RE:Aoi Bungaku 2
Of course the one time I should have no free time I catch up on animu.
Finally watched two episodes of this slightly overlooked series. Motivation was due to reading reviews of the book (No Longer Human, Arc 1 of the anime) on Amazon and finding out that it was superdark. Dark themes compel me.
Anyways, this seems quite akin to Death Note and Mouryou no Hako (Ohoho MADHOUSE) in terms of animation techniques and overall mood, but I believe that the level of depth expressed by sparse but (quite) deep dialogue in No Longer Human so far is not really a common occurence in anime. This is definitely because it was adapted from a piece of literature, but I’m surprised at how well it was utilized here, what with the images actually giving room for thought, and even the flashes of past shots weren’t just there to hurt your eyes or give the feel of craziness (maybe). The best thing I found so far was how the main character YOUZOU Ouba (played by 雅人堺/SAKAI Masato) was voiced. The articulated, careful style of speaking seemed pretty detached and emotionless to me, making it all the more chilling. It’s hard to believe that the same person played Hanamoto in the Honey and Clover live action movie.
Gist of the Episode: Youzou is released from the hospital, sees a monster whom he believes is himself, said monster follows him around, Youzou is now no longer human, but a nice lady reporter who is poor and probably depressed tries her best to help him out. The two go to her house, and…is to be continued.
There is also a really long summary below, the entirety of which is completely unaccompanied by screenshots.
Long Summary That is Too Long: Episode Two, titled お化け (Monster) starts off with SAKAI Masato (main character’s seiyuu) acting as a “navigator” for No Longer Human, giving a bit of background on the novel, showing how the photograph shown in the anime is actually based off a real photo of the author (DAZAI Osamu), and that the he had done the same as Youzou (the protagonist), attempting suicide by drowning with a bar hostess, which was presented in an old newspaper clipping.
Anyways, the anime begins with a flashback of Youzou’s childhood where he was constantly laughed at and isolated by all his classmates, with the exception of one boy. He sees said boy trying to leave school on the rainy day without an umbrella, and Youzou, being the nice kid he is (?), invites the boy to his house to escape from the rain (or something). Arriving at Youzou’s house, the boy says his ear hurts, so Youzou takes a look at his ear while doing a little cleaning as well. While doing this, they have a conversation, and the boy calls Youzou a “monster”. Youzou is surprised at this, but while thinking about what he had just been called, sees for the first time a static-like ghost in front of his eyes. Youzou starts laughing maniacally and convinces himself that he is indeed a monster.
Waking up from the flashback, Youzou finds himself in the hospital again, and discovers that the woman has died. Meanwhile, newspapers are trying to dig up more information on Youzou and trying to see if they can call it a murder instead of a double suicide, and while the editor of a publication tells a bespectacled woman to go see Youzou and interview him, she refuses and leaves. The woman takes the train and in a fleeting moment decides to jump off the platform, but is pulled back to safety by a passerby. Turns out that the woman’s husband had died, and lives alone with her son, whom she feeds with bread crumbs earned from working at the press.
Back at the hospital, Youzou’s revolt collaborator pulls a cheap trick and gets the psychiatrist to leave, and lets two guys from the press take pictures of Youzou. They were working for the same newspaper the bespectacle woman was at, but even though they were supposed to do an interview too, Youzou answer any questions, and the men thinks that he didn’t seem to have killed the woman.
Youzou is subsequently released from the hospital, and is transported to a room in a small house to live in. His guardian tells him not to ever leave the room as food and any other things will be brought to him. Inside the room, Youzou thinks about killing himself again, but then says that doing something over again is what stupid people do. He thinks about the murder again and sees the ghost, which leads him to think about the boy from middle school again.
Youzou had shown the boy a picture of Vincent Van Gogh, whom the boy also called a “monster, just like you.” (You meaning Youzou lolol) Youzou laughs and accepts it, leading to him to try and paint pictures of the monster he saw. After this flashback, Youzou sneaks out and gets a sketchpad, where he obsessively draws pictures of the monster (whom he now refers to as himself), and remembers the murder again, which makes him imagine blood on his hands. At this point, he decides that a monster like him can’t possibly live in a human world. Making up his mind, Youzou escapes from the window and reaches the house of the revolt collaborator.
The female reporter is also at the collaborator’s house, and the three sit down and Youzou is introduced, leading to the reporter knowing that he is the one involved in the double suidide she was to report about. After the collaborator tells the reporter that Youzou has no friends, Youzou silently leaves and sits down in front of the train station, accompanied by visions of the monster again and thinking that he can’t do anything by himself right now. Thankfully, the reporter finds him, and out of a little bit of pity, invites him to her house.