Anime Feature – No Longer Human

In the sea that is Anime, it’s hard to find what series to watch next. Today we have a suggestion for those of an older audience.

Note: The product in question may not be suitable for persons of a young age.

Whilst frantically searching the Internet for a new anime series to watch I came across something rather interesting.

Usually I lean towards a series that is long running, however after watching a few short series, most namely ‘Devil May Cry’, I was amazed by the stories that could be told in few episodes. Eventually I came across a nice little 12 episode series called ‘Aoi Bungaku Series’, translating to ‘Blue Literature’, needless to say I was game. Consisting of 6 classic Japanese tales concentrated into 12 episodes, this really was possibly one of the shortest series I have come across yet.

First on our list is a certain story named ‘No Longer Human’, which is what the first 4 episodes portray. A novel first published in 1948 Japan, it has become one of the greatest novels ever to be written in Japan. Let us begin.

“Mine has been a life of much shame. I can’t even guess myself what it must be to live the life of a human being.” Ōba Yōzō, the protagonist of this intriguing tale, in the first line of the anime has already given us a glimpse of his outlook on life, he feels as if he is an alien to human society. A young incredibly talented artist, calm, cool and collected on first appearance very soon reveals what he is truly like, as we all know looks can be deceiving. Sliding from various extremely emotional states, young Ōba clearly has some past issues, let’s wind back the clock.

As a school boy, Ōba felt very different than his fellow students, taking on the role of the class clown as it was his only route to fit into the society norms that everyone tries to adhere to. Terrified of the anger of his father, he did everything he possibly could to please him. Ōba came from a very rich family, so why on earth didn’t he feel normal, surely if you’re rich life’s good right? Not for poor Ōba. A boy at his school saw through his clown act and told him that Ōba is a ghost, just like Ōba’s favourite artist , Vincent van Gogh. Rather odd for someone to tell you that you’re a ghost, there is nothing inside you, and empty shell. Another quite disturbing fact about his past is that as a boy he was sexually abused by three women servants, which may account for his rather rocky relationships with women in his adult life.

I shall not ramble on too much, I highly recommend watching this short 4 episode long tale, and if you like it, which I know you will, you may even be interested in reading the book itself. A rather chilling aspect is that this book is supposedly a semi-autobiography of the author himself, as his life and the story have some parallels. Ōba Yōzō, a good man with a kind heart, going down a very disturbing road, all whilst at university. A truly amazing tale which really gets into the emotional turmoil that a human being can suffer is really eye opening.Abuse, alcohol, drugs and even death. I know it sounds morbid people, but it is a beautiful story.

I hope you all either watch the short anime, read the book and there’s even a Japanese live action movie, so plenty of choice to fit your needs.

Thank you for allowing me to present this to you, even if it was a little tedious.

“Who cares about society?” – Ōba Yōzō

Words: Howard Watts
All images belong to their rightful owners and are used under fair use.


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