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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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:43 AM)
    @Friend: I’m excited to see it, but unfortunately hadn’t had long access to desktop to draft mine yet :/
    You might wanna leave an indication on yours as to where the shaman goes if you can, that would be great.
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:34 AM)
    Woah, that was a long discussion about the Inca O.o
    @Bam I’m nearly done with the rough draft, maybe a few more hours.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:20 AM)
    @Vincent: That was pretty much the entirety of it. We were destined to cross Mississippi and inhabit the west, so why not take an active part in manifesting our supposed fate?
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:34 AM)
    @Vincent No shit.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:14 AM)
    @Bam Slightly. Did americans use manifest destiny as an excuse to steal land from the natives?
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:05 AM)
    @Vincent: I guess we were slightly more honest about it. It is funny how we use the fact after the matter as evidence of our divine providence. It’s like holding a gun to somebody and saying “fate wants you to die”, proceed to shoot them, and then say “see! I was right” lol
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:56 AM)
    @Bam But unlike the american concept of manifest destiny, the Japanese used it as an excuse to wage what they were really doing: a war to hoard resources.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:52 AM)
    @Vincent: I see. A similar doctrine to Manifest Destiny.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:49 AM)
    @Bam Not to my knowledge. From the government, at least. It was always about expanding the glory of the homeland or something like that, which is why the Japanese took glee with the invasion of Manchuria and the Philippines, places they had no ethnic ties to.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:46 AM)
    *admitably

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