(Originally published on Livejournal on 8/21/10)
Anime Review in a Minute:
Bungaku Shoujo Memoire Episode 1
Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about. — Watching all the anime shows so you don’t HAVE to!
tl;dr review: Literature Girl must eat books to survive; Goes through emotional rollercoaster by helping first-time author.
The Skinny: Touko holds a secret from all the other girls in her class: She’s not actually human, but a magical being, a Literature Girl, that must consume books to survive. Whenever she consumes the pages, all of the feelings and emotions of the written page are also consumed, feeding her soul. As the only member of her high school literary club, she is seen as somewhat of a cute, lovable weirdo by her classmates, and she also regularly visits the publishing agency where her now-dead father used to work. On one such trip, she is perusing the pile of rejected manuscripts when she comes across one that blows her out of the water with feelings she has never felt before, and asks her mentor to reconsider it. Months pass, and the book is published and becomes a sensational hit. Touko is overjoyed, but then heartbroken to discover the author stopped writing because of all of the attention. Disconsolate, she returns to her everyday life when she hears the author’s name when passing by a classroom — he’s a young student that just transferred in to her school!
My Thoughts: Bungaku Shoujo is a series of light novels that was recently adapted into a feature-length movie in Japan; to promote the movie’s release, three original video animations were shown in the weeks prior to the movie’s debut, each focusing on the prequel story of the main characters — this one taking a closer look at Touko. At first, the whole concept is just plain weird — a girl that has to eat books to live? But then again, certainly no stranger than any of the more outlandish anime shows that I haven taken at face value of the past year. So, once I was able to accept the premise of the show, I actually found it kinda nice and sweet and lighthearted. It’s a fairly innocuous shoujo story, nothing that is going to set the world on fire, but a cute little diversion nonetheless. Touko does act quite odd, but one must remember she’s not even human and experiences things differently, her monomania with books (more extreme than Yomiko Readman) makes her somewhat one-dimensional, but then again I’m judging that on just a single preview episode designed specifically to focus on her, so perhaps I’m being a bit unfair.
For more info:
The Verdict: – unexpectedly good
The tally for Summer 2010 season first episodes so far:
Passing Grade: Ookami-san, Highschool of the Dead, Mitsudomoe, The Occult Academy, Black Butler II, Kurenai OVA, Nurarihyon no Mago, Shiki, Legend of Legendary Heroes, Cat Shit One, Broken Blade, Bungaku Shoujo Memoire
Failing grade: Amagami SS, Sekirei: Pure Engagement, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Strike Witches 2, Shukufuku no Campanella, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Digimon Xros Wars, Black Rock Shooter OVA, Asobi ni Iku Yo, Sengoku Basara Two, Tono to Issho, Zettai Karen Children OVA, Kyou Koi wo Hajimemasu, Kaichu
Up Next (not necessarily in this order): Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Senkou no Night Raid, Ookami-san, Highschool of the Dead, The Occult Academy, Black Butler II, Nurarihyon no Mago, Shiki, Legend of Legendary Heroes