Another series I hadn’t realize it was an anime and not a cartoon, until I found it decades later on anidb. The European setting and the cheery atmosphere deceived me but then I remembered several scenes which were quite scary or violent for a cartoon and I was convinced that... IT’S TOO GRIM TO BE A CARTOON.
ART & SOUND SECTIONS: 6/10
If you still like watching the Smurfs, the visuals and sounds will be no problem for you, as their detail and coloring is around the same level. Most figures are animals and most backgrounds are forests and mountains, so don’t expect any awesomely drawn castles or cities. They are all nicely drawn and without being to detailed, they do their job nicely for a story of this kind.
STORY & CHARACTER SECTIONS: 7/10
The story is based on a famous European fairy tale. Nils is a very naughty boy, living in the 17th century Holland. His mischief have angered all his countrymen, including a powerful magical sprite that curses him to become 10 cm small as punishment for his behaviour. Nils also gains the ability to hear what animals say, as a way to know how bad he has mistreated them all these years. He is chased by them, now that he is small fry and escapes on the back of his domestic goose, who dumps his boring life in order to follow a flock of immigrating wild geese. He is in the same time chased around by an avenging fox, who is dead set to not rest until he has eaten Nils and the flock.
The story is indeed ingenious for a kiddy show. Every episode features a different theme:
-Nils’s search for the sprite and a gradual understanding of the world around him, as he slowly learns to be responsible and caring about others.
-His goose’s struggle to learn to survive in the wilderness and to be accepted by the rest of the flock.
-The journey to different settings during the turning of the seasons, and the life circle of the wild animals (immigration, food reserves and mating season).
-Several action scenes with the fox laying traps and constantly chasing them.
-Several horror scenes with cursed towns, supernatural beings and even killer animals.
All characters have something to do in the story and even the secondary ones are adorable. The story has continuity, thematic variety, and even a proper ending with no loose ends. This is indeed a rare phenomenon in the anime world. They still lose some points for being two-dimensional and too cheery.
VALUE & ENJOYMENT SECTIONS: 7/10
One of the better kiddy shows, despite its years. Some should learn from this series and leave aside the crap we see today in cartoons.
VERDICT: 6.5 / 10
A: Hey! Where did all the killings and the sexy women go? Is this even called an anime?
B: Not all anime are like that, you know. Only the mainstream ones.
Oyayubi Hime Monogatari. Another children’s adventure about a girl who gets cursed for being naughty.