Catching up with Aoi Bungaku, 3-4

It’s been a while since I looked at Aoi Bungaku, finally viewing the conclusion of the “No Longer Human” story tonight. In ep3, Youzou has settled down with a woman and her child, and then everything goes wrong. In ep4, he settles down with yet another woman, and then … well you get the idea. At least they don’t die this time.

There are a number of things that keep interfering with his life: He doesn’t consider himself to be a human being, of course. Society is no help; the world is going toward the hell of WWII. As his friend Horiko says: “No one will be human,” and we see the soldiers marching everywhere to prove it. And there is his reputation of being a killer, even though she wanted death.

The colors are always so grey and muted that when a red parasol shows up ...

Through it all he tries to adapt. He accepts the fact that society thinks him as a clown, he even accepts that he isn’t human. This is painful to watch, because Youzou is fully human. Yes, he’s frail, weak, sometimes deceitful and cruel, but he is completely human. It’s just that too much has happened to him. He tries hard and finds solice in the little girl who calls him Dad, and the eyes of the woman after that, who we discover has been deceiving him for “noble” reasons, or did she? He simply can’t shake off all the pressures within and without. Near the end two women he’s known stand up for him and for his kindness, and they’re sort of right. But women have always liked him like that, another thing that, because of what happens to him, he simply cannot comprehend.

There’s tons I’m not getting in this story because it’s rooted so deeply in Japanese culture and is considered a literary classic that many people over there will recognize. With only four half-hour episodes to work with I’m sure it was whittled down and sliced up. But we do get a live-action guy at the start, talking briefly about writer Osamu Dazai’s life. Apparently this novel is autobiographical, and he sounds like he was a decent guy who was fucked up by life a little too much to function normally. This makes the story, what I can understand of it, more affecting.

Phew! After all that I need a change of pace … Let’s see … Ah!

Hi guys! Missed you!

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