Aoi Bungaku Series
The essence of their masterpieces is BLUE
This series is an animated adaption of six Japanese classical literary pieces. Episodes 1-4 covers Osamu Dazai’s piece “No longer Human” (Ningen Shikaku) about a man who believes he is a monster and tries to adapt to living as a human, unsuccessfully.
Episodes 5 and 6 tells Ango Sakaguchi’s story “In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom” (Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita) about a mountain bandit who steals a demanding woman on one of his raids and his fear of cherry blossoms.
Episode 7 shows “Kokoro” by Natsume Souseki About a student who was orphaned staying with a woman and her daughter. Feeling that he was saved by their kindness he attempts to help a friend who has nothing by letting him stay and experience the kindness of the old woman and her daughter but soon worries that his friend may be seeking a relationship with the daughter. Episode 8 is a retelling of the story through the eyes of a second character, the friend of the student.
Osamu Dazai takes over episode 9 and 10 with his work “Run, Melos” (Hashire, Melos) about a playwright who takes on a job of translating a clasic roman story into a Japanese play and how it relates to experiences in his own life.
Episode 11 is about “The Spider’s Thread” (Kumo no Ito) by Ryunosuke Akutagawa about a cold-hearted criminal and how his career comes to an end.
Finally episode 12 covers another work by Ryunosuke Akutagawa entitled “Hell Screen” (Jigoku Hen) about a king who hires a talented painter to paint a beautiful scene of his glorious city on the inner walls of his mausoleum. How ever the painter, knowing of the sin and corruption of the king and his city, paints a scene of hell instead.
Some of these works were made to inspire a “pleasant mood change” and some of these works are even childrens books… however the animated adaptations of theses are really dark and depressing. The animation quality through out the series is excellent and the sound is good as well. They did use many of the same voice actors for each of the different stories. It’s really odd to hear the same voice come out of entirely different characters.