires, but vampirism is more of an illness and a hindrance than it is anything else. It's quite a sad story, following how the illness ultimately destroys their lives. The anime's ending differs from the manga, however, as well as leaving out a couple side characters entirely, but as the story (in the anime) is focused
mainly on Kazuna and Chizuna's interaction, it's not a major issue.
- The backgrounds/settings are rather gorgeous. The muted palette overall reflects the melancholy tone of the show, and the style the characters are drawn in make them all the more striking, in my opinion. The eyes, especially, were haunting, and I particularly liked the dark outline for the noses (rather a change from the disappearing noses that are standard anime fare).
- Doing more than an OVA with such a character driven story would have been a mistake, but it wouldn't have hurt to give it a bit more cash for the four episodes. Man did I get sick of Kazuna's "attacks" (they looked like someone splatted some blood patterned brushes on a multiply layer in Photoshop), the wind chime, the moon, and (omg) the RED moon, not to mention the picture of Chizuna as a little girl, and a bunch of other reused shots/frames/misc. The obvious lack of budget inspired a drinking game in which the viewer would pass out from alcohol poisoning within the first episode if they were to actually put it to practice.
I give it a 7 for animation because, despite all the reused visuals, the visuals that were presented were rather pretty. Woulda been nice if things you know... moved more, though.
- The ED is really hauntingly beautiful, and sad. It's actually one of my most played on iTunes. I'm a sucker for sad songs, what can I say? ^.^;;
- Woulda been nice if they had coughed up the cash for an OP, or even just better background music. The only real saving grace is the ED, music wise.
7, if only because I fricking love the ED so much.
Like I said, what this series is entirely about. Very well done, I thought. Chizuna was probably my favorite, but all the characters resonated emotionally, I think.
This series isn't so much about a "story" or "plot-line" as it is about Chizuna and Kazuna, specifically. More of a slice out of their lives, than anything else.
7. It's all coherent, and there are a few decent "twists".
Well, if you can't get over the lack of budget, not much. But if you like a good story, with good characters, and some... a lot... a whole bunch... of angst, then this show is totally for you. If those things aren't your piece of cake well... *shrug* For me, an 8, leaning towards a 9. 10 if I count how fun it is to rewatch and make fun of for it's lack of budget. Or how Kazuna totally wants to do Chizuna.
Hitsuji no Uta is a retelling of the story told in its manga counterpart stuffing 7 volumes of well developed plot and characters into 4 episodes of rushed anime with poor animation. I wont be getting into the plot or characters because if you haven't read the manga or don't intend to; you have no reason to know of the existence of this OVA series. Even as a fan of the manga (which has its flaws) this OVA is completely pointless. The story skips so much that you cant really understand all of whats going on, i mean the
deeper elements that actually require thought process while reading the manga. the animation is also poor; i expect more from madhouse and looking at still images of this anime youd think its got proper animation but it doesent. the framerate is choppy, characters can become disproportionate with large heads at times, they take plenty of shortcuts with animation such as dialogue over still images of characters who are supposedly talking or stock animations of trains. all in all this ova series should have never been made. fans of the manga series will find this painful to watch, anyone else wont enjoy it. the manga is only 7 volumes long so just go read it or look it up to see if youd like it. dont base any of your opinions on the story by what you see with this ova.
Hitsuji no Uta is the story of two siblings who meet after being separated for a long time. The twist is that they have a genetic disease that gives them cravings for human blood. The story really focuses on Kazuna learning to live with his disease and about his family's past with some help from his sister. The story is pretty interesting and full of suspense, but it does have one major annoyance. There are a lot of Flashbacks, A lot of which show an event that happened in the same episode, less than five minutes ago. What's the point? Did Gisaburo Sugii really think
that the audience would have such a terrible attention span that we won't remember the important events that happened three and a half minutes ago? The over-reliance on flashbacks also destroys the pacing pretty thoroughly.
The characters are pretty well developed. There's a lot of subtle torment that motivates both Kazuna and Chizuna. The impact they have on the people who care about them is pretty pronounced as well. The only real problems are that the characterisation borders on overly-melodramatic at times and the relationship between Chizuna and Kazuna seems almost incestuous at moments.
The art is terrible. This came out in 2003, 2004 and the art is only a little better than the Ninja Gaiden OVA. Maybe they had no budget whatsoever, but when your art is only a little better than an anime with terrible art that came out more than ten years ago there's a problem.
The voice acting and music are the only truly spectacular elements to this OVA. The music is nice and atmospheric. Although the art destroys any sense of atmosphere that the music might have established. The voice acting is spectacular. It's just what I'd expect from something with such great talents as Hayashibara Megumi and Seki Tomokazu in the main roles.
There is no yuri in this. The female characters hardly even interact. It gets a yuri factor of 1/10.
My final rating is a 6/10. The story and characters have some faults, but it's still pretty interesting and worth watching, if you can excuse the artwork.
Hitsuji no Uta is an interesting anime, and if it had more time to develop it would have been really good. The anime as it stands at 4 episodes manages to tell a good story, even though it is short. What I found cool about it was that, instead of the low budget taking away from the enjoyment, it actually added to it. The repeated images and switching between black and white and color make the anime a little more stylized, rather than hindering the interest of the story. The way they show Kazuna's attacks also adds quite a bit of tension to the experience.
art style looks good most of the time, but sometimes ends up looking a bit off from the way you see it normally. This only happens in a few scenes, and it doesn't really disturb the presence of the theme. And like I said before, the low-budgetness of the anime actually stylizes it and makes it unique.
Really, there's not much here. There's about one song plus the ending theme. The one song in the anime actually fits in most of the situations, so even though there's not a large variety, it adds a familiar atmosphere when certain events are happening.
The characters weren't that developed, mostly because there wasn't enough time to get to know them all. But by the end, you have a feel for the personality and ideals of most of the important characters.
Enjoyment & Overall
I enjoyed Hitsuji no Uta quite a bit, and because it's so short, the story doesn't get distorted and twisted around until it's unrecognizable. I would recommend it to anyone; I'm sure anyone could find something to like about it. Even if you don't like it a ton, you're only with it for 2 hours of your life, so you can watch it and add it to your repertoire of anime knowledge without too much effort.