ANIME MINOR JEWELS SERIES
VALUE SECTION: 7/10 [Like old wine, it only gets better as time goes by.]
Analysis: Historical Value 2/3, Rewatchability 2/3, Memorability 3/4
This title is quite famous in Greece for being the first shojo series that aired on a Greek channel. Up until then, there were only a few soap operas with real actors that were watched only by middle-aged women. This series was the first to aim at little girls. Of course, it ended up being watched by boys as well, since there wasn’t genre variety to choose from. Plus, Internet and cell phones were still a myth, so there wasn’t anything else to be occupied with.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 7/10 [You will like it if you are not a Narutard-like viewer.]
Anyway, sentiments aside, it is a good series. The story is quite sappy and melodramatic most of the time but it is still the best historical, girly drama I know of. If only some parts were more fast-paced, it wouldn’t be boring at times. I must also point out that I consider it overall far more exciting that any other World Masterpiece Theater anime, as I felt it was winning them all in variety and development.
STORY SECTION: 5/10 [Hard to swallow but digests nicely.]
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 2/2
If you are not accustomed to melodramatic stories, you will definitely hate it. It is filled with Deus Ex Machina situations, were every plot twist is either too good or too bad to be true.
In the beginning of the 20th century, a baby girl is abandoned in the doorstep of an orphanage. The girl was named Candice (Candy for short) and was raised by nuns, along with other orphans. The first part of the story is her happy life there, making friends and playing games, while wishing for lovable parents to come for her. Really cute and joyful times, most of us would find vomiting…
She is eventually taken as aid in a rich family. After a really tearful departing from the orphanage, she expects to have a happy life in an easy-going household. Unfortunately, the kids in the mansion are a pair of spoiled aristocrats that spend their carefree lives by tormenting peasants and pulling cruel jokes on Candy. And the adults there are snobby and joyless who dislike all aspects of her cheery personality. It will make you want to strangle them!
It’s here where she falls in love with a (literally) prince in shinning armor and experiences her first romance. There are good times and there are bad times but this relationship will have a tragic conclusion. She later becomes a nurse during First World War and experiences one tragedy over another. She reunites with old friends, falls in love again and starts to learn about her real family. There is a lot of things going in it for an otherwise slice of life. The conclusion is sad but satisfactory, making you weep at the series’ end. As I said already, you must bear its unreal plot twists. It is only a good drama/romance thanks to them.
CHARACTER SECTION: 9/10 [Extreme versions of good and evil but likable nonetheless.]
Analysis: Presence 2/2, Personality 2/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 2/2, Catharsis 2/2
Heck, what is there to say? Every character in the series seems to be cursed as the worst of possibilities happens always when things are about to pick up. They are all either too sweet or completely heartless.
Candy is always cheery and cries a lot.
Most orphans and poor people are kind and perky.
The aristocrats are serious and complete assholes all the time.
Grown men are the epitome of kindness and ideal husbands.
I am not going to lie though; there is a lot of character development going on here, as everybody grows old and changes perspective or even dies.
Plus, all those optical tricks (see below) make them enjoyable most of the time.
ART SECTION: 9/10 [The animation is quite old but at its prime, it was a sight for shore eyes.]
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 2/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 2/2
The animators used every optical trick used for atmosphere enhancement there was. The girls have big, star-filled eyes, really sweet smiles, tears of sadness and joy every 10 minutes, sun rays that pass before their faces, cherry blossoms fill the screen and many more. The depiction of the era the story takes place is not very detailed but it is romance inspiring by itself, so it improves the atmosphere even more. But seriously, for the time it was made this was as good as it gets.
SOUND SECTION: 8/10 [Good but not great.]
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 4/4, Sound Effects 2/3
Music themes are really elegiac, making you remember the simpler, older times in the pastures and your first love struck (unless of course you grew up in a city or are too young to have felt that yet). Voice acting was as kawai as it can get without using ridiculous high-pitched voices.
VERDICT: 7.5 / 10
The accused is found … NOT GUILTY! … He is very naïve but his heart is pure and intact.
Anne Of The Green Gables, Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma, Alps no Shoujo Heidi, Poor sisters story. All of them have a sad, old European atmosphere to them.