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Dated 6 July 2004: The Melody of Oblivion

Toune and Bocca
Toune and Bocca

The "other" Gainax show this season, Boukyaku no Senritsu (The Melody of Oblivion), has not been getting as much attention as Konomini.

The Melody of Oblivion is a bit hard to describe. I guess I could call it a futuristic science fiction story that takes place after "monsters" have enslaved the planet, and say that it follows the adventures of Bocca Serenade, a Melos Warrior who fights as part of a small band of independent rebels. This description, however, fails to adequately communicate what the show is really about: Cool music, archery, motorcycles, and FREAKY, FREAKY SHIT.

Dated 20 October 2004: The Melody of Oblivion

Daicon girl
Daicon girl

Episode 15 of The Melody of Oblivion contained a Daicon reference.

Flying Bunny
Daicon reference in The Melody of Oblivion

This is not the first time a Gainax show has paid homage to this Daicon icon. As you'll recall, FLCL had Haruko sky-surfing on her bass while wearing a similar outfit.

Haruko
Daicon reference in FLCL

For the record, Playboy bunnies sky-surfing on huge broadswords and fighting giant robots is like the best idea, ever.

Dated 24 October 2006: One Hundred Dollars

100 dollars of Geneon merchandise
100 dollars of Geneon merchandise.

Oh hey, my 25 Geneon items from that recent RightStuf.com sale arrived. As you can see: Seven A Little Snow Fairy Sugar DVDs, three Popotan DVDs, six The Melody of Oblivion DVDs, and nine CDs.

If anything, it'll give me an excuse to start talking about The Melody of Oblivion again.

Dated 31 October 2006: The Melody of Oblivion

Boukyaku no Senritsu title screen
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.

Kurofune
Kurofune.

However, there are a few Melos Warrior around who fight the good fight, mostly alone, and wandering as drifters.

Bocca
Bocca.

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.
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.
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 Melody of Oblivion
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.

Tone
Tone.

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.

Tone
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.

Dated 14 November 2006: The Melody of Oblivion

Bocca and Sayoko
Bocca and Sayoko.

The last DVD of The Melody of Oblivion is SO WEIRD. I can't even really begin to explain it. The Melody of Oblivion was already a weird series to begin with, but the last last four episodes take the peculiarity to another level.

Are the episodes good? Yes. I can assure you of that much. But I also can't present a bunch of random screenshots and expect those of y'all who haven't watched the series to understand just what makes the series SO WEIRD. Thus, I've posted the two least weird screenshots I had—ones that don't feature karaoke or girls being milked.

Bocca
Bocca.

I also have my own theories as to what happened at the end of the The Melody of Oblivion, but I understand others may embrace different interpretations.

P.S. BIO CONCERTO.