Violinist of Hameln

Violinist of Hameln

Volume 1 of Violinist of Hameln
(Hamerun no Baiorin Hiki)
Written by Michiaki Watanabe
Published by Enix
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan
Original run 19912001
Volumes 37
Developer Daft
Publisher Enix
Genre Side-scrolling platform game
Platform Super Famicom
Released 29 September 1995
Anime film
Directed by Takashi Imanishi
Produced by Kenji Kume (Pony Canyon)
Masahiko Kobayashi (Nippon Animation)
Tsuyoshi Yoshida (Shochiku)
Written by Takashi Imanishi
Music by Kohei Tanaka
Studio Nippon Animation
Released 20 April 1996
Runtime 30 minutes
Anime television series
Directed by Junji Nishimura
Produced by Takashi Watanabe (Pony Canyon)
Written by Yasuhiro Imagawa
Music by Kohei Tanaka
Shirō Hamaguchi (Arrangement)
Studio Studio Deen
Network TV Tokyo
Original run 2 October 1996 26 March 1997
Episodes 25
Violinist of Hameln: Shchelkunchik
Written by Michiaki Watanabe
Published by Square Enix
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Gangan
Original run 18 January 200821 October 2011
Volumes 8

Violinist of Hameln (Japanese: ハーメルンのバイオリン弾き Hepburn: Hamerun no Baiorin Hiki) is a fantasy adventure manga created by Michiaki Watanabe. Its premise is that a group of adventurers are traveling north to the Northern Capital (a.k.a. Hameln) to prevent a catastrophe. In this world, music has magical qualities. The manga and the anime are very different. The anime has a darker tone, whereas the manga, at least initially, tends toward a lighter, more comedic tone. No official English translations exist to date for the manga or its adaptations.

The Manga

GanGan Comics ran the manga for approximately ten years and 37 volumes were published.

The manga combines a serious story with an irreverent tone; characters frequently shift between heroic and pathetic as the situation warrants. The manga also contains a myriad of unconventional running gags, such as Hamel's repeated attempts to force other members of the party into costume. Each chapter is referred to as a movement.


The setting resembles a medieval Europe judging by the architecture, the way people are dressed, and the local environment shown in the background. The world in which the story takes place is like an alternate universe in which, chronologically, many things do not makes sense. In fact, despite the medieval feeling with demons and magic, there are also technologically super advanced flying battleships and carriers, tanks and cities made completely of metal platings with siege machines. Also, the pieces played by Hamel and Raiel on their instruments are actually real pieces composed by real historical composers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Schubert, Mozart, Haydn, etc. despite many of these figures existing much later in history.

The world they live in is referred to as Europe, however, the map shown has absolutely no resemblance to Europe at all. Most countries and characters are named after musical themes, be they instruments, tones, beats, etc. There is presence of both fantasy and science fiction elements.


The world they currently live in is dominated by two races, the human race and the mazoku race. The mazoku are demonic creatures that once ruled their world, until they were all sealed away into a tiny box by a heroic angel 500 years ago. An age of prosperity and peace arose and human civilization blossomed. Cities were built and nations were created. Science advanced in some, while magic became the source of power for others. One day, a woman by the name of Pandora accidentally opens the box containing all the demons, releasing them all from their imprisonment, darkening the skies and dooming human race to extinction at the hands of the mazoku. In a desperate attempt to save humanity, the Demon King Chestra, who was also released from that box, was sealed again. Pandora's two children, who were fathered by Chestra as part of the deception used to trick her, were separated as infants; one was taken by the mazoku, the other remained with her mother. In order to keep the world safe, the box that sealed the Demon King, now named Pandora's box, was sent far away, and the key that opened the box was also sent far away, in hopes that even if the mazoku would ever get their hands on one, they would not be able to make use of it. All the demons who were released then headed north, and occupied the northern-most continent and called it their capital, Hameln. Now humans fight a never-ending war against the demons in order to survive. Pandora's children - one who lives with the humans, and is hated by all those around him; the other, living with the mazoku who have never shown her any sign of affection - are destined to be reunited and bring an end to the war, one way or another.


The plot for the manga revolves around the hero Hamel who travels northbound towards the continent of demons in order to avert a great disaster. Using his magical oversized violin, he plays music that would force his enemies to repent for their sins and kill themselves – or so that was how the story should have been. The so-called Hamel is instead a selfish, cowardly, heartless, and immoral fiend that seeks to take advantage of those around him, and extort from those he saves. After saving the remote village of Staccato from nearby demons, he decides to abduct an orphaned girl named Flute as payment for his services. Hamel, Flute, and Oboe, Hamel's advisor who is a talking crow, head north on their long, arduous and ridicule filled journey. Along the way, they meet Raiel, the hero of Love who plays beautiful and powerful tunes that can summon spirits and manipulate people with his 500 kg solid gold piano; he is actually Hamel's childhood friend. Their first encounter results in a not so deadly battle for revenge. Next they encounter Trombone, the young prince of Dal Segno, the warrior nation renowned for their knights and their swordsmanship. Having his country burned to the ground and his parents murdered in front of his eyes, the young prince swears revenge and joins are party northwards in their quest. Adventure, hilarity, and humiliation ensues as Hamel leads the ragtag band north while performing street performances bicker with each other. Along the way, they fight dreadful enemies and eventually meet Hell Hawk King Sizer, one of the Lords of hell, the guardians of the Demons Legions. In a mostly one sided battle, Hamel's Violin is broken. It is also revealed that Hamel is actually the son of the Demon King Chestra, and that he heads north in order to defeat his father and save his mother Pandora.

As they venture further north, they eventually reach the kingdom of Sforzando, one of the most powerful nations of their world, renowned for their magi-knight corps, their healing magic, and the strongest woman alive, Queen Horn. While at Sforzando, they meet the Head Priest of Sforzando, they greatest magic user in all of their kingdom, who immediately takes a dislike to Hamel. It is revealed that Flute, the victim of Hamel's humiliating antics was actually the only princess of Sforzando, who was unfortunately abandoned as a baby in order to increase her chance of survival when Sforzando was besieged in a dreadful war many years ago. Reunited with her estranged mother, Flute tries to deal with many pent up emotions while Hamel is sent out in order to Seek out a man capable of fixing his magical violin. Unfortunately, during Hamel and Raiel's absence, Sforzando is besieged yet again by the armies of Hell. Leading them are Dragon King Drum and King of the Beasts Guitar, both extremely strong and one of the 4 Lords of Hell. A fierce battle ensues, where both powerful forces collide and tens of thousands of both sides perish. In the end, Hamel and Raiel return after meeting Vi Olin and having the violin fixed in order to finish their foes off. In a last-ditch effort with everyone attacking at the same time, they manage to subdue the Dragon King Drum who had turned into a 48 headed hydra.

The battle ends with the victory of Sforzando, and the revelation that the Queen had only a few years left to live, as her barrier magic requires the user to pay by giving up their lifespan. Once preparations were done, Hamel, Raiel, Trombone and Oboe set off once again on their quest to the northern continent. Torn between wanting to stay with her newly reunited mother and rejoining her rather ungrateful companions on their journey, she eventually chooses to follow Hamel and slowly realizes her feelings for him. At this point, the party splits up. Raiel heads to Staccato to deliver the money given to Hamel should he choose to leave Flute behind in Sforzando; Trombone goes back to Dal Segno to pay respects to those who perished there; Flute, Hamel and Oboe head north, and are joined by Cornet, Clarinet's younger sister.

A sequel to the series called Violinist of Hameln: Shchelkunchik started serialization in January 2008. It involves the travels of a young boy named Schel who wishes to become a wizard. Along the way he meets Hamel's son Great.

The Anime

The TV adaptation was twenty-five episodes long and suffered from budget constraints. A substantial portion of the story is told by panning over still images, with full animation reserved mainly for action-heavy scenes. The anime has a darker setting than the manga, and although it initially follows the basic outline of the manga's plot, the two stories completely diverge by the anime's conclusion.

Also of note is a 30-minute animated movie, whose storyline does not intersect with the TV series. The movie was released several months before the TV series, and benefits from a substantially higher animation budget.

The Video Game


The game was made for SNES by Enix (which also published the GanGan Comics magazine) and is a side-scrolling platformer. It follows the manga reasonably well but changes are made so Flute is met at the beginning of the story but as the game progresses huge jumps are made in the story. The game requires you to throw Flute and put her in various costumes in order to reach the end of the level. Numerous demons from the manga appear in the game as bosses.


Throughout the game Hamel will pick up numerous costumes that Flute will wear in order to reach the goal.

Ostrich - Allows Flute to walk on spikes
Frog - When ridden Flute will jump very high
Robot - When jumped on will destroy blocks
Duck - Can swim across water and will dive when jumped on
Penguin - Can swim across water and will dash when jumped on
Monster - Used to trick a monster to let you across a bridge
Monkey - Will climb wall when ridden
Orangutan - Used to progress the story
Sunfish - Floats when ridden
Frisbee - Acts like a boomerang when thrown
Curling Puck - Slides when thrown
Elephant - Shoots water when jumped on
Octopus - Allows Hamel to move in any direction under water when ridden
UFO - Hovers and follows Hamel
Eagle - Flies in the direction Hamel is facing when ridden



Main Party



The demon army that wishes to revive Demon King Chestra by opening Pandora's Box. Immortal unless slain or consuming all their energy, they seek to free Chestra, who radiates so much power they can live off it indefinitely.

Other Characters

Violinist of Hameln: Shchelkunchik

The sequel. The plot takes place 20 years after the war against the Mazoku. It features the children of protagonists of Violinist of Hameln.


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