The power of song is definitely not something that you would expect to be the ultimate weapon but this show has characters weaponize it which makes for a pretty interesting story. The show is held back a little bit by rather sub par animation and it feels fairly low budget but at the end of the day the story is good enough to keep this as a good anime. It certainly tricked me a bit on how good I thought one character would look though.
The series starts off by introducing us to a girl named Rin who has the Power of Song. Basically her lyrics can turn into tangible power and so her grandfather forbids her from using this technique. Rin doesn’t get why he won’t even explain his reasoning but mostly agrees but one day while in the forest she runs into a guy named Henry who was attacked by a lot of foes and so she uses her songs to heal him. Unfortunately the villains notice this and burn her village to the ground which destroys her grandfather, sister, and everyone living there. She must now get to the capital and achieve her dream of singing in the choir to at least honor their memories.
Meanwhile in the other plot, Princess Finis has the power of song as well. Unfortunately the army is determined to use this ability in order to win their war. Prince Ruto says he will destroy Henry, the man she loves if Finis does not agree to this. So Finis uses her power to destroy opposing forces and heal their allies but each time she sings, a part of her life is drained away. If she doesn’t stop soon then she will die but how can she get around this hostage situation?
I always like having dual main characters so that you can eventually see the two meet up in a climactic moment. That appeal is lessened a bit in this show since it’s not a full action but either way you still want to see them meet up. The show is rather low key for the most part but things change in episode 7 and then the show kicks it up to another level. That moment is so good that it single handily elevates the show and from there we get some time travel shenanigans and alternate timeline routes which is great. It gets complex like Kingdom Hearts with a lot to think about but it works out really well.
As mentioned, one weak point of the show is the animation though. Sometimes it feels like they pretty much ran out of animation and so characters will barely move and the fights leave a lot to be desired. This show doesn’t look very good even if it occasionally has some decent shots. One that looked pretty bad though was one character burning to death but he looks just fine and you would almost think that he was casually tanking it if not for yelling. With the fight scenes being no good as well there just isn’t much to catch your eye.
The soundtrack isn’t all that memorable aside from the Song of Mortality which is really on point. It is fun how characters will just break into song though. It feels like an old Disney cartoon in that sense with how out of the blue it is. You’re definitely not going to see it coming. The first time it happens it will take you by surprise but in a good way. If it was overdone then it wouldn’t be good but I’d say that it works out well enough.
The most annoying character in the show is definitely Prince Ruto. For starters, he’s your classic prince who is using Finis and Henry the whole time but they don’t mess with him because he’s the prince. I always thought that was an annoying plot because they should just take him out. I never like it when the hero just holds back because of their station or because they don’t want to cause an uproar. This guy is actively murdering Finis by forcing her to sing so all bets should be off and you just stop him. Likewise Finis could take him out and then his threats on Henry wouldn’t work anymore.
The show makes Finis and Henry look really bad on this note though. They know that the guy is super evil. He hasn’t been subtle in this with the threats and forcing Henry onto the front lines. Yet, when Corte tells them that they should escape, they look shocked. They’re absolutely flabbergasted when she starts talking about just how corrupt he is. Then later on Prince Ruto summons a bunch of guards and asks Henry to come with him to his tent. Henry suspects absolutely nothing and walks in there without a care in the world. It was one of the most bizarre scenes I’ve watched in a long time. It’s like the writers left a bunch of scenes on the drawing board to explain why he wouldn’t suspect the obvious villain. Something wasn’t right here.
I did like Henry well enough in the show and he was my favorite character until Finis reached in and snatched that title by the end. Henry’s a good guy who is a soldier and is willing to risk his very life to protect his friends. There’s just one problem I have with him aside from being super naive and being an awful tactician. He is really weak. This is what took me by surprise by the way. Henry loses a whole lot in this show. He starts off episode 1 by losing to the enemy fighters but I figured it was a fluke. From there he is easily kidnapped on multiple occasions, loses every fight to the villainous Bazra until someone else has to literally fly him into the guy, and he doesn’t get any solid wins in the show.
The rough part is the show acts as if this guy is a super strong prodigy fighter but we never see that. The show definitely made some questionable decisions and this had to be one of the big ones. Then the supporting cast is a big weak here. We have Doctor Weissen as the quirky scientist character but there’s not much to him. It’s great that he was able to invent some good items but at the end of the day I wouldn’t say that he did much. There are several allies who follow Rin in order to help her but two of them don’t really contribute.
They are Monica and Allu. Monica is a girl who falls asleep whenever she is in danger. Yes that’s her entire gimmick here and it’s not a good one. Then there is Allu who has the amusing gimmick or hitting her legs like a drum whenever she talks but beyond that doesn’t have a whole lot of character. I really think the show could have left these two behind and kept the core hero group a little smaller which would have worked out better.
Finis has one ally in Corte but unfortunately she isn’t a great strategist just like Henry. She figures she can poison Prince Ruto but keep in mind that the guy knows she can’t stand him since she works directly for Finis. So one night an attendant is bringing Prince Ruto a drink and Corte quickly grabs a poisonous one. Okay this is brilliant, switch them out and the attendant will bring Ruto the wrong one right? Wrong! Corte says she wants to bring it herself and that’s where the plan died. Why would Prince Ruto accept a drink from her now of all times? Then she’s not subtle in staring him down to the point where he asks why she is so interested in him drinking this wine. It’s clear that she doesn’t usually act like this and that’s too many mistakes to come back from. She meant well but handled this really badly.
I’d also say that Rin’s grandfather Talgia didn’t handle his side of things very well. He should have just told Rin that if she used her powers then the army would come to kidnap her since they are kidnapping all users of the power of song. That’s it, just give that quick explanation and at least the odds of Rin listening go up dramatically. By acting like he just didn’t like songs and not giving a reason, it made him look completely unreasonable.
Now lets talk about the characters who were a lot more on the solid side. First up is General Bazra who is actually a really solid villain. He also uses Finis in order to attack the other armies but is a lot more strategic about it. He isn’t just randomly being petty and super evil but is doing it strategically in order to win. He has his reservations about her and is always on guard but in general he does well. It helps that I gained respect for his fighting ability every time he beat Henry over and over again. That’s not easy after all but he made it look easy.
Then we have Rin’s friend Goodlight. She’s a travelling singer and can be a little selfish with how she doesn’t want to pay for her room but as the series goes on she is a nice character who helps the heroes out. She is always ready to fight which is a good thing and really comes in clutch. Her fighting abilities may not be enough to get them out of trouble most times but it is a good start and the kids would be in trouble without her.
Rin’s best friend here is Al and he’s not really my kind of character ordinarily but I thought he did a good job of holding it together. When he gets emotional he breaks off from the group so that they won’t notice and while his inventions aren’t very good at the start, he does contribute later on. He definitely had a rough path in the show but did about as good as you could reasonably expect him to without any super powers that he could use.
As for Rin, she’s a decent main character but definitely a lot less interesting than Finis. Rin wants to sing as it was her dream but the dream doesn’t really feel like a big deal compared to most. With her village burning down, you’d almost think that she would be on a quest for revenge or something like that. Maybe it’s for the best that she didn’t go that route but singing still feels like it would be really low on her list of priorities.
Her songs are quite strong though and it is fortunate that she is able to keep on singing without losing her life force the way that most do. Rin gets a lot of big moments as the series goes on. The way her character arc ends isn’t particularly satisfying but at the end she made the hard calls and was a trooper throughout. I just think there should have been more to her character. There’s not much you can say about her beyond the fact that Rin was a good person and that’s more of a statement than a whole personality.
Finally we’re up to Finis and I have a very high opinion on her character. Now she didn’t start out great. At first she is rather clumsy, naïve, and tends to get into trouble. She may be a royal but she doesn’t really know much of what is going on around her. She is super popular and everyone looks up to her but she isn’t really able to leverage this into political power because of her lack of experience.
So at the start it’s annoying because she lets the prince do whatever he wants with her. This all changes in episode 7 and from there on she becomes a great character. I’m now going to get into spoiler territory here so if you haven’t seen the show then you can skip the next 6 paragraphs but it involves timelines and such which is always way too much fun not to talk about. So again this is your last chance and I’ll see you at the ending.
In episode 7 Finis is tricked into murdering Henry via being burned to death. She wasn’t able to react quickly enough to dowse him with water but in part this is also because she ran out of songs. This was the last one that she could use and now she would die. At least…that’s what everyone had said and Finis believed this as well. Desperate times call for desperate measures though and she decides to sing the Song of Mortality. This is a song that will cause doom and devastation and Finis intentionally uses it on a global scale to try and destroy the world. It’s her last big revenge against everyone who has wronged her.
The whole plot of the show changes a bit from this. Finis succeeded in a sense but the song also granted her complete invincibility. Now she has to live through life over and over again and each time it ends she wakes up in a new timeline. Each timeline is similar to the first but different in some ways. In one of them Henry became a scholar for example. But no matter how many times she lives, dies, and repeats she can never be happy. It seems like it just never works out for her. So her plan is to find a timeline similar to the original one but this time she will sing the song while being powered by the choir and can destroy everything absolutely. This can break the chain of immortality and put her at peace.
The plan isn’t foolproof because it’s possible that her immortality just can’t be broken but it’s a plan at least and so I suppose you’ve got to go with that. She has to cling on to some kind of hope at this point because otherwise living out countless lives while never being able to age or die is rough. It doesn’t help that people are corrupt in every timeline and always try to attack her. She also found out that her abilities didn’t have a limit and now she can freely use them to attack others. She puts this to good use in working for the villains as a means to an end.
Therein lies the main twist which is that the timeline we’ve been following was not the original but the latest one which is why there were two of her. The original timeline failed a long time ago, it reminds me of Eden Zero where they do something similar. I do like the idea that for once the original timeline wasn’t the chosen one or anything like that. We’re in a whole new one at this point and in a sense it’s the final one if her plan doesn’t work. Finis makes for a great villain, much better than as a hero. She was a lot of fun to root for as a capable opponent for the heroes.
Realistically if she went all out then they would have been doomed from the jump so don’t expect a real fight. It’s more of a conversation with hope and all. Rin also gets a big role to play but that’s why the ending of the show is no good. It turns out Rin was a song and so she ends up dying at the end to bring Finis back to full power as her role was over. It’s not the ideal ending and you were hoping that she would just come back to life. Instead, she is reborn as a baby where she can now grow up. Of course this means that Al is out of luck since their romance isn’t going to happen now.
This is the only part of the loop that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Rin ended up being the baby in the timeline she came from that wouldn’t have been possible. Song or not, the age of the event wouldn’t have added up. Perhaps there is an essay somewhere to explain it but I definitely thought that was a little on the sketchy side. The show tried a little too hard to make everything interconnected with lots of twists and such there. This time they probably just should have let that one go.
Overall, Lost Song is a fun show. It starts off a bit quiet but the second half is on point. Episode 7 is the turning point of the show and where things get good. The Song of Mortality scene is easily the highlight of the whole anime and you won’t soon forget the music or the animation there. On the whole the show doesn’t look or sound like anything special but they put out all of the stops. The ending may not be very good but it’s also not awful so it’s not going to completely derail the show or anything like that. I’d recommend checking this show out if you want to see a fun music based title. It’s only 12 episodes so it won’t take long.