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The Melody of Oblivion, Vol. 3: Metronome (2004) – DVD Review


Original story by GJK
Directed by Hiroshi Nishikiori
Music by Hijiri Kuwano


  • Production art gallery

Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:

  • Abandoned children
  • Weird chains
  • Volcanoes
  • Occasional confusion and tedium
  • Very, very tacky clothes, especially on boys

Released by: Geneon
Region: 1
Rating: 16+
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Post-apocalyptic fans will want it.

Melody of Oblivion is a post-apocalyptic tale centering upon a young man named Bocca. In the first two volumes, we meet Bocca and are immersed in the dreamy, future version of our world. We also meet Bocca’s soon-to-be-sidekick Sayoko, who is searching for a man named Kurofune, and is not entirely what she seems. Kurofune is a Warrior, who fights the Monsters that plague the world and demand sacrifices, since they won the war that destroyed the world 100 years ago. These valiant warriors who fight for humanity are all searching for something called the Melody of Oblivion that promises to change the balance of power.

Now, in volume three of six, Bocca and Sayoko continue their search for Kurofune. The overall tone of the show lightens a bit as we travel with the heroes to a new city, where some factories are struggling with the theft of large numbers of their equipment. Monsters may be involved, causing Bocca to agree to guard the trucks in the hopes of meeting and learning about a couple Monsters. What Bocca discovers is an intriguing twist on the world as we’ve come to know it, where words are the real power. We’re treated to some valuable and interesting information about how humankind fought the war they eventually lost against the Monsters.

It’s interesting to get to see the aftermath of one of those titanic anime battles that has humanity fighting against overpowering odds. Instead of the heroes arriving and saving the day and the war (a la Evangelion or Gundam), we get some insight into what things would be like if no hero had shown up, and we lost the war. How could we continue to fight, and would we? The show can be a bit obtuse and overly “clever” at times, but that will appeal to some viewers, and there’s enough substance here to make us think that the authors know what’s going on, even if we don’t yet, instead of just being confusing to be weird and fool us into seeing substance where there is none (FLCL, I’m talking to you). Let’s just hope that our patience and faith are rewarded in the final three volumes. The series has not quite reached its potential yet, which is a bit alarming as this is the halfway mark. New characters are still introduced at a distressing rate, and then dropped, never to be spoken of again.

The art is appealing and rather more subtle and watercolor-y than you might expect in a show of this sort. Instead of the hard, jagged edges of Akira, we get something that’s tragic and almost beautiful, in the vein of Utena or Nadesico. The voice actors are in general quite proficient in both languages, but the music is a bit mediocre and heavy-handed at times.

The extras list is rather paltry; we get only a minimal production art gallery.

If you like fantasy/science-fiction and are interested in a new take on Massive World War, then definitely check this one out. Melody of Oblivion has all the earmarks of a good series: an interesting premise, good art, appealing characters, and a new take on an old idea.