I read 源氏物語 (Genji Monogatari) last semester for school, and absolutely fell in love with Murasaki Shikibu's work. Naturally, when I discovered an anime based off the tale, I had to watch it. (It can be found on YouTube)
The anime adds a very unique twist to the tale, focusing most on Lady Rokujo's venegeful spirit. With that slightly horror-esque environment, Genji's liaisons have a whole new element, and Genji himself seems more dimensional than in some translations of the tale. If you don't know what I'm talking about, this anime may not make a whole lot of sense to you. The story is vastly enriched from allusions to the text, which is why I can give the enjoyment a 9 and the story only an 8. The anime does not go into the arc with Niou and Kaoru.
Overall, my recommendation is:
If you've read the Tale of Genji and enjoyed it: WATCH!
If you haven't read the Tale: Get some background info on his various lovers and then watch. You'll want to focus on Lady of the Evening Faces (Yugao), his wife (Aoi), Lady of the Plum Blossoms (Murasaki), The Empress (Fujitsubo) and Lady Rokujo (subtitled differently in the anime). read more
1- Me, who didn't know anything about Genji Monogatari prior to seeing this movie. Conclusion: it's boring like hell, slow, the story makes little sense (it does make sense, but is uninteresting), with too many "artistic" slooooow parts.
2- Japanese girlfriend, who is a big fan of Genji Monogatari. Conclusion: This movie is, I quote, "an insult to Genji Monogatari" and the director is "heta kuso" (let's say it means he's shitty weak). Main reason: the story doesn't make much sense even if you have read the story several times in the past, lots of parts are missing.
This anime is based on famous Japanese book - "The Tale of Genji" by legendary writer Murasaki Shikibu. Story of this anime is really captivating and interesting. Main character is male - Genji. Unfortunately he will fall in love with his stepmother ( stepmother is much younger than his father). This sinful love will be forbidden by Genji. I think Genji is character which is controlled by passion. I suggest all to watch this anime. At first glance i was shocked by illustrations, graphic and song themes. because they were so good. i even forgotten that this anime was made in 90's.
you can find this anime subtitled in torrents.read more
As I have not read the Genji Monogatari, I thought I should give my view on this. I'm not really familiar with Heian period, even though I like stories that take place in ancient Japan. The only thing I knew of Genji Monogatari was that it revolved around a man named Genji and his love life.
I think the story would have been more enjoyable was it not sooooo sloooow. I almost fell asleep at one point, which I rarely do. This anime has not utilized the time they got efficiently enough. It could have either reduced the time for the plot, or made the plot more complex. Trying to keep up with the plot was difficult, because the characters were too similar with each other (both visually and characteristically). Also I think the focus was too much in Genji, because I couldn't really grasp what the other characters' personalities were.
The art was refreshing, as if watching woodblock prints. I had to take some time to adjust myself with all the lipstick though. I didn't like it how every woman looked so similar, because it made it difficult to recognize them from one another. Animation pacing was slow, which was sometimes good, and sometimes painful to watch. I wish they had used more angles and movement for the camera, because I think it was too static and straightforward.
I actually liked the music that was used. It was a nice blend of old and new, which didn't bother me, and actually fit the atmosphere.
As mentioned, the women were difficult to tell apart, and Genji gave me an impression of a boy who didn't know what he wanted, swore his loyalty to his lovers, but ran off to another's arms when things got difficult.
For a person who didn't know anything about the story beforehand, this was terrible to watch. I did like it visually though, but the plot was impossible to follow because of the pace.