Ranked #564

Aoi Bungaku Series

Alternative Titles

Synonyms: Blue Literature
Japanese: 青い文学シリーズ


Type: TV
Episodes: 12
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 11, 2009 to Dec 27, 2009
Premiered: Fall 2009
Broadcast: Unknown
Source: Unknown
Duration: 22 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company


Score: 7.961 (scored by 24,964 users)
Ranked: #5642
Popularity: #581
Members: 71,164
Favorites: 607
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.


The series consists of adaptations of six modern classics of Japanese literature: Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human (Ningen Shikkaku) & Run, Melos! (Hashire, Melos!), Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro, Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s Hell Screen (Jigoku Hen) & The Spider's Thread (Kumo no Ito), and Ango Sakaguchi's In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom (Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita).

No Longer Human (Ningen Shikkaku) - A high school student becomes lost and alienated. Despondent and aimless, he falls into a cycle of self abuse, depression and drugs that taints his life for years. Told in four chapters, each chapter deals with a different point in his life and the final chapter leaves him standing alone - an empty and hollow caricature of his former self.

In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom (Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita) - A love story between a 12th-century woman and a mountain bandit who abducts her.

Kokoro - A 1914 tale of a young man's life journey during the Meiji era. The work deals with the transition from the Japanese Meiji society to the modern era, by exploring the friendship between a young man and an older man he calls "Sensei". It continues the theme of isolation developed in Soseki's previous works, here in the context of interwoven strands of egoism and guilt, as opposed to shame.

Run, Melos! (Hashire, Melos!) - An updated retelling of a classic Greek tale of the story of Damon and Pythias. The most prominent theme of "Run, Melos!" is unwavering friendship. Despite facing hardships, the protagonist Melos does his best to save his friend's life, and in the end his efforts are rewarded.

The Spider's Thread (Kumo no Ito) - The Buddha Shakyamuni chances to notice a cold-hearted criminal suffering in Hell. But this criminal did perform one single act of kindness in not stepping on a spider in a forest. Moved by this selfless act, Shakyamuni takes the silvery thread of a spider in Paradise and lowers it down into Hell, but it falls upon the criminal to seize the opportunity and pull himself out - if he can.

Hell Screen (Jigoku Hen) - A famous artist is commissioned by a great lord to create a series of paintings depicting scenes of the "Buddhist Hell." The artist is unable to paint scenes that he has not seen himself, prompting him to torture and torment the Lord's staff to create his imagined images of hell. His creative efforts taint the household, as the story descends into madness and destruction.

(Source: AniDB)


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More episodes Episodes(5/12)

Episode Title Aired
1 No Longer Human - Chapter 1: Double Suicide in Kamakura
Ningen Shikkaku #1 Kamakura Shinjuu (人間失格#1鎌倉心中)
Oct 11, 2009
5 In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom: Chapter 1
Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita: Zenpen (桜の森の満開の下 前編)
Nov 8, 2009
6 In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom: Chapter 2
Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita: Kouhen (桜の森の満開の下 後編)
Nov 15, 2009
7 Kokoro: Chapter 1
Kokoro: Zenpen (こころ 前編)
Nov 22, 2009
8 Kokoro: Chapter 2
Kokoro: Kouhen (こころ 後編)
Nov 29, 2009

Opening Theme

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Ending Theme

"We Say Hello" by manami

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

9 hours ago
It's almost pointless to review Aoi Bungaku Series, everything has been said about it by everyone but I feel the need to talk about this series since it have a special place for me. It was one of my first mature anime series, a surprising choice to begin with. I remember I had watched it on a whim. I have a lot to say about it so prepare yourself.


First I'm going to talk about the art. So the definition of perfection, the characters are splendid and their expressions are near heaven. But I did have some preferances. I read more
I found this review Helpful
Jan 10, 2011

For a long time now, the psychology genre has been dominated by the likes of Elfen Lied, Higurashi, Monster and Requiem for a Phantom. All these anime looked at psychology as the mindset of a murderer or the troubled past of the protagonist, and there were also shows like Death Note, which focused on the mental abilities of two geniuses. This has been the way anime have defined the psychology genre for years.

But, as always, along comes a player that changes the way the game is played.

Aoi Bungaku Series thrusts you into the shows of the protagonists and synchronizes their brain to yours. read more
I found this review Helpful
Mar 24, 2015
As a huge fan of the psychological (mostly thriller) genre, this anime was a diamond in the rough. I have not seen a series that did so well in presenting and going through human psychology. Not only that but, Aoi Bungaku also takes a look at issues involving human morality. The whole series consists of 6 works of fiction from Japanese authors. On the surface the idea sounds dull as it relates with classic Japanese literature, which as we’ve seen in multiple school SoL anime, are apparently a bore to read. Though I don’t know what the original pieces of read more
I found this review Helpful
Jan 30, 2010
One thing I have learned after finishing this series, that the world and its society is a one cruel place full with violence, madness, and betrayal, or in the other hand, overpowered by those with the authority.

Story: 9/10
The Anime itself is divided into 6 different famous Japanese literatures made by famous authors from the past and all of the arcs has no connection with the others, but don't let this make you down because those 6 literatures sure were masterpieces indeed. You may prefer some arcs over the others, but overall it was a roller coaster full of emotions. One has to think deeper to read more
I found this review Helpful


Anime: Death Note
Both are great, mature, serious psychological anime made by the same studio (Mad House) and with the amazing character design of Takeshi Obata (but only for the first 4 episodes of Aoi Bungaku).
Raito & Yozo are very similar: both are handsome, well-known young men with their own vision of the world and who don't have a good relationship with society. Oh, they both have a lovely crazy laughter, too. 
reportRecommended by RenaPsychoKiller
Anime: Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
The only two anthology anime that I am aware of where Japanese classics (novels in Aoi Bungaku; plays in Ayakashi) were adapted into mini-series/arcs; each with their own director/staff and art style changes. Outside of that, the biggest link they share is that only DARK stories were adapted: in the case of Ayakashi because it's a horror-themed series, and in the case of Aoi Bungaku because the title translates into 'Blue Literature' (fun fact: a lot of the authors of the novels adapted killed themselves). Every episode of Aoi Bungaku had a live-action intro, where an actor would delve into the back-stories of each author,  read more 
reportRecommended by AironicallyHuman
Anime: Mouryou no Hako
Classic Japanese literature adapted by Madhouse. Same sort of atmosphere and feeling, same director. 
reportRecommended by darkmac
Anime: Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi.
The Anime adapt classic literature from Japan that people take their own interpretation in the presentation. 
reportRecommended by Yemi_Hikari
Anime: Hashire Melos!
As much as I approve of how Aoi Bungaku adapted long forgotten Japanese novels that may very well hold more meaning now than they did when they were first wrote, my biggest disappoint was how 'Run Melos!' WASN'T adapted. Instead of just adapting THE story of ultimate trust/faith set in Italy during the time of the Romans, instead the main focus was switched to some sort of yaoi-lite top/bottom pairing in 1950's Japan as some four-eyed abandoned crybaby attempted to re-write the story to work as a play. The actual novel that was supposed to be adapted played a supporting role. HUH!?

Luckily, there  read more 
reportRecommended by AironicallyHuman
Anime: Kurozuka
Similar art style, characters, and story. Same production company: MADHOUSE.
(Judged Aoi Bungaku only by the first episode, may differ from future episodes) 
reportRecommended by Aqu

Recent News

Recap Movie of Aoi Bungaku Announced

According to Mainichi Online, a recap movie of "Aoi Bungaku Series" was announced to be premiered on December 12th. It's a director's cut edition...read more

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