Boukyaku no Senritsu title screen.
Okay, the basics: The Melody of Oblivion is a joint J.C. Staff and Gainax production about a post-apocalyptic future. Mankind has lost the war against the Monsters, but seems content now to live quietly under their subjugation. Most people just want to go about their lives, ignorant of the Monsters and their dealings.
However, there are a few Melos Warrior around who fight the good fight, mostly alone, and wandering as drifters.
Enter Bocca, a disaffected boy unhappy with the banal trivialities of school life, and frustrating efforts of those around him to shape him to their will.
These aren't robots.
As for the rest of the show, it is about monsters, and music, and mythology, and motorcycles, and archery, and poker, and love, and freedom, and child sacrifices, and FREAKY FREAKY SHIT. Oh, and karaoke. This is what happens when you let Gainax weird up a J.C. Staff show.
It's a bull, it's a bus. I don't know.
You can immediately tell that The Melody of Oblivion is going to be a different type of show right from the start. You'll notice that the backgrounds are watercolors. And this is all before it starts getting weird. And get weird it does.
I haven't watched The Melody of Oblivion since the now-defunct Rice-Box fansubbed it, but I'm pleased with Geneon's DVDs and happy for an excuse to re-watch the show. The first DVD itself is packaged in a transparent case with reversible covers and the insert contains a cheesecake centerfold of Sayoko. I don't have any issues with the DVD itself, but I do think "RESOUND, MY MELOS!" was a better choice than "RING OUT, MY MELOS!" At the very least, "ring out" doesn't seem as appropriate for the Melos Warriors' stringed instruments/weapons. It's an odd enough choice that it makes me wonder if somewhere along the line a decision was made not to use either resound or echo in order to avoid the appearance that they had "copied" the fansubs.
The mostly invisible Melody of Oblivion.
Rest assured that "VIVA! MONSTER UNION!" is unchanged, being in English originally and all. However, "JUST FIT RIBS" is now "JUST FIT RIM" in the DVDs (not that that makes any more or less sense), until the third disc anyway where it is "JUST FIT RIB." Additionally, I notice the first DVD made the same mistake as the early fansubs in using FLASH instead of FLUSH. (It becomes apparent later on that the Melos Warriors are shouting poker terms when initiating their attacks.) It's fixed by the second DVD, though. Incidentally, Toune is spelled Tone in Geneon's subtitles. That makes a lot more sense, really.
As is appropriate for a show about music, the soundtrack is quite good. I especially like the the ED.
It's also kinda nice that they got Yuji Ueda, Kana Ueda, and Mai Nakahara (among others) to voice minor throwaway characters instead hiring random scrubs. The vocal cast as a whole is quite talented, in fact.
The Melody of Oblivion is a hard sell, I understand, but I like it a great deal. J.C. Staff could have benefitted from some of this Gainax weirdness in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo, and they definitely needed it in their rather insipid Zero no Tsukaima recently.
Sayoko and Bocca.
Also, any show that features obi-spinning by the third episode is all right by me. Oh yeah, and there's fanservice.