Posted by psgels on 15 November 2009 with categories: Aoi Bungaku



Seriously, are there no bounds to this series’ awesomeness? In this episode, Aoi Bungaku yet again surpassed my expectations, it was nothing like any other series of this show so far, it was full of the most awesome graphics, and the direction was just incredible. And then to think that there still remain four stories left! What the bloody hell do the creators have in store for those?

This episode was just crazy. But when I say crazy, I mean that in a Madhouse sort of way. This ranged from those small jokes as the cow people enslaving the humans and the old lady who thought she smelled her old husband, to the lead character cutting off even more heads, so that the lead female could play with them like dolls. What the hell?1 the final scene, in which the lead character runs into his feared cherry blossoms, freaks out and strangles her to death was incredibly intense. No Longer Human was very subtle in showing the mental decay of the lead character, but here it’s totally different. The mental delusions of this guy are in your face, but also absolutely beautiful and full of eye-candy.

This story really strikes me as a very critical look at the traditional roles of the male and females. It’s overblown of course, but the lead character just keeps killing people for the woman he loves, until the past finally gets the chance to bite back. It portrays these values as utterly ridiculous.

What also makes this series pretty unique is that the longest stories aren’t saved for last. If this already was a mindfuck, then I really don’t know what the creators have in store for the final two episodes, which if I’m not mistaken are going to be two stories of just 20 minutes.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

11 Responses

  1. kuromitsu says:

    Well, the last two stories are both adaptations of works by Akutagawa Ryuunosuke – IIRC the very last is an adaptation of “Hell Screen,” a very disturbing short story, and I’m quite sure that it’s going to be a spectacular mindfuck.

    Anyway, I didn’t see the story as a take on male/female roles, more like a clash of different cultures: simple man content with living a simple life and a decadent “city girl” who needs luxury and beauty like she needs air.

  2. Wow, that’s hella weird. o_O The animation looks good, but so strange at the same time >.>

  3. According to Anidb, the sequence of the series is thus:
    7. Kokoro – Chapter 1 25m 22.11.2009
    8. Kokoro – Chapter 2 25m 22.11.2009
    9. Run, Melos! – Chapter 1 25m 29.11.2009
    10. Run, Melos! – Chapter 2 25m 06.12.2009
    11. The Spider`s Thread 25m 27.12.2009
    12. Hell Screen 25m 27.12.2009

    With all that, there’s definitely some mindfuckiness going to happen! :D

    Also, here’s an essay about the story: http://www.asle-japan.org/pdf/eng20-nakamura.pdf
    Apparently the author’s intent was about the screwed up relationship between man and nature, but I think that your male/female interpretation works just as well.

  4. Marion says:

    The most confusing thing about this for me was the ending. He ended going insane and killing her, thinking she was a demon, only in the end we see him laying on the ground supposedly dead as well, in a similar position as she was. Only she’s no longer there.

    Maybe he imagined killing her when she actually killed him in the end? I don’t even know.

  5. reverse says:

    a bit disappointment for me,I already predict this ending from the beginning.

    everyone die at the end kinda nice to see one a while, but not after seeing No Longer Human. 2 show both the same fate. I hope next show don’t follow the same route

  6. @Marion: I was confused by the ending, too, so I did some research about the story and formulated an opinion from that. I think the reason that he died when he’d killed her is because man and nature are inextricably connected within a person, and if one of these is removed, the person would be figuratively destroyed. Thus, as a representation of nature, the bandit is literally destroyed.

    I’ve written about it at much greater length in my blog, explaining the human/nature allegory of the book, which will probably make it make more sense. I think that you could apply the same theory to psgel’s man/woman interpretation as well, that male and female require each other to exist, in a yin/yang sort of way.

  7. Reltair says:

    It feels more weird than awesome to me at this point. Collecting heads was pretty gg.

  8. Forwho says:

    Woah this series is seriously awesome. I wish more people watch this instead of flashy, generic, tasteless ones. I like your picks in shows, because your tatse is more unique and similar to my strange ones. XD

    I can’t wait to see Konomi Takeshi’s character designs next.

  9. headachebaby says:

    Haha…this episode was funny in the beginning. I couldn’t help it but choke up laughing when 2 city guys started taking pictures on their cell phones of the lead guy because they could tell he didn’t fit in.

    I love these literature adaptations…more anime should be like this. This anime is great and I’ve gotta say that the first story was better than the second story just because it got more episodes.

  10. PL says:

    “No Longer Human” was much better in my opinion, simply because it delivered its themes through the realistic development of the characters, while straight-up allegories like this always sacrifice too much from the story and characters in order to make everything symbolic. That doesnt mean that this still wasnt a good story, just not a truly exceptional one in the way No Longer Human was. Just my opinion, ymmv.

  11. Panos says:

    Only thing i don’t understand although i read the pdf is “man and nature are inextricably connected within a person, and if one of these is removed, the person would be figuratively destroyed”
    Nature is removed => man is destroyed both mentally and physically(quite logical)
    Man is removed =>?? why does nature even care.Can’t it survive without man?
    Even fromm the pdf i cannot get a clear answer although it made sense what the sakura tree symbolized.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*

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