… 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.|