Aoi Bungaku–First Impressions

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This is an interesting and unusual anime series: an anthology of six stories by highly-regarded modern Japanese writers. Each story has a different director, which may lead to an uneven viewing experience. So far it looks very good. The writing is excellent (as one would expect) as is the animation by Madhouse.

Now this is probably not going to be to everyone’s taste. Contemporary serious Japanese fiction tends to be on the dark side. You encounter a lot of alienated people who think about killing themselves to make some sort of obscure political point. Or people who are bummed because their friends or family members killed themselves. Or intriguing fantasy stories whose background is never clearly explained, and which, on closer examination, seem to be a metaphor for how you feel when your friends kill themselves.

OK, I’m exaggerating just a little. But my main point is that most anime is based on manga or light novels, escapist literature about people who hardly ever think about killing themselves. So it’s possible that the typical anime fan won’t find this appealing.

Incidentally, “aoi” can mean “blue”, or “green” (like a leaf), or “unripe.” So does the title mean “Blue Literature”, “Green Literature” or “Unripe Literature?”