Posted by psgels on 17 February 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Yes, you’ve read the rating right. I hardly ever give a movie a rating above 90/100, because of the limited time they have to work with, and this is the highest rating I’ve ever handed out to a movie. I knew that this was going to be a good movie because of the stories I’ve heard about the original novel, but I never expected that it would be THIS good. The Dog of Flanders has left me in an emotional wreck, and I honestly say that it’s been the best movie I’ve ever seen.

The people from Nippon Animation are true gods when it comes to adaptations. They always remain faithful and they always get the best out of their source material. If the source-material is such a tear-jerker as this one, the results really turn out amazing. This movie is heart-wrenching, from start to finish. It never shows any moments of weakness, and when one grievingly sad scene ends, you can be sure that it’ll be followed by an even sadder scene next.

The story makes perfect use of the amazing characters. No character feels incomplete, they all have their own subtle backgrounds, they all well-developed characters with their own well-defined roles. Even the small side-characters have a personality, and they work so incredibly well with the main characters. The only thing that isn’t absolutely stellar about this movie are the visuals. After all, it has been animated by Nippon Animation, and it dates back from 1997, so the art style does look simple.

But that should be no reason to not check out this movie. Over the past few months, I’ve watched a lot of different movies, and I kept nitpicking on how they always came out flawed somehow, and how each movie, despite its good points, didn’t quite make it to become truly memorable. This is why I often prefer TV-series. But a Dog of Flanders is different. It’s a true masterpiece, and it’s a real shame that so little people seem to have watched it. Both AniDB, Anime News Network and MyAnimeList have just thirty people who voted for it. If you’re looking for a sad story, then The Dog of Flanders should be the first on your list to check out.

19 Responses

  1. Ipsod says:

    I don’t know if I want to watch something that will leave me in despair.

    Sorry. I had to do it.

    But I’ll take your word for it. I’ll watch it when I know no one will be around to watch me cry. :P

  2. totoum says:

    same as Ipsod,not in the mood right now but i’ll keep it in mind!

    Thanks psgels,getting to know about gems like these is one of the reasons i read your blog.

  3. DmonHiro says:

    I did not feel one itty bitty sad while watching this. It was a waste of my time.

  4. Chris says:

    I told you Nippon Animation movies were heartbreaking, I saw this when I was younger and this really isn’t a movie for kids because it is just way too depressing but I can appreciate way more as an adult for its beauty and touching ending. I definetely have to recommend Marco for Nippon’s second best movie, and the series is great too.

  5. meganeshounen says:

    Even if I didn’t completely understand the story when I watched it as a kid, it sure did leave an impression on me. Yeah, it was great…

  6. silentv says:

    Any idea where we could find this anime movie? It’s not on either netflix or animesuki

  7. Chris says:

    Ah I forgot to mention that even if the visuals weren’t the greatest, the church scene at the end was one of the most beautiful parts in an anime movie ever.

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Silentv: I found it on the irc-channel #ila on irc.rizon.net. Be careful, though, they tend to have rather strict rules.

    Chris: yes, the church scene was a beautiful one.

  9. Hinode says:

    Glad I was able to check up on this site. This seems to be a nice find and will add this to my watch list. Thanks for showcasing this title on your site.

  10. Orphey says:

    Please Seed it. I mean torrent form ILA.

  11. Alfredo says:

    Heidi was the first adaptation of a well known novel before the creation of Nippon Animation, which then continues each year adapting another novel. ‘A Dog of Flanders’ was the first of many to follow. ‘3000 RI in Search of Mother’ (a.k.a. From the Apennines to the Andes) followed ‘Flanders’ as another tragic story, however with a much happier ending. As tragic as some of the series were, they are worth every minute you spend watching them. If you get a hold of the series on DVD, don’t pass it up! I warn you, however, it is heart wrenching. Everything that can possibly happen to the poor boy, happens!

  12. Hettan says:

    Waaah. . . T_T
    Yes, this is really a very touching, poignant anime adaptation of the novel. I loved to draw when I was a little kid so while I was watching this then I felt great empathy with Nello (love dogs too). I don’t remember if I cried when I watched the end but the fact that I still remember Nello, his dog and the milk cart after all this time more than proves how emotional this show was.

    BTw, Psgels, have you watched Remi, Nobody’s Boy? It’s seriously good, much better than the girl version.

  13. psgels psgels says:

    I would love to watch Nobody’s Boy, but I can’t find it anywhere. If you know where to find it Id’be happy because the only thing I managed to locate so far is a bunch of French dubs, and my French is terrible.

  14. Hettan says:

    Can’t find any on the web, just the first and last episode on youtube. I’ve been wanting to watch WMT productions again, I’ll see if I can find an english sub copy of it on my favorite store and make it available online this week.

    Oh, and another good anime to watch is Romeo’s Blue Sky aka Romeo and the Black Brothers.

  15. Firechick says:

    Where can I watch the Japanese version of this?

  16. Firechick says:

    Earlier today, I watched this movie in English and…I seriously cried like a baby…TWICE! This is sooooo going on my top 20! It was so sad yet so beautiful all at the same time! I NEED to recommend this to everyone I know! I wanna get the DVD for this (though it’s out of print and appallingly expensive) or watch the Japanese version (where can I find it?). I loved EVERYTHING about this durned movie!

  17. KeybladeMaster says:

    Hello, I managed to find this series before the MU destruction last january. I am planning to upload this series, so just be patient on it, ok?

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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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