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.

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:

  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 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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 10. 2015 01:08 AM)
    Although it looks like my final picks for the season are in, subete, garo, young black jack with me on the fence about utawerumono.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 10. 2015 12:59 AM)
    Okay new garo you’ve got my attention as a violent action show, but you can go further than that. Also I can’t see these protaganists having the same charisma as Germain and Ema.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 02:09 AM)
    @Kaiser Sunny looks interesting but I’ll be honest, when I say Slice-of-Life I actually mean Cute-Girls-Doing-Cute-Things.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 02:07 AM)
    @Kaiser I actually haven’t seen Black Mass.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 12:57 AM)
    These new Batman shorts called ‘Batman of Shanghai’ are pretty awesome:
    Props to Wolf Smoke Studios for the style and execution. I think this borrowed a lot from the Studio 4°C segment of the Batman: Gotham Knight anthology series. I haven’t been this entertained by a Batman cartoon since the original Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 11:09 PM)
    I have to finish the world is mine someday…and read all of Yamamoto Naoki’s works, looks like some good obscure seinen there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:52 PM)
    @Realist: Slice of life fan, you’ll want to go off and read Taiyou matsumoto’s work, Sunny being one of them.
  • Kevin
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:50 PM)
    @ninjarealist Ha u that one nigga that jet lol nice way to sneak back, I missed you. Remember me?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:48 PM)
    @Realist: I imagine you will be seeing black mass?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:47 PM)
    @Realist: Oh by the way I remember ages ago you recommended Meserine to me, not the biggest gangster fan out there and this did suffer from the usual issues of the bipic format but some great action bits in it =) and Vincent Cassel doing what he does best.

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