Twelve Moments in Anime No. 5 – Run, Melos, Run!

Aoi Bungaku was by far and away the best series of a pungent fall 2009 season, so of course it was subbed slowly and sporadically to the point where I didn’t finish it until the winter season. The same fate befell the show’s best story, “Run, Melos!”

Everything about this amazed me, and what makes it a truly memorable story is not simply the writing, but also how passionately it is directed. The story starts slowly like the train Takada rides to visit his ailing friend, Joshima, builds to a crescendo and releases its energy in a large burst as Melos running to save his friend, Serinentius, and Takada desperately pleading with the train to move faster are juxtaposed. And the moments when Melos apologizes to Serinentius for nearly abandoning him and Takada simultaneously lets out all his feelings and frustrations are intensely stirring, moving experiences.

Ryosuke Nakamura showed great promise in the equally excellent Mouryou no Hako in fall 2008; and “Run, Melos”, I think, is the work of a director who has just gotten better since then. With two episodes, “Run, Melos!” tells a story that blows away just about anything else from the same year. It’s a masterpiece of tight, subtle writing and confident direction, and what’s more, Nakamura and writer Sumino Kawashima actually take chances with the story. The “Run, Melos!” play is actually the only part of Osamu Dazai’s original short story; everything with Takada and Joshima is an invention of the series, but it adds a creative twist to the adaptation.

I’ve written before on how I wish more animation studios would take chances with their adaptations, and this is an example of Madhouse taking chances and succeeding.


7 Responses to “Twelve Moments in Anime No. 5 – Run, Melos, Run!”

  1. “Run, Melos!” was absolutely superb. Despite the considerable pedigree of the whole Aoi Bungaku project, this adaptation blew everything else away. I was tembling by the end and could not stop the waterworks ;_;

    • Definitely agreed. Everything in Aoi Bungaku is at least solid, so it really says something that “Run, Melos!” stands head and shoulders above the other stories.

  2. Incredible episode, by far my favorite in the selection. I felt so bad I went on hiatus while I was blogging Aoi Bungaku… It is one of my blogging regrets, as I still feel I could’ve made much out of the experience of watching it back then.

  3. I loved the fuck out of it. Great voice acting all-around, as well.

    In fact I might watch it again wwwww

  4. You should watch the older version of Run, Melos! and see which you like better or at the very least compare. The higher quality of animation in this one is certainly a step up from the older one but the meat is still there for sure. I was highly impressed with this retelling honestly and both are simply great. I can’t choose which one would be better except for that animation aspect hehe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: