Hitsuji no Uta: the OVA

After my glowing review of the Lament of the Lamb manga, it should come as little surprise that in due course, I would turn my attention to the animated form of the franchise- a four episode OVA containing a compressed version of the story. Faced with the task of fitting a seven volume into a mere two hours of airtime, it was obvious that Hitsuji no Uta would not be quite the same as the manga that spawned it, but would it still be worthy viewing for a fan of the series? The answer, it turns out, is that it is something of a middle-of-the-road effort- not especially awful, but with nothing marking it out as particularly good either.

A bare-bones version of the story seen in the manga, Hitsuji no Uta cuts out as much extraneous material as it can, leaving only the core story of teenager Kazuna Takashiro succumbing to a vampiric disease and leaving his normal life behind in order to live with his similarly afflicted sister. Taken on its own, the OVA doesn’t feel incomplete, but it is somewhat disappointing to miss out on so much of the story. The remaining content can be said to be solid at best; it will keep you occupied, but unlike the manga, it does not really draw you into the story. Many of the scenes are presented via Kazuna or another character thinking about them in flashback, and whilst this method is interesting, the result is that the viewer ends up feeling a little divorced from what happening on screen.

Visually, Hitsuji no Uta’s artwork is a lot more standardised that the rough yet uniquely appealing style of the manga. Colouring is minimal, so much so that most scenes appear to be in black and white, with red blood offering the only vividness of colour. This is clearly meant to be in keeping with the tone of the series, but unfortunately here it is an effect that feels more cheesy than dramatic.

Final Thoughts
Whilst it makes for a reasonably interesting diversion, Hitsuji no Uta can offer little more than that. Compared to the manga that spawned it, it fails to have the same impact with regards to either content or presentation, and must instead settle for being a more average experience.

4 thoughts on “Hitsuji no Uta: the OVA

  1. I think Hitsuji no Uta is only anime where I simply had to stop watching. Not because it was boring, irritating or anything like that, but it felt too real. Almost like someone would have hurted me physically and that’s not really anything you can call entertainment so in the end I never finished it.

  2. I felt that OVA was not good, thus giving the excellent manga a bad name. The only saving grace of the OVA is the ending song, which I praise as perhaps being more true to the manga than the OVA itself. As I have said elsewhere, the ED theme song uses many musical cliches, but it uses them in proper ways. In music, unlike films and stories, using lots of cliches can be a good thing, if it is used ‘correctly’, and this song did masterful job in incorporating various cliches.

  3. I have to say that the ED song of the OVA is what is outstanding in this OVA. While I cried for a bit at the implication of the ending… same as with the manga.. Hitsuji no Uta is an okay anime. When I said that the ova was the manga, my friend didn’t believe me until he saw it after a while.

  4. I think the manga is excellent but it’s one of those stories that doesn’t really translate so well onto the screen. The OAV captures that gloomy atmospherics well enough but it’s too dialogue-driven to make for gripping teleision and ends up being a bit dull and cold. With that in mind it’s just as well that the roll-call of VAs is of a high standard and I agree that the end theme music is a nice touch. It’s not a bad adaptation – it’s not a really memorable one either unfortunately.

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