Posted by psgels on 27 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Genji Monogatari Sennenki



One of the more unique series that started airing in the past winter season (not that that says much since more than half of them were sequels, but okay) was Genji Monogatari: an adaptation of a novel that’s about 1000 years old by now. While that sounds a bit strange at first, the unique flavour comes from the director Osamu Dezaki, who managed to turn this series into a feast for the senses, although it’s obviously not for everyone.

Genji Monogatari is romance. It’s about a prince called Genji who ends up screwing countless of women, call him the Japanese version of Don Juan if you want. This anime stands out because of its specific style of storytelling: the pacing is kept tight, with a lot of focus on emotions and bringing these out of the viewer and the characters. The animation is full of visual effects, and overly present filters and sparkling overlays, sound effects are either overly present or kept completely quiet, depending on the situation. And in the end, it works: although only 11 episodes, Genji Monogatari is a consistent emotional ride from start to finish.

But yeah, the style of this series is a double edged sword, because as easy as it is for some to like it, it’s also a style that’s very easy to dislike. The character-designs are nothing like your average bishie or moe cute girl, so if you absolutely need those in your anime, you’re going to find a hard time liking this series. The visual effects can also very easily become grating if you’re used to quiet and simply drawn series.

Still, I personally liked this series a lot, even though I’m not easily impressed by romance shows. A glorified harem show it may be, but the visuals, fast pacing and the fact that in eleven episodes, many years pass that allow us a great look at a period of Genji’s life set this series apart from all the others. If you’re looking for something different (and know Japanese or Chinese, since it’s probably going to take a while for this show to get subbed) then this here is a pretty good recommendation.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

3 Responses

  1. windy says:

    I liked it too! Well, almost every series that follows a novel ends up being quite good, because of the large amount of thoughts in it or just because if a novel is chosen it’s because it had something special in it.

  2. Anithin says:

    I wish the anime could have been longer and cover more arcs of Genji’s life. However, it is very compact and concise in its style of story-telling, and the aesthetics of the series stands out very much as well as background music and ending song. It would be good if there’s a sequel next year, maybe with the name “Senichinenki” (1001st anniversary)…but this is already good enough.

    Thank you very much, psgels, for blogging this series through. Now let’s wait and hope the subbed version won’t take to much time.

  3. WillMunny says:

    This is a great series! Sure hope there will be a new season.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:23 PM)
    I have yet to see Civil War, but by every new entry their colorful feel-good flicks are starting to become too derivative and cliche. It feels like as if they’re doing the same story arc over and over again. It’s almost lazy at this point, if you ask me, and they really need to Shae things up.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:18 PM)
    @Aidan: such high praise. So Marvel did in a cameo what Sony failed to do in 5 movies. I hate the massive bandwagon that Marvel is steering, but I’m not the kind of hipster contrarian that hates on things just for their mainstream appeal, so I give them credit for doing things right; despite the fact that they really go out their way to please the masses. Their love and respect for the material far outshines their prerogative of their by the book fan-pleasing.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:21 PM)
    Also like how they differed him from the other fast talkers of the universe. Deadpool is pure insane comedy, Ant man has this sarcastic awkward thing going on and Spiderman is like the nerdy fanboy. I would love to see a movie with all three together as it would be pure comic gold.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:18 PM)
    @bam, I was taken back by him at first. I wasn’t used to seeing Spiderman and especially aunt May look so young. I thought he was too bumbling in the beginning but as I watched on he just clicked. He has the nerdy nature of Tobies Peter Parker and the spitfire commentary of Garfield’s Spiderman. He’s spot on perfect.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 10:05 AM)
    I was staying clean for a drug test, and during this hiatus I completely fell out of anime. Surely enough, as soon as I resumed burning again I also started getting into some of this season’s shows. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation, or just a byproduct of having some free time again. I’m interested in comparing my experience to others, but (un)fortunately nobody here seems to share my vices.

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