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Aoi Bungaku Episode 4

November 1, 2009

What an amazing conclusion to the No Longer Human story. The past four episodes have really been storytelling at its finest. This episode yet again pushes the characters into an entirely different direction, and it’s really been character-development after character-development for the entire story.

This episode fast-forwards a number of years. So the lead character? He got married to the girl with the red umbrella. His friend? He has grown up a lot. He’s no longer the punk who drags the lead character into the wrong business, but instead has decided to join the army, leaving his wild years behind. At first sight, the lead character seems saved right now. He has stopped drinking and fooling around with women thanks to his new wife. The seemingly limitless amount of trust she has for him really helped him get himself together. Or so it seems. I’m not sure whether she got raped or whether she was fooling around with someone behind his back, but nevertheless, their balance gets broken abruptly when he finds out.

But even before that, it becomes clear that even though he may have left his old habits behind, he still hasn’t fully healed. Especially when he finds out that his father died, he doesn’t care in the bit, and it becomes painfully clear that he’s still living inside a fantasy world, refusing to simply grow up because his profession as an artist and storyteller doesn’t require him to do so. Eventually however, he breaks down and takes an overdose of some sort of strange type of pills. Again, he survives. But barely.

The part that impressed me the most comes next. Despite how the guy has broken down, and proven that he’s a huge failure as a human, the two women he lived with still don’t mind. What they see is a guy who definitely has problems, but despite that is an incredibly nice guy. Even though they probably know nothing about him, yet want to be with him again, that was so heart-warming.

Okay, so No Longer Human was amazing. What’s next? The rest of the series is going to be filled with three more stories of two episodes, and two of only one. Their short length is either a blessing or a curse, but let’s see what they can do with their limited airtime. I really like the set-up of random stories though: you’ll never be able what to expect, but the writers are totally free in what they can do with it, or in this case which stories they can adapt. This is another reason why this series is superior to Kuchuu Buranko: those random stories all were written by the same guy, based on the same formula. With Aoi Bungaku however, this series is promising to become incredibly varied.

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