The story of Anne is the story of a brave and young red-haired girl. Due to the loss of her parents she is left as an orphan with the Thomas family. The Thomas family with their children Eliza, Horace, Edward, Harry and later on with Noah the youngest child. Their parents Bert and Joanna, or as Anne would call them uncle and aunt, try their best to do the best for their children and even for the little Anne, but as the situation is full of hardships it is very difficult for them while they’re trying to cope with their problems and stress in their own ways. With little to none income, they struggle with poverty caused by ongoing dismissals of Bert from working. To forget these struggles he falls back to quite an unsightly behaviour and alcoholism, which worsens their situation furthermore. Joanna trying to hold the household together, tries to cope with her frustration and discharges it not rarely onto Anne. Whose duty is to help in the house and support Joanna with the chores, but as the other children are often not behaving the way one would wish for and are so causing further disturbances to Anne and Joanna. Anne tries to cope with this situation in her young years in her unique way.
Anne, everyone you met has a happy seed named Anne Shirley in their heart. That seed will
grow to a flower, and that person will be happy. ~ Anne's poem
She tries to think of more pleasant things, while she helps at the house, which ends not rarely in spacing off in her daydreams and needing more time than she’s supposed to have for doing it. When not having done the chores in time, it’s always the cause for her scolding by Aunt Joanna.
The family has to overcome difficulties along the way and as sometimes everything seems to be hopeless, somehow a way is found to overcome these. At its roots lies often the impact made by little Anne and her unique and positive way of thinking. As time goes by, Anne meets new people and gets to them even if others were not able to. Her approach to others is unusual, which allows her to break through given social conventions, often lead by her telling them what her little mind imagined to be the reality or the cause for specific behaviour or happenings. More than once being offered to go to another family, to lead a happier life she’s either not allowed to go by her aunt, who is not able to let go of her, or even Anne refuses to leave the Thomas family as she knows how much of a help she is actually to them and that she is loved by them, although it isn’t shown too often to her.
Julius Caesar once said: “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”
~ Julius Caesar, Act II, by William Shakespeare.
You might wish sometimes that she had chosen to go instead of staying, though.
As she meets people along the way who knew her parents, the image is manifesting that Anne’s parents were two incredible people who left their impact on others, too.
Anne’s later grown love for knowledge, rises further and she tries her best to learn new things, often being taught by others or books. Not rarely the written words, which are quoted during the series leave their impact on Anne itself. These make a nice addition to the series in a great manner.
Even though life is painful and hard, if you follow her, you will make a beautiful path. ~ Howitt’s song
Some later parts of the story have been left out in this review on purpose, as it might deteriorate the experience of watching the series as they would be major spoilers regarding the end of the series.
Konnichiwa Anne is the later published prequel of the series Akage no Anne, which is an adaption from the book Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908 by the Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Konnichiwa Anne tries to tell the story of Anne before she came to Green Gables based on the celebratory novel written by the Canadian author Budge Wilson published in 2008 in relation to the works of L. M. Montgomery.
Lucy Maud Montgomery published also other works on Anne Shirleys’ later years as Anne of Avonlea (16-18) in 1909, Anne of the Island (18-22) in 1915, Anne of Windy Poplars/Willows (22-25) in 1936, Anne’s House of Dreams (25-27) in 1917 and Anne of Ingleside (34-40) in 1939. There have also been other works in which Anne is in her later years and plays a lesser part as they focus on Anne’s children or other family friends as Rainbow valley (1919), Rilla of Ingleside (1921) and The Blythes Are Quoted (2009). Source: Anne of Green Gables Wikipedia
Akage no Anne was published in 1979, while Konnichiwa Anne has been published 30 years later in 2009 as part of the World Masterpiece Theatre as well.
As I haven’t read the books written by Budge Wilson, nor Lucy Maud Montgomery, this review of the series has to be seen as a stand-alone and not as a description of how well it adopts the story from the original work to the anime. Although it might include slight biases as I’ve watched Akage no Anne, when I was a young child, which was one of the reasons, that brought me to watch this series in the first place. I got curious.
Nonetheless, I refrain from making a decision on how well it fits to the prior work Akage no Anne or how smooth its’ transition is as it would need me to rewatch more than only a few episodes from Akage no Anne as it has been quite a long time since I watched the original series.
Furthermore, I haven’t seen other related adaptions like the latest one from Netflix “Anne with an E”, or others like the many films, other literature, radio productions, stage productions, television movies and series and web productions, which means I cannot give a comparing opinion on these as well. What I can say for sure is, that the original book Anne of Green Gables made a huge, almost unbelievable, success in its’ time and later on and that I’m quite curious to read one or various works of Lucy Maud Montgomery now and that I plan for sure to do so.
Animation-wise it must be said that the two series production must have been very different as techniques in the time of 30 years might have changed a lot.
I experienced the animation as soothing for the series underlining the important points of it. Nonetheless, don’t expect any flashy animations as one might know from some newer works, but it is still quite enjoyable.
Anne Before Green Gables Opening Theme
As 30 years went by, the staff changed a lot and other voice actors were chosen for the characters, too. Although, one would have liked a comeback of old voice actors, it is indeed quite understandable that this might not have been possible.
The same goes for the animation staff, while the studio name stayed the same: Nippon Animation
While looking into the staff, no flashy names popped-up, but some funny things popped up as other works the staff has been working on, i.e.:
- Katsuyoshi Yatabe (Director): Boku no Pico (o.O),...
- Michiru Shimada (Series Composition): One Piece, Shugo Chara, Little Men,...
- Takayo Nishimura (Character design): 5 centimeters per second, Hoshi wo ou kodomo,...
Konnichiwa Anne tells a touching and often heart-breaking story of Anne’s life, which is for sure not an easy one. Her positive attitude towards all the problems she has to face are able to brighten up one’s day. As the first part is mostly on how to be happy, even if bad/difficult things happen, the second part changes more towards unexpected things to happen. But as bad things happen, good are to come for sure as well. For some, it might even be possible to get a more positive attitude towards problems for themselves.
Firstly, you will become humble. Then, you will put in more efforts to others from looking down at you. Therefore, one is not relied on how he/she looks like. No matter how one looks, the most important is his/her heart. ~ Hagedy
Overall the series is not the best ever made, but Konnichiwa no Anne is for sure enjoyable, especially if one enjoys slice of life and drama stories. With the target audience directed towards kids, it is exactly that. For sure a series, which I would show my kids (if I had any already) as it tells a story with lots of value in it, from which they might be able to learn a thing or two for their life.