Anime: Tales of Genji (Sakurai Takahiro, Fujita Toshiko)

Tales of Genji animeTales of Genji (源氏物語千年紀) is an anime based on the Japanese classic and possibly the first Japanese novel “The Tale of Genji” written during the Heian period by Lady Murasaki. It will be broadcast on 15 January 2009.

I LOVE PERIOD DRAMAS! So I’m looking forward to this very much… what’s more, Sakupyon is voicing the lead *doki doki* (=^_^=) The art looks very pretty and romantic. Hope it doesn’t disappoint!

Update 17 Jan 2009:
I watched the first episode. It has promise! The narrative flows well and I think this series will be a good introduction for newbies like me to the classic tale. For those who have watched the 1980s OVA and came off confused and hating Genji for his “philandering ways” and arrogance might have a better understanding of the background of his story this time round. I think you may even come away sympathising with him.

Anyway, right at the beginning, we’re greeted with a love scene (sex scene to be exact but nothing explicit) of Genji and one of the women in his many affairs where the couple sprout poetic sounding lines during/after their passionate embrace… Cheesy as it might sound, it was quite beautiful, actually ^^;;; hah~ and with Sakupyon delivering those lines, I think all the fangirls just died right there.

Although the animation and artwork can be uneven at times, the overall animation is still very good. So far, the first episode gave us a rather detailed visual depiction of the setting and environment where the story takes place. There are so many breath-taking, dreamy and artistic scenes which will hold your attention even when it is only a panned talking head or a voice over by the narrator.

The background music is classical and soothing. I enjoyed it. As for the opening and ending themes, I think I’m not the only one who thinks that the opening song by PUFFY is rather out of place in this anime. You’ll understand why when you hear it. The ending song “Ai” by Atari Kousuke was lovely tho’.

With the back story concisely summarised and explained in the first episode, I’m eagerly looking forward to the upcoming ones for the drama to unfold.

Update: 19 March 2009

I left this big comment at another blog and find that now that the series is nearing its end, it pretty much sums up my feelings while watching it.

I’ve not read the original classic, so I’m not sure how differently the story and characters were being portrayed from the anime. From what I read from wiki, there seems to be some discrepancies with the anime cos I felt quite sympathetic towards Genji as the story progressed. I still find his character/personality questionable and flawed (I didn’t know that Murasaki, the little girl was kidnapped by Genji lol~ it certainly didn’t appear like so in the anime) tho’ but well, no one is perfect.

As an additional note, it is said that all the men during that period did similar things and try to get lucky with the ladies in this manner, just probably not as openly and at such scale as Genji due to his power and favoured position.

Based on the anime, I think this story is more about Genji’s personal tragedies and search for love rather than a one-couple romance story. He loves his stepmom whom he cannot have and he flutters from one woman to another to fill his emptiness. They pretty much spoil him and become miserable after he loses interest.

Because the affairs are mostly illicit, you don’t see any of the women throwing tantrums and making demands on Genji since they don’t have the right to do so. The thing is, Genji meant everything he said when he was romancing them so that makes it worse. They want to hate him but end up hating themselves ^^;;; so much so that one of them (Lady Rokujou) ended up attracting/becoming an ayakashi who killed Genji’s wife and a young woman he thought could be “the one”.

It is tragic cos he doesn’t realise how much hurt he is causing them. And just when he might be redeemed, important people in his life either die or leave him.

I’ve watched it till the 9th episode and I think the series surpassed all my expectations for it. I think it is a tad short trying to squeeze everything in 11 episodes… but still very well-executed and engaging :)

Rating: Recommended! Thanks for reading this far anyway ^^

Official site:

Staff & Cast:
Creator: Murasaki Shikibu 紫式部
Director/scriptwriter: Dezaki Osamu 出崎統
Series composer/scriptwriter: Konparu Tomoko 金春智子
Art director・character design: Sugino Akio 杉野昭夫
Art director: Kawano Jiro 河野次郎
Music director: Suzuki Kiyoshi 鈴木清司
Anime production: Tokyo Movie, Tezuka Production

Hikari Genji 光源氏: Sakurai Takahiro 櫻井孝宏
Kokiden no Nyougo 弘徽殿の女御: Fujita Toshiko 藤田淑子
Murasaki no Ue 紫の上役: Endou Aya 遠藤綾
Fujitsubo no Nyougo 藤壺の女御: Tamagawa Sakiko 玉川紗己子
Kirotsubotei 桐壷帝: Horiuchi Kenyuu 堀内賢雄
Atama no Chuujyou 頭の中将: Sugita Tomokazu 杉田智和
Aoi no Ue 葵の上: Hiraita Eriko 平田絵里子
Rokujyou no Miyasudokoro 六条の御息所: Tsuru Hiromi 鶴ひろみ


DVD available here: Tales of Genji Sen-nen Ki Genji Vol.1

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage

32 thoughts on “Anime: Tales of Genji (Sakurai Takahiro, Fujita Toshiko)”

  1. Yeah no respect at all. Tht’s weird, i thought Genji supposed to be amorous yet gentle.

    Yes, too short.
    Thou probably good for my wallet XD. Imagine if the episodes are like Bleach or Naruto LOL~

    haha interesting. I always wondered about Japanese rating system along with other countries, especially in anime.

    1. From what I read, that sort of behaviour among the upper class was common during that period ^^;;; that’s why the women are kinda sad huh?

      The new Genji anime will probably be like 2 episodes per DVD but if you can hold out long enough, I’m sure they’ll come out with a boxed set XD
      Bleach, Naruto, Katekyo Hitman, Gintama, Kyou Kara Maoh… more than 100 eps already. I don’t think these DVDs are meant to be bought separately. Can die. =_=

      Ah~ don’t take my word for it. I’m just guessing kekeke… Maybe this game rating system listed at amazon might give us a better idea :P

  2. Yeah probably. PUFFY fans are not from Japan but many from bigger country like U.S

    I read a comment on youtube regarding genji monogatari (old version), saying something about how many times Genji oredi making love even thou it’s still part four.

    Well judging by obvious fact tht Genji Monogatari is about Genji amorous adventure i’m pretty convinced tht hubby won’t like it a bit.
    Juz curious in first or second eps then drop it.

    Do you know the rating for this anime? PG13 or T or perhaps M? LOL~

    1. I think their music style is alternative which in general has a wider appeal in the US.

      Hahaha… Genji has a H-scene in almost every youtube part (10~15mins) in the old OVA ^^;;; towards the end there’s even a rape scene but the lady didn’t struggle very much since he told her it was futile as he has the authority to do so. I’m like… women of those times are sad. It didn’t SEEM so bad since Genji was supposed to be charming and handsome (altho’ it doesn’t make it any better) but imagine everybody else doing the same thing.

      The new anime will probably focus mainly on his love life and perhaps how he comes to terms with his emotional losses (mother, his first love). Since only 13 episodes are announced, it is too short for additional drama, right? Not sure about the rating hehehe but there wasn’t any frontal nudity like breasts (OVA had it XD) and his p-chan was strategically blanked out/obscured… so I think maybe just PG?

  3. Thanks.

    Do you think this kinda anime will have OVA?

    Or too idealist. He likes to play game and driving not watching anime.
    Try to appeal by what?! They oredi have Sakupyon…tht’s enough to tie every fangirls out there.

    1. Hmm, we’ll have to wait and see if it enjoys the success of those reverse harem girls’ anime lol and get an OVA made to cater to the fans :P

      Well, games and anime are quite close cousins aren’t they, especially since there’re many games that are made in animes XD So the day might come. You never know.

      If I’m a Puffy fan and not a Sakupyon fangirl, I may be obliged to check out the anime that they made an OP song with, so that means more viewers, probably. ^^


    Try this link for the subbed version:

    The voice and image in the beginning of the sub (the source’s error) are a bit off tho… maybe until better subs are available, we just have to be content with this one :P

    Maybe he is too expensive *dies* XD I read that they might be trying to appeal to a younger crowd by roping PUFFY in…

    ^^ He was quite a cute boy too keke.

  5. Yeah, the setting is too artistic for hentai.

    Nope, i think you said it right. The anime is dedicated to women, can see it clearly on the character design.
    I’m watching it without sub so i dun catch everything, except the “Ureshiii….” LOL~pervy!

    The OP song sorta ruin my first impression. Why can’t they just hire Kazuhiro Fukui?

    Yeah poor boy but at least he grew up into a bishonen. *think positive*

  6. Yeah… I was startled when the opening scene jumped into a PUFFY jamming session ^^;;; totally wierd.

    LOL~ but I think seldom are hentai anime set in that era… is there even any? XD

    Anyway, did you ask him to watch too? I think this anime would appeal more to women than men. I’m excited to see more :) And sigh~ I feel so bad for boy Genji T^T

  7. Anyway regarding the love (sex) scenes….not explicit but enuff to make hubby suspect i was streaming hentai.
    “Hey what are you watching?!”

    I’m like LOL~ knowing how amorous the guy we might expect more love scenes in the future.

    Oooh Sakupyon.

  8. I think PUFFY is out place everywhere XD
    Perhaps the presence of PUFFY is to give a jolt to the opening LOL~

    Oh yeah i not DVD kekeke~

  9. hahaha it’s like finding needle in a haystack but you pulled it off.
    hmm..perhaps the ol’ version is not so bad after all…
    lemme know if you oredi got the DVD. Interesting to hear your review.

    1. hehe… you’re the light :P

      No DVD available for now… only out-of-print video. I watched everything last night on youtube tho… loading was so slow x_x The anime is also quite slow indeed lol~ but beautifully produced. The animation is painstakingly drawn and you can see the amount of care put in recreating the visuals and sounds from that era. It’s worth watching I feel.

  10. When he lost interest in the woman, he just disappeared from her life and moved on to the next target right… leaving her to deal with the mess he created… ^^;;;

    You went zzz? lol~ I would like to give the vintage OVA a try XD

    Yup yup, Shounen Onmyouji was cute! I enjoyed it very much too and it was bishi-heaven without an annoying female character *sweatdrop* As for Harukanaru, I lost patience with the girl in the beginning of the first season. It was Sakupyon who made me watch the OVA which I enjoyed… fortunately ;P

  11. Reading (in bits and pieces) of Genji Monogatari made me really really hate Genji. Thus I totally understand abt your preference of BL. =P But Genji would be voiced by Sakurai! That’s VERY GOOD. Huurah! And the art looks good. God do I love anime with Heian themes. Shounen Onmyouji! Harukanaru! (Oh yeah, with all the bishies how can it NOT BE GOOD!?)

    I tried the vintage one. I couldn’t get through the first 10mins. :S

  12. I saw info about that vintage OVA when I was reading up on Tales of Genji ^^ Quite a rare find isn’t it? I also saw on Mandarake auctions selling the genga of that anime.

    I would love to watch it. I’ll hunt it down… if I can find it I’ll keep you updated!

  13. Sure! I’ll probably update with summary and comments after I watch it ^^ hehe although I don’t like too much fan service for such dramas, but a right amount bishonen and eye candy is fine lol.

  14. Me too…im more excited becoz this is anime version instead of regular live-action Heian drama.
    I think we can safely assume Hikari Genji is a pure bishonen.

    Will you do some updates on this topic?

  15. Genji Monogatari is not all about Hikari Genji amorous adventure XD
    There is a part from the story when his youngest wife Nyosan got preggy by other male.
    I think Genji is deeply saddened by it especially when Nyosan announced herself to be a nun.

    Im not sure if this part will appear on the anime, at least not yet because this part is a loooong way from Genji’s early love affair.

    Ooops! Did i juz give spoiler? Moshiwake Arimasen X|

    1. Hehehe… no worries… I don’t know very much about the story except that it is a very famous classic about a guy who is super attractive to females lol~, so please forgive my ignorance XD Currently we’re still not sure how many episodes there would be. I wonder how it’ll turn out :) Very excited.

  16. Thanks for the links! Very informative! When I watch these period dramas, I always feel bad for the women =_= and rather identify with the men since they have all the fun ^^” Maybe that’s one of the reason BL appeals to me. The men are more or less in an “equal” status without gender issues coming into the way. I’m glad to be born in modern times after all.

    Yeah, Harukanaru is super popular. Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many seasons. The later installments of Harukanaru was quite ok, like the movie OVA Mai Hitoyo that starred Sakupyon. I actually finished watching it cos the heroine wasn’t as annoying. Having Sakupyon as the lead helped a lot too.

    Saiunkoku Monogatari is quite good. The heroine is likable ^^ but I didn’t finish watching it tho’ Got busy and dropped the series.

  17. Agree.

    I suggest you download the HTML or PDF version and have a glimpse on it.
    Or at least check out the Genji Monogatari scrolls from this page ( is also interesting, can keep you excited and look forward for the anime

    Im not familiar with Harukanaru but i’ve seen some of the episodes. it’s really WHEWW!!!
    But Harukanaru is popular, right?
    What about Saiunkoku Monogatari?

  18. Oh-kay, first thing first..this is a good news considering reading Tale of Genji book is not easy.
    Since i got a copy of english version (will be translated in local language soon.) i know tht this sorta book is not an easy reading. Wouldn’t blame anybody if drop the book after reading couple of chapters.

    Being a smug and sucker im going say tht “yay! i finished the book.” but i definitely wouldn’t mind watching the anime to see how they do it in animation.
    I hope they appreciate the book and not giving out too many fan services.

    1. Yeah, I also hope it will be an authentic classic style drama and not a Harukanaru kind of fan-service girls anime ^^;;; It may not be easy to understand but I hope the subs will help kekeke… Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.
You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.