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, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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