Otogi Juushi Akazukin is a children-aimed fantasy-series which can be fun for every age. It’s deeply rooted in the old European fairytales, with characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, the City-Musicians of Bremen, Rapunzel, Hansel, Gretel and the violinist of Hameln making cameo-appearances. The story is simple, an evil which had been sealed long ago broke free, and needs to be resealed again by our main character: Akazukin. Still, despite this fairly simple concept, I found myself mesmerized by this anime again and again.
For starters, it’s got some of the cutest character-design ever. The animation may range from flawed to good, the character-designs and imaginative background-art more than make up for it. The music also gives a perfect fairy-tale feeling to the whole atmosphere. Thumbs up.
Still, the parts where Otogi Juushi Akazukin shines the most are the characters and the storytelling. The series comes with a set of characters who complement each other perfectly. They start out as one-dimensional characters, but they soon gain lots of depth as the anime continues. Each with his or her own story. Overall, these characters were adorable, as they were featured in both serious, funny and cute moments.
Through the course of the anime, lots of different stories are shown. Even though some side-characters just serve the purpose of fleshing out some of the main characters, they worked out quite well. Still, the best stories were the ones who focused on the group of main characters. Especially after the second half kicks in, the show picks up steam, and some of the episodes were just amazing to watch. Each character got enough time to show his or her background, and near the end, there’s given enough time to close of their stories, some of these stories ending in the most amazing episodes. My personal favourite was the surprisingly sad Randagio-episode.
Any bad points? Well, the ending. Or episodes 36 and 37 to be exactly. After most of the stories have closed, and only the main storyline remains. Through the course of the series, this anime has done well at keeping its level of cheesiness just low enough for it not to be annoying, but these efforts all fail when it goes and uses some of the biggest clichés in the book. Thankfully, the final episode closes off the series well enough, but the fact remains that these episodes left a nasty thorn in an otherwise excellent series.
Excellent as it may be, I can see a lot of people disliking it. Especially people who believe children’s shows are too childish. There’s no denying that the series is childish at times, but for me, that was just part of its charms. If you’re not bothered by the fact that this is a children’s show, then it’s definitely worth it to give this a try, as the characters were just amazing.