Violinist of Hameln

Title:Violinist of Hameln
Hamelin The Violin Player
ハーメルンのバイオリン弾き (1997)
Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Studio DEEN
UEDA Yuuji
Queen Sforzend's magical barrier is weakening, and only her estranged daughter, Flute, can save the world from evil. Hamelin, who can play magical music on his violin, accompanies Flute on her journey to save humanity, and finds out about this dark lineage in the process.

25 TV Episodes (~20min)

There was also a 30-min 'movie' or pilot episode released in 1996 under the same title or name.

Read the translated manga online at MangaFox
Episode Details 
1, 2, 3, 4
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 7 5 7 9 9 8 Ggultra2764 [series:28#1552]
Violinist of Hameln is a dark medieval-fantasy based drama focused on a pair of adventurers and childhood friends named Flute and Hamel who find themselves chosen to defend humanity from the threat of the demon race, who seek the means to resurrect their sealed ruler Chestra. The series is actually known to be a rather divided one among those fans who have been able to see this obscure and forgotten 1990s anime series for some major reasons related to its presentation and storytelling, that I will touch upon.

First, let me touch upon the biggest criticism of the series and one that would be hard to dispute in the form of its visuals. The series was animated by Studio Deen who, with a few exceptions, are known to often cut a number of corners with the animation to their titles. Violinist of Hameln is perhaps one of the worst instances of the studio's use of limited animation as there are a great number of still shots shown throughout the series at many points and becomes quite noticeable particularly during the title's action scenes. This is a rather glaring annoyance as the series otherwise sports decent scenery shots and character designs, especially with some of the designs of the demons that Hamel and others battle throughout the span of the series.

Another divided element of the series, and one where your mileage could vary, has to do with its choice of storytelling. From what I gather, the original manga source material for Violinist of Hameln was quite a bit more comical in its storytelling to the point where it was almost like a gag manga series and having a rather light mood throughout its run. But much as what was done for the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime, this anime adaptation of Violinist of Hameln is a reimagined take on the series that is more darker and serious in its mood and themes with themes of tragedy, revenge, and deception being found throughout the anime's run. Personally, I loved the reimagined take on the anime's storyline as it dug into the more traditional storytelling tropes of medieval-fantasy titles with the adventures of Hamel and his comrades, and created some pretty engaging and dramatic developments that made the stories of many characters, both human and demon alike, rather sympathetic and relatable thanks to the struggles they face with comprehending the tragic and shocking developments they come to learn of their pasts and even their very comrades. This especially hits Hamel's character hard throughout the span of the series as he struggles with understanding his origins and attempting to come to terms with them as he learns more about himself while on his adventure. The ending that results from the dark path that the series takes is bittersweet, yet very fitting for the tragedies faced by a number of its characters in spite of the much different mood that its source material offered.

Another highlight of Violinist of Hameln came in the form of its soundtrack. Consisting of a mix of classical musical pieces played from some of the magical music used within the series and hauntingly powerful tracks, they are very effective at complementing Hameln's dark storytelling and do their part to make up for the anime's underwhelming animation for me.

Overall, I can understand where Violinist of Hameln would not be for everybody thanks to its subpar animation and much different style of storytelling. Still while the visual quality is defensible to judge, I can't say the same things for its storytelling style as it helps create an engaging tragedy involving those caught up in the conflict between humans and demons throughout Violinist of Hameln's run. If you are able to look past the subpar visuals, you will find yourself quite engaged to this lost gem of 1990s anime since it has never received an American video release nor has it even been picked up on legal streaming sites like Crunchyroll or Hulu.

Last updated Friday, June 09 2017. Created Friday, June 09 2017.
Buy 10 9 10 10 8 8 Cheeky_Bear [series:28#1510]
It gets off to a good start, this series. I fell in love with the manga and purchased the series. It's beautiful and has got wonderfully unique Animation. It's depressing in it's way but the plot it intresting and capitvating. Some people might find the use of stop animation annoying but I felt it gave the series it's identity. I suggest before you get the series you might want to look out for the Manga's and read them first. Also, if you loved the movie, don't expect the series to be as hilarious and light-hearted. It's a definite turn from that. All in all, this is one series I'm glad I have in my collection.

Last updated Saturday, July 24 2004. Created Saturday, July 24 2004.
Buy Jenn-chan [series:28#31]
Wow. This is quite a moody and depressing piece of work...the TV series that is. When you look at the character designs and images around the net, you really wouldn't know it's so serious. The 30 minute movie is hilarious, the TV series is deathly serious, and the manga is a mix of the 2. I really don't know what to say about it, except that the ongoing musical instrument theme may annoy some people. Being in the school band for 9 years, I understand all the terminology but other might not. Otherwise, this a pretty good show altogether. Very dramatic an intense at times, may even give Evangelion a run for it's money at times.

Last updated Thursday, April 27 2000. Created Thursday, April 27 2000.

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