Short Synopsis: Anne gets invited into the house of a rich family.
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Oh, how I loved this episode. Everything about and surrounding Anne in this episode was just pure pwnage. I really have to admit, I didn’t expect this episode to end the way it did. And to think that it wasn’t an important episode at all.
The episode starts with Anne trying to read a book that Elisa gave her. While “A lot of Flowers blooms on the hill” isn’t exactly perfect English, Anne gets fascinated with some of the words she already knows, like ‘Flowers’ (which seem to return quite a few times in the book), ‘princess’ and ‘magic’. When Anne asks to Elisa whether she can read in front of her that afternoon again, but then Elisa says that she needs to return the book that day. Johanna then barges in, yelling at Anne that she needs to continue with her chores.
A bit later, Elisa asks her mother whether it’d be okay to send Anne to school a bit, but Johanna obviously doesn’t allow this, since that way there’ll be nobody to take over all of the chores that Anne needs to do. When Elisa proposes to at least buy a book for her, Johanna really start yelling. Since they have barely enough money for bread and milk, it’s virtually impossible to buy books for Anne.
Johanna then asks Elisa a favor, since that day it’s her day off. Apparently, Johanna is running late with some payments to a store owned by a certain Richard, so she asks her daughter to asks for a bit more time. In exchange, she asks for permission to take Anne with her, even though she can’t buy anything. It turns out that Elisa is very scared of Richard, and especially his daughters, and decided to take Anne with her for moral support.
When they arrive at the store, it becomes clear that the situation is quite bad, since Richard is already waiting for his payment for three months. Anne meanwhile doesn’t seem to notice this at all and happily starts exploring the store, and she finds one particular book by Robert Browning that catches her attention, and starts imagining how wonderful the story inside it might have been for it to have such a ‘beautiful’ cover.
Richard then interrupts her and takes the book away, saying that it’s way too complicated of a book for someone like Anne to read, which fuels Anne’s imagination even more: after all, that book must be way too good to be read by a simple poor red-haired girl as herself. After that, a rich-looking boy and his mother arrive at the store, and they seem to be the Emerson-family. When the boy (Roger, apparently) talks to Anne, she immediately starts rambling on and on, especially when she learns that the whole reason Roger came to the store was to buy that wonderful book by Robert Browning. This catches the attention of Roger’s mother, and she suggests that it might be interesting for Anne to play a bit with her sick daughter Mary.
And so, Elisa returns home with the message that Anne is visiting a rich household, and this gets Johanna all worried of course: what if something were to happen? They’d be the target of gossip for weeks. It’s gotten her so stressed that she even prays to God, even though she usually says that God isn’t there for poor people (quite a contrast with the Cuthberts, who didn’t have any money problems and were so serious about their religion).
Inside the carriage to the house, Roger explains that Mary’s private tutor suggested to buy that book by Robert Browning to help her education. Anne gets a bit upset when he finds out that she doesn’t know what a private tutor is, so he explains, and asks whether Anne is going to school as well. She then says that since she’s an orphan, she’s not allowed to go to school, but Roger quickly tells her that that’s not really true.
When they arrive near the house, Anne gets really surprised at how huge it is. When they arrive at Mary’s room, she has hidden herself under her sheets. Roger introduces Anne, and then leaves, since he has other stuff to do. Anne quickly starts talking about all sorts of stuff, but it then turns out that Mary is a typical spoiled brat and had no interest in the book to begin with. When Anne tells her that she’d really love to have that book, she teases her by never allowing her to hand it over, despite her lack of interest in it, and she too makes a comment to Anne’s hairstyle.
But really, Mary is a typical brat. It turns out that her whole sickness has just been faked, and instead of studying she’d rather be doing stuff she shouldn’t. This time, she looks around in her mother’s room, puts on her jewelry, make-up and dresses while dragging Anne along. while looking really horrible, at the same time the two have a bit of fun playing together (and Anne ends up with lots of make-up scribblings on her face).
By surprise, Mary’s mother returns earlier than expected because she was worried about her daughter, and so Mary and Anne rush in order to get all of the jewelry and dresses back into place and get rid of their make-up. They forgot one necklace, though, and so Mary’s mother comes in to check up on what happened. Mary sets up a lie of being ill and all, though Anne finds it really hard to tell a lie, so Mary just tries to distract attention from her by mentioning how she was reading Anne from the book she got, and how Anne loved it.
Unfortunately for Mary, her mother buys the lie a bit too well, and now suggests offers the same book to Anne. Mary tries to say something back, only to discover that she forgot to put off a ring and so she has to keep quiet. When Anne gets back, Johanna is rather annoyed that Anne returned with a book, but Anne doesn’t care and drifts into her own world again.
Really, I love being proven wrong by a show this way. I admit, I might have been a bit too harsh on this series after the first few episodes, but this was mostly to not get my expectations up too high. What I feared was for this series to act out just like Kemono no Souja Erin: with a dramatic climax and predictable plot during every single episode, it was just way too dramatic. I was so expecting Anne to get found out and create a scandal for the family she’s in because of the second episode that seemed to suggest that this show would take up the same direction. That’s why it’s so great for episodes like this to balance things out a bit, where things don’t take the most dramatic turn possible.
But yeah, I might have been a bit unfair to this series, comparing it to Porfy no Nagai Tabi. I may have taken this a bit for granted while the show was airing, but Porfy really was an exceptionally well written series. No other series could have simply shown one character walking around for an entire episode while hardly meeting anyone, and yet it worked so well. With Porfy no Nagai Tabi (and a few other WMT-series as well) things usually didn’t take a turn for the worst, but when they did, you’d know that Porfy was screwed really badly and you hardly ever knew could see it coming. Konnichiwa Anne is not such a series, and instead the focus is much more on the characters, rather than the storytelling. In a way, much like Kaze no Shoujo Emily.
And really, the nostalgic value of this episode was immense. Hiding under the sheets when you’re feeling down; trying out stuff you’re not supposed to when your parents are out. Ah, how it brings back memories. ^^;