This is a series of four stories taken from classical Japanese Literature. There is a commentator we see at the beginning of episode three who introduces the authors and presents the philosophical theme for each story.
No Longer Human
How does a human live?
It’s a useless attempt anyway ? Why?
This work represents the author and his inability to be able to ‘get along’ with people. There is a certain malaise attached to the main character who believes, for one reason or another that he is not human. The reasons behind this belief are explained, explored and looked at. The character is really his own worst enemy, making choices that put him in very bad places, only for him to bemoan his existence. You see him create an almost perpetual cycle of bad to worse situations, he knows he is doing it and never does anything about it. At some point you learn he only feels behooved on to a better path if he is inspired by someone else.
My favorite lines “Why are women so nice to me?” and “because the world is not so nice to women.”
In the Woods Beneath the Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom
People descending into decadence
By doing so they discover themselves and reach salvation
If you want something, say you want it and if you hate something, say you hate it
(I have actually seen drama and anime, including Darker than Black use this line)
I liked this. After the dark and somber if not isolationist tone from No Longer Human we get bright colors and a gag here and there. The first ‘gag’ actually threw me off for a minute, however I am glad they put it in there. This story could have been terrifying. However it was presented in an upbeat sarcastic way, so that only later, when you think about it (if you do think about it) then unease creeps up on you. This story was a lot of fun to watch and for the most part I could only shake my head at the folly of the main character. For me, the ending was a bit unexpected in more than one way and I was all the more pleased for it.
Enraged by the egoism and morals of humans
Or perhaps lack of morals?
Again we have bright colors and it starts off cheerful enough, but the characters are swallowed in duplicity and jealousy and guilt. At the end, there are things you are left pondering.
That is ok (it’s really not) because there is a continuation that was not in the original book. I was a bit confused after I watched it so I looked it up to see if I had misunderstood something. The original author had nothing to do with this story. I think it’s glaringly obvious. Also at the end of this you can’t help but wonder if the main character and his friend are ‘pawns’ which of course reverses the entire theme of guilt and betrayal as presented in the first story. Episode 8 is the only one I would actually chunk. It’s horrible.
Is it more painful to wait or to make someone wait?
The first story was also written by Dazai Osamu, and this, another one of his works is presented again with a mostly dark and lonely backdrop. I have a few mild questions in regards to the main character’s issue… and why he never resolved it earlier, but I guess if he did, there wouldn’t be such a story. Other than that we are going toward the theme of betrayal yet again, but in a totally different way and somehow, even though Osamu is the one that asked the above question, he crafts a clear picture that it is worse for the one who waits.
Characters: even though we only have four stories, mostly with two episodes each, we are able to see a full fleshed out character. I didn’t feel like any of them where ‘just there’ of ‘filler space’ except for the few who were, but that isn’t a big deal since they were appropriately done.
Animation - it was a higher quality than I had initially expected.
Sound: the background scors were apropriately supportive. Unless it was supposed to stand out, it didn't. The voice actors were great - no complaints.
This is a look into classic literature and it is well executed, I genuinely enjoyed the series and will someday watch it again.
There are no comments - leave one to be the first!