The Violinist of Hameln - The Movie

Rating: 3½ Rampages

The cover for the LD Synopsis:
Flute's a cute little girl who smites people with a giant pan-dimensional cross, Sizer's an angel with a big-ass scythe, Oboe's a talking crow, Raiel carries a baby grand piano on his back, and Hamel plays a cello...I mean a giant violin. He can control people by playing music and uses it to his advantage shamelessly. Together they travel and defeat bad guys.
The Kingdom of Antifarnia is in horrible state of turmoil as they are being attacked by the undead soldiers of the Mazoku, who have also kidnapped the princess and turned her into a kitten. After some insanity and smiting, Flute, Oboe, Hamel, Sizer and Raiel decide to go and save Berylina.

Review:
This is such a crying shame. This hilarious 30 minute movie is, sadly, NOTHING like the TV series. In this version, Hamel is a total jackass. While just as powerful as in the TV series, he laughs, flings insults at his enemies, and generally acts like a self-absorbed jerk...add in the fact that he's voiced by Yao "Dark Schneider" Kazuki, and you have one hell of a fun character to watch. This is a startling contrast to the quiet brooding character of the TV series, but a welcomed one as it makes 30 minute movie into 30 minutes of Maze (OVA)-like insanity.

The animation is quite good, but it's more OVA quality than Movie level (not to mention few movies are only a half an hour long). The music is all orchestral, and mostly familliar stuff like Bach or Mozart, so it sounds quite nice. As for the characters themselves, they all play well off of each other...I loved seeing the stoic Sizer getting all embarrassed when Flute is complimenting her...so embarrassed she doesn't even notice the trap in front of her. The downside of the characters and story is that this is intended as a complementary piece for the TV series, and as such you get no real introductions to them -- which is a little annoying but can be overlooked due to the overall fun factor of the film. Much like the Ninku Movie (also a 30 min film with little or no character introduction), this is a nice quick dose of fun that leaves you wanting more of the same...only to find that there isn't more. From what I've read about the TV series and its characters, I'm doubting I'd like it even half as much as this incredibly silly romp. Light on story and depth but big on fun, this is the perfect thing for a quick anime fix. Highly recommended.

Availability:
Currently only available fansubbed.

Looks like Hamel's being a jerk again...



The Violinist of Hameln TV

Rating: 2 Rampages

I have no expression... Synopsis:
15 years ago, in the kingdom of Sforzend, a great war came to a crashing halt as Queen Horn sealed the invading monster hordes away by erecting a magical barrier. With the greatest of the hell lords sealed away in Pandora's box, and the remainder of the monsters locked away by the barrier, everything became peaceful once more...but Bass, one of the great hell kings, has been slowly eroding the barrier holding his forces back, and after 15 years, he is ready to invade again, and free his lord Kestral from Pandora's box. Horn's only hope lies in her daugther, Flute, and her amnesiac gaurdian Hamel. Together they must make it to Horn's palace in Sforzend to stop the invading monsters...but it's going to take more than just Hamel and his magic music. If they want to defeat Bass and his monsters, they're going to need help, not to mention figuring out why Hamel has no memory of his past...

Review:
ARGH! After watching the hysterically funny movie this was really dissapointing. Being a Gundam fan has increased my tolerance for melodrama, but this is just pushing it a bit far. I mean, we've got some of the silliest character designs ever, a silly looking SD crow for a mascot, and they're all dead serious. From what I've been told the manga is far more like the movie (Hamel is just as much of a jackass in the manga), so why the hell did they make everyone so bloody expressionless and boring here?? It's obvious they were also a little too ambitious for the budget they had, as there are a huge number of still shots and the rest of the scenes are mediocre at best. While still shots can work for dramatic effect, the way they're thrown in all over the place is just painful, and totally messes with the pacing.

The music is also really wonky. At times the BGM is pretty and suits the scene, but when they start doing their "marionnette version" music it gets so dumb. It's the middle of a big fight against the roving dead, and we start hearing Mozart's requiem...well that sure sucked the tension out of that scene. Or during a tense battle Hamel and Raiel start playing the William Tell Overture, with this big dramatic scene going on in front of us. Sorry, but at that point I couldn't keep from bursting out laughing at the idiocy of it. This is a fantasy world...how the hell would they know these classical pieces from our Earth that came from a period that was AFTER the medieval style of this setting???? Combine this with the really freaky and bouncy opening and ending songs, and it sure does make you wonder about the creators. While the story has potential, the wacky looking yet painfully melodramatic characters suck any enjoyment right out of this show; in this way it's just like the Ryu Knight OVA. There are like, maybe ten minutes of comedy in the entire series, the rest is horribly forced melodrama. Some people adore this show, but then some people also adore the Dragon Ball series too. Me, I couldn't find anything particularly enjoyable about this show, and I doubt many of you will either. Not recommended.

Availability:
Only available fansubbed at the moment.