Posted by psgels on 29 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kaze no Shoujo Emily


Kaze no Shoujo Emily, or Emily of the New Moon as its English title, is the third of what I’d like to call the “big three” of the spring-season 2007, along with Toward the Terra and Bokura no. These three form the cream of the crop of the series that have been released for the past half year, perhaps even for the past year.

The problem is, though that there’s a good chance that many people haven’t even heard of this series. It’s a sad thing, but in addition to being one of the best series of the season, it’s also one of the most neglected ones. Seriously, only the kiddie-shows like Bakugan Battle Brawlers have gotten less coverage than this one. I’ve often said that popularity is no way to determine the quality of an anime, and Kaze no Shoujo Emily is the perfect example of this.

The biggest problem with this is probably the fact that this is a Shoujo-series. I have no idea why, but the fansubbers have always tended to neglect the Shoujo-series. Only half of them ever gets subbed, while there are some true gems among the genre, beyond this series as well.

Okay, enough blabber, what about the content of this series? Well, it consists out of standalone episodes that tell the story of Emily Byrd Starr, a eleven-year-old girl who lives in Canada, about a century ago, and her three friends Perry Miller, Teddy Kent and Ilse Barnley. It’s loosely based on the life of Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote it and who some might recognize as the author of Anne of Green Gables.

The series is basically a slice-of-life series with lots and lots of drama, and this formula turns out to work so well. Emily is a wonderful character; she differs from the usual Shoujo-lead by acting rude and energetic. She longs to be a writer someday, and she often fantasizes in her own world in an extremely poetic mood, and this personality of her often clashes with those of others, resulting in some amazing dramatic climaxes.

The side-characters of Perry, Teddy and Ilse provide wonderful support for it. They’ve all got their own story as well, and throughout the series, we can see the four of them clash, grow and interact. A major theme of the series is living towards your dreams, and some of the episodes are just incredibly inspirational.

One of the things I loved about this series is how it’s so delightfully consistent. There are maybe four or five lesser episodes, but apart from that, you just know that nearly every episode you’ll watch will leave you with a heart-warming feeling, unlike many other anime, which often need episodes for introductions and aftermaths.

When this already is quite amazing, this series turns even better once the characters actually start growing up. The majority of the series shows Emily as an eleven-year-old girl, but starting with episode 20, we actually see her time in high-school, and the final episodes show the major events of the last years of her youth, ending with Emily being around twenty. During this, this series becomes a real tear-jerker, delivering one awesome episode after the other.

The character-designs will take a bit to get used to, though. Emily is drawn in a really shoujo way, and it’s hard to not label this series as some kiddie-series (trust me, it’s not). The colours used in both the backgrounds and the character-designs are bright and colourful, though the production-values are quite high, and this series ends up looking beautiful, as soon as you get used to it. The soundtrack also consists out of a collection of beautiful classical tunes, which strengthen the series even more.

Overall, if there ever was a series that deserves to get subbed, it’d be this one. Not only does it deliver memorable characters, it’s also a valuable chance to see anime tackle the Canadian culture of a century ago, and I must say that it does a pretty good job. The differences between the Japanese culture are definitely there, probably influenced by the books of Lucy Maud Montgomery. If you ever have the chance to watch this series, I recommend you to take it, unless you really need action.

12 Responses

  1. reslez says:

    Too bad Emily doesn’t have bright pink hair and a panty shot to episode ratio higher than zero–maybe that would have gotten this series the attention it deserves? I grew up reading the books and this was a really worthy adaptation. The sad thing is, there’s probably more hope of it getting licensed than subbed.

  2. Ginnie says:

    i must say,, i really was enjoying this,, but i gave up because it was pointless to watch it without subs… i really enjoyed your reviews though…
    i watched the first 2 episodes in crunchyroll, and loved it to pieces.. but it seems they’ve stopped subbing the series TT

  3. Calorro says:

    I’ve watched only 2 episodes, but if these are high production values I don’t want to know what would be low by your standards. My eyes were bleeding throughout the whole thing, it’s the same kind of cheap computer animation as the new Hokuto no Ken ovas.

    And really, it’s just another orphan kid story, which is not the most popular subgenre nowadays, so why should the general public be enthusiastic about it?

  4. Tania says:

    I found it was a beautiful serie even it wasn’t subbed. I liked the relationship between the different characters. And I spent a good moment watching it. The landscape is so wonderful with so many colors. We have the impression it is a wonderland.

  5. bakaka says:

    Argh this series is just down right painful and not in a tear jerker kinda way. It was painfully dull. Can understand why it wasn’t subbed, you’d be better off watch a BBC period drama.

  6. Ginnie says:

    just because you don’t like you don’t have to trash it bakaka.
    and calorro, yes, it’s just another orphan story, but it’s a good one at that.
    if you don’t like it, people, i don’t get why you even bother to post here. dumbass.

  7. Ginnie says:

    oh, and i’m really happy you liked this series so much. it’s so underrated, it’s a pity.
    i’m specially dying to watch episode 22, could you please send it to me?? because my bittorrent doesn’t work T_T
    my email is gatumonibandana@hotmail.com
    i would very much appreciate that you did me such a favor.
    thanks for the reviews btw and for paying atention to a beautiful, if underrated series.

  8. Dorne says:

    I suppose that if it may not ever be subbed/licensed, then I will have to simply read the book. Since it seems like a good anime adaptation, reading the book will probably be the only way to help me enjoy it. That, and Anne of Green Gables. I’m long overdue in reading these classics.

    *off topic*
    Oh, and the verification code to post doesn’t work on Opera 9.51 for some reason.

  9. psgels psgels says:

    Dorne: hm, strange. Oh, and this series actually has been subbed by Digital Panic.

  10. betsy says:

    you should all read the books – they’re really very wonderful and far richer than the series, although the series does do a good job of adapting the storyline.

    it looks like the series is getting licensed, since all the youtube videos of it have been removed.

    it’s sad that it isn’t popular in the anime world – because it looks like the changes from the books were done to make it more marketable, or at least, more child-proof. the way emily is drawn, for instance, or toning down some of the plotlines (like the fact that cousin jimmy fell down the well as a child and isn’t all right in his mind sometimes, or dr. burnley’s hatred of his daughter, or mrs. kent’s scar… maybe some of these are to come, i haven’t finished watching the series yet.)

    Akage no An (Anne of Green Gables) was better quality, though.

  11. Pinkarray says:

    SHE IS NOT A WONDERFUL CHARACTER! EMILY SUCKS!

  12. Pinkaray Number Two says:

    What does EMILY suck at?

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  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

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