The episodes in this series have really ranged from incredibly bad to incredibly good. This episode was another gem for this anime. A unique episode that really closes off Anne’s development.
Ah, screw Mr Hammond’s death. This guy was too one-dimensional to really have an impact. What counts is what happens after his demise, because Johanna’s problems were nothing compared to Mrs. Hammond. This time, not four but eight children had to be divided, and none of the family members was wealthy enough to support more than two children. And thus comes the cruel ritual in which they each pick a child they like and split up the family.
But the real star of this episode was Anne. Oh my god, the creators may have their issues with cheese, but their portrayal of Anne in this episode was magnificent. The way she was animated, standing at the sidelines while nobody cared about what was going to happen to her. This was the moment Anne was supposed to break, and oh my god, they portrayed that so well.
With this, everything makes sense. Those who followed my entries will often have noticed how often I criticized that Anne had no reason to throw away her past: she was living happily, she was very eager to study and had a lot of friends, and no matter what was thrown at her, she kept looking at the bright side of life.
It’s heart-wrenching to see that this, of all things, was too much for her. All this time, she was able to look on the bright side of life because she had a family. She had to work hard and often only had the people in her imagination to talk to, but I think that she drew satisfaction in that she was needed. Since she’s an orphan, she probably heard some terrible things about orphanages, and in her imagination this only got blown up into terrible proportions. It was only fueled by how Mr. Hammond saved her from being sent to one: before she became friends with him, I believe that that was what kept her supporting the always cold Mrs. Hammond. Sure, she’s probably going to find out that orphanages aren’t as bad as she imagined them to be, but nevertheless: this episode inflicted a nasty wound on her that caused her to block out most of her youth.
I really thought that we’d only get to see this story at episode 38 or something. There’s going to be a significant amount of episodes dedicated to that orphanage, apparently. Again, I can’t say whether or not they’re going to be good or not. With this series at this point, anything can happen. With this episode, we closed off the theme that this series was best at: dysfunctional families. Right now, Anne is going to meet children who are the same as her, yet can the writers handle them? The potential of them delving into their cheesy episodic stories is of course really big…
Rating: *** (Awesome)