Since the death of their parents, Tom Sawyer and his academic brother Sid have been raised by their aunt Polly in a small village called Saint Petersburg. Tom is a disobedient boy; he gives his aunt a hard time, ditches school to go fishing in the Mississippi River, climbs trees, and plays pirate games with his friend Huck. Although Tom usually does not attend school, he is quite popular among the pupils; even Tom’s crush, the pretty Becky, grows fond of him. Without a care in the world, Tom leads his friends into adventures; from catching boars or solving murders, there’s never a dull day for the intrepid Tom!
“These are the stories of Tom Sawyer.” The opening introduction is just perfect for the intended audience. It says exactly what it needs to about the show. From tracking a pig that wanders off, being love-sick, fishing on the riverbank, scouring the riverbottom for gold, witnessing a murder, making friends with a feisty horse to shocking the whole town, Tom has quite the childhood. The animation and the character design are pretty simple matching the 1800’s setting and the time of the anime’s creation, 1980. Though some of the characters heads look like upside-down light bulbs and Huck...well he looks like a mole. Blackboards, prices in cents, long dresses, suspenders, hair ribbons, bow ties, steam boats, farm chores, and town picnics put the viewer into historical Western culture. The English version was the only one available on a few different anime sites I checked and the voice talent did an all right job. No specific voice stands out as being a perfect fit or of being over-the-top though. The typical woman voicing the pre-pubescent boy is prevalent and you can hear it each and every time Tom so much as “ows” in pain from a licking. Mr. Rodgers's voice is pleasing to the ears, nice and friendly for his profession [shopkeeper] and Injun Joe’s low reverberations suits the tall muscular, sour-faced fellow. [His appearance could make your toenails curl - Huck may be right about that]. Perhaps the most entertaining/enjoyable is Becky’s. Also not so much her character development but rather her appearance throughout the show is giggle-fun. She starts off being oblivious to Tom and his advances and then becomes friends with him, spending more and more time and developing an affection for him. Obviously this results in more and more screen time/vocal time and her light, not squeaky, not high voice is eagerly anticipated when she’s on screen. The ending was neither rushed or a surprise neither did it feel like there could’ve been more or less, it ended in a good and fulfilling way. Tom will never want to get up for school, nope never. While not a complete and total faithful adaptation of Mark Twain’s work the characters are interesting enough to sit through 49 eps.
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