“The Masterpieces are Blue”
A compilation of literary masterpieces from Japan. In the form of Novels by their respective authors which the directors tried to put forward through this series was actually to upheld the point of whether television or film can match the artistic genius and greatness of Novels or Poetry.
The series adapts 6 different stories by different authors, also each differs from one another in terms of the animation… Which is no doubt wonderful as it is by the Mad House studios. The stories also differ from the social or moral value they impart. It’s Dark and tragic at times then again enlightening values like friendship and trust, also few topsy turvy situations with frequent fluctuations from a moment of warm comedy to cold murders.
I’ll break the review in parts from here on in order respective of the stories.
No Longer Human
written by Dazai Osamu, and later was uncovered/related somehow as the biography of the author himself. The story is a dramatic character study of the troubled protagonist suffering from mental trauma and psychological horrors, at a stretch it is tragic and emits an aura of despair… The valuable part is how it portrays Japan and it’s society from the time of World War, wonderfully handled. ‘No Longer Human’ is personally my favourite from among all the stories in the series.
The story ends abruptly as the author left it incomplete and perhaps talking further might end up in me spitting out some spoilers so will move on to the next one…
Under Cherries in Full Bloom
By Ango Sakaguchi is another story from the series with a whole different aura, it starts off with a comical situations which had me stunned for a moment, but as the story progressed it started showing it’s true nature following through a series of cold murders and. I don’t know how to react in respect of this story… laugh or grief… it is one of the most bizarre ones i’ve ever seen, so will let people to decide on this one. xD
written by Natsume Soseki who is as considered the Charles Dickens of Japan for good reason. This story was adapted twice times from the perspective of two different characters. Is a romantic tragedy with the moral theme of trust. Each episode reveals two men’s unique perspective on a life-changing event, creating a discrepancy in narration. Whose side of the story is true? Who is the man to blame?……… won’t go any deeper.
Might be one of the most straight forward and touching stories among the lot with a satisfying ending. Once again written by Dazai Osamu, is based on a wonderful theme : ‘friendship’…. The story is about an author in itself writing scripts for plays, dramas and one of which is shown in the story is also intertwined with the theme itself. One of the strongest arcs in the series, I personally quite liked it.
The Spider’s Thread
By Ryunosuke Akutagawa starts off quite brutally with blood and gore following through a series of Heinous crimes and having the main character end up in a death sentence. The story was aimed at entertaining children. My verdict : It would’ve been better if it were a bit longer.
By the same author as “The Spider’s Thread” and also set on the same world but unlike ‘Kokoro’ this one doesn’t foretell the same story from the perspective of a different character, rather it’s a whole different one. About an artist who is commissioned by his lord to paint images of burning hell, but is unable to because he cannot draw something he has never seen himself, so is prompted to produce images from scenes of cruel tortures of his country men… and then it goes further into a psyched and twisted ending.
In conclusion I will say it has been a good vacation for me and was glad that I picked up this series although I had once avoided it. Won’t keep it as ‘must recommended’ for all, because it might not be everyone’s cup of tea and I don’t want to exaggerate over my verdict .
Reviewed by Rahul Ghosh