Review of Melody of Oblivion (2004)

Moving picture, 10 hours

The 20th century was marked by all-out war between humans and monsters springing partly from Greek mythology, including a version of Medusa who would automatically transform any human looking at her to stone. The monsters won, and have since erected a secret superstructure over human society. Disillusioned collaborators prepare human sacrifices to feed their monster overlords, but most people have gone back to ordinary lives, not even remembering the war. Only a small minority still fight, using miraculous musical bows and motorcycles.

TV animation series. Not concentrated as a Gainax production. Directed by Nishikiori Hiroshi.

Contemporary fantasy action reminiscent of the work of Nagai Gō, including a remarkable lack of internal consistency. There are a few interesting stylistic features, particularly the inexplicable splashes of red paint on many of the backgrounds, implying a broken world where evil is real and triumphant. Unfortunately, the mix of bishōjo stereotypes, mecha SF, kitschy horror, mythology and so forth is really poorly integrated. The most intriguing thing about the work is the way its diversity intuitively underpins the idea of a unique national geek culture that would actually enjoy these premises in an eclectic mode, but to me, the contrasts are overpowering.

moving picture Gainax animation Japanese production mecha fiction series