When I read some of windy’s comments, it amuses me that we both ended up liking and disliking the complete opposites in this series. It just shows that there are many ways to look at this series, even though it’s not among the better World Masterpiece Theatres.
I can somewhat understand how the Marysville arc was supposed to be what this series should be about: Anne and her every day life. However, I think that the biggest problem I had with the Marysville arc is that it was a complete rip-off of Emily of the New Moon. Its adaptation, Kaze no Shoujo Emily, was one of my favourite series of 2007, and I really hated seeing it butchered like this, with a lot copied over and just about every good part removed, with the most notable one being Henderson as Anne’s teacher. At least the Thomas arc had its own identity, of a poor family that was on the verge of being broken up due to a drunk husband. It’s a very down-to-earth problem, and I liked that part a lot.
But yeah, I do agree that these parts did take the focus away from what’s really important in this series: Anne. In exchange we got a very nicely developed Thomas family, but as a prequel of Anne of Green Gables, this series fails. I think that I stopped looking at this series as a prequel a long time ago. This simply is a show that just happens to have a lead character with the same name and looks as in Anne of Green Gables. Nothing more, nothing less.
In any case, I thought that this really was a great episode for Anne. I thought that they would again focus on Bert, but instead he simply gets fired and throws his family in disarray. The focus became much more on Anne, who now had to work extra hard because Johanna would end up working continuously in order to be able to support her family. We also see her get mad at her brothers for the first time, which definitely was the most memorable scene in this episode.
For a minute, I was worried that she was indeed going to join Henderson and Eggman as they moved away from town, but thankfully she eventually chooses not to. A very nice build-up to the point at which she in the end is really going to have to leave them. Especially imagining that the second house she eventually ends up in was much worse than the opportunities she has got to live happily as a family.
But yeah, there were parts at which this show was a bit too cheesy again, mostly again around Henderson. I just couldn’t buy that the entire class was crying because Henderson had to leave. I mean, come on. She wasn’t that good of a teacher and she wasn’t at her post for that long either.
Anyway though, I’m very glad that she’s gone now. The good thing about this show is that it seems to be divided into four arcs that are probably going to be entirely different from each other, so if you don’t like one arc you can just wait until the next one and just consider the dull arc as build-up for the good parts. I’m interested where this series is going to go after this, now that it stopped being an Emily of the New Moon rip-off and can start focusing on its own direction again.
Rating: * (Good)