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
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 10:33 PM)
    @Aidan: I can admit that, in regards to the final boss of FF9 at least.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:33 PM)
    FF9 was Final fantasy goes Dragon Quest. I didn’t like it for the designs and wasn’t into the story at all. Itwas sort of the reason why I didn’t like wind wakers style. The series is good because of it’s more mature feel. Speaking of embarrassing last boss fights FF9 was worse than FF10. With an endboss who literally came straight out of nowhere.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:26 PM)
    @Aidan: yeah, fusing turn-based (or ATB) battles with some real-time elements always intrigued me. That was the only redeeming quality in Legend of Dragoon’s battle system. That recent Child of Light game was a good, albeit basic, homage to those earlier games, and the simple battle system was both fun and nostalgic.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:21 PM)
    @Emma: 9 was a throwback to the earlier ones, and that’s why people ate it up. I did like it tho, even despite the Chibi style which I don’t enjoy. To be frank I liked the series from 7-10 the most. It’s a combination of the games and those specific years of my youth.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 08:49 PM)
    Though those are opinions which are from my teenaged self back then…
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 08:34 PM)
    That last boss fight in FF10 was embarrassing, then they brought out that silly fanservicey sequel to it. I find FF9 at the time had a good blend of a then modern game but also retro feel, I liked the revelations surrounding garland, Kuja, Zidane and felt that FF9 was where I was the most emotionally involved.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    True, assuming of course that the latter installment is indeed better. Resident evil 5 was no 4. That’s for sure.
    I liked that you could time R1 to give you more damage for attacking with Quall. And it was nice that summons leveled up. So that your earlier summons don’t become completely useless in the endgame.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 03:46 AM)
    I also enjoyed FF8 quite a lot. I appreciate cinematic presentations and 8 delivered that with a lot of style. The visuals were amazing and the the music was great, and if you learned the GF BOOST ability you used the much-maligned long summon animations to stack up on some damage.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan: I used a common example, but of course everyone had a different experience with the FF series, but the point being that it’s often hard to go back to earlier titles after playing the better later installments; especially for DS which is just a modified and improved DeS.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 01:28 AM)
    Anyway the main reason I amnot wanting to linger on Demon souls is just that I have far more games to play and don’t really want to spend my entire vacation on it. I got the uncharted’s to get though after all.

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