The magical kingdom of Sforzend is troubled by the threat of the demons to the North. The demons are looking to revive their great leader, the Demon King Chestra. Sforzend’s only hope is five heroes. Hamel – a violinist who practices magical music, Raiel – his childhood friend and fellow magical musician that plays the piano, Obo – a wise bird capable of speech, Flute – the future queen of Sforzend, and Trombone, the warrior prince of Sforzend’s neighboring nation, Dalsegno.
I had seen the movie before, but it had been so long ago, I had forgotten it completely. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of the TV series, whether it was close to the manga’s or not. There were a number of plot twists that were timed perfectly. We got to see great dynamic character developments in Hamel, Flute, Sizer, Raiel, and Coronet. Lesser character development occurred in Trombone and Queen Horn. The show had an overtone of melodrama and angst, but I didn’t think it was excessive. Sometimes the pace was a little slow. Overall, the story that the TV series told was highly entertaining and enjoyable. The ending was a little less than stellar, but I try to take things as the director intended them, and it wasn’t bad, just unsatisfying. However, it was neat to see what happened after the close of the show.
The voice acting was great. My favorite performances include Hamel, Flute, Raiel, Sizer, Obo, Bass, Guitar, and Clarinet. The overwhelming sense of melodrama throughout the plot is given off by the talented performances of our seiyuu.
A TV series about magical music should naturally have a fantastic sound score, and Hameln does not disappoint. The first opening theme is better than the second, and the second closing theme is the better than the first. The rest of the sound score is classical music that promotes the feeling of the scenes in which it is used. I’d gladly buy a copy of any Hameln CDs.
The style of animation was both customary for its time period, and mostly true to the character designs of the manga. The problem with the production of the show is that most of it was stills, or at least mildly animated scenes. The dynamic animation was saved for action sequences, but even some of those were told with stills. Still, the art was crisp and the scenes were edited together well.
I enjoyed the TV show enough that I’d enjoy watching it again – perhaps during to someone. I wouldn’t say that I’d buy the DVDs if any were made available, but I’m happy with the fansubs I own.
I was happy with this show and watched the episodes in great chunks whenever I had the time. This show was the kind that you’d want to watch the next episode as soon as the one you were watching was over to see what happened next. I wouldn’t say this was my favorite show ever, but it is definitely worth seeing if you can watch the show and take it on its own. (Fans of the manga or movie, for example, may not like the feel of the show).