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4 Japanese Literary Masterpieces Get Aoi Bungaku Anime (Update 2)

posted on 2009-09-11 05:44 EDT
Death Note's Obata, Bleach's Kubo, Prince of Tennis' Konomi to be involved

The retailer website for the Japanese publisher Shueisha lists the new anime adaptation of four Japanese literary works as a 12-episode Aoi Bungaku (Blue Literature) television series. The anime series will premiere on October 10.

Manga artist Takeshi Obata (Death Note, Hikaru no Go, Bakuman.) is involved with the anime versions of Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human (Ningen Shikkaku) and Soseki Natsume's Kokoro. No Longer Human recounts a person's deepening alienation from the rest of the world, while Kokoro follows a narrator's revelations of his sensei's life. A footnote in the latest installment of the Bakuman. manga has already announced on Monday that Obata is creating the designs for an anime adaptation of a number of unnamed "literary masterpieces." Obata had drawn the illustrations for the recent reprintings of No Longer Human and Kokoro.

Usamaru Furuya (51 Ways to Save Her) just launched a manga version of No Longer Human in Shinchosha's Comic Bunch magazine in February. Nariko Enomoto (Lost Girl, Get Boy) adapted Kokoro into a manga in Shogakukan's Big Comic Superior magazine in 2005.

Obata also drew the illustrations of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's Hell Screen (Jigoku Hen), but Bleach manga creator Tite Kubo will be involved with the anime version of that novel. Manga creator Takeshi Konomi (The Prince of Tennis) will be involved with Dazai's Run, Melos! (Hashire Melos), which was already made into a 1981 animated television special and a 1992 animated film. Konomi drew the illustrations for a reprinting of Run, Melos! Hell Screen describes the violent creation of artist's screen painting of hell, and Run, Melos! follows a Greek shepherd as he travels to visit his sister's wedding before his execution.

All four literary works have been published in English without these manga creators' illustrations. Viz Media publishes Obata's Death Note, Hikaru no Go, and Ral Ω Grad manga, as well as Kubo's Bleach and Konomi's Prince of Tennis.

Update: More background and story information, and images added.

Update 2: Shueisha's website no longer lists Hell Screen in Aoi Bungaku's lineup.


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