Posted by psgels on 4 January 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Porfy no Nagai Tabi


Porfy no Nagai Tabi is the second series of the revival of the famous World Masterpiece Theatre franchise, a long-running collection of series based on popular children’s novels, made accessible for every age. The franchise is typically very slow paced, combined with genuine, true to life and realistic characters, and it’s a formula that’s proven itself over and over again; though it’s definitely not a series for everyone.

Like the title does suspect, this instalment is a travelling series. It consists out of roughly five arcs, each of them being completely different from the others in tone, mood, pacing and execution. It starts out as a gentle and calm slice of life series, then it turns into a dark tear-jerker, then it becomes a slow laid-back travelling-series, then a haunting fast-paced one, and the final arc yet again goes into a completely different path, making sure that the 52 episodes of this series don’t drag on.

One of this series’ strengths is that it’s absolutely masterful at building up. Every single episode is chockfull of cross-references to either past or future events, the amount of foreshadowing is huge, and yet in half of the cases you won’t recognize the foreshadowing until what they wanted to hint at has already happened. When you see something randomly happen, especially in the first quarter of the series, you can be sure that one of the later episodes uses or builds further on this.

The same goes with the characters. The amount of development that goes into Porfy and Mina is immense. The show may not have as huge or complex of a regular cast as Les Miserables, but in order to make up for that it does what it can to make the lead cast as true to life and realistic as possible, and they really succeed at that. Porfy and Mina aren’t exactly immediately likable, but as the series progresses they and the other characters become very easy to relate to, simply due to their different sides and many subtle quirks that shaped their characters.

Another strength of Porfy no Nagai Tabi is the travelling-part of the series. Especially the second half really managed to catch the essence of travelling: meeting many different people, and not knowing beforehand whether they have ill intentions or are cooperative. Everyone that Porfy runs into is different, and the contrast between the loneliness of travelling alone without knowing anybody, and talking to random people you meet on the way really works.

The weakest part of this series is around the middle, where the travel arcs are long and a bit too tedious to get through. Porfy meets the right people a bit too conveniently, and overall there are times when it just feels a bit unrealistic when Porfy gets involved in large dramas, and in the end manages to make people who originally hate each other make up again like nothing happened. Thankfully the later travel arcs fix this wonderfully, and provide a more realistic view to this.

And yes, this definitely isn’t a show for the impatient. Especially since hardly anything happens aside from building up in the first twelve episodes, you need to be able to enjoy slice of life moments if you want to enjoy this series, but that’s the case with nearly every other WMT-series: the characters are amazing, but there’s an amazing amount of time needed to flesh them all out.

Since the character-designs look fairly simple and childish, do not make the mistake to think that the graphics are all very dull and simple. Sure, the character-designs aren’t complex, but to make up for it this series has some of the most beautiful background art in all anime. For 52 episodes, the creators consistently deliver the most gorgeous landscapes full of life and detail, perfectly representing the area that Porfy finds himself in at the time: you can really see the changes as Porfy moves through Europe.

Overall, Porfy no Nagai Tabi isn’t as incredible as Les Miserables, yet it’s a wonderful series nonetheless. I really hope that these guys succeed in fansubbing this series, because it’s definitely been one of the most under-looked series of 2008. You obviously don’t want to watch this, expecting nothing but juicy plot twists, but for those who can appreciate a bit of slice of life here and there, it really is an excellent recommendation.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

10 Responses

  1. windy says:

    You’re right, the landscapes here were just wonderful and beyond expectations, I think they’re better than in les miserables , even if I like les miserables more than this one, it was without a doubt one of my favorite shows of this year!!! I enjoyed nearly every single ep and have to say it’s a series I loved to watch till the very end!!! It really needs subs so that everyone could try it, cause it’s definitely worth it!

  2. midenz says:

    wow, i saw the first couple episdoes on CR ut they took em down! so now i dont know where to watch emm! =[!! and it was soo good already! darn it!

  3. MARK says:

    Amazing ending to the series,I just loved it.

    Thanks for blogging it !!

    Here’s to hoping that this gets subbed asap.

    I personally preferred this to Le Mis,but that’s just me.

  4. Ethereal says:

    midenz: http://rawka.sbin.ru/

    And thanks for blogging this indeed, I would never have even heard of this series if not for these entries.

  5. midenz says:

    thank you!! ^_^. im dling now! and just thank you so much for blogging this! i’ve been dying to watch more because of your posts and i probably wouldve never heard about this !

  6. Erias says:

    Finally, finally they met. I’m feeling so cald at the moment.
    Their story really touched my heart. Their journey was so long, and now they at the end finally get to meet each others again! ^_^

    Yeah, I just catched up with Porfy no Nagai Tabi, and I’m really glad you blogged it, otherwise wouldn’t even neccarily known that there even would be this kind of story out there.
    The creators really did wonderfull job with everything, characters, art, everything.
    *sigh* Now it’s time to see some other stories and keep Porfy no Nagai Tabi in my mind. :P

    I really liked how Porfy thinked everyone whom he had met in his journey and thanked them in his mind, when he was walking towards the stage, and how Mina came behind the curtain and ofcourse jumped to hug Porfy. :D
    I couldn’t help but smile and be happy, and get a little teary eyed myself.

  7. ryuji_kun says:

    Damn. I wish we got an epilogue. That would have been awesome but I guess the series is still quite awesome without one. It makes me crave more. :D

    I have to say, thanks for putting up summaries for this. I was able to get by for most episodes but there were those couple. Too bad the subs for this got stalled.

  8. specracer says:

    I have been searching high and low to find the subs anybody find any

  9. Giovanni says:

    thank god in Italy we have had this anime broadcasted dubbed in Italian as it seems to be dropped by anyone…

  10. yeah this is nice cartoon..anyone guys can give us some relative..cartoon

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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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