Posted on 28 December 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



People who know this blog probably know that I’ve been a big fan of the World Masterpiece Theatre for a while now. Especially Les Miserables belongs among my favourites. It’s a shame, however, that what very likely is the very last installment of the franchise doesn’t really live up to its name. It’s a mixed bag, inconsistent, cheesy, and while it has incredibly good parts, it also has parts that are incredibly bad.

Konnichwa Anne was meant to be a prequel to one of the most-loved characters of the WMT-franchise: Anne of Green Gables. However, let me say this right up front: the Anne of Konnichiwa Anne IS NOT Anne of Green Gables. She’s just a girl who happens to bear a few striking similarities, but there is no way that they’re the same person. The Anne in this series is a genius and a bookworm, even though Anne of Green Gables only later became interested in studying. Anne of Green Gables didn’t like to look back at her past, but this part tends to be completely overshadowed by cheese at times in Konnichiwa Anne.

And like I said, the plot really is a mixed bag. There are just too many episodic stories which pick out a side-character and give them a cheesy backstory and development, which only end up ruining that particular character. And this show does it over and over and over. One particularly bad example is Henderson, who plays a major role in episodes 11 to 20. She just keeps on whining with her cheesy feminist morals and completely takes away the focus from all of the interesting characters.

However, this also is a show that whenever it shines, it really shines like no other. Setting aside the cheesy side-characters, there is one character who is developed brilliantly throughout the series: Bert. The creators did an amazing job of making this hopeless drunk come alive and give him just the right amount of background and depth to really make him steal the show whenever he’s on. Heck, he’s even far more interesting than Anne herself. Really, whenever Bert and his family form the central focus of this series, it forgets all of the cheese and instead it creates what it should have been creating throughout the entire series: amazingly genuine and heart-wrenching drama.

While the rest of the episodes range from annoying to decent, they still miss that level of detail and realism that graces the rest of the WMT-series. The creators were just too immature and inexperienced to make this work, and while I really congratulate them on the truly excellent way they developed Bert, they really were the wrong staff that was assigned to this project.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Really cheesy episodic stories, but the main storyline is okay.
Characters: 8/10 – Bert rocks beyond belief, Henderson sucks beyond belief. The rest of the characters hover somewhere in between.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Nothing special, but does its job.
Setting: 8/10 – Good depiction of 1900s Nova Scotia.
Posted on with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



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)

Posted on 21 December 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Aaah! No, not her! The annoying feminist is back! Get her away!

Yeah, I’m betting my hat that that part was anime-original. I can imagine how it might have seen heart-warming to the creators to bring back a few old characters… but of all the people you could choose, did it really have to be Henderson!? She ruined enough of this series as well. On a good note however: Eliza shows something of her again! Yay!

overall though, this episode thankfully avoided the pitfall that I thought it was doomed to fall in: Amy Thompson. Like expected, she indeed shows her past in this episode, but instead of giving Amy herself some shallow development, it’s used to convince Anne out of her tantrum, and make her go to Prince Edward Island. Okay, I can very much live with that, and I admit that it was very nicely done. Overall, the orphanage arc has been pretty mellow for this series: it was nowhere near the worst, but also nowhere near the best of this series. It’s a bit of a slow way to close off this series, but I guess that it could have been much worse.

It’s a bloody shame though that this means the end of the WMT-franchise, especially because no new series has been announced yet. As much as I loved Les Miserables and Porfy, their sales really didn’t do that well, and this attempt to revive the WMT-franchise was a financial failure, and it just never got the recognition and popularity that it received in its golden age. All we can hope is that Nippon Animation won’t give up with this. Even without the WMT, they’re a great animation company that uses its simplicity, to focus on strong themes or hilarious premises.
Rating: (enjoyable)

Posted on 14 December 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Well, there’s no denying that this episode had cheese, but it’s of the good kind. After all of the badly written episodes in this series, it’s at least good to see a heart-warming bitchfight between Anne and Edna that works reasonably well as long as you suspend your disbelief. Thank god Edna wasn’t another one of those stereotypical side-characters, but instead got a bit of depth to her. Even though her mother is the umpth mother who suffers from the “useless and sick mother”-syndrome.

Thinking back, it’s definitely been interesting to blog such a flawed series as this, mostly because while there were plenty of cringe-worthy moments, it never derailed completely: there always was something interesting going on that gave me plenty of inspiration to write about, compared to other rather one-sided shows as 07-Ghost, Valkyria Chronicles and some of the other shows that were a pain to blog for me. It’s really been a joy to blog Konnichiwa Anne throughout the past three seasons, despite it’s large share of problems. In the end, where this series truly shined was right after Henderson left, up to the point where Anne arrived at the Hammonds: these episodes were absolutely amazing, and the rest of the show really was hit or miss. I’d really say: crew Anne, Bert is the best character in this series. It’s not like Anne is the Anne of Anne of Green Gables anyway. Try saying that three times.

But yeah: there still is that matter of the two final episodes. The final episode will be fine. I’m not worrying about that one. My biggest worry is about the next one: the Amy Thompson episode. The creators have been hinting towards her quite a while now, but she never had her own episode yet, so there’s no doubt what next episode’s going to be about and that has me worried a lot. This show has a really nasty tendency to ruin perfectly fine characters with one-sided and shallow development.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 7 December 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Yes! Yes! The creators actually got Edna right! Oh, all signs pointed towards her getting the same treatment as all other secondary characters in this series in a lame and shallow episode that rewrites characters through cheesy dialogue instead of developing them. But they actually got that bitchiness of her right, while adding a bit of extra depth to her at the same time!

Throughout the majority of the episode, I feared the worst though. The point where Anne saw Edna sneak into the shed and talk to her imaginary friend was truly facepalm-worthy. This episode just kept throwing hints that it was going to give Amy Thompson and Edna cheesy one-line backstory, Anne gladly recapped the entire series through cheesy morals and even when the series did begin to look better (the letter from the Cuthberts arrived!), there was Tessa with her endless whining who ruined it. Sure I of course don’t mind a bit of sadness, but the way that Tessa kept bawling was just a case of hopelessly overacting.

But then that final scene. I’m not sure what happened, but we actually saw Edna putting up a very cheesy act that any adult would have seen through, yet Anne in her childish gullibleness believes (which, let’s face it, any kid her age would do). At the same time, it also looks like the creators put their best artist on the job of animating these scenes: the art is powerful and very expressive, and probably the best animated scene in this series.

The thing that separates good WMT-series from average WMT-series is among others, their sense of morality; nobody is purely good. Cosette was weak, hardly did anything and dependant, Marius was a one-minded revolutionary and Jean has had his past issues. Porfy was naive and often picked fights, Anne of Green Gables (not this Anne) pulled quite a few hi-jinks as a little kid. The Anne in this series however is always morally on the right path. Her weaknesses are all meant to be charming and are actually hidden strengths. This was actually one of the first times in which one of Anne’s weaknesses was actually exploited against her.

Now the question of course is going to be: can the final three episodes finish the job? The thing is that the creators aren’t done with Edna yet. It’s obvious that her plan is going to fail, and I definitely hope that the creators aren’t going to make her jump the shark after all. That’s another point at which this series differs from good WMT: in the WMT, you know things are going to happen, you just don’t know why. In the good series, this in no way lessens the impact of these scenes. In the lesser WMT-series, they become pretty dull spoilers that make the story even more predictable than it already was.

However, the thing that worries me even more is the following: why hasn’t the next WMT been announced yet? We’re about to dive into 2010. We can assume that Nippon Animation might be planning to keep the next one at 39 episodes as well, but even then there’s nothing certain yet. Oh, I really hope that they’re not planning to abandon this franchise again.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 30 November 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Ack! This is just what I feared. They decided to fill one of the last episodes of this series with this? Oh lord…

This episode… it really showed how the creators aren’t the best at telling a story. Out of all the possible uses this episode could have had to develop the characters, they chose such a far-fetched one that’s solely meant to make Anne look good and attempt (note to attempt) to develop only one single character: Tessa.

I say attempt, because this episode fell into the same trap as all of the other episodic episodes in this show. Way too one-sided and cheesy. I mean, this episode served no point or purpose whatsoever: Tessa already had enough depth. It’s the evil classmates that this series should be worrying about, and yet the creators hardly did anything to make them seem less one-sided than they already were. At this point, there are only four episodes left. This series really needed that time to flesh out the characters in the orphanage. Right now, the orphanage is one of the least interesting settings that this series has taken place in, after the school in Marysville.

And I also have to wonder: why is it that hard to find a subject for this episode? At times like these, I miss Porfy: it really made it seem so easy. It always had some inspiration for an episodic story with a wonderful feel to it. Konnichiwa Anne instead… throws in an abandoned baby. If it’s something that happens once in a while at the orphanage, okay. Then I can understand the need for the creators to address this problem. However, it was a totally unique case! It was just the story of one crazy father who abandoned his son. We never know anything about him. In the end, the creators threw in the baby, just to make Anne look good with her super baby-taking-care-of-skills. And not only that, it also made me aware of a rather nasty flaw of this series: its overglorified portrayal of babies. What happened to the screaming, yelling and whining that these kids keep doing that will even make grown adults pull out their hairs? In Anne of Green Gables, the way they showed that Anne was experienced in taking care of little kids.

Speaking of which… there are like, what? A few months left until the start of Anne of Green Gables? I had hopes for a while, but in the end, no. This girl IS NOT ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. In the end, she really is just a kid who looks like her. Anne has Tessa. There is no reason why she shouldn’t talk endlessly like usual to her. So why is she suddenly the quiet girl who doesn’t talk often?
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 23 November 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Okay, so this was a mixed bag. It would have been a great episode actually, but some of the faces in this episode were drawn really weird. When Anne got back to Tessa, the look on their faces was just rushed and overly cheesy. That ruined what could have been a powerful moment.

Nevertheless though, apart from that I liked this episode a lot. The fire arc was solved very neatly, and enough time was given for both Anne and Tessa to sort out their thoughts and make them willing to talk. This episode did a great job in developing the two of them. It’s especially great to see that Anne is finally recovering from the shock she received from the death of Mr. Hammond and all of its implications. Especially the part in which she ran away on her own (Tessa eventually became too scared to go along with her).

I fear however for the next episodes. There are five episodes left. My prediction is that the next episode will focus on Amy Thompson (aka the headmistress). After that we’ll probably get two episodes focused on the evil classmates, while the final two episodes will wrap up the story and send Anne off to the Cuthberts.

I have great expectations for the final two episodes, but the other three are going to be the problems: they’re exactly the type of episodes that this show just ISN’T GOOD AT. The headmistress episode reminds me of the midwife episode: she started off so promising, but when she got her own episode her development was just cheesy. The same goes for the evil classmates: I really like how thus far, the only reason why they’re bullying Anne is because it was Anne who started fighting with them. However, who knows what kind of cheese they’re going to fall into as soon as they’re going to get developed?
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 16 November 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



This episode really defied my expectations. With the clichés in the previous episode, I was expecting a rather cheesy aftermath, like so many of the other shorter arcs of this series screwed up before. And yet this episode was surprisingly good.

And this mostly comes courtesy of Tessa, who turned out to be a really genuine character throughout this episode. She’s so incredibly innocent and yet none of it is overdone or shallow like with the Randolf or Mildred episodes. I especially liked how she desperately tried to make up with Anne, knowing the things she did.

The point at which the headmistress called the entire class together also really hit home with me. The nostalgia! When I was a kid, we also had these points at which someone did something, yet refused to come clean, and so the teacher put the entire class on these long-winded lectures that at the time never seemed to end.

This actually provides hope for the rest of this series. Tessa now has enough depth and there’s no reason for the creators to develop her even more. The big question that’s going to make or break the finale of this series is of course going to be the rest of Anne’s classmates, with most importantly the bookworm and the tomboy. The rest of the series will be fine. It’s those two that the creators really need to pay attention at in order to prevent falling into past pitfalls. If they can get that duo right, then there’s not much else that can go wrong at this point.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 9 November 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Ah, thankfully this episode did a great job in portraying the orphanage that Anne ended up in. The owner was very down to earth, and the other orphans weren’t just evil for the sake of evil, but just a bunch of bratty kids, put off by how Anne made a complete enemy out of the entire orphanage as she refused to socialize. The fire was a bit too much,, but at least this explains what happened to Browning’s book.

But yeah, the Anne right now is more and more growing to become the Anne at the start of Anne of Green Gables. I honestly didn’t expect the creators to be able to pull this off. The reason she hated to be called a red head wasn’t because she was occasionally teased about it when she was young. Instead, it was because of the abuse she endured in the orphanage. In her own mind, orphanages had formed such an evil presence that she simply refused to believe that they’re not all that bad.

Her classmates and teacher also sound much more interesting than her class in Marysville. The teacher is a bit incompetent, but you can see that the children respect her. She’s not so obviously and stereotypical as Henderson was. Her classmates are also much more complex than Mildred (who was just bratty because her parents didn’t pay enough attention to her) and Randolf. These kids all had the painful experience of the loss of their parents, and yet they haven’t shut themselves in as much as Anne. Even the bookworm turned out to be the most popular girl, but in a more realistic way than you often see portrayed.

Now, the question obviously remains: is the development of these people going to go right? The next episodes are going to be a huge hit or miss again, because it’s exactly this that this series is worst at. Remember the midwife of a few episodes ago: when she first appeared, she was awesome. Then she got developed, and she turned cheesy. The kids right now are great, but half-hearted development is going to hurt them much more than making them stay the same. Right now, there are seven episodes left. What this series needs to do is make use of this time. Instead of picking out one character every episode to develop, it instead needs to focus on slice of life, and let the characters gradually come to tolerate each other.

I know that the creators can do this for Anne: they have shown this by now. Anne right now is still very elitist: she’s been so much used to look down on other kids that she needs to realize that she’s just the same as everyone else in order to remain in canon with Anne of Green Gables. I have no doubt that the creators can do this, and they need to realize that they can simply do the same thing for the other character. No need for cheese.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 2 November 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



The episodes in this series have really ranged from incredibly bad to incredibly good. This episode was another gem for this anime. A unique episode that really closes off Anne’s development.

Ah, screw Mr Hammond’s death. This guy was too one-dimensional to really have an impact. What counts is what happens after his demise, because Johanna’s problems were nothing compared to Mrs. Hammond. This time, not four but eight children had to be divided, and none of the family members was wealthy enough to support more than two children. And thus comes the cruel ritual in which they each pick a child they like and split up the family.

But the real star of this episode was Anne. Oh my god, the creators may have their issues with cheese, but their portrayal of Anne in this episode was magnificent. The way she was animated, standing at the sidelines while nobody cared about what was going to happen to her. This was the moment Anne was supposed to break, and oh my god, they portrayed that so well.

With this, everything makes sense. Those who followed my entries will often have noticed how often I criticized that Anne had no reason to throw away her past: she was living happily, she was very eager to study and had a lot of friends, and no matter what was thrown at her, she kept looking at the bright side of life.

It’s heart-wrenching to see that this, of all things, was too much for her. All this time, she was able to look on the bright side of life because she had a family. She had to work hard and often only had the people in her imagination to talk to, but I think that she drew satisfaction in that she was needed. Since she’s an orphan, she probably heard some terrible things about orphanages, and in her imagination this only got blown up into terrible proportions. It was only fueled by how Mr. Hammond saved her from being sent to one: before she became friends with him, I believe that that was what kept her supporting the always cold Mrs. Hammond. Sure, she’s probably going to find out that orphanages aren’t as bad as she imagined them to be, but nevertheless: this episode inflicted a nasty wound on her that caused her to block out most of her youth.

I really thought that we’d only get to see this story at episode 38 or something. There’s going to be a significant amount of episodes dedicated to that orphanage, apparently. Again, I can’t say whether or not they’re going to be good or not. With this series at this point, anything can happen. With this episode, we closed off the theme that this series was best at: dysfunctional families. Right now, Anne is going to meet children who are the same as her, yet can the writers handle them? The potential of them delving into their cheesy episodic stories is of course really big…
Rating: *** (Awesome)

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  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:41 AM)
    @Aidan That was my response to NGNL too. Some of the loli fanservice is borderline disgusting, and the characters can be incredibly grating at times. But… http://37.media.tumblr.com/c9c0dc8ef051c13f73e5d3568f4c735b/tumblr_n45u9i1PX71r3mmj9o1_500.gif
  • Mikey
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:31 AM)
    Next episode is one of my favorites.
  • Mikey
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:30 AM)
    @Nyangoro Yeah. I’m not sure how that happened either. I thought the ending more than made up for it though, but that’s just me.
  • Nyangoro
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:29 AM)
    @Mikey, I think that’s been everyone’s reaction to that song, rofl
  • Mikey
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 03:06 AM)
    The ending song for JoJo Stardust Crusaders was so perfect. Why didn’t I think of it before?
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 02:38 AM)
    Wow, No Life no game sure fell into some serious pitfalls there.
    Strangely I still rather enjoy it.
  • Nyangoro
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 02:02 AM)
    While I liked this episode of Mushishi, I’m not entirely sure how he avoided drowning. I’d assume it has something to do with the mushi in this episode, but they normally explain it. Here, it just kinda happens, unless I missed something.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 19. 2014 12:47 AM)
    Beyond my comments on the ending…oddly…after Haqua…somehow I have a thing for chihiro..yet as a character prefer Tenri 0.0 .
  • Mikey
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 11:28 PM)
    @Aidan Agreed. Tenri was the best girl.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Apr 18. 2014 11:06 PM)
    @Mikey, yep. It wasn’t a bad ending. All it really needed was a few more chapters.
    In all honestly though I really don’t think things between the final couple will work out. They are too different. Plus Tenri deserved to win.

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