Synonyms: Blue Literature
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 11, 2009 to Dec 27, 2009
Duration: 22 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 8.001 (scored by 20441 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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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. It gives you a spectacularly detailed insight into their thoughts and feelings, all while following an intense storyline.
The show is the anime adaptation of several literary masterpieces in Japan (much like Ayakashi Classic Japanese Horror), some of them dating back to the late 1920s. ABS portrays six such immortal classics, each of them highlighting the complex and fickle nature of the human mind. Except for the first arc, each arc lasts only two episodes. Writing an in-depth analysis of each of the stories would be giving away too much and might ruin the experience. If you want absolutely no spoilers, then I recommend you do not read the MAL synopsis either, as it contains nearly half the story. Here’s a quick breakdown of the basic elements of each of the stories, while keeping the spoilers to a bare minimum:
(NOTE: Each arc is a completely different story, are in no way interrelated and can even be viewed as a standalone anime. That’s the primary reason why I’m reviewing each arc separately.)
1. No Longer Human – This classic, written by Dazai Osamu, focuses on a psychotic and troubled mind – that of a congressman’s son. Set in 1929, this dark and gloomy arc was the longest, lasting four episodes, which proves to be more than enough time to let the viewer unravel the protagonist’s twisted perceptions of society and how he bears the pressure of being crushed under the weight of his own ego. Drenched with sadness and pregnant with hope, each of those four episodes is memorable to say the least. After watching this arc, you understand why No Longer Human was the defining work of the author and the most read literary piece in Japan.
2. Under Cherries in Full Bloom – Probably the most bizarre two episodes of an anime I’ve ever seen in my life. Ango Sakaguchi, the author, tries to tell a tale of how people need to speak their minds in order to live a peaceful life. However, his idealistic approach on decadence falls short in this anime adaptation, because of unnecessary humor, inappropriate chibi animations and dreadfully boring jazzy songs. The sudden light-heartedness and lackadaisical pacing feels like a fish out of water after watching the melancholy and sorrowful No Longer Human.
3. Kokoro – Natsume Soseki is considered the Charles Dickens of Japan for good reason. I felt like I was drifting along in a sea filled with the characters’ emotions. When I talked about this anime being the game changer, I was mainly referring to this arc. It weaves a bittersweet story of love, lust, trust, jealousy and friendship.
4. Run, Melos! – “Is it more painful to wait, or to make someone wait?” The most straightforward story of the lot. The storyline is very basic and is about a playwright’s life, as he spends his life waiting for his childhood friend to come and meet him. Once again, this was written by Dazai Osamu and is the retelling of a Greek legend (Damon and Pythias), the overall theme of the arc being unwavering friendship. As I said, it’s a very simple story and it can get a tad predictable, but since it lasts for only forty minutes, it’s an enjoyable ride.
5. The Spider’s Thread – What starts off as a brutal Assassin’s Creed anime, ends up as a crude moral story that is far too short to convey any real message. While the basic idea of Ryunosuke Akutagawa was to entertain children with this novel, the anime adaptation is aimed at a much more mature audience because of its gore and profanity. A good story, but 20 minutes proves to be too short to convey the author’s ideals.
6. Hell Screen –Penned by the same author as Spider’s Thread, Hell Screen succeeds exactly where The Spider’s Thread fails – it gets its point through in a single episode. This arc is about an artist and his struggle to paint his masterpiece, much like O.Henry’s “The Last Leaf”.
The animation in this show is one of the best I’ve ever seen, if not the best. The show features some of the highest production values to date. It’s also one of the very few anime that managed to use CGI well. The generous use of the morose red in the first arc, No Longer Human, was what contributed to the eerie atmosphere of the anime.
The soundtrack is great. While the instrumental pieces were fitting, the series doesn’t have an OP and the ED was not very good.
As far as content warning goes, this show is rated R17 for a reason. Not only does it feature a large amount of blood, gore, sex and profanity, but it also contains strong messages about the society, which younger audiences will neither understand nor appreciate.
The subbing by Masterpiece was perfect and provided T/L notes wherever necessary.
But when it’s all said and done, Aoi Bungaku Series is not a show that will ever have universal appeal. Due to its complex nature and dark atmosphere, this show will most probably never see the light of the day.
[ THE WRAP-UP ]
Aoi Bungaku Series is one of the darkest and most complex anime out there. Not only does it show ‘psychology’ in an entirely new light, but it also provides an artful insight into Imperial Japan. Excellent animation and a strong soundtrack make sure that this anime is technically sound. Being an adaptation of six different novels, each arc is bound to have a different impact on the viewer, but maintain an overall consistency in the intensity of the storyline. Aoi Bungaku Series is definitely not for everyone and is made for a limited audience. If you don’t like the first couple of episodes, then I don’t think you’re going to like the rest of the series either. Those looking for happy endings or lighthearted storylines are not going to be impressed with this one. However, if you’re in the mood for a dark, depressing anime about the world’s cruelty and a gripping psychological anime, then Aoi Bungaku Series might fit the bill. Individual story ratings given below:
No Longer Human – 9/10
Under the Cherry Blossoms – 7/10
Kokoro – 10/10
Run, Melos! – 8/10
The Spider’s Thread – 8/10
Hell Screen – 9/10
Overall : 9/10
Jan 30, 2010
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 get the full and real meaning of each arc, or as an english teacher would say, you need to think outside the box. You wouldn't really expect what to happen next since it's like a train of irony. You will be left with awe once you finish a certain arc. You will most likely doubt your own instincts since at first you'll be like "ah he's a bad guy", but then later on you'll be like, "wtf I was wrong."
If I can give a number higher than 10, then I would gladly choose that number as Aoi Bungaku's art was a hell of a masterpiece. The art was one of the parts why this show was awesome. The art gave the Anime a mysterious atmosphere and in some part, creepy. Heck, I would be glad if all Anime were drawn like this.
You get different sounds in each arc. The background music that they play when a certain creepy event is happening was so good that it'll make either your eyes closed or wide open, if you're a masochist. Also, when emotional parts strike, the background music really helped to make a viewer sad or cry.
6 different arcs, which mean a lot of new characters. In each arc, you get awesome characters, and by awesome I mean characters surrounded with mystery and such. You wouldn't expect that character would do that to other character such. Also, 2 of the mains in 2 arcs looked like Light from Death Note. :D Plus, you get a 3d guy in every beginning of an episode. Where can you see an Anime with 3d people on!?
Pretty much enjoyed the entire series. There are 6 arcs so normally, one would prefer one over the other. Overall, it was really good. Superb, I must say.
I would frankly say that this is the first Anime I've seen with a different type of storytelling so I'm going to give this a 10. It was very unique. You can't help it but fall in love with the arcs although in some cases, you will most likely hate some of the arcs before you prefer the previous one and wanted that arc to be longer. read more
Aug 17, 2014
Aoi Bungaku (Or Blue/Evergreen literature) follows the adaptions of some of the most popular Japanese literature in the mid 20th century, and how their messages still resonate today.
As for the story, Aoi Bungaku is split into 5 arcs, one 4 episode arc with three 2 episode arcs. The last 2 episode can be left as either separate stories or together as they contain the same characters, setting ext. Furthermore, the show contains a male narrator (or guide) who not only tells us about how the books came about, but the psychology and personality of the writers themselves, as well as their life stories. This gives vital information into why the stories can be so dark and why the characters are they way they are. In terms of themes, as mentioned above, the psyche of the characters play a key in making this a good series. From inner bouts of depression, money, suicide, murder and betrayal, some of these themes play apart in every arc. It's realism into the topic of suicide was very stark and informative. But with each arc, the story changes from friendship based, to the mythical and so on, so there is a good choice of different stories to choose from, as well as many different types of atmospheres too, some sinister, some emotional.
Unfortunately, the main flaw of the anime is it's inconsistency in its arcs, some of which (especially the 1st and 4th) were done superbly, whilst the rest left much to be desire due to the lack of story development in the 2 episodes the arcs had. Nevertheless, the added introduction of the male narrator filled in a lot of the gaps left by the arcs.
As for animation, Madhouse did a brilliant job of making the arcs feel authentic to the genre it portrayed. From the dark and dulled down colours in the first arc to the bright and dazzling scenes in the last, they definitely spent no time making sure the animations were fluid. The character models all differed for the right reasons, which was nice.
In terms of the characters, it's a tale of two sides really. The character development in 2 of the 5 arcs are done brilliantly, from demonstrating how their backstory made their character, whether it be sexual abuse leading someone into dabbling with prostitutes, to a best friend betraying their trust, it did make for a spectacle to watch. Unfortunately, the direction of the other characters went off at a tangent, in the end, some characters were done well, others more shabby.
As for the music, for the most part, it was mixed in well with the different arcs, sad music for sad scenes, emotional music for emotional scenes, simple yet well executed. They're wasn't an opening song, as it was substituted for the narrator which was fine. The ending was a personal favorite of mine. Overall, the music was done to a good standard.
To sum up, Aoi Bungaku sets a slightly high bar for anime's based on real novels, but dropped at the final hurdle by keeping the a high standard in all the different arcs. I do recommend it for those looking for a new change to the psychological genre of anime.
Dec 10, 2009
No Longer Human: Great. In just 4 episodes so much was told. One reason why people should watch the first 4 eps of Aoi Bungaku is because as odd as it may seem MANY OF US ask these questions at one point in our lives or another. I don't want to spoil anything or what happens or transpires so I won't give any references. There are several references to this title so it's difficult to say WHY it's called "No Longer Human" exactly. If you don't want to watch a superpowered cartoon involving Super-Sayajin and BAN KAI or some wacky fairytale then relate to this masterpiece.
Under Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom: Great as well. In episode 6 there's even a Japanese version of Sweeney Todd's "No Place Like London" that was done beautifully. The main reference between Sweeney Todd and Shigemaru is that Sweeney Todd was a barber who would cut the throats of his enemies he'd be shaving and Shigemaru actually decapitated heads as demanded or warranted by his new bride. One thing that strikes to me as odd is the description of the "demon" in this 2 ep-long piece. If you watch these two eps, please pay attention to the supposed protagonist Shigemaru as he describes his only way out of a psychological prison created by his wife.
Kokoro: Jealousy sucks. That's all I gotta say about this story. The story is given two points of view (most other productions try to give a bird's eye view of what character progression is). I absolutely enjoyed both points of view as to what happened and it truly explains the shades and complexities of human emotions (regarding jealousy).
Run, Melos!: This is a simpler story told about friendship. Trust is the main theme trialed in this story as it's wagered between two friends. There are side stories explained in the episode (the main character rewrites Greek/Shakesperian plays in to Japanese and these plays are acted out in the episode). One main thing about this story (unlike the previous stories mentioned) is that there's no bloodshed. Don't get me wrong, the story is just as effective without it.
The Spider's Thread: Odd tale. Simple storyline of a homeless bandit stealing & killing innocent people just to live another day (note kandata, the pro(antagonist) of this story isn't a greedy man). This story got VERY interesting when his own path led him to a simple spider who in some weird way showed him that his future was only... well... hanging by a thread. NOTE the following ep in the double-aired series is NOT a sequel to Spider's Thread.
Hell Screen: Instead of a homeless bandit in the spotlight, an artist tasked with the mural in the King's future mausoleum highlighting only the good parts of his rule. Many details revealed throughout the episode show otherwise. If you think the king's beauty was appealing, feast your eyes on the shoddy prerequisites needed to bring his beloved land to prosperity.
With all this said (I know I've prematurely praised the entire series as a whole) I don't regret my ratings as they STAY THE SAME. Great show! Well done in almost every single aspect besides the fact they ARE short stories being animated so there's alot of thinking left for the watcher to do to truly understand the author's motives behind his/her characters' development throughout their respective stories. Just watch this one any sensible anime goer will not be disappointed!
There is one story I'm missing on which I believe is episode 9 or 10 of the series. I apologize in advance to all who've relied on this review before watching the series or any other episodes. please note though you should FEEL FREE to watch any episode throughout this series as it doesn't progress from ep 1 to ep 12. read more
Oct 12, 2014
If you have never heard of Aoi Bungaku, don't be ashamed. It is NOT a well known series at all. This is unfortunate, because in both popularity and rating it is one of the most criminally underrated anime on all of MAL. What makes this anime good? I will try to do it some justice and explain.
Aoi Bungaku is an anthology of stories taken from classic Japanese literature. The most famous of the stories featured is the short novel "No Longer Human" which is covered in episodes 1-4. The story is about a tortured young artist who as a child was sexually abused by his maid and emotionally abused by his politician father. As a result, the narrator feels alienated from society and never reveals his true emotions to others. He wears a mask until he becomes hollow and dead inside and no longer considers himself human. He meets a girl who is also suffering from great sadness and they decide to commit suicide together in scenic Kamakura. This is one of the most famous of all Japanese stories, so perhaps it helps explain why so many damn anime take place in Kamakura. She dies during the suicide, the the narrator survives and is haunted by guilt over her death. He attempts to live as a normal human, but the guilt always follows him. When he finally meets another woman that basically makes him feel normal, he discovers that she has been sleeping with his boss in order to keep him employed. The narrator has a complete psychological breakdown and wanders off into the snow, already showing signs of advanced tuberculosis. The stories are masterfully adapted and help capture the psychology, emotion, and philosophy of the originals. At the beginning of each episode, a narrator also helps by explaining certain aspects along with interesting facts about the author of each story.
The art is absolutely beautiful in this series and the animation changes to fit the tone of each story. The colors and shades are dark in the first tale due to the depressing nature, while they are bright and vibrant during the fairy tail adaptations in episodes 11 and 12. Studio Madhouse is a very excellent animation studio and they are really at their best with this one.
Each story is well adapted and has a different style and flavor of its own. This keeps things interesting and fresh. If you are a fan of classic literature, than you will probably have fun with this one.
People praise series like Tatami Galaxy and Mushishi for being artistic, deep, true masterpieces of anime that abandon obnoxious anime cliches and have all the dignity of true art. This series fits that description at least as well, but has a measly 8/10 while those 2 series both have a 9/10. This is sad since the first 4 episodes of Aoi Bungaku beat the shit out of any of the Mushishi episodes and can match in quality anything from Tatami Galaxy. I'm not just giving this series a 10/10 because it is an adaptation of a classic. Gankutsuou tried to adapt a classic and fell right on its face. I'm giving it a 10/10 because it is a GOOD adaptation of a classic that has real depth and artistic value without coming across as annoyingly pretentious. That is really hard to accomplish, yet Aoi Bungaku pulls it off with grace and style! read more
May 26, 2013
Plot-wise the anime is based off of 6 Japanese classics. Since the stories have already been deemed classics it is not a question of if the plot is well developed or if overall it was good. The job of this anime was to interpret it in a way that we could understand the plot and translate it well to the viewer. The host says in the introduction before every episode that classics are "aoi" or blue. The anime was meant to preserve the integrity of the stories and present them in a way that would not undervalue the original works. With the 1st story which was by far the longest physiologically and time-wise, the main character battles with his inner-self and his desire. It goes through his life experiences as his ages. The anime itself gives us a very raw display which is left to our interpretation. As the story progresses, you find yourself morally disagreeing with the character's actions. This connects you to the story making you more invested. As the anime progresses to the next story it connects them by having the host explain a back story on the authors and a bit of their back story in order for the viewer to understand it better. Personally I found this quite helpful for the transition rather than just saying that this was a new story. It gives something to anticipate to. For the second story I found myself quite confused, but due to the prior explanation I could understand it better. I found myself more dumbfounded with the lack of time perspective. I found many questionable bits that took aware from the overall plot. But it also brings the question to me if the creators purposely did that. I don't think I enjoyed it as much as the story that was its predecessor. I don't know if the gravity from the first one overshadowed the 2nd but overall it did leave me with a lasting impression which made me have to take a minute to soak in and process it. With kokoro I found myself more attentive with. All the plots have been quite dark but stylistically the story have a more lighter feeling. With the following episode I found myself interested by the 2 different views of the men. Though I was curious as to which one was the true interpretation. By now it has become quite apparent in my mind the social differences between men and women during the era again. I have been slightly educated on the era but it gives me another glance at the matter. Run Melos was quite interesting to me. By far it is the upbeat endings out of all the stories. In this one the main character struggles with memories from the past. I loved the fact that you didn't really know which end he was on. You questioned if he was culprit or the victim. The story takes you on a physiological journey of betrayal and whether to forgive. It gives us a life lesson to think for ourselves. The spider's web is very different on contrast. It's a simple story of a man who then is robbed back by his karma. There's many stories with a similar plot but I found this one to be different since it was simple. It's simple to the point where it shows justice is slow to occur even with the glorified image of it. They finally finish it off with a story of death by passion. Though the concept is bastardized often the story still manages to relay the theme. How much sacrifice will you go through to change the future for others? With modern day values this concept is as I said bastardized. I found it as an interesting note to end off on which left me on my bed staring at the computer screen.
Character-wise I found them to be very defined. They did not stray from expectation nor leave me to be desired. I found them befitting to their corresponding stories as well as invaluable to the series.
Stylistically the artwork corresponds with it's stories. The overall presentation of it combined with the plot was an exhilarating experience. I found it to complement very well to the character's feelings as well as the overall plot. In anime plot is half the story. To translate these classics well it must have captivating art to correspond with the captivating stories. If not the anime is left to be desired.
Since the anime is very heavy on dialogue I found myself less impacted by the sounds. Though I did find the music of kokoro to be quite soothing after its predecessors which is probably why I liked it more.
As an anime viewer I want to experience to the best of my ability what I can of an anime. I typically do not find physiological to be up my ally but with this anime I found myself intoxicated by the plots and theory. I will not lie though due to my inability to watch physiological much I was tempted to fall asleep at times only to find myself scared of missing little details and the fright of batshit crazy nightmares. I found the anime to be pleasing and opening to new experiences of Japanese literature and I hope someday I will properly be able to read these classics. Seeing as the main goal of the anime was education of the classics and preservation I found it to do just that. I do hope for future generations of anime viewer to watch this anime for I found it as an experience that should happen as some point in an anime viewers career. Overall the anime rates a 8/10. read more
Feb 18, 2010
I have since read three of the stories that were adapted: No Longer Human, In the Woods (or whatever you wanna call it), and Spider's Thread. They are all great works, especially No Longer Human in my opinion. I would even argue that Spider's Thread is much more breathtaking in the animated adaptation. Oh good lord, if you would like to watch animation at its best, please spend the time to watch this series. read more
Nov 29, 2013
Only watch from the first to the fourth episodes, the first story ends there and from my point of view the others are in other genres. I watched the fifth episode and didn't understand what was happening, but then I noticed it wasn't a fill episode or something inside the Ningen Shikkaku story. And no, it didn't look like the other stories were dramatical or similar in theme.
And the of course ->disappointment
Jul 18, 2010
The animation is exquisite; the artwork is truly magnificent and the enjoyment of watching an anime with this level of animation cannot fail to make you happy and satisfied.
Of course, the animation in Aoi Bungaku reflects the depth of the stories, and the complexity of its characters. Although I like to watch an occasional storyless series filled with fanservice, series like Aoi Bungaku are the reason why I am so devoted to watching anime.
I don't think that there is a need for a close inspection of each of the adapted stories. There are enough reviews that do just that, and I guess everyone will have their own favourite.
If you love literature (modern/postmodern) and if you enjoy a story which does not lay out everything for you, but makes you think, makes you wonder, you must see Aoi Bungaku. Sure, people say it's depressing and dark, but it's also fun and beautiful, and it does not make you turn off your higher brain functions.
I believe that the amazing contrast between beautiful and breathtaking animation and dark, desperate atmosphere of the stories is one of the best achievements I have ever seen in an anime; it makes you marvel at the beauty of the world and shiver because of the darkness of the human nature.
Oct 28, 2010
'Aoi Bungaku Series' (literally 'Blue Literature Series') is an anime adaptation of 6 Japanese masterpiece novels of 20th century, in commemoration of 100th anniversary of Dazai Osamu's birth (the author of 'No Longer Human' and 'Run, Melos!').
The color blue symbolizes youth in Japan. These works of literature are forever young, in context, the title of this anime series is 'Timeless Japanese Classics'.
Ep1~4: 'No Longer Human' (Dazai Osamu)
Ep5~6: 'Under the Full Bloom of Cherry Blossom Forest' (Sakaguchi Ango)
Ep7~8: 'Kokoro' (Natsume Souseki)
Ep9~10: 'Run, Melos!' (Dazai Osamu)
Ep11: 'The Spider's Thread' (Akutagawa Ryuunosuke)
Ep12: 'Hell Screen' (Akutagawa Ryuunosuke)
Being true Japanese classics, every piece of original literature, other than 'Run, Melos!' are emotionally draining with tragic endings.
Personally, I have only read 'No Longer Human', 'Run, Melos!' and 'Kokoro', but the setting and the way stories are being told are not exactly a straight adaptation, but rather more like interpretations of the original novels by the producers.
With up to only 4 episodes per story, the character development is somewhat limited, but with most characters reflecting the authors themselves (or so modern critics analyze), most of the main characters are quite realistic and have depth.
Because authors in early 20th century weren't paid very well, the writers of these masterpieces endured hardship in their daily lives. As such, the characters in their stories are often in despair and in various stages of mental breakdown, much like the authors who committed suicide and developed drug problems.
Every arc focuses on the main character very well, and tells the story of how their lives led to their doom.
Animation by Madhouse is wonderful as expected. No CG, tried and true Japanese cel animation worked very well on screen for these works of classic literature. The coloring is extremely vivid and breathtakingly beautiful. There were many surreal scenes that expressed main characters' despair, and artwork in general sets creepy, ominous, and dark atmosphere throughout the series.
Some scenes lacked details or were too still, but all the important scenes were done very well.
The cast is comprised of insane amount of veteran seiyuu, and voice acting is generally well-done. However, the use of actor Sakai Masato for all main characters inevitably resulted in ill-matched voices, especially for 'Under the Full Bloom of Cherry Blossom Forest' and 'Hell Screen'.
Music was very well done, each sets the mood for every scene, and noticeably different styles for every story.
ED was somewhat bland though.
I can't really recommend this series to the general Western audiences as it may come across as depressing, twisted, and meaningless violence. However, it's a must-watch if you are interested in Japanese literature or want to learn more about the culture.
The anime itself is in no way a substitute for reading the original novels, but it did stir up my curiosity for the novels that I haven't read yet, and it also gave me an opportunity to learn more about each author.
Each story may not be entirely accurate compared to the novels, but they all convey the intended message and make us think. 'Aoi Bungaku Series' shows that the masterpieces are indeed timeless. read more
Jan 29, 2013
No Longer Human (episode 1–4): This is truly a masterpiece. I don't know why they lead with this one, because none of the subsequent stories live up to it. 10.
Sakura no mori no mankai no shita (episode 5–6): The story was good, but I can't give the staff much credit for that, and it took back seat to mediocre singing giving it the feel of an overblown music video. More of the story would have been nice. 6.
Kokoro (episode 7–8): This one almost needs to be broken down again. The first episode is based off the novel. The second episode is from another character's POV. I liked what they were trying to do here, but I felt they failed. Also, the art got really lazy. 7.
Run, Melos! (episode 9–10): Another really solid story. More lighthearted than the previous ones. This one has the same author as the first story, so I don't know if the staff was biased in his favor or if he was just the best author out of the bunch, but this one is another 10.
The Spider's Thread (episode 11): Really good, classic story. The portrayal was rushed though, and the conclusion was lacking. 7.
Hell Screen (episode 12): Really good story. I felt an episode about an artist should have had better art though. 8.
Overall it was a really good series, and I'd give it an 8.5, if I could. read more
Jan 20, 2010
Firstly, as far as the story goes its divided in 5 entirely different stories, so each of them have a totally different feel to them. In my opinion, they tried too hard to be more artsy and create complexity but art already is complex and in Japan's nature they make profound stories but they choose the wrong subject to illustrate that. Conclusively, some stories I was dumbfounded while the others were along the line of good.
Secondly, the art, my God was it beautiful. If your the type whom will disregard the story and watch a series just for the art then you really should get your hands on this one. Since, Takeshi Obata, Kubo Tite, and Takeshi Konomi did a brilliant job, you can watch it just for that ^_~
Thirdly, when it comes to sound then a little to be said, it was fine but sometimes didn't fit the situation in my opinion. Moving on, the seiyuus were good, Sakai Masato did a well job seeing that he is a real-life actor. On a different note, it was a bit funny cause I've seen his movie before watching this show and I have to say his voice was the most distinct.
Fourthly, lets face it, it was too short to properly develop any character especially judging by how complex some stories were. So, the characters were left stranded due to the over-focus on the execution of the whole series, does it make sense?
Fifthly, enjoyment? To be honest, its quite a depressing anime. Thats why I watched 2-3 episodes per day whereas I would usually watch 4-5. That being said you be the judge cause it really was a bit heavy and hard hitting concept wise.
Lastly, overall it can average around 7 for, it has actually but I might change it in the future. It all depends on the effects it leaves on me after some time.
I wanted to keep it short but guess there was just too much to tell.
Hope you found this review helpful! ^_^ read more
Mar 10, 2013
Aoi Bengaku which literally means 'blue literature' is a collection of evergreen masterpieces of stories from japan . stories which are comparable to Shakespeare or some other famous guy ... it has 5 stories in it of which one of it is of 4 episodes and the rest are two episodes each .
The mind blowing stroy awesome character designs by kubo tite , takeshi obata (which are famous for their works bleach and death note respectively ) and collective awesomeness makes it a really worthwhile show to watch .
the drawbacks however although much less obvious are that even though it was a really great i can barely remember one or two of the soundtracks meaning even though they are great they don't seem to leave a lasting impression .
I am not writing the summary as MAL tells me not to since the readers can read the synopsis themselves .this review was written since this anime even though it is this great it is nearly not as popular ... thanks for the read :D:D:D read more
Jan 25, 2010
A terrific anime with beautiful art and well-adapted stories of classic Japanese authors and every single one of them interesting.
I believe some may not like it due to the negative vibe the anime shows, during literally every arc. Yes, the anime is not one of those you watch sitting and laughing in front of your TV or monitor, which is one of the factors that makes it enjoyable for some, for me as well.
It doesn't have many flaws and easily it's one of the best of the fall '09 season. The only thing I don't like about it is using the same seiyuu for almost every main character in every arc, but on the other hand - it's an amazing voice. read more
May 30, 2012
So if you like horror, thriller, psychological, were intrigued this was so clearly linked to Death Note in the promotional art and cover and thought maybe it might cover some similar stuff then you will be disappointed.
This series is primarily for those who enjoy Realistic Fiction, occasionally with Zany anime wackiness, as well as getting an insight into some Japanese fiction. It was not for me at all. The cover should not be a Light wannabe chilling in a gothic chair with an apple, since it isn't even reminiscent of anything displayed.
However it is really well drawn, the music highlights the stories. That enough will be all some people care about, I know. Personally I'd rather watch a cheaply drawn 80s anime that had a great story than a well drawn 20xx anime with only beauty going for it. read more
Dec 9, 2012
After watching the first story, though it is episodic I am expecting the rest to be somewhat like the first story but for my surprise, every story is so different from the others. I didn’t see it coming but I just love how they are so different. Every story comes in different forms and approach with psychology. Some are tragic and dark, others are scary and horrifying, while some are touching and inspiring. But if there’s one thing that all of them have in common, all of them are such sad stories. Well, psychological genres are always a sad story. Why? For the obvious reason that having a psychological problem itself is a sad thing. Having a mental instability is a sign of human failure and weakness. This compilation of different stories shows the tragic side of life that leads to having psychological instability which makes us human beings. But what I love about them is that after seeing those horrifying experiences of different people, you learn something from it and sometimes get inspired by their story. And because it is episodic you get a new different kind of excitement while anticipating the next story.
Of course with an episodic type of series, there are so many very different characters. Some are really pitiful and some are inspiring. Like I said you learn a lesson or two with their story.
Every chapter comes with different style of animation. There are stories with a more realistic approach and others with more on how the mind sees world which sometimes in a dream-like situation.
It is very rare for a psychological type of story to be accompanied by an episodic styled series so I definitely enjoy it a lot. Every chapter is absolutely amazing and worth to watch.
Apr 13, 2012
perhaps the real joy of this six-stories long anime series is behind the fact that it is actual literal work, written by famous Japanese writers whose social suffering and personal experience shines through each and every one of the six stories included.
1.No Longer human:
the story centers around a troubled young artist in search for self-reclaim and confidence, while taken through the series, we are witnesses to the brutality of society when inflicted upon an unsuspecting young mind born with no real ties to the material world, this story hits you deep with drama unrelenting, and some heart-wrenching scenes, I can only imagine it being the best of the six, since the novel itself is considered the most common and most famous in Japan
2.Under the cherry blossoms in full bloom:
quite the bizarre telling of a mountain bandit living in seclusion, then the introduction of a young bewitching woman, whose mental sanity and stability is in question, while all seems straight forward in this story, the end and the reference to the cherry blossoms from beginning to end leaves you jaw-gaping and wondering even more as to the meaning hidden in the director's mind.
Perhaps one of the most heart-wrenching stories ever told, the themes included vary from romance (which is the main) to isolation, and psychological references thrown on the bonds of friendship, trust and betrayal
all interplay gracefully, leaving you wanting more, the story takes place in 2 directions, all the more merited as it is second to none in terms of real life drama injected with self-sacrifice and Love.
4.Run Melos Run ! :
Is a perfect example of straight forwardness, heavily influencing friendship as a whole concept, while one friend waits for the other to join him on his life course, betrayal is laid bare, but what is the real reason behind the heartache, some would say it is slightly affiliated with shojou but I found it exemplary and heavily-sympathetic and so much enjoyable, after all friendship is a variant just like anything else subjective to human feeling and behavior.
5.The Spider's Thread:
Although intended by the author to fascinate children, the anime show is taken beyond that with the main theme implemented but brought with maturity to adult viewers, A villainous villain is introduced, a mass murderer, the incarnation of pure evil, yet with a slice of humanity, when the decision arises for him to take the road to salvation or leave it, we come to terms with why the series shines best, heavily influenced by themes similar to Dante's inferno, this is thought-provoking literature indeed.
Focusing on darker themes, the injustices wrought by men in power over poor peaceful societies, though somewhat linked to The spider's thread, Hell screen is rather different in character portrayal, as a famous and capable artist is asked to take place in the forming of his masterpiece by the emperor's command, the artist and his daughter witnessing atrocities in their beautiful city, begin to take a twisted and unsuspected approach against tyranny in all its forms, heavy on themes from heaven and hell, this show does not disappoint.
All in all, I enjoyed the series, the art with which it was presented, superb quality and utmost dedication, brings the viewer to a satisfied closure, and since it has been quite sometime before I enjoyed a real Drama/fantasy setting, this series was greatly appreciated.
Highly recommended read more
May 2, 2013
Feb 25, 2012
It might seem those 12 episodes escaped my memory but, unfortunately, mistake. First history called No Longer Human / Ningen Shikkaku, which was written by Dazai Osamu was literally zenith of everything. Some people search in it biographical conditions, but if that so, author must had ,,interesting” life. Peculiar visions, schizophrenic tendency – yes, it difficult to be bored. Finishing this arc, I really haven’t known what creators have on theirs mind. After turbulent was about ¾ anime to the end…
Second - Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita – or In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom says about some woman and rogue who lived in the mountains, it takes place a few centuries ago. If I’m right, it something doesn’t right, does it? What is in this era do all the technical innovations, known only our generations. We should write history textbooks another time. What’s more, that woman was really…scary. She tricked her lover – love is blind, whatever. Only positive? They keep a hog which can speak. Since then I want to a have hog as a pet too.~
Together, there are a six stories, but what’s up with the rest? You must see on your own. If, despite its flaws won your hearts, it’s still right. In my opinion it bring only disappoint. This, many facepalms and full of curses hurled at the characters? Highly individual matter.
Very confused, Aya.
Sep 4, 2012
The story is fantastic, being told from the eyes of a highschool student who's always been alienated from society, never fit in with anybody or had any real friends. I don't want to say much about the story because spoiling it for people should be a crime for such a masterpiece.
It's animated by Madhouse. Need any more be said? The animation is incredible and first the dark nature perfectly.
The soundtrack is brilliant, it's strange, dark and depressing, fitting the tone of the anime perfectly.
The characters... Good fucking god the characters. You're following the story of a depressed, suicidal sociopath and the character is incredibly well developed in just four episodes. I've never related to an anime character so well, despite how twisted the main character is.
Overall, this is one of my favourite anime of all time. It's a brutally realistic portrayal of humans that will make you hate yourself and your fellow man, and for that, it's a masterpiece. read more