Meh, I’m not exactly happy. This episode really was the final nail in the coffin for our Anne: SOMEWHERE ON THAT SHIP, the real Anne must be walking around somewhere, anxiously waiting to meet the Cuthberts. This isn’t just a matter of Anne’s voice actress (who somehow kept the same voice through the entire series, and never even once tried to act like the real Anne), but the entire direction of this episode makes no sense whatsoever. Also, there was too much pointless dialogue in this episode. You could replace 90% of it with just “blah blah blah” and it wouldn’t have lost that much of its meaning.
Of course, it was an interesting idea from the creators to give Anne the time to close off her past by bringing her some letters from the Thomas family, however it just doesn’t make any sense. Right now, Anne can think back to those times with at least a happy mindset, but that goes completely against the Anne of Green Gables: she hated her past, and only talked about it when she really needed to. Right now, I can see how Anne wants to tell all her new friends about her adventures on Nova Scotia, just because the creators decided to slap this kind of a happy ending at the end.
I’m not against happy endings, but I’m really against the ones that don’t make any sense in terms of storytelling. I’m usually very lenient on anime, but endings are one thing that I’m very strict against: after all, these are the things that you’ll remember the most after finishing a series. This episode looked too much to the past. It tried to wrap things up that didn’t need to be wrapped up: I actually really liked that you can’t be sure what happens to the people you leave behind. Just leave it to your imagination what can happen to them. This episode instead should have focused on Anne’s trip to Prince Edward’s Island. In fact, it would have made a great ending, to just see Anne imagining what it would be like to live with the Cuthberts, which was pretty much glossed over in this episode. I’d love to have seen a bit of last-minute background on Spencer and Lily, for example (non-cheesy, of course).
Overall, if I would have been in charge of adapting this series, I would have done it really differently, especially after the Thomas-arc. It’s a real shame, but this really seems to be the end of the World Masterpiece Theatre for good: when even a remake of one of the most loved characters of the franchise fails, then there’s no wonder that Nippon Animation ended up deciding not to continue it. Still, I really hope that they’re not going to give up after this. After Toei, they probably are the oldest animation company still actively producing series, and I hope that they will come with new series in the next decade. Because even without the WMT, they have made their share of wonderful series.
Thankfully I still have plenty of WMT-series that I haven’t seen yet. Right now, I’d rank the ones of which I’ve watched at least 13 episodes as follows:
8. Konnichiwa Anne
7. Trapp Family Story
6. Tom Sawyer
5. Ie Naki Ko Remi (1997)
4. Anne of Green Gables
3. Perrine Monogatari
2. Porfy no Nagai Tabi
1. Les Miserables
Rating: — (Lacking)