Anime Meta-Review


Violinist of Hamelin, Movie


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Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: parody
  • form: sub
  • source: fansub
  • dur: 30
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Mon Mar 26 11:50:35 EST 2001
  • mod: none

This very short movie (and it looks like it really is a movie) appears to be placed after the TV series as it looks like the full party has assembled. But what is even stranger is that if you're expecting a sombre and serious anime you're in for a big suprise.


Effectively the TV series centered around a classical fantasy world which is having a bad time of it. The land is surrounded by awesomely powerful demons and the barriers that have held them at bay are fading fast. But striding from out of the shadow comes a brave adventurer. Although this one wield a violin and is a little bit more complex than your average knight want-to-be. But since the young girl `flute' seems to be centrally involved, and needs to travel the length of this now dangerous land, he can't stand aside. Along the way they gain two more companions, one a pianist of love and the other a warrior angel. And, i've got to say, the angel looked very impressive, enough so that i'd love to get more of the TV series and meet her properly. There's something about a winged warrior with a huge scythe and an agressive attitude...but anyway, i've wandered a bit.

While it might not seem it these people have a lot of power on their side. But it's a little bit different than the ordinary sort. Through their music, and varying by the piece played, they can summon powerful magics... especially in the case of Hamelin himself. These magical forces often work with the mood of people or place, enhancing the emotions, fears or weaknesses of his foes. The nice part of this is it means his magic is tightly linked to the story and characters.

The actual story for this piece is pretty simplistic. While on their way the party wander through a kingdom in the process of getting over-run by demons. In addition the princess of kingdom has been kidnapped, changed into a cat and imprisoned. Since this sort of thing has echo's with flutes own experience Hamelin decides they might as well make a short detour. It seems, however, that the situation might actually be a trap for Hamelin and his party, with the princess being kidnapped simply as bait. And in such a case the enemey will surely have brought sufficient force to make victory a certainty.


The simple story is actually a good choice for such a short duration. But what was suprising is that this is one of the most over-the-top fantasy comedies i've seen in quite a while. I seem to remember the TV series as quite serious but you'd be hard pressed to tell from this sample. And while the plot has been set up as `serious' the characters simply trample all over the top of it. This might irritate fans of the series, and it's possible this vision of the characters is simplified and very different, but taken by itself it's an awful lot of fun.

Of course trying to explain why it is fun in a review is going to be difficult. I guess i'll start by saying that it is fast moving, cleverly written and seems to really enjoy making fun of both itself and other beloved fantasy standards. There's some lovely character humor, complex situational jokes and impressive action sequences which are just very well handled. And Hamelin just seems to be having fun, his outrageous plans, selfish actions and humor, often at the expense of other party members have to be seen to be believed. I'd love to describe some of the things that happen, but text can not do justice to these sequences and i'd hate to spoil the suprise. And given that it is so short there's very little reason not to watch this should you get the opportunity.

Obviously those who wanted a sombre movie, or something true to the spirit of the TV series may be disappointed. I haven't really seen enough of the TV series to make that judgement. However given the limited time available, with an audience who might not be dedicated fans of the series, perhaps something fun like this was a good choice.

The animation itself is wonderful. Some of the sequences are almost worth watching in slow motion they're so clever. While there's a fair amount of super-deformed comedy when the animation is depicting `serious' elements it's detailed, smooth and quite impressive. Clearly they had money to play with. At the same time it maintains the style from the TV series. It will often go misty and `shoujoish' and it's not afraid to use simpler animation, even still frames, when it suits the material being represented. The design is also very interesting, basically a fantasy environment with a rich dollop of `style'. It's fairly different, but there's no doubting the underlying skill. The voices are good, albeit played up quite a lot. The music is good with nice classical music from hamelin to represent his magic. The opening song is fine, but the lyrics are pretty full on, "to become adults we must give up our dreams"?

Other Reviews

  • THEM review Them confirm my memories that the TV series is nothing like this, but they also confirm that this is an enjoyable interlude. They, perhaps unwisely, try to describe some of the action but it's a good review that also mentions how `strange' this sort of self parody may seem to an american audience (4/5).
  • Lord Carnage review A review of both the movie and the TV series. The review for the movie is sort of weird, lots of mixed negative and positive terms and descriptions but it ends up with a solid recommendation. Although carnage does admit he'd like to know more about the characters (3.5/5).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:26 WST 2009