Remy, a cheerful and tender-hearted girl, lives with her mother in a French country town. One day her father returns to the town after a long period working away from home in a city. Her father tells Remy that she isn’t their real daughter, and Remy is almost sold to an evil slave trader. It is Vitalis, a strolling entertainer, who helps Remy. Vitalis discovers her talent for singing and decides to take her in with his troupe. Remy starts her journey with Vitalis and his troupe animals such as the monkey Joli-Coeur and the dogs Capi, Dolce, and Zelbino.
"Move foward; look to tomorrow." Out of all the World Masterpiece Theater (WMT) anime I've been watching, this and "Romeo's Blue Sky" (I'll get around to reviewing that) are probably a couple of the best, most wholesome, and most heartwarming (and heartwrenching) stories. There were times I laughed, times I applauded, and times when I was crying so hard that I could barely see the screen. Story Remy is a 10 year old girl from the countryside of France who lives with her mother and sister. One night, their father returns from Paris, injured and out of money, and a secret about Remy is revealed which leads to her "father" selling her off to a child dealer (despite the protests of her mother). Before she can be taken away, she's saved by a passing performance artist. From there, her life changes drastically for better and for worse. Characters Remy - An optimistic and energetic girl who was adopted from a young age. Though she does have the "eternal optimist" sort of vibe to her, it's not over the top nor does it get annoying at any point. Vitalis - The passing performance artist, leader of the Vitalis Troupe, who saves Remy. At first he's a little hesitant and stern, but very quickly opens up and reveals that he's a very kind and thoughtful person. He teaches Remy how to read, as well as how to perform with the rest of the troupe members (three dogs and a monkey). Capi - The lead dog in the troupe, and obviously very intelligent. He keeps the other two dogs, Dolce and Zerbino, in order...as well as Remy. Joli-Coeur - A small monkey in the troupe who acts human and is the star of the performances. He is also highly intelligent, and takes a liking to Remy. There are more characters whom Remy and the others meet down the line, but listing them here would mean spoilers. It's best just to see the journey and meet all of the colorful personalities of the cast for yourself. Sound and Animation The music works very well with the animation, though the ending song has sort of a sad tone/melody to it which doesn't exactly fit at times when an episode ends happily. The animation is very well done, and though there is violence within (abuse at various times, and fighting in the latter half), most of the blows are shown in a way where the viewer doesn't see it directly (doesn't make it any less horrifying, but it means that it's a bit safer for a younger audience). Overall I'd highly recommend this. I know that they changed the protagonist from a boy to a girl (in the original book, the protagonist was a boy), but supposedly that's all which changed (I haven't had a chance to read the book yet). But, these WMT shows are really no different from the anime which are based off of light novels when it comes to anime which come from source material. There are a few head-scratching moments I had over the course of the show (about two of them), and another which only works for drama only (so, technically three head-scratching moments) which took away from the slight feel of realism the anime had, but the latter two are little nitpicks. Yes, the first head-scratcher moment I had was during a very dramatic scene at around episode 14-15...but inaccuracy aside, it still managed to take the plot where it needed to go. I presume that most people on this site who read reviews aren't children, so a word for those thinking of showing the anime to their kids: Go ahead. HOWEVER... I highly suggest that you watch it with them (especially if the kids are under the age of 14) as there are some chilling moments of death, and later on child abuse. It's best if you can explain to your kids about it when it occurs on screen (or even watch it before you show it to your kids to know what's coming). Despite how awesome this anime is, I really wouldn't recommend it for kids younger than six. Again, the animators did a good job of not showing blood unless absolutely necessary and not showing any kids actually being whipped (just hearing the noises), but that doesn't mean it isn't still in there (plus, one particular scene around episodes 14-15 will be rough for ALL ages). For those old enough to watch these sort of animes on your own...I really suggest you watch it. I'd say more, but I have to be very careful what I write here so as not to spoil anything. Sometimes, I'll include spoilers (and warnings) in reviews I do, but there are other times where you just have to experience it all for yourself. This was an incredible journey with excellent pacing; along with likeable protagonists and dislikeable antagonists. There will be some cliche moments and things which will probably make you groan, but they can be overlooked compared to the emotional level this series manages to grab you at.
This was a show I avoided at first because I thought it might be too giddy and happy-go-lucky since it's about a super optimistic street performer girl having adventures. But BOY was I totally wrong. STORY World Masterpiece Theatre strikes again with a tale about an orphan that'll bring you both great times and tears. In this series we follow Remi as her life changes day to day - things get progressively more challenging, but amidst it all she sticks with her ever positive mentality and "moving forward" attitude. I refrain from going into much detail on the actual story itself to save the twists it takes for when you watch this series - because you ARE going to watch this series now, aren't you? You must.... ANIMATION The old style of Nippon Animation is my all time favorite, and it is my goal watch everything they've made before the 2000s. It has a Studio Ghibli vibe to it from the simple eyes to long eye brows, thick locks of hair, and large foreheads. It's in a way more realistic in portraying body types than lots of the character designs I see being used nowadays. Nippon's faces are especially varied and characteristic to each individual's personality which I loved! This handmade quality can't be beat, it's nostalgic, it's beautiful, and even if you resist it I plead you give it the chance to grow on you! CHARACTERS Remi sparks so much motivation in me to be more selfless, to work my hardest, and above all bleed optimism from all of my being like she does. Her bright outlook on life literally effects everyone around her in such lifechanging ways. She's one diehard girl for being what, 8-10 years old?! An excellent role model for any children* watching. Mr. Vitalis, the old street performer she ends up accompanying, is another wholesome figure and acts as the father Remi never had herself. He travels with multiple animals, but most prevalent are his intelligent dog Capi and the star of the troupe, monkey Joli-Coeur. (Tbh monkies scare me sometimes, but his design and character were actually very cute haha!) *This show isn't marked Family Friendly for a reason. There's occasional blood, though it's not seen in the camera for long. This show also deals with some real tough themes (death, child labor/abuse). Nothing super extreme or horrifying though. OVERALL This series shows some tough themes I feel modern children's shows would never try dealing with since we live in such a sensitive society. But it's full of excellent lessons on life, history, and moral behavior that your kids could really benefit from if they also have a little guts - even if they can handle its seriousness they'll still probably cry from the drama of it all, though. What can I say, I as a 20 yearold cried hard at some points too! I never expected to be so touched by this series, enthrilled and engrossed in it, and so it now joins a place on my shelf of anime that were truly worth my lifespan... So pease, give this ~masterpiece~ some renewed love and I promise you won't regret it!
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