Pygmalio (1990-91)


Pygmalio consists of 39 episodes (25 min. in length) produced by TV Tokyo and is based on the manga of the same name by Shinji Wada, which was published between 1978 and 1990. It tells the story of Kurt/Coult, the prince of the kingdom of Loon, son of King Stephan and Galatea, whose mother is the goddess Aganade. She has blessed Kurt with a cheerful spirit and special talents which he has to use to defeat Medusa. When Kurt was a baby, Medusa transformed Galatea and others into statues out of envy at her happy marriage to the king. Medusa also forced King Stephan to swear allegiance to her and to promise to make Kurt do so on his eighth birthday in order to save his kingdom. When the day comes Kurt declares he will defeat Medusa and restore those transformed back into humans. He sets out on a long journey to the Land of the Dead in order to complete his quest.



Run, Melos! [走れメロス!] (2009, 3rd version)

A retelling in two 23-minute episodes as part of the Aoi Bungaku Series (Blue Literature Series) television anime series (episodes 9-10).

In this version, a playwright writes a play based on the story “Run, Melos”, and deals with his own feelings of betrayal towards his childhood friend.

See also the post on the 1981 version here and the 1992 version here


Run, Melos! [走れメロス!] (1992, 2nd version)

Released in Japan in 1992 by Bandai, Run, Melos! (Hashire Melos! in Japan) is a 107- minute animated adaptation of the famous 1940 short story by Osamu Dazai and a remake of the 1981 animated film. It featured direction and screenplay by Masaaki Osumi and was produced by Visual 80. This was the second of three versions of “Run, Melos!” — click here to learn more about the 1981 film and here to learn about the 2009 version.

Note: The story was also animated as a 30-minute stop-motion short for the Classic Children’s Tales series (1992), and again, as a 10-minute short directed by Keisuke Morishita, for the Famous Japanese Fables series (1997).


Run, Melos [走れメロス] (1981, 1st version)

A 68 minute film directed by Tomoharu Katsumata for Fuji TV in Japan. It is based on a very famous Japanese short story written in 1940 by Osamu Dazai, which is itself a reworking of a 1799 ballad called Die Burgschaft by Friedrich Schiller. Both are based on the ancient legend of Damon and Pythias that is preserved in the Fabulae of Gaius Julius Hyginus; however, in both Schiller and Dazai’s versions the main characters’ names have been changed to Melos and Selinuntius.

This is the first of three animated versions of the story, “Run, Melos!”. The second was produced in 1992 and has its own post here, while the third was produced in 2009 and his its own post here.

The story told is one of trust and the power of friendship: Melos, a shepherd, is arrested and accused of conspiracy against the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse (in this animated version he is innocent of the charge, but in Dazai’s story he is not). He is given three days to travel to his sister’s wedding while Selinuntius, a sculptor and friend of Melos, agrees to stay in his place as the king’s hostage. On his way back from the wedding, he encounters many obstacles and delays, and he considers allowing his friend to die in his place, but finally he decides to try and arrive in time to save Selinuntus. He does so but also implores Selinuntius to hit him, in penance for the treachery he almost committed, but then Selinuntius asks him to do the same, for having doubted Melos’ return. Their display of honesty and loyalty forces the tyrant reconsider his decision and  he lets them both go with impunity.



Start a Blog at

Up ↑