Ric: Late again, late again.
Anyway, this week we have more from Aoi Bungaku for you all (Sorry about missing last week’s episode), this time with a little more mindfuck, what with the blob-monster popping up here and there.
Okay, last week Youzou was taken in from hospital and since has started living with [Name I have forgotten] and her daughter.
Everything seems fine, as if he had lived there for years until he goes to do the dishes, somehow making him see flashbacks of Mayumi’s death again.
After this, we go over to Youzou and [Name's] daughter drawing a rabbit…thing; Anyway, the little girl calls Youzou “Dad”, in a rather cute scene that near establishes them as something of a family for good ol’ Light-a-like.
Of course, if this series has taught us anything, it’s that touching moments shall not be allowed to last, with Youzou being once again toyed with by blobman’s reappearance on the back of an already bizarre looking sign. (Seriously, it looks like an upside-down Troll doll.)
This leads to a flashback of his dad in a mask belittling him again and generally being an asshat for (yet again) no real reason.
After this, Youzou comes to the conclusion that he wants to earn his own money, so with a clever suggestion from [Name], he decides to start drawing manga.
[Name] takes his drawings to an editor, who agrees to use the manga while allowing Youzou to remain anonymous at [Name's] request.
Anyway, it seems that Youzou is better than we may have thought, his work actually turning out to sell rather well, going by the fact that his “daughter” picked it up in a shop (Which, as anime logic dictates, makes it a bestseller.)
As Youzou and [Name] discuss his paycheck, we get this little gem.
For a while, Youzou seems to be living quite happily, even being able to tell blobman to go away when he appears in the mirror (Somehow the incredibly creepy blob from last episode is now scared of a ball of paper?). Makes me feel sorry for the poor thing. :’[
Anyway, Youzou’s theatrically adept friend reappears at the door, scaring [Daughter] (Not that I’m surprised) a little. [T.A.F] notes that she called Youzou “dad” and makes jokes about society not accepting Youzou fooling around with women.
Youzou being Youzou of course, takes this in a bizarre sort of way, but doesn’t get to act on it before [T.A.F] tells him that there’s a journalist looking for him.
Youzou angry face GET.
Anyway, Youzou’s “friend” manages to get money out of Youzou, his way of cashing in on what happened, I suppose.
Unfortunately, Youzou breaks down after this, becoming obsessed with “Society”, this made worse by what his editor tries to convince him to do.
Asshole editor guy tries to get poor Youzou to write what happened on the night of the attempted double suicide because “society wants to hear about it” (Pretty piss-poor reasoning if you ask me, but oh well.), causing our protagonist to fall deeper into his own insanity.
When he leaves, Youzou sees a young woman sitting in a shop, and for some reason runs away, terrified of her and ends up in front of a bar.
As a result of this, he goes inside and has a drunken one-night stand with a random barmaid.
Anyway, after his little drunken trip, Youzou buys some matches and then goes home.
Also, the daughter now has a name (Shigeko), which we learn after she adorably hugs “daddy” when he arrives home.
Unfortunately, Shigeko has heard about what happened with Youzou, causing the poor man to see his blob coming down the stairs.
Youzou then runs off and ends up at the bar again. Wonderful, right back where we started.
Anyway, it turns out that Youzou’s father has collapsed. Youzou’s “friend” gives him some money that was supposedly from Youzou’s brother, but Youzou decides that he can’t go back until he’s “A good enough artist to impress his father”.
So he uses the money to go out drinking. Again.
Finally reaching the end of his tether after a night of drinking, Youzou collapses in the snow…somewhere.
Anyway, while stuck in his own despair, Youzou is “visited” by three ghosts the woman that who sold him the matches earlier.
Youzou asks if she recognises him, calling himself a monster; She does not agree, saying that he doesn’t look like a monster.
So, Youzou tells the woman that he killed a woman, that he has no right to live.
She doesn’t believe him, recognising him only as the author of a child’s manga; thinking that he’s just making up stories, or that she’s just misunderstanding; Youzou replies, saying that the people of society all say that he killed a woman.
This seems to give Youzou some confidence back for now, although at the cost of his “family”.
Well, for some reason before this episode, we get treated to an appearance from…”Announcer Guy”, telling us what this story was really based on, which is kinda cool, really. He also tells us that this is the last part of the No Longer Human storyline.
Anyway, it seems that Youzou has married the woman with the umbrella from the last episode, as you would expect with a timeskip.
Also, the guy at the door is Horiki, Youzou’s friend from earlier who now has a name. (So he is a salesman~<3)
Youzou appears after hearing what was going on and happily welcomes Horiki inside.
Horiki has cut his hair. This…can’t be good news.
Horiki and Youzou go upstairs to discuss things (Easy, fangirls, it’s not that kind of “discussion”.), almost immediately Horiki notices the drawings of blobman on the table; shocking him somewhat. Before Horiki can ask about Youzou’s manga, Youzou interupts, asking his wife to bring up some sake for the two of them.
Horiki and Youzou get onto the subject of Youzou’s new wife, Youzou calling her his “Goddess” because she’s able to trust a man like him.
We’re treated to a quick flashback of Youzou proposing in…what may be the most bizarre way I’ve ever seen that didn’t involve ropes. (Don’t ask.)
Naturally, she slaps him for asking such a question. (1936 or not, I would be worried if she didn’t.)
Youzou tells her that he’ll stop drinking if she marries him, although how this gets her to agree is anyone’s guess, all things considered.
As it turns out, to get the money needed to rent their home, Youzou decided to make a manga out of the double suicide.
Of course, this being Youzou, we’re treated to the arrival of all the women he slept with over the years in ghost form.
During this particular scene, Youzou and the blob-man finally appear as the same person, his editor urging him on from behind saying that “Society really wants to hear about this!”. Youzou apparently thinks that this is true happiness.
Horiki raises the excellent point that the readers will eventually want more and that work will not keep up forever. Youzou being Youzou of course says that it’s all mostly lies and that he can just write whatever he likes.
Yoshiko brings up the sake, telling Youzou that his boss is downstairs. Happy!Youzou of course tells Yoshiko to get the man to wait. That can’t end well.
Oh, the boss loosened his tie, now it really can’t end well.
Yes, that was Horiki dropping a bomb onto Youzou, telling him that his father, who, asshole as he was, Youzou had done everything to try to impress.
From this scene, I can only assume that Youzou has finally died, being united with “himself” finally in the end and leaving his misery behind.
Anyway, in conclusion, I have to say that despite how much I poked fun at it, I really enjoyed this arc, it was fantastically written, the characters were engaging and it envoked genuine emotion when I watched it, something that most shows are unable to do nowadays; and the music, damn, was it good! Hopefully, this keeps up for the next arc of this series keeps up this quality.
Overall Rating for Episode 3: 8/10
Overall Rating for Episode 4: 9/10
Overall Rating for “No Longer Human”: 9/10
Until next time; Goodnight, and may your God go with you.
-The Lean, Green Tangerine