Posted by psgels on 10 January 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




… this was made in 1977. It’s amazing to think that even at a time when anime was only fifteen years old, and mostly consisted out of cheesy and episodic kiddie shows, some people were already making these highly detailed, imaginative and well told storylines.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Ie Naki Ko’s graphics were the best out of any TV-series at its time: Osamu Dezaki as a director was consistently experimenting with new animation techniques in order to simulate movement. The backgrounds also give a wonderfully detailed and realistic depiction of the french landscapes of 140 years ago.And I mean, the show is old, so the graphics obviously look dated, but there still is enough great art and eye candy for today’s standards. I especially liked the technique where layers of background art moving on top of each other. The things that worked least were probably the “shocking moments”. Those were probably a bit too dramatically drawn.

This series tells the story of the travels of a young abandoned child. Unlike most of the World Masterpiece Theatre Series that first take about twelve episodes of build-up, it immediately starts off as an engaging series. The show is 51 episodes long, but it has plenty of material to fill it up with, perhaps with only the episodes between 15 and 25 dragging on a bit. The show goes through some huge changes in both mood and storyline, and there’s an array of very different and interesting goals and trials that the creators throw at the poor young Remi.

Because of this, his growth throughout the series is a really memorable one, but the side characters are also wonderfully portrayed. The major side characters all receive their own share of development, and the minor ones all feel wonderfully down to earth and realistic. Even all of the animals in this series have their own personalities, flaws and strengths.

Now, comparing Remi to other World Masterpiece Theatre series, there are two areas at which it is unfortunately notably weaker than some of the best ones. The first is the acting, which sometimes gets a bit too dramatic and not as realistic as the best WMT series out there (emphasis on “best”; with that I mean series as Perrine Monogatari and Les Miserables, not the Trapp Family Story or even Romeo’s Blue Skies). The show really tries to be out there and catch your attention, and with that come these sacrifices as the almost theatrical type of acting, plus a rather worrying amount of disasters that seem to cling to Remi. Seriously, the amount of coincidences that hit this kid may be a bit worrying here…

Overall though, this is a wonderful series for both kids and adults. It’s just one of those examples that show that the gems of anime can be found in any decade; it leaves many series behind it, both modern and old. If you like the World Masterpiece Theatre type of series but would like to see a different twist on them, then by all means give this one a chance.

Storytelling: 8/10 – The acting is a bit too theatrical at times, but it’s an excellent take on a classic story with a diverse plot that keeps moving forward.
Characters: 9/10 – Great character development, themes and just about every character has something to like.
Production-Values: 9/10 – For its time: just fantastic. For today’s standards it does look a tad dated but there is still a lot of neat stuff to look at if you don’t mind the vastly different art style.
Setting: 9/10 – Very realistic, well detailed believable. An excellent backdrop for this series.

Suggestions:
Ashita no Nadja
Perrine Monogatari
Porfy no Nagai Tabi

9 Responses

  1. Ncky says:

    Omg I saw this anime when I was 4 years old! I think it was a movie,but your pictures look exactly the same as I can remember in the movie!! It’s one of the saddest story’s ever!!

  2. senerikfred says:

    This isn’t actually a WMT, although the 1997 version was. For more background on and singing the praises of this show, I suggest going to ANN’s ‘Buried Treasure’ entry: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/buried-treasure/2008-08-14/nobody-boy-remi

  3. Firechick says:

    Seriously? JUST 87,5? I thought you’d rate it at least 90 or even 92,5! I gave it a 93/100 in my review of it on My Anime List. Well, it is your opinion after all, and I have nothing against it. But you’re right, it IS great!

  4. Joe says:

    This is a great show for children to watch. That is if you hate little kids. Compare this anime to kiddie shows currently being aired today, their parents will be furious to see them being subject to the horribly sadistic things Remi went through. On the other hand it might be a great character builder. Let the little buggers learn some empathy.

  5. chuu says:

    Everyone of my generation knows that show, it played on TV when I was around ten. We were completely traumatized by its sadness!

    However, I do remember that the quality was especially good. The layering technique was something I had never seen before, and I don’t think I’ve seen anything similar in any other serie since then.

  6. Ingenu says:

    I’m surprised noone mentionned it’s based on a french novel, which explains why it’s so different from kiddy shows.
    “Sans famille” written by Hector Malot.
    You might want to read the original story.

  7. Reid Gheith says:

    I really wish I could get this anime. I remember watching Showtime’s American adaptation for it, and I have never forgotten the show. It was the very first slice-of-life anime that captivated my attention, during a time and age in my life where such drama would typically bore me to sleep. In America it was titled, “Nobody’s Boy”, and ran the length of 90 or so minutes. I have been looking for it since the start of consumer broadband being made available to the public. I am surprised (and quite pleased) that someone remembers the show. You’ll find this series at AnimeFlavor.com when I find it!

  8. windy says:

    Ncky: I’ve also seen this, or some episodes of it, when I was under ten years old, but then I rewatched the whole series. I rewatched every series I watched under that age because, when you’re a child, you have your own way of watching, we could have been distracted by many outfictional factors and besides, since then we forget almost all the details! Maybe, when you watched the series, at the time you pictured it as a movie because you watched one episode of it. It makes me remember the time when “Candy Candy” was airing, I used to catch it some mornings when I was five or six, but then I rewatched it and it’s something totally different!

  9. pi says:

    Oh… god… I remember watching this when I was a child–just as much as I remember crying in practically every episode. I wish you didn’t make this post. Now I’m tempted to watch it and bawl my eyes out.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:54 AM)
    Same with action scenes: I might like realistic grounded sword fights, with the battle settling after a few swings and slashes. Others might enjoy over-the-top sequences, with aerial flips and ridiculous power moves.
    This concept can be expanded to the enjoyment of romance, slice-of-life, historic, and any other subject matter. If someone’s a grownup adult and doesn’t realize such a fundamental concept, than they seriously lack critical thinking and social understanding.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:51 AM)
    @Mike: this became very apparent to me after the initial Space Dandy reviews. Some people hated the juvenile humor and the T&A, while some others loved it for its sincerity and unpretentiousness. Who was right in this scenario? People clearly have different senses of humor, and neither is more correct than the other. People jumped on the positive reviewers’ throats, calling them ‘sellouts’ or ‘retards’, while the fact of the matter lied in different tastes.
  • Mike
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:39 AM)
    @K-Off @Bam I’d have to agree. One glance at any seasonal preview will show that, and psgels certainly didn’t hide his bias when he reviewed Galilei Donna for example. I enjoyed seeing him get upset that the Anime did not accurately portray the architecture in his native Netherlands.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:36 AM)
    It’s the same with review scores. It’s just a relative metric used for comparison. For example, if a reviewer gives a series an 8 and another a 9, it simply means that they thought the latter was slightly better than the former. It’s all subjective, since only hard-boiled facts could be assessed objectively. A person’s enjoyment of a work is purely based on their personal preference.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:32 AM)
    A number score doesn’t imply objectivity tho. When I worked as an EMT we would ask the patients to rate their level of pain from 1 to 10. This wasn’t done so we could compare their rating to some pain database, but rather so we could tell after a procedure if their pain has gone up or down.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:21 AM)
    @Vonter A conversational and opinionated format does not equal inconsistent and shoddy posts, I did not imply otherwise . Also, ratings. I’ve talked to Mario myself and the both of us don’t take it seriously. We’ll criticise and evaluate certain topics, yes. But that does not make us “critics” in the sense of the entertainment journalism industry, that emphasizes objectivism over personal opinion, which is what we specialize in as a blog. Which is the point I was making.
  • Badesh
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:18 AM)
    Guys with no life couldn’t write as eloquently. It’s a thing you learn from actual living. If you stand by your side, loving your self for your own opinion, you will learn that others stand by theirs.
  • Vonter
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:08 AM)
    @K-Off I think that’s cutting it short. There’s a consistency and I suppose effort in putting the posts together. As for conversational, I’ve find the shoutbox to be moreso. As for critic, is a person who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works, dramatic or musical performances. Given the blog gives scores, there’s evidently an evaluation involved.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 08:51 AM)
    @Bam @Kevin Funniest part about this is, that myself, psgels, Mario, Helghast, and Aidan are not even critics. We’re writers of a blog, a format in and of itself purely conversational and opinionated.
  • Kevin
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 08:46 AM)
    @Mike Who’s the one without a life now? You’ve been on this dump for 8 years. Go fuck yourself and go outside for once.
    I’m officially done at this point. Tired of psgels, tired of this bullshit ass circlejerk. As of right now I hope you realize how much of a no life cunt you lot are. Fucking fags.

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