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

Wow. What a way to end this series. What an incredible mindscrew of a final episode. Seriously, the visual direction of this episode was the best out of all the Aoi Bungaku episodes, even as the soundtrack. I commented a few weeks ago the the director of the final two episodes was a completely new guy, so it really could get anywhere. During A Spider’s Thread, he already showed that he’s solid as a storyteller, and it was very entertaining and intense to watch. But seriously, with this episode he really showed that Madhouse has yet again struck gold.

The setting for Hell Screen is actually the same as with A Spider’s Thread, only the mood, atmosphere, direction and soundtrack are completely different. This episode was much, much darker, despite the at first misleading dark colours. I like how this episode uses a part of the build-up of the previous episode: in there, the king was shown as a bit cocky, but basically as the good guy. In this episode however, it just turns out that he’s a huge bastard. It’s the same that Kokoro used, although with less cheese.

The main focus of this episode was on the lead painter for the king, who is tasked to draw a chamber that has the essence of the city. He ends up wanting to show his anguish at the king’s actions that he decides to draw hell itself, however he he just can’t seem to get the right inspiration. Eventually this spirals so much out of control that the king burns his daughter, which in turn gives him the right inspiration. It’s a bit hard to believe, but then again, it was written by a guy who apparently afterwards committed suicide.

I personally loved how the build-up throughout the episode eventually culminated into that climax. I wouldn’t call this as good as Hashire Melos, but I’d definitely count it among the highlights of this series.

Overall, there should be more anime like this. This series has been utterly amazing in so many different ways. I’d rank the six stories of Aoi Bungaku like this (from least favourite to most favourite):
6. Kokoro
5. Spider’s Thread
4. In The Woods…
3. Hell Screen
2. No Longer Human
1. Hashire, Melos!
But more on that in the actual review.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

4 Responses

  1. melos says:

    “Overall, there should be more anime like this.” I REALLY disagree. Do you know what a pain in the ass TLCing this was?

  2. temperus says:

    Oh come now, melos.. wouldn’t you rather TLC something that’s at least worthwhile? :)

  3. melos says:

    Worthwhile? Yes.
    Headache inducing? No.

    Still, there is this strange sense of satisfaction you get after getting a hard job done.

  4. chounokoe says:

    Well I agree, more series like that would actually help to further some expressive and artistic anime minds again.
    While I always had at least two series I liked each season, it’s those rare moments that I really look forward to.

    Of course it’s not easy material, it’s based on some of the bestselling japanese novels.
    I actually never found it headache inducing, even though some of the Japanese during the last two episodes WAS quite difficult…but it was always okay.

    The last episode 地獄変 was again a bit different than the original, but I like the macabre twist they took, making nobody only the least bit innocent…except Yoshihide’s daughter.

Leave a Reply


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  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD

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