Posted on 4 January 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Porfy no Nagai Tabi


Porfy no Nagai Tabi is the second series of the revival of the famous World Masterpiece Theatre franchise, a long-running collection of series based on popular children’s novels, made accessible for every age. The franchise is typically very slow paced, combined with genuine, true to life and realistic characters, and it’s a formula that’s proven itself over and over again; though it’s definitely not a series for everyone.

Like the title does suspect, this instalment is a travelling series. It consists out of roughly five arcs, each of them being completely different from the others in tone, mood, pacing and execution. It starts out as a gentle and calm slice of life series, then it turns into a dark tear-jerker, then it becomes a slow laid-back travelling-series, then a haunting fast-paced one, and the final arc yet again goes into a completely different path, making sure that the 52 episodes of this series don’t drag on.

One of this series’ strengths is that it’s absolutely masterful at building up. Every single episode is chockfull of cross-references to either past or future events, the amount of foreshadowing is huge, and yet in half of the cases you won’t recognize the foreshadowing until what they wanted to hint at has already happened. When you see something randomly happen, especially in the first quarter of the series, you can be sure that one of the later episodes uses or builds further on this.

The same goes with the characters. The amount of development that goes into Porfy and Mina is immense. The show may not have as huge or complex of a regular cast as Les Miserables, but in order to make up for that it does what it can to make the lead cast as true to life and realistic as possible, and they really succeed at that. Porfy and Mina aren’t exactly immediately likable, but as the series progresses they and the other characters become very easy to relate to, simply due to their different sides and many subtle quirks that shaped their characters.

Another strength of Porfy no Nagai Tabi is the travelling-part of the series. Especially the second half really managed to catch the essence of travelling: meeting many different people, and not knowing beforehand whether they have ill intentions or are cooperative. Everyone that Porfy runs into is different, and the contrast between the loneliness of travelling alone without knowing anybody, and talking to random people you meet on the way really works.

The weakest part of this series is around the middle, where the travel arcs are long and a bit too tedious to get through. Porfy meets the right people a bit too conveniently, and overall there are times when it just feels a bit unrealistic when Porfy gets involved in large dramas, and in the end manages to make people who originally hate each other make up again like nothing happened. Thankfully the later travel arcs fix this wonderfully, and provide a more realistic view to this.

And yes, this definitely isn’t a show for the impatient. Especially since hardly anything happens aside from building up in the first twelve episodes, you need to be able to enjoy slice of life moments if you want to enjoy this series, but that’s the case with nearly every other WMT-series: the characters are amazing, but there’s an amazing amount of time needed to flesh them all out.

Since the character-designs look fairly simple and childish, do not make the mistake to think that the graphics are all very dull and simple. Sure, the character-designs aren’t complex, but to make up for it this series has some of the most beautiful background art in all anime. For 52 episodes, the creators consistently deliver the most gorgeous landscapes full of life and detail, perfectly representing the area that Porfy finds himself in at the time: you can really see the changes as Porfy moves through Europe.

Overall, Porfy no Nagai Tabi isn’t as incredible as Les Miserables, yet it’s a wonderful series nonetheless. I really hope that these guys succeed in fansubbing this series, because it’s definitely been one of the most under-looked series of 2008. You obviously don’t want to watch this, expecting nothing but juicy plot twists, but for those who can appreciate a bit of slice of life here and there, it really is an excellent recommendation.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: I think we all know what’s going to happen. ^^;
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Talk about cruel: out of all possible episodes, this one gets delayed. The BIG finish of Porfy no Nagai Tabi took bloody ages to come out on share, but I must say, that IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT! This ending did exactly what it needed to do, and even though it’s not very unpredictable, it’s just so awesome that everything went well for Porfy and Mina, after the huge amount of ordeals that they had to endure. A predictable yet wonderful ending, if I have to say so myself.

The episode starts with Porfy waking up and Rose wonders whether her eyes look funny, since she spent the previous night pretty much crying. It’s snowing outside, so Rose comments that they’re going to get a white Christmas. In the end, Porfy couldn’t find an appropriate present for her, but she’s happy enough with a bolt that he happened to have in his pocket.

Rose then figures that she needs to give Porfy his present too, and she goes out to make a certain phone call. In the meantime, the creators tease us for one final time by letting Natalie and Zaimis bump into each other. Since Natalie is carrying a heavy shopping bag, they stay together and talk for a bit. Natalie notes how she can immediately see that Zaimis is not from Paris, since he looks so bewildered at the snow (it seems to be an often-used metaphor in this series: symbolizing things you’ve never seen before). Just before he’s about to tell that he’s from Greece, Natalie’s car arrives and they say goodbye.

Tiffany meanwhile receives Rose’s phone call, where Rose says that she needs to talk about Mina. They decide to meet at the film studio. Zaimis meanwhile has immediately developed a crush for Natalie as Porfy calls out to him. Porfy then gets a bit nostalgic now that his journey is about to end, and talks about how he’s seen many places. His mother used to say that the world is big, though at the time when she said it, he didn’t really understand what she meant, but now that he’s seen so many different places and people, he understands. Zaimis also appears to have worked hard, in order to protect his mother and little sister. The two then end up arm-wrestling, which is won by Porfy.

At the studio, Rose and Tiffany meet again, and Rose is finally able to say to Tiffany that her latest film was a great one (she did watch it with Porfy, after all), and that she lost to Tiffany: even without the cheating, Tiffany simply was meant to be a star. Rose then tells Tiffany about how she met Porfy, and the two then decide to give the two of them their best Christmas presents ever.

Porfy and Zaimis then talk a bit about how big Paris is, and Porfy still rather doesn’t want to talk about what happened to Simitra anymore, compared to Zaimis who still often thinks back to the incident. This again symbolizes the difference between the two of them: they both ended up dealing with the new situation in their own way, and grew in their own ways.

That evening, Rose tells Porfy about how she’s found Mina. Tiffany’s driver then comes to pick them up, and drives them to the movie theatre where they went to see Tiffany’s movie. In there, Porfy and Mina finally meet each other again, and the episode and series ends. That was just so adorable.

This episode really showed how Porfy no Nagai Tabi may not have been as beyond awesome as Les Miserables, yet it was a wonderful series on its own. This episode lacked the aftermath that closed off Les Miserables so well: we never get to see what happens after the two meet again: it’s left up to our imagination, but nevertheless the reunion between the two was very fit for a climax of this series. I’m only bitter due to the lack of Alecia, but that’s just personal preference.

Speaking of fanboying: the trailer for Konnichiwa Anne was pasted at the end of the episode, and I have to say that Anne looks AWESOME! April 5th can’t come soon enough!

Posted on 23 December 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: The final bit of build-up before the big climax!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Well, so it really looks like the creators planned to reunite Porfy and Mina at the very last episode from the beginning. Ooh! It’s going to be epic!

The episode starts as Porfy is very glad to meet up with his old friend again (who changed significantly, actually. In fact, Porfy’s character-designs have also very subtly changed throughout the series). As it turns out, Zaimis has managed to win an international competition that’d allow him to study music in Paris (if I understood correctly). He asks about what happened to Mina, after which Porfy answers that he might have found her, and shows him the poster. Zaimis wants to see the movie to check for sure.

After the movie is over, Porfy still doubts whether it was really Mina, but Zaimis is utterly convinced that she’s the one, and that Rose was the one who was wrong. Porfy refuses to believe that, and figures that maybe it was Amelie who made a mistake. Porfy then introduces Zaimis to Rose, taking him to her apartment. She’s been waiting for him, actually. It also seems that Porfy has written a lot about Rose to Zaimis, so he’s already heard about her. He tries to convince Rose that it was really Mina who he saw, but then she starts yelling and leaves.

Zaimis then suggests to confirm it once more. Instead of leaving it to rose, he plans to go along with Porfy to the movie studios without letting Rose know. Porfy is a bit puzzled as to why he has to keep it a secret for her, because he still doesn’t suspect that he lied to her. Mina meanwhile is in awe at the huge Christmas tree that Tiffany had planted in her back garden (that’s rather cute, ending the series at Christmas).

The next day, Porfy tries to find an excuse of getting out on his own. It almost backfires, since Rose offers to go along with him to show Zaimis the city of Paris, but luckily she realizes that the two of them haven’t met for a while. She then gives Porfy some money, and asks whether he’d like something for a Christmas present. Porfy really doesn’t have anything he wants, aside from meeting with Mina.

Because of this, Porfy is late and has to apologize to Zaimis, who avoid the question of why Rose know about their little trip. At the movie studio, they face the same problem as before: the annoying gate keeper. In the end Porfy gets in by letting Zaimis distract the guy so that he can sneak behind a large prop. In the studio, Porfy accidentally meets someone who takes him for someone who works at the place, and ends up accompanying him, carrying boxes.

The next person Porfy meets is a guy who mistakes him from yet another someone who has fallen in love with a certain actor, and managed to sneak in (apparently, the guard hasn’t been doing his job that perfectly). He doesn’t know Porfy, but he does know Amelie. Amelie then tells Porfy the same that she told Rose, and also how she told Rose about Mina. This is where Porfy realizes that Rose lied to him.

When Porfy returns, his sad look first makes Zaimis think that it was indeed a misunderstanding, but instead Porfy is wondering why Rose lied to him. Mina meanwhile is asked the same thing as Porfy was earlier: what would she like as a Christmas present. Obviously, she only wants to meet Porfy. ^^;

That evening, Rose returns and is shocked to see Porfy in a room without lights. Porfy then says that he’s met Amelie. He first believes that it was because of Tiffany, but then Rose tells him the truth, while crying. That she doesn’t want Porfy to leave. After that the episode ends.

There’s only one downside to this whole final arc: NO ALECIA! Apart from that, it’s been such a creative and solid finale for this series. I’m also really surprised. I originally believed that the creators were planning to turn the finale into an even bigger tear-jerker than the earthquake-arc, but instead they’ve chosen for a much more quiet pacing, that instead is building up to the two of them finally meeting again. After the very dark episodes of Porfy’s journey in France, I really never expected this.

And yeah; so what if the creators are recycling their old background art with different colour filters run through them! They still look freaking awesome!

Posted on 20 December 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: Porfy tries to find out what happened to Mina, while the creators are having the time of their lives teasing the hell out of us viewers.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
OMG! OMG OMG! This was such an awesome episode! Oh, the irony, this episode really showed the big strength of the World Masterpiece Theatre series: you SO want these kids to meet each other again, and time and time again, the creators find some thing that gets in their way.

Porfy is really excited as he brings Rose to the poster he found at the end of the last episode. Her hair changed, but he’s nearly sure that it’s Mina, though Rose doesn’t believe it (after all, what would she be doing in a movie?). She tells him that he’s going to be disappointed if it doesn’t turn out to be her, but in the end he manages to convince her to accompany him in order to watch the movie.

After watching the movie, Porfy’s sure: that Mina is his sister. Rose can still hardly believe it, and manages to convince him to get some sleep before trying to find her. Mina meanwhile gets complimented by Tiffany at her singing ability, and Tiffany assures her that she’ll once get the chance to sing in front of a large crowd. The manager then arrives, carrying a box of fan letters. Most of them are for Tiffany, but there also are a few for Mina among them. Unfortunately, none come from Porfy. But then again, the movie just premiered, so there’s plenty of time left.

The next morning Porfy is very early to bother Rose, who wants to sleep. So instead, she tells him to go and check out the movie studios, where she might be. When he arrives, he however is just taken as an ordinary fan by one of the guards, and even telling the guard about his sister obviously doesn’t help. Porfy tries a bit more, but eventually he gives up when the guard is distracted by other people.

Meanwhile, Natalie is happy for Mina for the amount of fan letters she received, but Mina is still feeling down because she didn’t see Porfy. Natalie then asks whether her brother was the only reason for her to start acting, and that she doesn’t seem to realize how special it is to be able to act with Tiffany. The fans might become disappointed when they learn about that.

Rose meanwhile didn’t realize that Porfy would take her seriously to go to the movie studio, and she’s really worried when he leaves. When Porfy fills her in about what happened, she offers him to contact a few former friends of her who still might know a thing or two. However, then she asks Porfy what he’s planning to do once he finds Mina. Porfy then answers that he’s going to return to Greece. This however is something that Rose didn’t anticipate, and even though Porfy doesn’t have anything he left behind there, he still wants to return, and she immediately starts acting all strange.

When Rose meets her friend Amelie, she really finds out that the child is called Mina. Instead of telling the good news to Porfy afterwards, though, she tells HIM THAT HE WAS WRONG, and the girl turned out to be SOMEONE ELSE! This was in the hope to get Porfy to stay with her, but in the end, it just means that he’s going to continue to search for her. Mina meanwhile is still thinking about how blunt Natalie was to her, and she’s beginning to take joy in acting, and is beginning to understand what Natalie told her.

The episode ends with Porfy, running into none other than ZAIMIS. Yes! Zaimis is back!

Really, I first thought that Rose would be able to get Porfy and Mina back together, but instead, she turned out to be getting in his way. This is why it was so important for her to be well developed, and for her to create a genuine bond with Porfy: her whole affair with Tiffany didn’t just make her to hate acting and Tiffany, but it also made her afraid to lose any more close friends, up to the point were she made such a foolish claim to Porfy. And also: Zaimis’ return has to have some sort of meaning. What exactly is his role in these final two episodes?

And holy crap! It only occurred just to me, but Porfy’s wishes to go back to Greece and Mina’s wishes to continue acting don’t go along together at all. The two may meet each other again, that’s for sure, but it’s a whole different question about whether the two of them are actually going to reunite, and live together. It would mean that Porfy would just follow Mina around, unable to do anything. I know this series at this point, and the creators wouldn’t have spent so much effort on Mina, accepting the acting business if there wasn’t some sort of hidden meaning.

Posted on 9 December 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: Rose takes Porfy on a date while Natalie goes out shopping with Mina.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Haha! It has begun! It has finally begun! But first: summary!

The episode starts as Porfy and Rose are sitting in a room, after Rose has just taken a shower and is drinking some wine. Porfy thinks that she shouldn’t drink so much alcohol, but Rose says that alcohol is necessary for an adult like her. When Porfy says that he’s also an adult, she notes that that’s what still makes him a child. He sneezes a bit, due to the rain of the previous episode (foreshadowing?!), and then asks again about the story between Rose and Tiffany.

When they first met, they both tried to be actresses. Tiffany first looked like a typical rich girl, but she had a surprising amount of will power. At one point, Rose successfully auditioned for a role for a certain movie, though behind the scenes, Tiffany seemed to have ordered a change at the last minute, making Rose lose her role. This had such a large impact on Rose that she quit acting, and never talked to Tiffany again.

In order to change the subject, Rose then suddenly proposes to go out on a date with Porfy. Porfy is a bit startled, but Rose assures him that she’ll explain him all about the basics of dating. Tiffany meanwhile proposes to Mina that she should go out once in a while, and she can buy whatever toy she’d like.

A bit later, we see Porfy waiting in front of a famous fountain whose name I forgot. He complements Rose on her beauty when she arrives (probably scripted by Rose beforehand), he wonders why they should go out on a date like this when they live together, but Rose convinces him that it’s a rare chance for the two of them to get together.

Porfy is obviously easily distracted by one of the cars that drives by, and Rose instructs him that during a date, your attention shouldn’t drift away from the person you’re dating. Mina meanwhile doesn’t really have anywhere to go, so they just sit on a random couch. A guy then arrives who tries to hit on Natalie, but she quickly sends him away (experience?). When the poor bugger has left, she asks Mina to simply call her by her name, instead of putting the “-san” behind everything.

Meanwhile in a cafe, Rose instructs Porfy to spoon feed her some of the treats. In a shop, she makes him buy one of the gifts, and she makes him pin on a brooch, which clearly makes Porfy uncomfortable a bit. Meanwhile, Mina doesn’t want to buy anything, although she does stop by a doll, just like the one Corrina used to have.

Later in a park, Rose reveals that she hates the winter, as it seems to reflect the coldness in her hands. They then see a young boy, being caught for stealing (but don’t do anything to help him). Rose then starts to envy him, and his eyes that always point straight forward. She herself grew up in a small village in Southern France, and left to Paris at her fifteenth, hoping to become an actress. Now that that failed, ten years later, she’s pretty much a nobody without dreams or friends.

Porfy then notes that he could have just become like that boy earlier, and then comforts Rose that she also was one of the reasons why he didn’t become like that: because he received support from various people. Natalie meanwhile tells Mina that she’s been with Tiffany for a year. Mina envies Natalie, because she’s got a certain future and knows what she wants, while she herself is without a brother and family, and doesn’t even know what’s going to happen next. Natalie then comforts her a bit, and Mina asks in her turn for Natalie to stop putting the “-sama” after Mina’s name.

Rose meanwhile runs into an old friend, who was probably an old boyfriend of her. When he enthusiastically recalls the time they spent, but she just brushes it off as something from the past. The guy then gets angry and starts insulting her, after which Porfy starts yelling at him, telling him to apologize, but he quickly gets pushed aside. Rose then urges Porfy to stop before he lashes out to the guy even more. Later Rose says that normally, she would have gotten angry at the guy as well, but she was surprisingly cal this time.

When they reach Rose’s home, Rose then says that all dates end with a kiss, so Porfy kisses her on the cheek. The two of them say goodbye, Rose closes her door, and the role play ends as Rose opens the door again.

The rest of the episode shows us what happens I guess a few days later. Tiffany actually drives into Rose while she’s without Porfy. She’s clearly never knew what she did to her, and she’s actually glad to see Rose again. She gives her her number, in an attempt to keep in touch again, though Rose throws it away, I guess.

Next up, Porfy plans to go out to buy dinner, but is surprised by Rose’s cat who decides to run off. It’s where he catches the animal when he finally notices: the poster for Tiffany’s upcoming movie.

Yes! It’s finally time. Like Anne of Green Gables, the climax of this series is really surprisingly small for a series that’s taken up 52 episodes: only three episodes left, and then everything’s freaking over! Right now, Porfy KNOWS that Mina is with Tiffany. It’s going to probably take one more episode for him to collect the actual facts of what the heck is going on, and then the question is going to be whether the creators want the final episode to be an aftermath (Alecia!!), or whether they really plan to save the big event for the final episode.

And I must say that I really like it how real Rose’s grudges to Tiffany feel. It’s probably just one huge misunderstanding, judging from Tiffany’s reactions, but yet she remains someone who puts a lot of value on her past experiences, and when these experiences are bad, they have an even bigger impact on her, up to the point where the memories of this cause her to have a very negative image of herself. But the big question is going to be whether the creators can keep it real when the two of them meet up, and realize that it was all one big misunderstanding. It would be bad for the two of them to just become best friends again, because you can’t simply forget a ten year old grudge, even with all logic against you. That’s one thing that I see in man anime: large grudges simply become forgotten a bit too quickly. What I want to see is for Porfy to heal Rose, not so that she suddenly starts making tons of friends, but instead starts trying to make new friends.

Posted on 2 December 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: Mina finishes her parts of the recordings and Porfy gets into a bunch of fights.
Highlights: Finally it’s time to address the Rose vs. Tiffany subplot.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
I must say that the World Masterpiece Theatre series have a unique sense of endings. While you would expect the final parts of a 52-episode series to be full of tension, where everything the series has built up for comes together, the endings I’ve seen so far do something completely different: Akage no Anne’s climax only popped up something like four episodes before the end, completely unexpected, and Les Miserables’ climax ended seven episodes before the series was supposed to end. Porfy’s the same: I really expected a continuously sad final arc, much like what happened at the earthquake arc. Instead of that, it builds up, features a big climax when Porfy runs into Alecia, and then goes into a completely different direction with a final arc that starts with a very careful and quiet build-up. It really does feel like Porfy is only going to meet Mina in episode 52 this way.

Anyway, summary: The waiter is counting the money for the day, and something is missing. He immediately blames Porfy, who obviously never took anything. He threatens with the police, but the cook comes in to the rescue by pointing out that the missing coin is in one of the beer glasses, apparently a few customers did this to re-enact a scene from a certain movie.

The waiter then looks strangely at Porfy, wondering aloud why he’s in the wrong: money was missing, he didn’t know about the beer glass, so it’s obvious that he suspected Porfy for it. He then starts randomly complaining, and eventually insults Porfy’s father. Like always, Porfy can’t take this at all, and would have attacked the waiter if the cook hadn’t stopped him. Porfy quits immediately. When he asks for his pay for the day, he gets denied again, because he dirtied his apron in his rage. When Porfy comes home, he’s obviously in a bad mood, but initially doesn’t want to talk about it. When Rose asks further, he starts crying and Rose tries to comfort him a bit.

Mina meanwhile is still in a totally different world. Mina asks whether the filming of the movie gets completed that day (I can only guess that a few weeks or months have passed since the previous episode), and Tiffany confirms that. Mina then gets excited, thinking that the movie is already ready to be broadcast, but Tiffany then explains her that it takes much more to reach the final product.

The final scene that needs to be shot is one where only Tiffany is needed, where her character gets poetic a bit inside a field of corn. Mina makes for quite a cute action by forgetting that Tiffany’s supposed to be on stage and standing right next to her like a little sheep. The production crew cal her back a bit, since her job is already finished by now. The scene gets shot, and the entire production crew celebrates that the shooting of the movie has finished, Mina and Tiffany get flowers and the whole crew goes out to have dinner that next evening.

Porfy meanwhile has been cleaning for two evenings because he doesn’t have anything left to do. Because of that, Rose offers to take him to a roller-skate park after she’s taken a shower. During that time, Porfy looks at the picture again, and manages to confirm his suspicions that the other person with Rose is Tiffany. Rose then comes out of the shower, and Porfy starts talking about that picture, though this falls really wrong with Rose, and she starts yelling at him. Porfy doesn’t know when to quit, and eventually Rose kicks him out of her house, refusing to let him back in.

The rest of the episode doesn’t really need a summary because hardly anything is said in it, though in the end Rose is finally about to tell why she hates Tiffany so much. I’ve been waiting for this: Tiffany has been portrayed as such a perfect woman, that I’m eager to see her more darker parts. She’s most definitely an ambitious woman, but how ambitious exactly that is, we have to wait for that one more week.

One of the things that I’m impressed about with this series is how the creators decided to handle the weaknesses of the characters. Usually in anime, characters only have small weaknesses, no weaknesses at all, or the weaknesses are so exaggerated that they become either annoying or stereotypes. It really takes skill to portray a character with serious weaknesses, and still maintain the characters interest as to not delve into a hopeless emo-fest. After all, flawed characters are interesting to watch when you first meet them, and they only start to shine as they develop and learn from their flaws. Porfy and Mina are really good examples of good characters with serious flaws: Porfy doesn’t know when to stop talking and completely flips when his parents get mentioned, while Mina can hardly think of her own, and always needs to be near an adult or mother-figure. Their flaws feel real, provide some nice conflicts and yet they don’t appear too often to overshadow their entire personalities.

Posted on 25 November 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: Mostly an episode of build-up and foreshadowing, where Mina already starts playing in her new role.
Highlights: Mina’s finally starting to grow again.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Ah, there are five episodes left after this. At this point, the series needs indeed a bit more build-up for the finale, which is promising to be so completely different from the entire rest of the series. But first as usual a summary:

Rose arrives back home, takes a shower and in the meantime Porfy wakes up again. When she’s done, Porfy wonders where he should search for Mina next, and Rose suggests a place where lots of people from around the world come: the Louvre. Mina meanwhile wakes up, and gets invited to have breakfast with Tiffany. Tiffany asks her maid, Nathalie, to fetch some strawberries, as Mina asks when Isabella’s going to pick her up again.

Tiffany then comes with the revelation that Isabella’s gone now. She left Paris and Mina is now in the care of Tiffany. She left one of her precious jewels with Tiffany as a proof. Mina obviously resists, and wants to go back to Isabella, though Nathalie stops her. Mina thinks it’s cruel for Isabella to have left her, but Tiffany manages to convince her that Isabella abandoned Mina, because it’s best for Mina. She says that if Mina stars in a big movie, she’ll appear on big posters, and she’ll be able to reach a huge audience over the world, and with a bit of luck her brother will recognize her.

That evening, Porfy searched around the Louvre for too long, so he’s late at the job. The waiter with the difficult name obviously scolds him, but he’s much nicer than he was in the previous episode, although Porfy’s obviously getting paid less. The cook asks Porfy how the search went, though Porfy has no luck. Mina meanwhile gets really inspired when she sees Tiffany practice her lines. The movie seems to be about a poor girl called Maaya who is working hard and likes to sing songs. It’s a bit cheesy, but in any case Mina is going to play the girl in her younger years.

When Rose comes back from shopping, she has a bit of good news for Porfy, as she found someone who has seen Isabella. He obviously doesn’t remember where they went, but the two of them continue to search for a while, asking people who pass by whether they’ve seen her. Obviously, nobody really wants to cooperate. Rose is a bit disappointed, but Porfy is used to this disappointment by now, and he’s at least glad that Rose helped him this time.

Mina meanwhile has memorized both her lines and the lines of the other parts, and is getting very enthusiastic to play her part. The next day, she already is going to film her first scene. Her manager then, however, notices the scar that Mina has (from the earthquake), but this is easily covered with make-up. Everything goes well during the shooting, and Mina is done quite early because of that.

Ironically, Porfy has chosen the exact same place as the movie-shoot for his search that day, but he arrives there, just as Mina left. He does see the car they’re in, but instead of wondering who’s in it, he gawks over the brand of the car. That’s really typical of him, isn’t it. ^^; When he arrives at the set, one of the women does inform him about the movie, making him a step closer to finding her. She holds a basket of roses, and Porfy buys one of them, for Rose.

Rose meanwhile discovers that Porfy erased some of the lipstick on the photo, and scratches it out with some more. Porfy then comes in, and offers her the rose, as a means of saying thanks. Porfy’s attention then falls to the book of Romeo and Juliet, which brought the two of them together, and Rose cites one of the famous passages of the book. Porfy then notes that Rose should have become an actor (hah!), but Rose says that with talent and luck, you can’t expect to just make it as an actor, which scares Porfy off a bit. He then leaves for work as she thanks him for the flower and the episode ends.

The biggest revelation is of course that Isabella’s freaking gone! Suddenly so much pieces of the puzzle fall into place. The whole episode where the rich kid was about to take Mina away was just one big build-up for the finale. Now that she knows about Mina’s full story, she actually decided to make use of the opportunity that Tiffany gave her, in order to find Porfy as fast as possible and give her a safe home. She actually knew that keeping her with Carlos longer would never make Mina happy, and she actually prevented the bomb that I’ve been talking about for ages now from exploding completely!

I also understand the purpose of the long travel arcs now. They were there in order to make sure that the final arc wouldn’t completely come from out of nowhere: that this is a realistic series, but there often are a few coincidences that are needed in order to get the best out of the characters. Storytelling is often finding a compromise between realism and conflict, because a completely realistic series certainly isn’t a bad thing, but you can’t get a juicy story out of it, but the same way, if a series forsakes this realism the chance will be bigger that viewers will end up scratching their heads and fail to take the rest of the story seriously. It’s up to each individual story to decide where on the scale between realism and conflict it wants to be. Anne of Green Gables is a typical example of a series that goes for realism all the way, and Code Geass is the obvious example of a series that goes for conflict all the way. ^^;

In that same way, I found it a bit hard to believe that Mina would only days after being first recruited shoot her first scene, but I guess that the production was in dire need of a new actress (after all, otherwise Tiffany herself wouldn’t be looking for these people). And because of her imaginative personality and how she spent god knows how many months with a memory loss, I guess that that gives her an extra good ability to relate herself to the characters she plays. That’s of course a great merit for an actor, although I do wonder whether she perhaps lacks some technical acting skills. But ah well, this is such a minor detail, and it really is worth because Mina has finally started growing again as a character. Watching her in this episode was a delight because of that.

Posted on 18 November 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi





Short Synopsis: Mina runs into a certain somebody
Highlights: Some of the best art of the entire series can be found inside this episode.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Whoa, those are some very interesting developments. I must say that I really like it that the creators aren’t just going to let Porfy and Mina meet up without a big finale. The idea is absolutely wonderful and despite the sacrifices that had to be made it will form the cream of the crop for the character-development of the two. But first a summary:

The episode starts the next day after the previous episode. Porfy wakes up and Rose is just done with her job, and taking a shower. After she’s done, Porfy tells her that he’s going to work and search for Mina for the rest of the day. He finds it a bit hard to imagine that she works during the night, and sleeps in the afternoon. He feeds the cat and then goes out to search for Mina. At the bread store of the previous episode, he tries to find out what exactly Paris looks like. Obviously, he’s pretty startled when he finds out how big the city really is.

Later in the restaurant, the waiter is having the time of his life abusing Porfy, criticizing every possible thing that he does wrong, like leaving the water on for too long, pouring too little beer into one glass, and when Porfy receives a tip from a guest who is also French, he immediately confiscates the tip. It’s his shop, so Porfy should be glad that he can at least get somewhere to work. That evening, Porfy finally has the time to write a letter to Porfy, about how he reached Paris. Rose then leaves for work again.

The next morning, we switch to Mina and Isabella, who’ve reached Paris. Interestingly, Carlos and Isabella’s father aren’t together, and the latter foreshadows a bit by reminding Mina to never forget her dream. In any case, Mina starts singing while Isabella is dealing with a customer, and that happens to attract the attention of a certain person who happened to be driving by: Tiffany Auber, the actress Mina admired so much. She sends her manager to try and talk to her, but Isabella has obviously never heard of such actresses. Even when Tiffany herself appears and asks Mina to sing the song she just sang again, she still refuses.

Tiffany isn’t the type to give up so easily, though. She tries again, but a bit more subtle: she asks Isabella to tell her fortune instead. Isabella does send Mina back to their hotel. Isabella still wants to know what Tiffany wants to do with Mina, and Tiffany starts to explain, although we don’t get to see that exact scene because something much more important is happening over at Mina’s side: Carlos is ticked off because Mina isn’t working for her food, and he starts scolding her and throws all sorts of insults at her. Mina finally insults him back, since she’s got her memories back and all. Hearing that, Carlos takes Mina to her room and starts abusing her in ways that can only be left to our imagination. Mina then grabs a potato knife and stabs Carlos and escapes. Isabella arrives at that point, and sees Mina running away crying. Carlos tries to seek sympathy with her, but she slaps him.

Isabella then tries to confort Mina by asking whether she’d like to perform in a movie. Isabella turns out to have been wrong, and understands that Tiffany is a famous actress. They decide to go see her, though Mina is very nervous, even though Isabella tries to talk some courage into her. Isabella then goes to talk with Tiffany’s manager about the details, while Mina waits at a different room full of awards and posters.

When Tiffany enters the room, she asks whether Mina has any experience in acting or singing, but this obviously isn’t the case. Tiffany doesn’t find it a problem, though. Isabella then leaves, as she’s got her own job to do, and she talks some last words of confidence to Mina, about letting flowers bloom. I think that Isabella was really happy that Mina is going to be able to grow up properly. A huge parallel to the time when that rich boy tried to take Mina away.

Tiffany then shows Mina some absolutely gorgeous shots of Paris, saying how she believes that Mina will definitely be able to break through. The episode ends with so many beautiful shots of the city that it becomes almost scary. Yeah, I think I went a bit overboard with the screenshots. ^^;

In any case, ever since Apollo’s death, this isn’t a series about realism any more. There was more than enough realism and nostalgia in the first quarter of the series, the majority of the series, the middle part, was a focused on travelling, and now the final ten episodes really are the place when the plot takes over into what promises to be a very powerful finale. The great thing about this also is that this is the WMT: you know that things are going to happen, but you never know when that’ll happen. After all, Les Miserables had an aftermath of about seven episodes, so who knows how many the creators of Porfy have scheduled?

In any case, about the whole events, of Apollo dying, Porfy running into Alecia, meeting Rose and Mina just getting picked up by Tiffany: there’s no way that that would happen in real life, but this isn’t about making sense anymore, every single one of these events was meant in order to bring out the best out of the characters. Much like Tokyo Godfathers in a way: it was an awesome movie, and every single one of its coincidences was perhaps a bit strange, but meant to bring out the best in the characters. Mostly, I dislike these sorts of things, but there can always be exceptions. ^^;

I doubted for a bit after Apollo’s death, but there really is no doubt possible at this point: Porfy and Mina will meet some day. Even if Porfy doesn’t somehow get the chance to ask Rose about Tiffany, eventually Posters will be put up and people will start to recognize Mina. If Porfy stays in Paris for long enough, he has to notice at one point, but it’s the most probable that Rose and Tiffany will reunite the two. Speaking of which, I’m getting pretty interested into exactly what kind of job Rose has. It’s probably some sort of showgirl or something similar.

And Carlos! I must say that I like what Mina did to him, to actually stab him with a knife. I also like the decision of showing the abuse behind a closed door. It can hardly be called budget-saving, with this episode featuring some of the best graphics in the entire series, and I feel that if they animated what actually happened in that room, it would have looked faker than what we got instead. But really, the guy has to be really pissed by now, especially after learning that Mina might just become famous. Here too: you just know that the guy’s going to explode, but the question is: when?

One final remark: the soundtrack. I was really impressed by the tune that started playing when Tiffany first appeared in front of Mina. The synthesizers are so un-typical of France and this series, but it’s such a haunting tune and fits the scene perfectly. Talk about saving the best for last!

Posted on 11 November 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: Paris is big. Mina isn’t there yet. Porfy’s out of money. So yeah, he’s still going to have to kill some time.
Highlights: Calm before the storm!!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10
Porfy no Nagai Tabi is a very good series, but as I’ve mentioned before: overall just isn’t as good as Les Miserables, but one thing that it did do right was the OP: it fits for the entire series. In Les Miserables, people at one point were fighting and dying for what they believed in, and the OP still showed a bunch of little girls. ^^;

The episode starts as Porfy walks around one of the rich parents of Paris. Obviously, it’s not the most wanted part of the town by fortune tellers, so everyone acts annoyed at him, especially if he continues to bug them. A kind baker then directs him to the right places, and how it’s not the time for the fortune tellers to show up yet. Porfy then feeds some of the local pigeons and gets reminded of Apollo again.

That evening, Porfy sees the first cards since his arrival at Paris and idiotically mistakes the owner as Carlos. The supposed “Carlos” pushes Porfy away, who then hits one of the waiters, dropping one of his dishes. The waiter is very annoyed, although Porfy doesn’t seem to realize this because all he’s interested in is the food he just ruined: it’s Greek. Porfy says that he came from Greece, but the waiter obviously couldn’t care less. He then forces Porfy to the cook. Since Porfy doesn’t have any money and is familiar with the Greek dishes, he offers him a job. Porfy’d rather search for Mina, but the waiter, Xalupurous (Christ, what a difficult name), reckons that he can just search for Mina if he’s not working.

Alex(?), the cook, then shows him around and offers him a bit of food, since he’s a nice guy. It turns out that the restaurant desperately needed a new waiter since they recently sacked one of their old staff, and none of the French people was able to remember the right dishes. While Porfy washes the dishes, he chats a bit with Alex. It turns out that he was born in France, but his parents came from Greece. Porfy then accidentally breaks one of the dishes, making the waiter (I’ll just call him the waiter, since Xalopuro-thingy is just too complicated) gets even more angry. Later, when Porfy is peeling potatoes, he complains again because there’s too much of the potato wasted this way. The waiter then sends him to take away the dishes that are done.

One of the guests, reading a book, is getting bothered by a drunk. They struggle a bit, and she eventually pushes him onto one of the other tables. She however gets blamed for what the drunk did. The waiter tells her to leave, and even though Porfy tries to say that it wasn’t her fault, the waiter doesn’t listen and the woman leaves in anger, leaving her book. Porfy then brings it back to her.

A bit later, Porfy and Alex are finally done with the dishes. The waiter then pays Porfy with an incredibly small amount, due to the plates he broke and dishes he wasted and because of the book he brought back to the woman (he wasn’t supposed to). He then orders Porfy to be on early the job the next day as well. Porfy says that he doesn’t have a place to stay, but the waiter refuses to let him stay at the restaurant. Porfy then walks away, and runs into the woman from before again, who wants to thank him for bringing back the book. Apparently, she has been waiting for him, and overheard how he doesn’t have a place to stay. She introduces herself as Rose.

Porfy then tells her about how he’s searching for his sister, and lost just about everything, but Rose tells him to cheer up. She shows him around the house, and suggests how he should sleep on the couch in the living room, and of course take a bath, since he’s been sleeping outside all this while. When Porfy is watching outside, she takes him to the roof where they can get a better view.

They look at the stars for a bit, and then Rose says that she’s about to get to work. She puts on lipstick, and notes that it’s hard for a woman to be living alone. When she’s left, Porfy notices one of her paintings which has been flipped over. One of the faces of the painting has been crossed out with lipstick, and looks a lot like the actress Mina used to admire and the episode ends.

So yeah, it was a bit coincidental, out of all the woman Porfy could have ran into, but it’s a fascinating idea nonetheless, and the sacrifice the series has to make for it is more than worth it. I really like how, just before the finale of this show, the series decides to reserve two episodes to flesh out Mina’s love form movies a bit, by giving a bit of background for her favourite actress. After that, it’s really anything that could happen, and it all depends on how much time the creators want to spend on the series’ aftermath. There are seven episodes left, six if you count the next episode, which will conclude Rose’s story. I’m really curious to see how the final reunion will work out. The reunion with Alecia was downright awesome, and it’s now time to see whether the creators can make full use of nearly fifty episodes of building-up.

Posted on 3 November 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: A certain character makes her reappearance.
Highlights: Every single scene.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10 (Fantastic)
This episode doesn’t need an elaborate summary. All that you need to know in order to understand it can easily be summarized into one paragraph:

Porfy continues travelling, but due to the loss of Apollo he forgets to take care of himself and just wants to go to Paris as soon as possible. In the end, he collapses due to fatigue as he nearly gets hit by Alecia and her father’s truck. Alecia tries to get Porfy back to consciousness, but Porfy only utters that he needs to go to Paris. The rest of the night, Alecia’s father then drives to Paris, while Alecia takes care of Porfy (SO INCREDIBLY CUTE). Porfy wakes up after having a good night’s sleep, and returns back to his senses. In Paris, he says goodbye to Alecia, and even though she wants to come with him, he declines.

First of all: PORFY YOU IDIOT! CAN’T YOU SEE WHAT ALECIA REALLY WANTED?!

Second of all, this definitely was the best episode of Porfy no Nagai Tabi since the earthquake-arc. Alecia’s return was every bit as good as I could have hoped. The summary is indeed very short, but the real power of this episode lied into the visuals, not the audio. After all, at this point, the series doesn’t need any more exposition. Enough has been said at this point, and it’s now really time for the characters to just do their thing.

Alecia was downright awesome, even though she only appeared in two episodes of this series. Her crush on Porfy was so incredibly heart-warming, and the scene of the two of them together, in the back of the truck was especially memorable . I really like how this episode also decided to go for subtle drama, and deliberately kept the mood of the entire episode dark and quiet, instead of upbeat and a bit extreme, like the previous episode.

It also seems that Mina finally returned to her senses as well, and she remembers everything that happened at the earthquake and how she saw Apollo in Rome. It really looks like the finale of this series is going to play in Paris (in other words, it’s going TO START IN THE NEXT EPISODE!!), and my guess is that the series’ big climax will be in November, where December will deal with the aftermath. My big question for that aftermath is Alecia: once everything is over, and Porfy and Mina are either together, or have split up again, will Porfy go back to Alecia. It’s just too much of a shame to leave such a beautiful romance like this.

Oh, and on a side-note: I just love how, at the end of every episode, the background artists decide to whore their awesome skills. I should have known that they’d go all out once they’d reach Paris. That bird’s eye view of Paris was downright awesome.

Shoutbox

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  • Juno
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 08:28 AM)
    I just decided to watch through all the Kagerou Project videos again. I’ve yet to get to the anime. Has anyone here watched the first two episodes? What did they think so far?
  • Nyangoro
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 08:25 AM)
    Isshuukan Friends 3: I love Shogo so fucking much. He really balances out the cast.
  • ninjarealist
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 07:23 AM)
    about both artists*
  • ninjarealist
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 07:23 AM)
    I guess for one I just don’t find the subject matter that interesting. Most of their stuff centers around white males doing typically white male things without much in the way of sub-text or social commentary that I really find engaging. I could say that about artists. I respect them for their craft but I don’t enjoy their work.
  • ninjarealist
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 07:21 AM)
    I’m just not a fan of Chuck Palahniuk’s writing. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it’s just not for me. Fincher is a pretty good director but I mostly feel the same way about his movies.
  • Deadlight
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:20 AM)
    Night y’all
  • Deadlight
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:20 AM)
    @Emma: Thanks for sharing, haha. Yeah, best if you see the Fargo series first. Who knows, you might find some of the liberties they took to be engaging. Anyway, I’m really dozing off here. Worked too hard all day and barely got any sleep XD
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:10 AM)
    From dusk till dawn I noticed also got a tv show as a remake.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:07 AM)
    I agree with you deadlight on Fincher’s use of athmosphere and lighting in general.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 21. 2014 06:07 AM)
    Good to hear though the remakers of Fargo are taking their own initiative though, that its darker intrigues me also.

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