Toshimasa Kuroyanagi's THE GREAT PASSAGE
Anime TV series review by Dennis D. McDonald
The series traces the development over 14 years of a Japanese language dictionary. In the process we learn a lot about the people involved, how they change and work together, and how together they address the subtle and complex issues raised by the need to capture word meanings when language and society are constantly changing.
This is not the stuff of the usual anime series, you might say, and you would be right.
THE GREAT PASSAGE concerns a small group of people and how they interact and change over time as they pursue a common goal. It is possible that such a series could be created about any long term project but this series succeeds admirably in demonstrating how the work involved in capturing word meanings requires input from a variety of intellects and personalities, all of whom share some sort of interest in or even devotion to words and language.
Leaders of different types emerge in the series as do externally imposed conflicts. A variety of talents contribute in different ways. Human emotions and even tragedy intervene. To top it all off, the animation and music are some of the best and at times most subtle and imaginative I have seen.
Highly recommended for anyone seeking thoughtful or unusual media.
Review copyright (c) 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald