Posted on 1 November 2009 with categories: Aoi Bungaku




What an amazing conclusion to the No Longer Human story. The past four episodes have really been storytelling at its finest. This episode yet again pushes the characters into an entirely different direction, and it’s really been character-development after character-development for the entire story.

This episode fast-forwards a number of years. So the lead character? He got married to the girl with the red umbrella. His friend? He has grown up a lot. He’s no longer the punk who drags the lead character into the wrong business, but instead has decided to join the army, leaving his wild years behind.

At first sight, the lead character seems saved right now. He has stopped drinking and fooling around with women thanks to his new wife. The seemingly limitless amount of trust she has for him really helped him get himself together. Or so it seems. I’m not sure whether she got raped or whether she was fooling around with someone behind his back, but nevertheless, their balance gets broken abruptly when he finds out.

But even before that, it becomes clear that even though he may have left his old habits behind, he still hasn’t fully healed. Especially when he finds out that his father died, he doesn’t care in the bit, and it becomes painfully clear that he’s still living inside a fantasy world, refusing to simply grow up because his profession as an artist and storyteller doesn’t require him to do so. Eventually however, he breaks down and takes an overdose of some sort of strange type of pills. Again, he survives. But barely.

The part that impressed me the most comes next. Despite how the guy has broken down, and proven that he’s a huge failure as a human, the two women he lived with still don’t mind. What they see is a guy who definitely has problems, but despite that is an incredibly nice guy. Even though they probably know nothing about him, yet want to be with him again, that was so heart-warming.

Okay, so No Longer Human was amazing. What’s next? The rest of the series is going to be filled with three more stories of two episodes, and two of only one. Their short length is either a blessing or a curse, but let’s see what they can do with their limited airtime. I really like the set-up of random stories though: you’ll never be able what to expect, but the writers are totally free in what they can do with it, or in this case which stories they can adapt. This is another reason why this series is superior to Kuchuu Buranko: those random stories all were written by the same guy, based on the same formula. With Aoi Bungaku however, this series is promising to become incredibly varied.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

12 Responses

  1. superseaslug says:

    If I’m not mistaken next on the list is “Kokoro” by Natsume Soseki.

    I found the novel to be pretty good actually, but I have no idea how they are going to make it fit into just a couple of episodes.

  2. mehh says:

    nice adaptation that kept a lot of atmosphere from the novel. noticed that they changed some of the plot points though, but i guess what’s important is that the “feeling” from the novel is portrayed accurately. i actually felt the novel was fairly more depressing than these episodes, but still, not bad!!

  3. RE says:

    Next ones Sakurano mori….(Under the Full Bloom of Forest of Cherry Blossom…is it?)
    next next one I belive is Kokoro indeed, one of the most…well I guess I could almost say this is the most well-known representative literature in Japan.
    Anyway I’m kinda freaked out by the last one, Hell Screen….no way no way no way

  4. Shippoyasha says:

    Um. His friend didn’t really ‘grow up’. Him saying that he’s going to kill people around the world shows that he’s just finding his own way to cope with the world and IMO that is really neither here nor there. That guy has his own share of problems and Youzo just happens to be stuck to his own problems. At least his friend found a way to run into a whole another set of problems, quite literally. Probably into his death. lol

  5. foamer says:

    wow episode was so f-ed up, he is a walking train wreck D:

  6. headachebaby says:

    Great 4 episodes…the main guy is really screwed and I feel sorry for him. I knew that in episode 3, the girl with the red umbrella was his light of hope and she did save him in episode 4 (for a while).

    I would say that the girl he married was raped because she was nervous when she announced that his boss was there and she cried when the rape happened. Since her husband promised that he’ll make money for the both of them, she didn’t want to destroy his confidence and tell him that she has been raped just so his mangas can sell.

    Poor girl…the main guy could’ve forgiven her. It wasn’t like she put herself out to be raped. She was probably threatened or blackmailed by the boss. She even asked for her husband to save her and he could have attacked the boss or stand up for her but he didn’t. He became shattered by the sight of the rape and ran off. I guess he has been too broken to save her any way.

    I totally love this kind of story telling and the music has been awesome and so emotional. In the end, the main became corrupted with his monster self until he died.

    I liked the beginning how the narrator or voice for the main character relates the anime to the real literature…interesting information.

    Can’t wait for next episode.

  7. reverse says:

    great short. one complaint though, the ending made me unsatisfied with the whole show. in the end, it’s a series about the life, death and despair. I already come across a lot of those stuff
    not like it’s were bad or anything. I just hoping there some sort of a twist at the end. sadly it still the same

    for now this still the best show this fall. yeah I did say I like Armed Librarians better, but that just for it potential

  8. kei says:

    the narration (with the display of the black and white photos) depicts the life of the author of ‘No Longer Human’ -
    Osamu Dazai.

    The novel No Longer Human has autobiography elements: the author Osamu Dazai has made several suicide attempts in real life, before he finally succeeded.

  9. nike says:

    Goddammit. That ‘friend’ of Oba’s should have helped. Chased or killed that boss in the act. What the hell. I failed to see the reason in having him running scot-free.

  10. PirateJenny says:

    I finished the novel the day before this episode came out, and overall I found the adaptation to be amazing. Yozo’s misogyny (if one can call it that) was downplayed a little in the adaptation, though. The novel talks a lot about how he sees women as inferiors/enemies, and therefore prefers ones that are either harmless and virginal (Yoshiko) or easy to control (Shizuko). Kind of an ass, but then again, he is a huge mess.

  11. fan says:

    I belive that the guy was trying to rape her
    because she was crying and besides look at the possition of her legs or the whole body. she was in shock
    but if you trying to belive that she was cheating on her husband because of her eye contact when she was coming downstairs I’m pretty sure that it was because the guy were harassing her .
    and I think by the way she stay still on the floor after the guy ran away that makes me belive that it was the first time that the guy try to do something to her
    well that is from my own point of view

  12. Panos says:

    Instead of the rape scene can anyone explain the ending?(From reading countless blogs a i have found that the ending in the novel was more clear.But in the anime either
    1)He lost it and died from drug overdose
    2)He lost it and we see him hallucinate in his own world from the drugs and lived

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  • gedata
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 10:14 AM)
    @Juno, you aren’t alone.
  • Juno
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:37 AM)
    Because as of this moment, my childhood could NOT be happier…
  • Juno
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:37 AM)
    I can’t be the only one FREAKING OUT OVER THE NEW JOJO ENDING THEME, right?
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:32 AM)
    And although everyone said already, the launch scene is gorgeous.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 05:30 AM)
    @Friend Man, you are something else. The chapter reeled me into the story. I didnt see any faults with it, except for one typo. The scenes are well composited, and like nyan said, the only “faults” are nitpicky things :)
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:21 AM)
    Yeah, I think this falls more into the category of typesetting than anything else and there’s plenty of different ways that can go depending on preference. If the readers don’t have an issue, then it’s fine.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:11 AM)
    A problem ve faced with american comics is that they usually dont contrast the speech bubble with the surroundings too well. That might be a factor, as large bubbles mean more visibility of the text itself.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:05 AM)
    ah well, I don’t really mean the amount of content, but a negative space thing. it’s easier on the eyes when there’s a bit of space around the bubble for me.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:03 AM)
    Sure, I was tempted to pack in my bubbles, moreso with my weekly form of several pages. But I figured I should take time to develop each moment.
  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 04:01 AM)
    It’s a matter of compressed vs decompressed storytelling. Just a result of how the two evolved, I suppose. It makes more sense when you consider the multiversal approach to mainstream American comics in relation to the isolated worlds found in Japanese manga.

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