Posted by psgels on 22 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



Perrine was created in 1978. And really, it’s amazing to think that already at that time, when anime was just in its adolescence and only fifteen years old, it already had its share of masterpieces produced. When thinking of the early WMT-series, usually you think of Isao Takahata‘s Anne of Green Gables and 30000 Leagues in Search of Mother, but Perrine also really belongs amongst them.

Perrine Monogatari has a great story, but I do want to say that I probably have never seen another series that spends so much effort into building up for it. To put things into perspective: the original novel by Hector Malot only starts around episode 20. Before that, it’s all original material, portraying the lead character Perrine and her mother as they journey from Bosnia to Paris. and even when the story starts for real, it still takes its time in order to really make Perrine’s journey as realistic and believable as possible.

And it works, because this series is meticulously detailed. All of the events of the series, bot the uplifting and tragedic ones, really come across as realistic, both in the dialogue, the scenario and the way in which the characters are animated (which really is impressive for a 53-episoded TV-series of its time; there really are very few still frames here), even simple things as buying bread are given plenty of time to signify their importance.

Needless to say, the character-development here is amazing. Perrine slowly grows into an amazing character, but also the side-characters are all very realistic, with both their charms and flaws, and even the characters who only appear for one or two episodes are portrayed as actual people, rather than a bunch of stereotypes. There are no villains here whatsoever, and instead the drama around the series is all created around the flaws of each character, while it explores themes as hard work and honesty.

Now, there are times at which this series plays around with fate a little too much, and the language barrier also gets ignored throughout the first half of the series, but the only reason why this will catch your attention is because the rest of the series is just so incredibly realistic. This obviously is not a series for those looking for action, but for the people who are interested in slice of life and travelling series, it’s an excellent recommendation. It never tries to force any artificial drama when this isn’t necessary and it always remains wonderfully down to earth. It’s the series like this that showed that anime can be refined and mature, and not just silly entertainment for kids, opening up the door to more and more anime aimed at older audiences.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Very realistic, very detailed, a ton of build-up, but note that it’s very, very slow.
Characters: 10/10 – Wonderful development, charming and realistic side-characters.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Quite good for its time, though a bit messy for today’s standards. Especially the sound quality will be hard to get used to.
Setting: 9/10 – A very detailed portrayal of the places that Perrine visits, from Yugoslavia to France.

Suggestions:
Porfy no Nagai Tabi
Anne of Green Gables
Touch

11 Responses

  1. Avatar Firechick says:

    I was wondering when you’d write a Perrine review! And you hit the nail on the head! I plan to watch this series (along with other titles) once I finish up some other titles. It certainly does interest me.

  2. Avatar Gudo says:

    Very informative. Sometimes the oldies are the best :)

  3. Avatar Reala says:

    Eh, I was just looking for something to watch. This will do nicely.

  4. Avatar Julian says:

    Mmm I think you that you should watch Heidi! It’s really a great, heartwarming, realistic but at the same time simplistic anime!!

  5. Avatar Julian says:

    Mmm I think you that you should watch Heidi! It’s really a great, heartwarming, realistic but at the same time simplistic anime!!

  6. Avatar Joojoobees says:

    Another show that needs to go on my list of things that need to be seen. What are you trying to do to me? Keep me backlogged for life?

  7. Avatar Gottis says:

    You should do Rose of Versailles. >>

    But really, old school!Anime truly shines nowadays, with all the moe shows and fanservice that the studios belch out.

    I wanna find a present day anime that focus on the STORY, not the lead girl’s panties, kthxplz. >_>

    Any recommendations, aside from FMA Brotherhood? =D

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Gottis: well, that is a bit of a too biased way to view it. Back in those days, there also was a lot of generic stuff released (then it was mostly giant robot series, though).

    The current season has its own gems that have nothing to do with fanservice. Giant Killing, Shiki, Rainbow. It’s not all moe. ;)

  9. Avatar Solaris says:

    Sure past generic crap has been long forgotten by now, so we can look back at Rose of Versaille and clearly state it was and still is a masterpiece.
    The point is if there are any series produced now that we’ll be able to remember as masterpieces in a few decades from now, when all the crap they’re producing now, will be long forgotten.
    I doubt kids from 2020’s would recognize Shiki or Giant Killing as masterpieces the same way we can say Versailles no Bara is a masterpice from the past.
    *NOTE: I used such titles as an example.

  10. Avatar Firechick says:

    “I wanna find a present day anime that focus on the STORY, not the lead girl’s panties, kthxplz. >_>”

    I TOTALLY AGREE!!! I’m kind of hunting those down as I speak (thankfully I found one in Bungaku Shoujo)!! If you want, maybe I can recommend some titles for you to watch!…of course, I don’t know what you like, Gottis.

  11. Avatar Gottis says:

    @psgels: Yeah, I’ve seen my fair share of cringe worthy Giant Robot series from back in the days, that’s true. ^^;;

    @Solaris: I couldn’t agree with you more. I mean… Why does no one know about either Bokurano or Ghost Hound, but say K-On! or Lucky Star and most of the active anime watchers know what you’re talking about. >_> But I doubt those anime will make an impact 20 years from now. (Only used as examples.)

    @Firechick: Oh please, recommend away. I like psychological stuff a lot; Bokurano, Ghost Hound, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (despite the killer loli characters! XD;;) … Basically, I’m one of those girls who doesn’t really like girls as the main characters, unless they’re kids, like in Dennou Coil and Digimon. But if the storyline’s interesting enough, I’ll watch whatever you recommend. ^^

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