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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  • Masky
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:09 PM)
    Wow, you almost filled this chat window with Eva geeking out ._.;
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:32 AM)
    If a series wants to be sophisticated about complex concepts like war and conflict, then it has to presuppose the fact that it is part of human nature. Resources are limited, and even aside from that, greed exists. There is no way to take out a few head figures to stop a war- there will be a vacuum that will almost immediately be filled by a similar, if not worse, individual. A world “where no one cries” or suffers, or dies, etc, cannot exist as long as we have free will.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:26 AM)
    F/SN delved into this deeply with the Shirou/Archer dichotomy, but then it pussied out at the decisive moment. Archer was right, his arguments made perfect sense, yet the arrogant naive Shirou had to pull thru by sheer will alone, and a vague hope and promise that he’ll find a way somehow. I swear, I’m not sure if Nasu gave in to pressure to make a so-called “good prevails” ending, or that he honestly believes in it. Looking at his material, I’ll bet on the former.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:22 AM)
    hehe … that’s why you don’t get me started on Eva or Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:20 AM)
    It also delved into the depth of what a desperate goodie-two-shoes people-pleaser protagonist would actually be like, and the reception he would get from his peers, specially the women. That alone right there was a deconstruction of the majority of shonen main characters.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:00 AM)
    There was no hype machine back then. The internet was still in its infancy. So when a show became this popular there was certainly some merit to it. The organic/machine hybrid mecha was relatively new, and the scene construction and cinematography was for the most part immaculate. There’s a reason why the mecha genre is divided to “pre-Eva” and “post-Eva”.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:53 AM)
    It also didn’t hurt that the character, costume and mecha designs were slick and attractive, done by the under-appreciated Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:31 AM)
    It came up with clever scenarios to common mecha tropes, and answered the questions that would arise from them:
    -Why do we use mechas with melee weapons against alien invaders instead of conventional weapons? AT fields on Angels.
    -Why use kids to pilot them? The Gehrin Project.
    -What happens when you put kids in sever combat situations? Extreme PTSD.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:27 AM)
    These types of deconstruction shows that are run-of-the-mill now didn’t really exist back then. Eva did afterall became the tropemaker for Gainax endings. To see the creator’s psyche twist in front of our eyes was incredible. The show went from a regular monster of the week mecha series to a deranged psycho-thriller by the end of it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:23 AM)
    Eva was fresh and quite unique for its time. Not that everything they did was original, but they certainly put their own twist on it. I also enjoyed the “fuck-you” ending of the tv series. Anno always defended it as intentional, but we all know it was really a budgetary constrain. well, at least we got the amazing End of Evangelion movie to supplement it.

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