Daydream Sanctuary Features

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blue Literature - The Heart of Things (Episode 7 & 8) Preview

This was kind of delayed . . . but it's not yet too late!

Here's a sneak preview of the third story arc in the Aoi Bungaku series:
Soseki Natsume's Kokoro!

ABOUT

The Heart of Things or Kokoro is a novel by the Japanese author Natsume Sōseki. It was first published in 1914 in serial form in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shinbun. While the title literally means "heart", the word contains shades of meaning, and can be translated as "the heart of things" or "feeling". The work deals with the transition from the Japanese Meiji society to the modern era, by exploring the friendship between a young man and an older man he calls "Sensei". It continues the theme of isolation developed in Soseki's immediately preceding works, here in the context of interwoven strands of egoism and guilt, as opposed to shame. Other important themes in the novel include the changing times (particularly the modernization of Japan in the Meiji era), the changing roles and ideals of women, and intergenerational change in values, the role of family, the importance of the self versus the group, the cost of weakness, and identity.

During the novel's initial serial run, from April 20 to August 11, 1914, it was printed under the title Kokoro: Sensei no Isho ( Kokoro: Sensei's Testament). When later published in novel form by Iwanami Shoten, its title was shortened to Kokoro; the rendering of the word "kokoro" itself was also changed from kanji to hiragana.

ADAPTATIONS

:: Novel ::
Translated by Edwin McClellanto English.

:: Manga ::
published in Shogakukan's Big Comic Superior magazine in 2005. Art by Nariko Enomoto.

:: Film 1955 ::
Directed by celebrated filmmaker Kon Ichikawa. Cast includes: Michiyo Aratama, Tatsuya Mihashi, Masayuki Mori, and Shoji Yasui. This film was released by the Masters of Cinema organization and is available on Region-2 DVD.

:: Film 1973 ::
Director Kaneto Shindo; Written by Kaneto Shindô. Cast includes: Nobuhiro Matsuhashi, Kazunaga Tsuji, Anri, Nobuko Otowa, and Taiji Tonoyama.

PLOT

The novel was written in 1914. It is set a few years previous and is divided into three parts. In the first part, Sensei and I, the narrator, a guileless university student, befriends an older man, Sensei (most of the characters' real names are not given). Sensei lives as a recluse, interacting only with his wife and the narrator, and occasional unseen visitors, but still maintaining a distance between himself and them. He regularly visits the grave of a friend, but for the moment refuses to tell the narrator any details of his earlier life.

In the second part, My Parents and I, the narrator graduates and returns to his home in the country to await his father's death. As his father lies dying, the narrator receives a letter from Sensei which is recounted in the third part of the novel, Sensei and His Testament. Sensei reveals that in his own university days he was cheated out of most of his fortune by his uncle. As a result he moved to Tokyo and began rooming with a widow and her daughter, with whom he fell in love. Later he convinced his childhood friend (known only as K), who was in dire straits, to move in with him. Gradually K recovered, but also fell in love with the landlady's daughter. K confessed this love to Sensei, who was shocked, and later full of jealousy. Sensei then proposed marriage, and shortly after, K committed suicide. Sensei, who had lost his faith in humanity after being cheated by his uncle, was horrified to find the same dark impulses lurking in his own heart, and felt a heavy guilt for the death of his friend. In the present, 1912, Sensei is prompted by the suicide of General Nogi Maresuke (following the death of the Meiji Emperor) to take his own life, writing the letter to his only friend to explain his decision.

ANIME CHARACTERS/STAFF/CAST

Original Character Design: Takeshi Obata
Director, Character Design: Shigeyuki Miya
Script: Mika Abe
Cast: Masato Sakai as Sensei, Rikiya Koyama as K, Houko Kuwashima as Ojousan, Shoko Tsuda as Widow

ANIME PLOT PREVIEW

This arc will air tonight at around 1:30 am for one hour! It's a one hor special so we see the whole arc in one night. Yes, we don't have to wait for another week for the next part~ Yay!


First Part
Lady who was like a flower of Bellflower -.
Letting students who live inside the house ... He is the lady of the house, "Doctor," was called.
One day, he asked the man to continue the way, K will bring to the house.
The first K was unfriendly, but will gradually accustomed. But it is, between his daughter and was born at the close relations that strong. Teachers will be excited. "The guy does not even ready to die?".
However, K is the mutter laugh. "There is nothing to me, there is only prepared for."

Second Part
Lady who was like a flower of the Sunflower -.
Remains to be invited by the teacher, K will dwell in the house that we have.
Kenin first and not care 励Mou K was on the road, your daughter's behavior, we are a little fascinating. And at that, K is the teacher I would have seen holding hands with the lady.
K is also troubled her teacher asked, finally, that 突Ki放Sa.
呟Ita So he laughed. "... If you prepared for prepared for, it also no".

QUICK IMPRESSIONS

I'm not yet done reading the original adaptation of this story but I'm liking it so far. The anime looked different from what I had expected though. Might've been No Longer Human's influence. Yeah, I expected it to be much darker because Sensei's a pretty gloomy person. Hehe.
But hhhmm . . . if the main character from No Longer Human is a Light (of Death Note) look-alike, the main character of this one is a Shuujin (of Bakuman) look-alike. Because of that I could not stop giggling when I see his face . . .damn.


Credits/References:
~ Answers.com
~ Wikipedia
~ Vague Translation by Google
~ Blue Literature Official Site
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