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
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 04:19 AM)
    I can recall an old friend that may have been hurting herself, although at the time being like 11 or so back then, I either didn’t really notice that kind of thing or believe it. Childhood stupidity then.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 04:09 AM)
    Is there a good emulator out there for 3DS?
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 03:57 AM)
    *do the job
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 03:56 AM)
    @K-Off, Then tell her if she wants to to the job properly then go for an artery.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 03:24 AM)
    @K-off: I have lost some friends and been in similar scenarios before, and although these are primarily cries for help and attention, there is no fix-all solution to these type of problems. Talking to them allways seems to help tho, but people have different levels of appreciation for honesty.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 02:57 AM)
    1.So I tell a friend who cuts herself that it’s stupid; glorifying it with emo music does nothing but damage her 2. She calls me insensitive and heartless.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 02:43 AM)
    Almost every anime/manga adaptation that I’ve seen looks like it was made by a bunch if high school students. And don’t tell me it’s all a budget thing. Aronofski made Pi with a budget of 60k and it was an amazing film. Are you telling me that the Deathnote adaptation had less than $60,000 to work with?
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 02:26 AM)
    *he’ll=hell
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 02:25 AM)
    @Aidan: I don’t really understand that given all the gorgeous CGI that the Japanese produce for games (or anime even) and all the meticulousness and attention to detail that they show in arts and media, how the he’ll do they make such bad movies with retarded effects? Everything from the wigs, costumes, make-up, visual effects and acting feels inauthentic as fuck.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 06:43 PM)
    @Emma, middling would be better than bad. Hell the Japanese AOT live action movie is already adding in original characters.

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