For those who don't know, Aoi Bungaku is an adaptation of 6 classic Japanese novels, namely No Longer Human; Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita; Kokoro; Run, Melos!; The Spider's Thread, and Hell Screen.

Of these, I've watched all of them, but I've only read No Longer Human. I'm interested in reading the original novels, but only if there are significant differences in terms of plot. Are there any major omissions or changes in the anime that would merit reading the novels?

The ending of No Longer Human has at least one such difference:

In the ending of the anime Yozo commits suicide. In the end of the book he gets sent to an asylum and then released to an isolated place.

Do the other works have similar differences (preferably with as few spoilers as possible, though some spoilers are inevitable)?


Aoi Bungaku is an ambitious anime and follows each novel closely. Madhouse took each novel and made adaptations to fit a whole novel into just a few episodes, leaving out some plot elements and changing some parts entirely while retaining the authors message.

Kokoro is actually a three part novel, however the anime only focuses on the third part, "Sensei and His Testament". Unlike the novel they took away the narrator and told the story from the perspective of the sensei, which follows the original novel more closely, and also included a whole new story as told from K's point of view. There are also scenes that weren't in the novel such as those which focused on the relationship between K and Ojo.

In The Spider's Thread the criminal's violent deeds is depicted in more detail and exaggerated a bit to show exactly how evil he was, however the main plot of the sort story retains its meaning.

Run Melos was also changed as they included a new story of the author himself, and told parallel stories which complimented each other, the story about Melos and a story about the author's own life.

In Hell screen they change the setting, the original novel focused on a painter committing brutal acts in order to depict an image of hell, while in the anime he is a rebel that defies his lord's wishes to paint a beautiful albeit false image of his kingdom and instead paints the ugly truth.

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    Do you have a source for this, or did you compile the list yourself? Either way it's a pretty good list, so +1, and I'll accept it pretty soon assuming no one else gives a better answer.
    – Logan M
    Dec 20 '12 at 20:10
  • Yeah its pretty much from scattered sources, I just couldn't find much on "In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom" Dec 20 '12 at 21:18

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