Posted on 28 October 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Every week I keep hoping for Anne NOT to go to school, and this episode listened to my prayers: it was an entire episode, dedicated to the Hammond family, and holy crap! Spoiler alert!

Hammond was bound to die, we all knew that. However, I didn’t think that the creators were going to be this fast with it! We’ve got eight episodes left. I really thought that the entire second half of this series would be spent on the Hammond family, in contrast with the Thomas Family, and that Hammond’s death, and Anne’s subsequent leaving of that family as the major climax. This episode gives my entire expectations for the rest of this series a whole new dimension.

Hammond’s death didn’t have the same impact as the Bert’s, but that’s only logical. He’s only had the screen-time of about four episodes, and really didn’t have the time to truly make an impact. And not to mention that his death was a bit cheesy. Did the creators really have to pull down these angelic lights for it? Nevertheless, this was a great episode that really gave a lot of depth for the Hammond family for as far as possible. We see how the couple fell in love, and how Mr. Hammond just kept working himself to death, in order to support his family.

The death scene also showed a fundamental difference with the Thomas family. One thing I really liked about that scene was the random passer-by: he immediately tried to do everything he could to try and save Mr. Hammond. That’s not something you see often in anime, is it? It really showed that Mr. Hammond is well liked in his town, completely the opposite of Bert, who people refused to help even when Noah was in trouble. You could call Mr. Hammond naive, but at the same time he strikes me as someone who didn’t want to give in to his illness: with his heart, he knew that he wouldn’t see his children grow up, and therefore did everything he could to ensure them a future as good as possible: he kept taking on large jobs to give his wife financial support, he searched for Anne to support his wife for after he dies. And in the meantime, he simply tries to forget about his problems by being nice, fantasizing like Anne and generally looking at the bright side of life.

But yeah, the problem is going to be: what will the rest of this series focus at? Anne is going to have to leave eventually, but how long will that take? We know that she and Mrs. Hammond don’t go well together, and I think that Mrs. Hammond will use that reason to send Anne to the orphanage. Still, I do think that the two of them are going to spend a few more episodes together.

I also really wonder what this series is going to do for its climax, and what this series is going to look like once Anne does arrive at the orphanage (which at the same time seems so close now). At this point, episodes in this series can either be really good or really dull, with nothing in between: at this point I’ve really lost my patience with this show’s cheesy episodic stories like what we saw in the previous two episodes. However, at the same time the themes of dysfunctional families have been fleshed out really well now, with the Hammond family to contrast with the Thomas family.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 19 October 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Well, I actually forgot to publish this post after I wrote it. That’s a headdesk-moment right there.

Obviously I’m not in the mood of writing everything all over again, but I do want to say that this episode confirmed my fears of the return of the cheese in this series. It wasn’t as bad as during the Marysville arc, but nevertheless the climaxes are getting formulaic at this point. This will probably continue for most of the rest of this series.

However, there is good news, because this series promises to end on a good note. This really is a series with its ups and downs, and we’re unfortunately currently in a down again.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 12 October 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



So, this was really the episode that would make or break this series: it was going to be the first episode of Anne, as she settled in the Hammond family, and visited her new school for the first time. The result is really a mixed bag, but I think that the creators are going to be able to make something out of it. At least, I don’t think that we’re going to get another repeat of the disaster of the Marysville arc.

First of all, Anne has grown again: she’s now ten years old, and you can see her development for the past three months that skipped: she has had no time to play around and be a kid, and really grown up in the meantime. But yeah, that brings us the the problems of continuity again: 10-year-old Anne is much more mature than 11-year-old Anne of Green Gables.

At a certain point in this episode, Anne also finds books of Shakespeare, and it’s actually very interesting to see her using these books and her own fantasy, in order to distract her from the reality she’s in. Like with the books she read in Marysville, she becomes entranced with them, especially because this time, she really has nobody to talk to. In Marysville, she at least had Johanna to talk to, Bert to relieve her worries to, and Noah, who she saw as her own brother because she had been raising him ever since he was born. But yeah, that brings us to continuity again: remember the beginning of Anne of Green Gables? Anne talked about a lot of girly things, but to my memory, she NEVER mentioned Shakespeare. This just again shows that there were a lot of red-haired Anne Shirleys walking around back in those days.

Now, as for the school. I absolutely loved the part in which the teacher was grading some tests by his students. That was really realistic. We didn’t actually get to see the students, because the schools were closed for summer break, but at least the teacher is much better than Henderson: he has this down-to-earth attitude towards teaching, and yet you can see why he decided to become a teacher in the first place.

Unfortunately on the other hand, the cheese is back. The drama in this episode was of the shallow kind again: Anne meets person, Anne talks to person and in the end the person completely changes into a different character because of the insights that Anne gave him. Especially the way in which the teacher said exactly what he learned and how it’s going to change his life just felt forced. I know that this is a kids’ show and all, but Porfy no Nagai Tabi faced the same problem, and that series again and again came up with great one-episode stories with plenty of well-written drama.

So yeah, overall this episode pretty much solidified as an inferior, though capable WMT-series, somewhat like Ie Naki Ko Remi (the 1997-version)’s sister-series. The two have a lot in common: both are spin-offs of utterly brilliant adaptations of literary works, but have drama that’s too shallow to really call themselves equal to the series they’re based on. And yet standalone, they’re pretty enjoyable. Remi had this with its excellent soundtrack (along with the best OP and ED of any WMT I’ve seen so far), strong lead and dark story about child-labour, while Anne did this with its dark attention to dysfunctional families, and a well-developed lead character Anne, who hardly resembles her original character.

Now that 2010 is getting closer and closer, I can only hope for an announcement of next year’s WMT-series to appear. Oh, I so hope that Nippon Animation is going to continue this franchise, despite its low popularity.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 5 October 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Another dark and haunting episode for this series. At this point, I’m really doubting how to exactly rate this series in the end: the Marysville arc was very annoying to sit through and contained lots and lots of stereotypes, and yet the Thomas Family was very well developed, and the Hammond-family also is promising to be a very engaging family for Anne to get caught up in. This series is definitely the worst of the new generation of WMTs, but how much worse than Porfy is it?

But yeah, the original Akage no Anne already hinted at it: raising large families is hard, and the Hammond family at this point just shows how hard this is when you have a dysfunctional family. The father seems like he has the financial resources to take care of his kids, but he has heart problems that prevent him from helping his wife when he returns home. His wife right now was in the middle of her pregnancy, so there was nobody who could keep the children in check this episode. It’s a very real problem that I’m sure a lot of families had back in the days in which this series took place.

This episode also introduces a new character, Miss Hagaty, who is the local medical specialist and helps the mother through her birth in this episode (I’ve got to look up their names some day), and she really strikes me as a very strong character with a lot of experience in these matters.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 September 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



I really like the World Masterpiece Theatre, but damn. There are times when it can be so goddamned cruel to its characters. It’s episodes like this that are heart-wrenching, simply because of what the characters have to go through. This was such a powerful episode, but oh my god… it was hard to watch Anne with the situation she’s been thrust in.

So Bert is dead. He left a considerable debt behind due to his drinking problem. Johanna’s parents are willing to pay this debt, take care of her and her four children. Only Anne is left out of the picture and has to be put into an freaking orphanage. Okay, so there turns out to be a guy who’s willing to take Anne in. Johanna is then forced to give Anne over to a TOTAL STRANGER, who’s going to take care of her, provided that she takes care of his children. These children turn out to be two pairs of twins, two older sisters, and another baby that’s about to be born. Suddenly Anne’s life with the Thomas Family is starting to look like a goddamned walk in the park. I knew that this was going to happen because of Anne of Green Gables, but damn. Seeing it actually animated only shows how many tasks are put to such a young girl… The only bright side at this point is that the father looks like a nice guy compared to what a bastard Bert was, however that brings us to another problem: this guy is also going to die, isn’t he?

On top of that, this episode definitively said goodbye to the Thomas family as well. In this episode, finally another reference to Elisa appeared. Seriously, I had totally forgotten about her, but she was the one who gave Anne a happy early childhood (see me talking about this for a character who only is 9 years old? How many others of Anne’s age have received this much depth already?)

Something tells me that the new family is going to be fine. It’s going to be exactly what this series is good at, only much worse than the Thomas Family (who finally grew up, dammit!). I guess that it’s here that Anne goes to school, and with that I have absolutely no idea whether that’s going to turn out all-right or not. It should prove to be great slice of life, provided that the creators can get the characters for Anne’s classmates right, instead of making them into a bunch of stereotypes. And hey, the creators can’t create a worse teacher than Henderson at this point, can they?
Rating: ** (Very hard to watch, but Excellent nonetheless)

Posted on 21 September 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



This episode was just… amazing. As cheesy as the drama was around Mildred, Randolf and Henderson, this episode was the exact opposite: powerful and subtle, and a very fitting end to one of my favourite characters of this series. I’m really happy with this series: there really were times when my patience had completely ran out because of said cheesy drama, but the past two episodes have actually made up for that. I’ve seldom seen series that start off great, then turn out disappointing, and yet manage to pick up themselves back to their previous level eventually.

the star of this episode was to my surprise Horace. While he was the oldest of the family, he was able to still remain a little kid because Anne was there to take care of his siblings. With this however, it really occurred to him that he is the oldest man in the family. His character-development from such a bratty little boy to an older brother who desperately wants to be dependable really was one of the best parts of this episode.

And yet for Johanna, it’s the complete opposite. It’s ironic: I kept wondering why Anne would be forced out of the house, because the series has shown that she’s able to support her family, if only barely, with the help of Anne. However, this episode fully explained that: she may have hated her husband at times, but she still really cared about this good for nothing drunk. His death completely sapped the life out of her, and who knows how long she might take to recover from it?

So yeah, the next episode yet again promises to be something amazing: thankfully Johanna’s parents have agreed to take her in, and take care of her children. Anne however, doesn’t fit in there, and so she’s going to have to find a new family. The next episode is going to be a major episode for Anne, and I’m really curious to see what the creators can do with her at this point.

Aside from the next episode, I have absolutely no idea what the final third of this series is going to be like. Is it going to be good? Bad? This series has proven to be so brilliant at some times, and yet so painfully annoying at others. It can really go anywhere, especially since I suspect that the final third is going to focus on a whole new cast, and we’re soon going to say goodbye to the Thomas family.

In a way, I like this: I really like series in which you won’t know what to expect. There really have been few series that have had such a large contrast between their highs and lows. It’d be awesome if this series could keep this up, but even if it doesn’t, it doesn’t change that this episode was an amazing one.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 14 September 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Oh my god… it’s happened. It’s bloody happened. What an incredible episode this was, it totally changed the way I look at this series. I know that I’ve talked down to this series a lot for the past months, but damn. This episode really reminded me why I’ve become such a huge fan of the World Masterpiece Theatre… BIG SPOILERS coming up!

But yeah, that disclaimer must have been a bit redundant, because it’s an event that probably everyone knew about before this series started: the death of Bert. And that’s one thing that makes the World Masterpiece Theatre stand apart from all those other series: you know bad things are going to happen; you know that the shit is going to hit the fan, but you just never know when exactly it’s going to happen. Especially Les Miserables loved pulling this.

But seriously, the end of this episode took me utterly by surprise. The build-up for this episode was just SO adorable. Because of all the things with Henderson, I was really starting to forget what makes the World Masterpiece Theatre stand above 90% of all other anime: the character-development. And of course: that’s going to take about 25 episodes to really pay off in your average series. This episode really was where everything came together in terms of development in a really adorable Christmas episode. From Bert finally selling his trophy, to the villagers forgiving him because of how he risked his life to save Noah in the previous episode. It all fit incredibly well.

It’s really a shame that this series was wrongly advertised as Anne of Green Gables’ prequel, because that would suggest that Anne is the only important character here, while in fact this series is just as much about Bert, Johanna and the rest of the Thomas family.

I really wonder how this series is going to play out now that Bert is about to die. Not in terms of where the plot is going, but whether Anne’s second family is going to be able to match up to the Thomas family, or whether they’re going to be more like the stereotypical Henderson, Randolf and Mildred. I really have no bloody clue, but the past few episodes have really made up for how this series just kept going on about Henderson in the Marysville School Arc.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 7 September 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



FFor me, this was the best episode of this series since the move to Marysville. I really expected some emo cheese-fest in this episode, with Noah randomly getting sick and all, but as it turns out the creators had very clear ideas on what this episode was going to be about.

Unlike what I thought at first, this episode really wasn’t about Noah. It’s sad and all that he got sick to the verge of death, but I really don’t care about this kid enough to really call his near-demise engaging. What instead caught my attention was how his accident completely jumbled up the Thomas Family: we suddenly got a complete different image of what everyone was like, and a couple of characters actually got some development out of it.

I mean… when Noah collapsed, it was Anne who took him out of the hands of HIS OWN MOTHER, in order to take care of him, while Johanna was instead following Anne and assisting her. You’ve got to fail pretty badly as a mother if you let a nine-year-old make decisions for you that affect the life of your children.

Horace thus far has been your typical child: always goofing off, however in this episode he slowly began to see that he was the oldest. Of course his attempts to show this failed pretty badly, but I think that he reached the point at which he’s going to start to mature, rather than goof around all of the time. Edward meanwhile kept staying with Harry: he’s starting to become a big brother to him, even though before he was just mimicking Horace. I suspect that from now on, Anne is going to have it much easier to try and take care of the house, simply because with this, the Horace/Edward combo has finally been broken.

But the biggest focus of this episode was of course on Bert. In a way, this guy is actually developed better than Anne. While on one hand that’s a bit wrong in a series called “Konnichiwa ANNE”, but on the other hand it allows a really in-depth look at a type of character who hardly ever gets this much attention in today’s anime which is all about moe and bishies. We hardly ever get to see this much attention to a character who is as flawed as Bert, and in this episode you really could see the fruits of all the mistakes he made in the past: what the doctor’s mother said may have been very blunt, but it was how just about everyone in the village saw him as: a good for nothing drunkard who never works. Because of that, he never gets the chance of another job, keeps drinking and just continues the vicious cycle.

The scenes around Noah recovering were a bit too cheesy, on the other hand. I’m surprised that even though this series really knows how little kids behave, they really only seemed to have focused on their every day behavior. Not what they’d be like during a crisis. But then again, that of course is pretty hard to study, since you can’t just sit by a sick kid and observe what his family is doing.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 31 August 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



And finally, two years pass and Anne has grown up to nine years old. While it’s good to see lots of development, this episode also confirmed what I’ve been suspecting for a long while now: Anne is not Anne Shirley of Green Gables. She really is just an incredibly bright girl who happens to look similar to Anne of Green Gables, she just happens to share the same name and same name of her parents with her. And hey, Canada’s a big country. It could have happened.

Because in this episode, it becomes clear that Anne hasn’t been attending school for two years. Anne of Green Gables, however, was fully able to attend school; she just couldn’t attend it in the winter because it was too difficult to travel to her school, something which Randolf and Mildred don’t seem to have any problems with.

This show simply shouldn’t have been advertised as “Before Green Gables”, because it simply isn’t. I remember how Budge Wilson commented that she wasn’t going to try and mimic Lucy Maud Montgomery’s style for the novel, and instead would keep to her own. That’s understandable and I fully agree with that. However, she should have kept the characters in canon with the Anne of the Green Gables novel. She seems to be a famous writer with lots of experience. She should have been able to predict how Anne would have looked like in her childhood, which is nothing like the Anne in Konnichiwa Anne.

Nevertheless, this was a very nice episode if you ignore this. We get some background on Walter, the characters have all developed in an interesting way especially since this probably is one of the very first time in which we see a character as detailed as Anne, develop from seven years old to nine years old. Usually, when characters are shown below the age of ten, the creators usually just pick one age as a base, but this series instead shows Anne as a six, seven and nine-year-old.

Anne really strikes me as a child who grew up too fast. Children her age should still be busy goofing around, and being children. Instead, because Johanna has been forced to get a job after Bert’s job backfired, she had to face her adult responsibilities way too early. Because of this, even though Mildred and Randolf are much older than she is, she acts as if she’s of the same grade they are.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 24 August 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



When I read some of windy’s comments, it amuses me that we both ended up liking and disliking the complete opposites in this series. It just shows that there are many ways to look at this series, even though it’s not among the better World Masterpiece Theatres.

I can somewhat understand how the Marysville arc was supposed to be what this series should be about: Anne and her every day life. However, I think that the biggest problem I had with the Marysville arc is that it was a complete rip-off of Emily of the New Moon. Its adaptation, Kaze no Shoujo Emily, was one of my favourite series of 2007, and I really hated seeing it butchered like this, with a lot copied over and just about every good part removed, with the most notable one being Henderson as Anne’s teacher. At least the Thomas arc had its own identity, of a poor family that was on the verge of being broken up due to a drunk husband. It’s a very down-to-earth problem, and I liked that part a lot.

But yeah, I do agree that these parts did take the focus away from what’s really important in this series: Anne. In exchange we got a very nicely developed Thomas family, but as a prequel of Anne of Green Gables, this series fails. I think that I stopped looking at this series as a prequel a long time ago. This simply is a show that just happens to have a lead character with the same name and looks as in Anne of Green Gables. Nothing more, nothing less.

In any case, I thought that this really was a great episode for Anne. I thought that they would again focus on Bert, but instead he simply gets fired and throws his family in disarray. The focus became much more on Anne, who now had to work extra hard because Johanna would end up working continuously in order to be able to support her family. We also see her get mad at her brothers for the first time, which definitely was the most memorable scene in this episode.

For a minute, I was worried that she was indeed going to join Henderson and Eggman as they moved away from town, but thankfully she eventually chooses not to. A very nice build-up to the point at which she in the end is really going to have to leave them. Especially imagining that the second house she eventually ends up in was much worse than the opportunities she has got to live happily as a family.

But yeah, there were parts at which this show was a bit too cheesy again, mostly again around Henderson. I just couldn’t buy that the entire class was crying because Henderson had to leave. I mean, come on. She wasn’t that good of a teacher and she wasn’t at her post for that long either.

Anyway though, I’m very glad that she’s gone now. The good thing about this show is that it seems to be divided into four arcs that are probably going to be entirely different from each other, so if you don’t like one arc you can just wait until the next one and just consider the dull arc as build-up for the good parts. I’m interested where this series is going to go after this, now that it stopped being an Emily of the New Moon rip-off and can start focusing on its own direction again.
Rating: * (Good)

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:27 AM)
    I’ve seen salad fingers too , fair enough short animation.
  • Anon
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:24 AM)
    @Emma Fo a moment there I thought you said Salad Fingers.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:24 AM)
    @Bam: I guess some issue would be that it did get a bit convoluted/languid but its an easy 4/5 from me.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:23 AM)
    @Bam: You might also want to watch the double and dead ringers.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:20 AM)
    @Bam: Just finished that enemy film you recommended there. It ticks all the boxes of a proper neo noir, as a mood/athmosphere piece its pretty haunting/effective due to Gylennhall’s acting, the lighting and creepy music . I reckon I mostly followed this, it was good to watch a film with an actual complex plot, I preferred it to prisoners.
  • PabloExpresso
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:11 AM)
    I revel in the fact that it’s me vs. everyone else.
  • PabloExpresso
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:09 AM)
    Aidan: Maybe I will.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:01 AM)
    @Bam, curse you. I am still waiting on my crappy internet to redownload dark souls 2 on steam.
    @Pablo, Complain all you like but unless you have a plan to purge the human race ain’t nothing gonna change.
  • PabloExpresso
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 11:53 PM)
    Nostalgia sells, but those who bite are morons. You have to see the merit of the story, not the series.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 11:51 PM)
    Well … I’m setting off to reclaim the crown of the Old Iron King, so Imma disappear for a little while.

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