Posted by psgels on 27 December 2009 with categories: Aoi Bungaku



This post is going to be short, since I’ve got a certain episode 12 that I’m really looking forward to, but damn, that was intense. The fifth story, The Spider’s Thread had only one episode to work with, but it used it really well and turned it into not just a visual feast, but also one heck of an intense experience.

For the most part of the episode, I was wondering where it wanted to go, but the final minute everything made sense. Throughout the episode, you really get the idea what’s going on inside the mind of a killer, someone who has no regards for human life, and is just out there to have fun and kill people. He’s very much a person who’s sick in his head.

The main point about this story is that after he dies, he gets one chance to get out of a hell that will probably mean an eternal time of torture for him. And yet he blows it, both by the weight of his sins and because he still doesn’t want to repent for his sins. It’s obvious that the original writer was a devoted christian, but it’s nonetheless an interesting story.

What I liked most about this episode was the screenplay, though. It’s done by a guy who didn’t do anything before this, but the way that the visuals and the music, the poses and the art enhance the story is really well done. It’s that what really impressed me about this episode and made it so powerful for me. It’s not the best instalment of Aoi Bungaku, but really: I don’t have any complaints whatsoever.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

8 Responses

  1. Avatar terrorist says:

    I’ve read this novel of Ryunosuke Akutagawa. It wasn’t the best of him as well so I am not having THAT high expectations as i am having on Hell Screen. It’s too big to adapt in 20 minutes So I am hoping that it will be good enough to show it to my father who’s also really enjoyed reading Hell Screen.

  2. Avatar PL says:

    Actually the original story IS about Shakyumuni Buddha and not the Christian God at all… Buddhism holds that there are six mythological realms where we can be born based on our karma ranging from a paradise realms where we are re-born as gods and all our desires are granted to a hell world where we exist to work off the karma created from strong hatred and violence. Only in our middle realm, the human realm, are we able to attain Buddhahood and permanently escape the entire cycle, though if we are born into any of the upper realms it is clearly preferred to the lower ones where there is so much suffering, and those born into the upper realms have a better chance of being born human in the next life. Many modern buddhists consider these to be metaphors or psychological archetypes rather than actual truths about reality, but some traditions still have a literal belief in the Six Realms.
    In a sense, this story can be taken as a criticism of so-called Hinayana (Smaller Vehicle) Buddhism, which is a derrogatory name given by early Mahayana Buddhists to sects which still hold to the original traditions of Buddhism wherin each individual focuses only on his own attainment of Nirvana and for the most part has no lay teaching so that to achieve salvation one must enter into monastic life. The largest remaining tradition that would fall under this classification is the Theravada tradition, though much of the criticism here is unfairly applied to their teachings, and such criticism really only applies to Buddhist sects that existed around the beginning of the millenia.

    In contrast, the reform movement called Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) Buddhism, which contains most of the modern traditions of which Zen and the Tibetan tradition are the most visible in the Western World, has a large focus on teaching the laity, although even here there is a strong emphasis on monastacism. The biggest difference is the Boddhisatva vow that all Mahayana Buddhists take in which the aspirant vows not to enter Nirvana until all sentient beings have been saved.

  3. Avatar chounokoe says:

    Actually the original story 蜘蛛の糸, which is only a few pages long as far as I recall, had another frame story and Kandata’s story very much consisted only of his escape from hell.

    In the source story of this a Buddha is stroling along paradise and comes upon a flowerpond through which he can look down to hell.
    There he sees Kandata and takes pity in him, because of his one good deed (sparing the spider) and thus orders a spider to let down a thread into hell. The thread was, even though it always seemed to snap every minute, made so that it would hold Kandata at every time, as long as he retained a part of goodness.
    The rest we saw in the episode, too, he prefered to be a selfish idiot and pushed the other souls down the thread…which made him loose his chance.

    I think the original moral was something like ‘You have to retain at least a piece of goodness, no matter how terrible your existence may become.’

    I think this could be considered almost compulsery reading throughout Japan, or at least most Japanese fill in the blanks when you see the glistening spider and the round window to a brighter place up above.
    But of course…for people with Christian background like most of us it’s a bit different.

  4. Avatar koja says:

    @PL

    It’s defnitely not buddhism. At least buddhism tells me that you cannot just go to heaven by clinging onto a spider thread, ie. repent for all your killings by just saving a spider. That’s just too convenient. But then it works in christianity though.

  5. Avatar animedyum says:

    According to ANN, these two episode’s screenplays are belong to Ishizuka Atsuko who is btw not a guy, a woman.

  6. Avatar animedyum says:

    According to ANN, these two episode’s screenplays are belong to Ishizuka Atsuko who is btw not a guy, a woman.

  7. Avatar Pi says:

    Acid Trip.

    That’s all I gotta say. Well, not really. “Spider’s Thread”‘s author point of view of Hell is quite colourful if you ask me. I think at this point, I’d rather have Kandata’s Hell in black and white… hmm… that makes it even scarier.

  8. Avatar Tako says:

    I think this episode is pretty stretched out and possibly one of the least interesting novels out of Aoi Bungaku. Getting to the point in this episode could most likely have been done in half it’s episode length, possibly leaving time for another short story/novel to fill the 30 minute gap.

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