Bungaku Shoujo to Shi Ni Tagari no Douke

Inoue Konoha became a ´mysterious bishoujo author´
at the age of fourteen who vows to never write again. Amano Tooko is the ´literature girl´ who runs the school´s literature club. After Inoue spots her eating a book she drafts him into the literature club. Every day he writes stories for her to eat until the club´s drop box brings a mystery to their doorway….

My Thoughts

Away from the anime…off to read the manga!!

When you love an anime it makes you wary of reading the manga. I had an extremely bad experience when I did this with Le Chevalier Déon and vowed to be more careful in the future. I was until taking in the lakeview from the house balcony. I felt so lucky to be alive on such a beautiful day I decided, today is the day I want to read Bungaku Shoujo. Read the manga. Not watch the anime. For better or worse I had made the decision. Bungaku Shoujo To Shi Ni Tagari No Douke (wtf? why is the manga name so long) would be read by this reviewer!

*Now readers: Before I begin the nitty gritty of the review I do want to mention the Bungaku Shoujo (anime movie/manga/episodes) are all based on the light novel by Nomura Mizuki. Good translations of light novels are difficult to come by or not accessible so I have yet to read Bungaku Shoujo in its original form. I´m on the hunt just not quite there yet.

Bungaku Shoujo to Shi Ni Tagari no Douke is as unusual a manga as its name´s English translation: A

Konoha reaches the roof to late to stop Miu´s suicide

Literary Girl and a Clown Who Dreamed to Die  In the anime there is a great deal of emphasis on Inoue Konoha´s best-selling novel or greatest embarassment whereas the manga has a much darker undercurrent. Early on you learn Konoha witnessed his closest childhood friend jump from the school roof. In the year before the manga ´begins´ he struggled with himself. He withdrew from his family. Became depressed and refused to write again.

To keep her yokai secret she makes Konoha
the other member of the school literary club

Until one ordinary day he comes across Tooko-senpai under the school´s magnolia tree eating a book. One reason to really love this manga is for Tooko-senpai. I am used to yokai in manga but not one like Tooko. She defines herself as the ´literature girl´ who exists by eating literature. What flavors normal people find in food she tastes in the different authors. To keep her secret she declares Konoha must join the literature club so ´she can monitor him.´

Tooko-senpai´s character is a little bit double-sided.

Konoha first close view of Amano Tooko

In many ways she is a slightly immature high school student with a very large appetite. Then there are times where she appears almost otherworldly in her understanding. She is like a magnet. Pulling Konoha slowly away from his depression to something a lot like life.

If the manga soley focused on Konoha and Tooko-

Let´s talk about S

senpai it would lack the ´spice´ of the movie/anime OVAs. Instead the author adds the element of the unnamed figure known only as S. I love how the character of S is portrayed as we see a figure outline which could be male or female. You don´t know who S is but the assumption is one of these characters has S hidden behind their smile.

From a medical perspective S would be described as

Hiding away who they are so no will find out the monstrous truth

having something akin to schizoid personality disorder. Emotionally detached S feels nothing even his own grandma dies. S doesn´t understand sadness or happiness. You get glimpses of the struggle this character constantly has to hide who they are. They are paranoid of others discovering the real them. After all, isn´t emotion part of what makes us human?

While I really enjoy the element added by S it does

No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai

add an issue. In the manga they refer often to Ningen Shikkaku which was written by Osamu Dazai in the early 1900s. The English translation is literally´Disqualified from Being Human´but usually the book´s title goes by ´No Longer Human.´Before you think this is some obscure book just know it is actually the second best-selling book in Japan. 

I could not find an ecopy but the jist is this: The book is a three part memorandum about a man unable to

allow others to see his true self. In first person he writes of his struggle to keep up a cheerful persona while hiding his own lack of feeling. The recurring theme in the author´s life was suicide so it is in the book. People have wondered if it was Osamu´s will or a type of autobiography of his life. Shortly after he wrote it Osamu Dazai committed suicide.

To appreciate the deeper element of Bungaku Shoujo I had to know the ´jist´ of Ningen Shikkaku. Of course I didn´t get that fact until after reading the manga. Only then could I appreciate just who S was. And the character hiding S inside? The ending brings all the clues together. This manga needs to be read in a whole setting. Not half before dinner + cardiac workout and the second half much later. The manga is a journey into the human psyche which should not be interrupted.

The Art

My thoughts took so long I made a seperate section for those who got tired of me going on about the story. I am a sucker for watercolor which makes Bungaku Shoujo To Shi Ni Tagari No Douke´s color pages a favorite of mine. The soft tones are such a deep contrast to the dark pages of S. I really appreciate manga artists who are not afraid to literally reflect a character´s darkness by flipflopping the regular white background to black. Not every artist does it right but for the character of S who is the darker half of a human did a fabulous job.

The characters themselves are beautifully drawn when being serious or just looking at us with those wide eyes. I love the way th

e hair flows around them especially Amane Tooko whose thin braids are an unusual artistic choice. The reason behind her braids is actually a part of the storyline. The artist chose to give the character Tooko long thin limbs which give a very graceful appearance to her overall figure. She flows from her hair to her delicate fingers.

Now comes the part of Bungaku Shoujo to Shi Ni

I like this look. Bychanging the eyes and
body proportions it totally works

Tagari No Douke´s art I really very strongly disliked. I will not apologize for not being a fan of the ´cutesy chibi´ anger look. There are many mangas where it does work very well and though I will never be a fan, I have to admire the skill display. In Bungaku Shoujo To Shi Ni Tagari No Douke

The HAMSTER face. Brings to
mind my dwarf hamster which
was always biting me. 

I wish they would have stuck with using the change in eye shapes and overall body look to show a humorous change in emotion. Instead they far to often employed the pouty lip-biting puffy cheek face-shot only illustration. It ended up screaming HAMSTER to me.

To the Reader

Bungaku Shoujo To Shi Ni Tagari No Douke has an innocent appearance of a school slice-of-life manga. To the outsider I would say it looks rated E for everyone. Then you begin to read and right away it becomes clear this isn´t a happy mystery. Readers must be aware this manga deals heavily with the element of suicide. I do not know how many of us have been touched by suicide but last year it affected a great deal of people I know. Konoha´s need to understand is a reflection I see in their eyes. Parts of the manga might be triggering to those who struggle with suicide so read with care.

The next point I must make to you readers might be taken as a tad snobbish. This manga is not going to be for those who hate reading. The title has the dead

I never liked The Great Gasby. It would give me heartburn
if I ate it. Especially any pages with Daisy on them.

giveaway ´literature girl´ which means it speaks often about literature. Not the bland grammar stuff you learn in English class. I am talking about Tooko-senpai´s comparisons between literature and flavor. Heck. The Japanese novel Ningen Shikkaku is a huge part of understanding this manga. I will tell you straight up: be prepared to do a bit of reading (even sparknotes if you don´t have time for the complete novel) or lose out on some of what flavors Bungaku Shoujo To Shi Ni Tagari No Douke.

Finally! If you enjoy mystery, psychological, slice of

The movie is my favorite but the OVAS are good too!

life, and survived the above warnings then do check out Bungaku Shoujo To Shi Ni Tagari No Douke. You won´t find action scenes like in Bleach or Gintama nor romance like in 24 Colors but you will find a bit of humor and lots of friendship. And if reading the manga sounds like a bit much check out the movie/Anime OVA. It´s no fairy tale but less dark than Bungaku Shoujo to Shi Ni Tagari No Douke. Happy reading!

Details

ungaku
Shoujo to Shinitagari no Pierrot; “文学少女”と死にたがりの道化; 文学少女 (文学少女和想死的小丑);
“A literary girl” and a Clown who dreamed to die; “Едно буквално момиче”
и Клоун, който мечтаел да умре (Bulgarian) – See more at:
http://www.mangahere.co/manga/bungaku_shoujo_to_shi_ni_tagari_no_douke/#sthash.5pClBFjd.dpufName(s):
ungaku
Shoujo to Shinitagari no Pierrot; “文学少女”と死にたがりの道化; 文学少女 (文学少女和想死的小丑);
“A literary girl” and a Clown who dreamed to die; “Едно буквално момиче”
и Клоун, който мечтаел да умре (Bulgarian) – See more at:
http://www.mangahere.co/manga/bungaku_shoujo_to_shi_ni_tagari_no_douke/#sthash.5pClBFjd.dpuf
ungaku
Shoujo to Shinitagari no Pierrot; “文学少女”と死にたがりの道化; 文学少女 (文学少女和想死的小丑);
“A literary girl” and a Clown who dreamed to die; “Едно буквално момиче”
и Клоун, който мечтаел да умре (Bulgarian) – See more at:
http://www.mangahere.co/manga/bungaku_shoujo_to_shi_ni_tagari_no_douke/#sthash.5pClBFjd.dpuf
Bungaku
Shoujo to Shi ni Tagari no Douke; Bungaku Shoujo to Shinitagari no
Pierrot; “文学少女”と死にたがりの道化; 文学少女 (文学少女和想死的小丑); “A literary girl” and a
Clown who dreamed to die; “Едно буквално момиче” и Клоун, който мечтаел
да умре (Bulgarian) – See more at:
http://www.mangahere.co/manga/bungaku_shoujo_to_shi_ni_tagari_no_douke/#sthash.5pClBFjd.dpuf
Bungaku
Shoujo to Shi ni Tagari no Douke; Bungaku Shoujo to Shinitagari no
Pierrot; “文学少女”と死にたがりの道化; 文学少女 (文学少女和想死的小丑); “A literary girl” and a
Clown who dreamed to die; “Едно буквално момиче” и Клоун, който мечтаел
да умре (Bulgarian) – See more at:
http://www.mangahere.co/manga/bungaku_shoujo_to_shi_ni_tagari_no_douke/#sthash.5pClBFjd.dpuf
Bungaku
Shoujo to Shi ni Tagari no Douke; Bungaku Shoujo to Shinitagari no
Pierrot; “文学少女”と死にたがりの道化; 文学少女 (文学少女和想死的小丑); “A literary girl” and a
Clown who dreamed to die; “Едно буквално момиче” и Клоун, който мечтаел
да умре (Bulgarian) – See more at:
http://www.mangahere.co/manga/bungaku_shoujo_to_shi_ni_tagari_no_douke/#sthash.5pClBFjd.dpuf
Bungaku
Shoujo to Shi ni Tagari no Douke; Bungaku Shoujo to Shinitagari no
Pierrot; “文学少女”と死にたがりの道化; 文学少女 (文学少女和想死的小丑); “A literary girl” and a
Clown who dreamed to die; “Едно буквално момиче” и Клоун, който мечтаел
да умре (Bulgarian) – See more at:
http://www.mangahere.co/manga/bungaku_shoujo_to_shi_ni_tagari_no_douke/#sthash.5pClBFjd.dpuf

Name(s): 文学少女与想死的小丑; “A literary girl” and a Clown who dreamed to die; “Bungaku
Shoujo” to Shinitagari no Pierrot; Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime;
Bungaku Shoujo to Shi ni Tagari no Douke; Bungaku Shoujo to Shi ni
Tagari no Pierrot; “文学少女”と死にたがりの道化
 Author(s):Nomura Mizuki
Artist(s): Kousaka Rito; Takeoka Miho
Chapter(s): 23
Year: 2008
Genre: Psychological, Drama, Friendship, Comedy
Status: Complete
Anime: Yes (Movie and 3 episodes)
Light Novel: Yes
.

3 thoughts on “Bungaku Shoujo to Shi Ni Tagari no Douke

  1. Hello! I am a huge fan of Book girl series!
    There is also a manga adoptation of the after story in the novels.

    The novels from volume 1-8 can be bought in English published by Yenpress
    If you dislike the anime version, I personally point you to the Drama CD. The Drama CD cut out very little dialogue from the books and you can read the manga well enjoying the magnificent voice acting.
    I am so glad to find someone who actually read the series and enjoyed it, it truly changed me when I first read it five years ago.
    If you want the drama CD, I could email it to you, since it is very hard to find somewhere to download it anymore. (Oh, it was so much easier back in 2011…)

    • +silver gong I am so thrilled to meet another fan of Book Girl series. I fell in love with the series as an anime but really came to love it even more through its manga. I would love to hear the Drama CD and here is my gmail email: helpmehope24@gmail.com. Thank you so much for your comment. Hearing from a fellow manga fan on their reasons for loving it always makes my day!

    • I am so sorry I have not reply to you! Life got in my way. But no worries! Your Drama CD will be in a shared google drive! I hope you have fun listening to it! Though it is full Japanese, I will recommend you to listen to it while reading the manga, and for the third one with the book. The drama CD cuts out little dialogue, so will be fine. Please write to me about you experiences!

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