Thursday, May 14, 2009

Review: Hitsuji no Uta (2003)

Hitsuji no Uta ~Lament of the Lamb~ (2003) is a four-episode Japanese horror anime about two distant siblings who suffer from a genetic disorder of vampirism. The ending song is "Destiny ~Shukumei~" by Hayashibara Megumi and Seki Tomokazu. It takes place in contemporary Japan.

Kazuna Takeshiro is an average high school student who begins to lose control at the sight of blood and the color red. He traces his family history and learns that his family had a vampire-like thirst for blood . His adopted parents are actually friends of his deceased mother. The biological father committed suicide six months before the beginning of the story. He searches for his long-lost older sister, Chizuna Takeshiro, for help. Kazuna admits he has incestuous feelings for his sister because she was never around in his childhood.

Chizuna warns Kazuna's artist friend, Yaegashi, that she doesn't want her to see Kazuna again. She has been suffering from the blood disorder since childhood. The Takeshiros must withdraw from society and hide from humanity because of their disease. Yaegashi, who has a crush on Kazuna, refuses but eventually backs off. He pushes her away because he had a dream where he killed her for her blood. Chizuna gives him two bottles to cope with the disease: one containing a serum for pain relief and the other containing suicide medicine if it becomes too much. She also has heart problems, and the serum damages her general health.

She knows the sickness carries a heavy burden and tries to help her brother control his urges. In the end, Chizuna is dying due to her weakened condition. In the anime, Kazuna commits suicide because he doesn't want to live a life without her. Both siblings are unconscious in Chiznua's bedroom. In the manga, Kazuna actually lives and finds himself recovering in a hospital. All of his memories of the past year with Chizuna and coping with the disease disappear from his mind.

I finally have a new review this month. It has been so busy for me. I saw this show several years ago, and I thought the vampire concept was unique. Chizuna and Kazuna are not vampires in the popular mythical sense; they suffer from an inherited, uncontrollable blood-craving disorder. Despite their unfortunate family fate, you could tell that the siblings loved each other.

The ending song is very dark, mysterious, and beautiful. I am a huge Megumi Hayashibara fan because she is one of the best seiyuus in the Japanese animation industry. I included a video clip of the song below:

I highly recommend this show for those rainy days when you need something to do. It's not memorable (only four episodes), but I like the different approach it took on vampires.

This series is available to buy and rent on DVD.

This is the English translation to the song:

Under these cherry blossoms, I searched for someone's shadow
Closing my eyes, I piled up memories of my childhood days

As if in a dream, you looked at me kindly
And took my arm as if leading me

The destiny of the time to which I cannot return
Is killing me, frightening me, as I struggle

The suffering is too painful and too sad
And it attacks me again and again
But even if I'm hurt by it, I won't leave your side
Wherever in the world we are
Our invisible bonds will pull us together

To heal the thirst in my frozen heart
I held one drop of red tranquility in my mouth

My heart quietly settles
Warm tears make their way down my cheeks

I realized, I felt
That I couldn't live alone
More than loneliness, more even than deep pain
I want to understand you, more than anyone
I just want to save you who are sad

Led unwillingly into the flock of light
With difficulty, alone, I cut my body
The fated bonds, even in danger
Are living in the darkness

I realized, I felt
That I couldn't live alone
More than loneliness, more even than deep pain
I want to understand you, more than anyone
I just want to save you who are sad

No comments: