Posted by psgels on 12 October 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



So, this was really the episode that would make or break this series: it was going to be the first episode of Anne, as she settled in the Hammond family, and visited her new school for the first time. The result is really a mixed bag, but I think that the creators are going to be able to make something out of it. At least, I don’t think that we’re going to get another repeat of the disaster of the Marysville arc.

First of all, Anne has grown again: she’s now ten years old, and you can see her development for the past three months that skipped: she has had no time to play around and be a kid, and really grown up in the meantime. But yeah, that brings us the the problems of continuity again: 10-year-old Anne is much more mature than 11-year-old Anne of Green Gables.

At a certain point in this episode, Anne also finds books of Shakespeare, and it’s actually very interesting to see her using these books and her own fantasy, in order to distract her from the reality she’s in. Like with the books she read in Marysville, she becomes entranced with them, especially because this time, she really has nobody to talk to. In Marysville, she at least had Johanna to talk to, Bert to relieve her worries to, and Noah, who she saw as her own brother because she had been raising him ever since he was born. But yeah, that brings us to continuity again: remember the beginning of Anne of Green Gables? Anne talked about a lot of girly things, but to my memory, she NEVER mentioned Shakespeare. This just again shows that there were a lot of red-haired Anne Shirleys walking around back in those days.

Now, as for the school. I absolutely loved the part in which the teacher was grading some tests by his students. That was really realistic. We didn’t actually get to see the students, because the schools were closed for summer break, but at least the teacher is much better than Henderson: he has this down-to-earth attitude towards teaching, and yet you can see why he decided to become a teacher in the first place.

Unfortunately on the other hand, the cheese is back. The drama in this episode was of the shallow kind again: Anne meets person, Anne talks to person and in the end the person completely changes into a different character because of the insights that Anne gave him. Especially the way in which the teacher said exactly what he learned and how it’s going to change his life just felt forced. I know that this is a kids’ show and all, but Porfy no Nagai Tabi faced the same problem, and that series again and again came up with great one-episode stories with plenty of well-written drama.

So yeah, overall this episode pretty much solidified as an inferior, though capable WMT-series, somewhat like Ie Naki Ko Remi (the 1997-version)’s sister-series. The two have a lot in common: both are spin-offs of utterly brilliant adaptations of literary works, but have drama that’s too shallow to really call themselves equal to the series they’re based on. And yet standalone, they’re pretty enjoyable. Remi had this with its excellent soundtrack (along with the best OP and ED of any WMT I’ve seen so far), strong lead and dark story about child-labour, while Anne did this with its dark attention to dysfunctional families, and a well-developed lead character Anne, who hardly resembles her original character.

Now that 2010 is getting closer and closer, I can only hope for an announcement of next year’s WMT-series to appear. Oh, I so hope that Nippon Animation is going to continue this franchise, despite its low popularity.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

3 Responses

  1. Janette says:

    I’d like to see the series continue as well. :D

  2. Frotee says:

    Well, despite the low popularity – very nearly all the old WMT-series aired in Germany in the 80’s and 90’s. (We haven’t seen any of the newer ones though; children’s series appear to need 3D Graphics or extremely ugly and ridiculus drawings nowadays, while teen series need action and merchandise)

  3. Firechick says:

    “10 year old Anne is much more mature than 11 year old Anne of Green Gables”

    That does seem like the case, but I wonder if the maturity that Anne (in this series) is displaying is a facade? Maybe she’s simply being mature because she feels obligated to take care of Mrs. Hammond’s kids since Mrs. Hammond herself is always tired and stressed due to having so many kids under age 4. Anne in this series has been taking care of her adopted families’ (Thomas and Hammond) kids since she was young and didn’t really have times where she could freely play around and goof off and really be a kid, whereas in Anne of Green Gables, the Cuthbert family don’t have any kids (well, except her). Since they have no kids, Anne thought she had been presented the opportunity to finally be a kid and goof around and talk and play to her heart’s content (despite Marilla’s crossness with her in the beginning). Yes, I’ve read the book for this series and Anne of Green Gables, and am now reading Anne of Avonlea. Sorry if this seems a bit weird. Just had a compulsion to say it.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:28 AM)
    @Emma: yeah you’ll most likely enjoy it. On the surreàl scale it lies somewhere between Birdman and Holy Mountain, so although it’s peppered with symbolic imagery and thematic shots it’s still a personal story about a man’s struggle when faced with his own demise. Although a lofty statement, this is in my onion philip seymour hoffman’s best performance, and his untimely death adds another incredibly rich level of nuance to this movie.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:20 AM)
    @Bam: Adaption, Nicholas Cage =< a guilty pleasure actor to watch for the most part and little more.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:12 AM)
    @Bam: The more you mentiom Synecdoche, the more interested I get. Malcovich was a creative idea for a film and Eternal sunshine was a good spin on the romance genre which gave Jim Carrey a film worth acting in.
    Riki-oh if anything is just a heck of alot of fun.

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