Posted on 8 November 2009 with categories: Aoi Bungaku




Oh, I love this. The various adaptations are really all going to be completely different: different graphics, different soundtrack, different OP. The only thing that’s the same is the ED. This episode was awesome, but for totally different reasons as No Longer Human was. What he hell have I just been watching?

This arc features the adaptation of “In the Woods Beneath the Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom” (which I’ll just keep abbreviated as “In the Woods” from now on. Instead of the serious No Longer Human, this short takes a more light-hearted approach. At first this worried me a bit, but the deadpan humour of the lead guy was hilarious. You hardly ever see good deadpans in anime, but I really like that type of humour.

The story in this was just… weird. Which made it even better. Here we have a rugged bandit whose skills are second to none. He lives with a bunch of women he captured. His latest addition is very spoiled and bratty, so she doesn’t want to live together with them. However, the lead guy is in love with her. so what does he do? He kills off every woman but one. What?!

This episode just oozed style. Is this really an adaptation of classic literature? I can really hardly tell. The creators of the anime added the funky atmosphere, a terrific set of voice actors, a bunch of insert songs, seamlessly integrated with the story and an MP3-player. I’m not kidding. Beats me where this guy got the batteries from.

And the graphics! This episode was a visual orgasm beyond belief, and Madhouse have truly outdone themselves yet again! Some of the backgrounds looked truly fantastic here, and this definitely was the prettiest episode of this season.

Seriously, why aren’t there more series like Aoi Bungaku?? This is just utter brilliance, and you can see that the creators are throwing in lots of stuff and ideas to spice up this episode. You could see that they had a lot of fun adapting this work. I love the idea of the little specks of blood on the camera when one of the guys was killed. The pacing, the timing, just about everything felt right in this episode.
Rating: *** (Awesome)
OP: Funky, catchy and gorgeous visuals. Fits the story perfectly.

11 Responses

  1. LimeWarrior says:

    This episode has character designs by Tite Kubo (aka. Bleach). I can see a ton of Tite’s style in this episode. Basically it had all the things I love about Bleach. The devil may care attitudes, the zany humor, the outrageous style. Classic, I can’t wait for the next one.

  2. psgels says:

    Awesome. I always wondered what it’d be like to watch Bleach without all the bad and terrible parts.

  3. m says:

    The backgrounds are nice, but the character designs are inconsistent. After the straightforward movie-like adaptation of Ningen Shikkaku this really took me off guard. I thought Aoi Bungaku was going to be conservative and focus on execution, but here we are with something way out there. I wasn’t really sold on the approach until they turned it into a musical routine. That was a pretty entertaining way to round the sharp edges off of mass murder without neutering it completely.

  4. C says:

    The episode was interesting however one thing that did bug me was the bandit’s voice. Is the seiyuu the same one they used for Youzo? Each time he speaks I can’t help but think of Youzo.. lol so that’s going to take some getting used to. Otherwise pretty awesome :)

  5. marumaru says:

    Awesome.I love this!

  6. Reltair says:

    Aoi Bungaku is amazing. This arc feels so vastly different from the previous one. The scene with the gum and mp3 player was quite amusing. I still chuckle when I think about it.

  7. Kamibito says:

    I liked how the episode skipped between funkiness and downright creepiness just like that. I wonder if the original was like that too?

  8. om zozo says:

    i love this story its so much better than no longor humen
    i didnt even believe that its the same anime because of the style difference
    i loved it when he killed his ex wives
    it was a huge turn

  9. Julian says:

    This episode is so stereotzpical and metaphoric of the japanese culture…If zou trz to look more closely,you’ll realize what’s the metaphor on this show: The women, the heads, the woman, the city girl, the city, the wives appearances (Ex. American), the masks during the killing spree, the little girl, the mp3 and all the odd things that were showed here….all of them had their own meaning….what a wonderful adaption.

  10. I absolutely love this too!!! Apparently it’s actually an allegory about the dysfunctional relationship between man and nature, inspired by the modernization/industrialization of Postwar Japan. It’s a totally fascinating anime on so many levels–def. my favorite of the new fall season shows by a mile.

  11. hellomoto says:

    For me, Aoi Bungaku was kind of a shaky series. I thought No Longer Human was great, albeit not excellent. However, this episode, as you said, was truly epic. The song the woman sings when the man kills the other woman is melodic yet creepy at the same time. It sent chills down my spine–in a pleasurable way, that is.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 03:27 PM)
    Ghibi’s up would certainly be a different beast altogether.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 03:08 PM)
    @Ken no, the ghibli one.
  • Kenjeran
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 01:55 PM)
    @Juno: Up? That Disney-Pixar one?
  • Noel
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 01:39 PM)
    Hi there. I’m currently interning for a small company in London, and they tasked me with creating a video tribute to Howl’s Moving Castle. I came up with this, and I thought you might like it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS-zTTQzgjI Noel
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:23 PM)
    The only time they ever get along seems to be during non-canon alternate universes made for fanservice, official or not.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:21 PM)
    Erm, no. They didn’t “get along” so much as Sayaka at least sympathized nicely with her. At least, until the end, when she basically swore never to sympathize with her again. XDDD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:20 PM)
    Another interesting point is that the character relations are pretty fluid, too. Characters can act differently toward each other in different timelines/potential futures. Rebellion actually solidifies Homura’s consistent feelings toward Mami and also that Sayaka just cannot seem to be on good terms with Homura… but even then, for a while, they got along pretty well until the end. XD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:17 PM)
    Madoka’s characterization seems pretty non-linear and only show up when necessary, so it’s definitely easy to see that they’re “dependent on the plot,” but there’s a ton of stuff there to piece the characters together into something coherent and solid.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Madoka’s characters act pretty confusingly? I never got that. I always felt there actions were pretty logical in the first viewing.
    Though a second viewing of anything can help. Mostly because you know the main story so you can focus on the little details.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:27 AM)
    If anyone wants me to ask any specific questions, let me know. Funny enough, people are saying the same thing I’ve been saying for a long time–that multiple viewings help us understand the characters better. Because a lot of characters DO act pretty confusing at first, but upon a second viewing, after we know more about them, those actions make complete sense. Meaning that Madoka’s characterization is not linear.

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