(I did not read the original book so my review only pertains to the anime)
In the beginning watching this anime I was unsure whether I would like it or not. I was not invested in the characters--although I did smile watching this anime. As the story progressed towards the end however, all the emotions unexpectedly came crashing down to me.
The story is of a little girl named Emily Byrd Starr and her life growing up with her adoptive family and her friends out in the coutryside. I had originally thought it to be just a regular happy story but what I found was much much more interesting. The anime itself shares a philosophical view on life, taking its characters by the wing step by step. The pacing was spectacular and nothing felt rushed. The anime ended beautifully and I was surprised by how content and happy I felt towards the end. Many tears were shed and I am glad that I watched this anime.
The animation was wonderful. At times some frames seemed slightly off but it was fantastic nonetheless. The colors were vibrant and they drew me in. I wanted to be there with the main characters;To be in the countryside with them smelling the fresh air and rolling in grass. I loved the facial expressions on the characters the most. It was wonderful to see so many displays of emotions run through their faces. It felt like you could connect to their pain well. The art style was one of a more realistic approach and although some people do not like this, I guarentee the story is worth watching for.
The sound was superb. I loved listening to the opening and ending songs. The background music that played to express the atmosphere was delightful to hear. However I do think that every once in a while the music did not match the scene too well. Scenes that would be considered scary was not in the slightest and it seemed almost too silly to play horror style music in the background. This is why I gave the sound a 9.7.
The characters at first seemed interesting yet generic. The main character at times also seemed off. It felt like it would be hard to understand her point of view. She had an almost odd way of distinct thinking that made me feel disconnected. I did however share her love for poetry and felt I was in her universe. Although it was hard to understand her, as the story progressed and I saw more of her personality, I began to enjoy watching and connecting with her emotionally. The other characters as well expressed more in-depth characteristics that made me draw myself more into the story. What I also found was wonderful is the fact that no matter how old Emily had gotten, her personality traits stayed with her. I could see her growth and although she grew up, she still felt like the same Emily we first met in the beginning.
Overall I fell in love with this series. It was unexpected because I had started out watching this with the intention to just pass my days away. I had not forseen myself looking forward to each episode whenever I got home, dashing my way to my ipod to watch during the day. The characters were wonderful and I loved them. I honestly wanted to see them interact more and I wanted the series to be even longer. I am very happy with the ending though, and I feel fulfilled with the thought that all the loose ends had been tied by the grand finale. I recommend this series to anyone with a love of fantasy, life, romance, poetry, and anyone who just loves a good story!