Oh my god, No Longer Human just keeps getting better and better. This isn’t just a great adaptation, but also an adaptation that makes optimal use of the fact that it’s adapted in a media that also uses music and graphics. From the perspective of someone who hasn’t read the novel, setting aside some of the scenes that were cut, I think that this really was the best possible adaptation that it could have hoped for.
It’s also amazing how much stuff the creators managed to squeeze just into one episode. It feels like the creators got two episodes’ worth of content in just twenty minutes. This series just hopped from one tense situation to the next, with an eerie silence in between. This episode really was a roller-coaster ride.
The plot of this episode was also far more subtle than I imagined. I originally thought that this episode would see the beginning of a mass murderer, but instead it’s about someone who’s struggling with his own sense of humanity: he still blames himself for having survived that double suicide back then, and because of that he never really allows himself to bond with his new wife and daughter that he found, who were really nice enough to take him in.
While he’s got a great daughter, and a girlfriend who supports him all the way (she even managed to find him a job as a manga author), he instead hangs around in bars, visits prostitutes and gets drunk. Especially after the rumours start floating around that he’s a killer he starts to get out to drink even more. On top of that, his old friend keeps returning to remind him of the past he’s trying to leave behind.
And then comes that saleswoman, who meets him as he lies in the snow after a particular rough night. Here I thought that the entire setting was trying to be as dark and gritty as possible, and then she comes. She refuses to believe the words of a hopelessly drunk guy, and instead fully trusts in his kind nature. That his story about having failed a double suicide was just a story he made up because of his talents as a storyteller as a manga author. While on one hand, she;s obviously wrong, but what counts is that trust she has in him, at a time and place you’d normally suspect people to just turn a blind eye and walk away…
Anyway, long story short: awesome series; watch it. Especially now that subs are actually coming out fairly steadily, against all my expectations.
Rating: *** (Awesome)