Posted by psgels on 29 November 2009 with categories: Aoi Bungaku

This is it: THE chance for the director of Mouyou no Hako to show that he’s not just a one-trick-pony, but instead an incredible director. And oh my god, he really showed the latter. Madhouse have truly truck gold when they found this guy, because this episode was one of the best episodes of Aoi Bungaku yet!

You can really see his style from Mouryou no Hako flow through into Hashire Melos, the work he’s adapting. The sakura trees are there, the heavy use of lighting, and the protagonists also are quite similar in appearance, and both novel authors. Heck, it even has the same soundtrack as Mouryou no Hako. This episode satisfied my inner Mouryou no Hako-fanboy, while delivering its own strong story that aside from these things, doesn’t rip it off in the slightest and stands strong as a gripping episode.

The scenes in the theatre were a very nice twist: basically this episode told two stories: one story about the author of a novel and his best friend, an actor, and one story, which he’s currently writing. Interestingly enough, Masato Sakai who has been voicing all of the leads of Aoi Bungaku so far, ends up voicing Melos: the lead character of the play. I love how in this way, the creators are playing around with the concepts of “lead characters”.

But yeah, what makes this episode stand out is its sense of dialogue. It’s passionate, detailed and brings out the best of the characters. There’s so much emotion put into it, yet none of the lines are delivered cheesily.

And then the animation! It’s by far the best animation of Aoi Bungaku yet, and that in an already excellently animated series. This episode doesn’t have the best eye-candy, that’s for In the Forest. Instead, the characters move SO incredibly fluently. when they move, their entire bodies move, rather than just a limb, or some very minimal movement during just a short scene. The animation here is detailed and really brings the cast of characters to life.

There was one scene though in which this didn’t apply. I’m not exactly sure what happened there, but the part in which the lead characters’ friend comes crawling from under the bed lacks this detail, and therefore ends up a bit weird.

I’m not sure whether I understood everything in this episode, but the main storyline seems to talk about two friends who live together: one is a scriptwriter, the other is an actor. The scriptwriter is seen writing the story of Melos, the lead character of the play. At a certain point, his friend suggests to go to Tokyo, because his father would not allow him to continue acting. When the lead character is boarding the train, however, he is betrayed. The episode ended a bit too soon for me to actually make out how and why, but I expect the next episode to delve into that one.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

7 Responses

  1. marebito says:

    Well the actual tragic aspect is that the events with his friend happened in the past and he lost the ability to write something himself after he went to Tokyo but even now that he gets this script and begins writing ‘hashire melos’ he is reminded of his past and his friend and sublimates his thoughts about what happened. At least that’s how I understood the episode, I haven’t read the novel yet.

  2. chounokoe says:

    Yeah, as far as I made it out his editor approaches him with the basic idea of 走れメロス about which he ends up writing…I don’t know if they are actually supposed to have put the story on stage back in school or if it’s just a metaphor, but he starts mixing up reality and the story that he writes more and more, starting to be angry about the fact that his friendship was never this ideal (although we are yet to know why his friend didn’t board the train).
    I think it showed nicely in the scene where he remembered the day when he went to Tokyo and actually starts writing that down instead of the story of Melos and Senuntius.

    I’m really eager to know how the framestory of them will continue…if it is supposed to end like the original story or if they make a contrast out of it a’la ‘ideal friendship exists only in legends’.

  3. m says:

    I have to agree that this was a really attractive episode. There was a congruence between a lot of the character designs (which didn’t all look quite like mutant elves, which Konomi Takeshia’s characters usually make me think of) and the two settings that we haven’t had since Ningen Shikkaku, and the deftness with which they animated all of the motion impressed me. The subtle use of the soundtrack to direct the viewer (Aoi Bungaku has used music well throughout), and the effectiveness of lighting was also great. Even the idea of making Hashire Merosu into a play is carried through with little details. It’s also interesting how the lighting and appearance of the author’s friend changes with the way that the author views him. Or maybe I imagined that.
    I am a little curious about the motivation for the exterior story. Dazai’s story is really short, so it is possible that it exists to provide sufficient material. However, I am curious if it is a reference to Dazai’s writing style, if it serves to relate to the viewer’s experiences better, or if it stands in contrast to the original story.

    I’ll just have to wait to see the conclusion to really get a better picture of everything.

  4. Sanity says:

    I’ve been waiting to watch Aoi Bungaku after my assignments’ deadline… but I suddenly realised. Which genre fits it the most? I’ve been trying not to read too much of your summaries so as to not spoil myself.
    Will there be many scenes that will totally freak one out? I don’t take horror movies that well unfortunately :’D Or if it is too awesome to be missed, I can try to endure it.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Sanity: I don’t exactly know what you mean by “horror”, but rest assured: there is no gore in this seres. All of the horror is psychological, and if you even hate that, than only the second story (In the Woods… etc) will be a bit too heavy.

  6. Sanity says:

    Thanks for replying :D I like psychological stories, and Aoi Bungaku looks very intriguing.

  7. headachebaby says:

    Okay…so it took a while for the subs to come out and I’ve read this blog before watching the anime. I usually don’t want someone’s opinion on an anime until I watch it first but this blog praised this story as being the best. After watching it yesterday, I’ve got to admit I like the style drawing and conversation better.

    This anime continues to make use of subtle great music to enhance each story.

    I wish this story “Run, Melos!” could’ve been expanded into 5 episodes since it’s a good story and created so well.

    There should be more animes like Aoi Bungaku where the stories are based on novels.

    …still waiting for subs on episode 10 :(

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  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:51 PM)
    Hype kills anything. In regards to the kind of emotional manipulation Clannad and maybe Undertale uses, it’s like a drug. The more you are subjected to it, the less of an effect it has.
    Still there are examples of something which comes close to expectation. People say Muv Luv Alternative gives you PTSD and in a kinda does. Though it’s helped by the connection you build with the characters though the first two games.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:47 PM)
    @Kaiser,I haven’t updated the old entries of my MAL in quite a while. Pretty sure Code Geass is sitting at a 10 on it and I am sure if I give that a rewatch that rating is going to fall harshly.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.

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