This story takes place about one hundred years ago. Nadja is a bright, cheerful girl who was raised in an orphanage near London, England. Nadja was entrusted to the orphanage when she was a baby. So she thought her father and mother were dead. But before her thirteenth birthday, she found out that her mother might be alive..
Nadja sets out on a journey to find her mother! With all of Europe as the stage, Nadja's exciting adventure begins!
Ashita no Nadja feels like a collaboration of the general foundations from the stories Anastasia the Russian Princess and Robin Hood, set about 100 years ago, with the occasional dances and trolling over Europe amongst other things. This anime is a rough diamond and it’s a shame not as many people have seen it as one may like.
The story involves the backdrop of Nadja trying to find her mother. As she travels with a troupe of entertainers she encounters many different personalities, stories, dances and gains clues on who her mother maybe. The story is also comprised of many testing factors for
Nadja such as friendships, betrayals, love triangles, greed, noblesse oblige and loss- all of which keep the episodes interesting and entertaining until the very end. The story really develops and gains pace after episode 35 though, before that’s its mostly character building.
The animation is the only technical aspect in my opinion which is a slight let down but after a while I got used to it- maybe that’s how it was intended to be; to be unique from the other animés?
The characters are charming in their own way. Expect some vile female characters though and some dodgy suspicious men. Most of the characters have at least an episode to themselves but of course development is more one the main ones than the supporting characters.
It was an enjoyable series for me. The comedy isn’t hilarious but the romance is nice. I was moved towards the end and I never expected that to happen! It’s a good watch: Ashita no Nadja ~
A modern television masterpiece is what this show is. Very few television shows, let alone longer than 13 episodes, are so well built, thought out and whole as this one and to top it all even the animation and sound production values are on a par with today's standards.
A very recommended show to everyone, and a must watch for lovers of epic dramas, romances and adventure.
Nadja is a young orphan girl who sets out of her orphanage to seek her family origins around europe of the early 20th century, armed only with her mother's party gown, journal and heart shaped brooch. She joins a traveling
performance group and mutually falls in love with a young nobleman whom she meets along the way.
Nadja's personal and private journey is about to end up as an affair to fascinate all of europe, royalty and working class alike. But two steps back - as opposed to the later half of the series, it begins in a rather light note which seems to be radiating, easy going, cheerful and impossibly optimistic - all flows out of the titular character's beliefs and way of view.
Some of those episode might be misleading as the show's main core is very hard, almost ruthless intense drama. Some viewers might need to hold themselves down while the show sets up its world and premise, but they would be rewarded beyond compare.
The writers, and voice actress Ami Koshimizu, made an excellent work with fleshing out Nadja's character. I found her fascinating and a character to look up to, she is very strong willed, brave, thoughtful, humble and kind hearted. I was surprised at how deeply her ideals and beliefs are tested and challenged as the series progresses.
While Nadja is the most examined character throughout the show, she is accompanied by an impressively large cast of unique characters from different countries, social classes and economic levels.
There are almost no stock characters or stereotypes, each background character stands by its own right and almost all of them are being treated as seriously as a main character in a every other show. They have strong dilemmas and a distinctive take on life, they easily receive amazing closures, conclusions and catharsis.
Other than the excellent writing, the direction is also very precise. Each frame is carefully crafted and there's an impressive weight to light, shadows, colors and compositions. Takuya Igarashi (Ouran High School Host Club, Soul Eater) is the one to be thankful for and now everything he touches is automatically in my watchlist.
To sum it up i can not stress enough how amazing this show is and how important it is for it to be more known and popular. If you're thinking even a little about trying it out then by all means GO FOR IT.
One of the first things that comes to mind when talking about Ashita no Nadja is don’t judge a book by its cover. I stumbled upon the series after reading random reviews of shoujo anime. The reviews I read praised it greatly, so I checked it out and at first it seemed questionable at first. The animation seemed below average, and the dancing scene in the opening made it look like it was going to be one of those lame “happy go lucky prince and princess fair tail” shows. That assumption could not have possibly been any more wrong. There are many moments that were
dark, serious, emotional, and outright thought provoking, especially concerning the actions of certain characters. This is a great example of an underrated gem and I can’t recommend it enough.
There are many ideas and themes that were tackled in this series, such as the world of nobility, the lines dividing right and wrong, and being wealthy and sad, or poor but happy and free, but I won’t go into those too much. The story centers around a young orphan girl named Nadja Applefield. Nadja discovers a traveling entertainment group known as the Dandelion Troupe. From there she travels with them to countless places, meets many different kinds of people, and slowly gains clues to finding her mother. Nadja and the members of the Dandelion Troupe go through happy times together, sad times together, and they become almost like family to her. There were some episodes that brought a huge grin to my face, while others nearly brought me to tears. There was one episode in the series that was ultra-cheesy (and those who have seen it probably know which one I’m taking about), but it was those kinds of episodes that gave this series so much life, because the entire series was not all fun times.
The way I see it there are two parts to the series. There was the first half, which was fun, adventurous, mildly episodic and sometimes serious and sad (but nothing too intense). As I said, in this part of the series Nadja goes on all sorts of adventures with her new found friends, doing her special dance performances while the other members preform their own interesting acts. Then, there was the second part of the series, which was when the story truly started to pick up and where there was a massive incline in drama, suspense, dark moments, plus one extremely twisted episode that I wouldn’t dare spoil. All of this second half drama leads to a beautiful conclusion that will make you miss the show once it ends.
One thing about this that I have yet to mention is the romance that takes place. Whether it correlates with Nadja and others, or a relationship between supporting characters, I thought it was handled very well. Without giving too much away, I’m sure you can picture a generic fairy tail romance where the couple both like each other, or a one sided deal. Let me just say that the main romance in Ashita no Nadja is far more complicated than that. I will admit (and this is somewhat off topic from the main point) that there were some irritating moments where side characters were in love with Nadja, and it seemed that whenever they were on screen, the only thing that was on their mind was trying to make her fall for them in spite of the other characters around trying to do the same. As I said, this was irritating, but it didn’t happen enough to cause a too much of an annoyance. The main romance in the series focuses on Nadja and two other people. This leads me to arguably the most important part of the entire anime, the characters.
Nadja herself is an amazing character. She’s passionate, caring, friendly, strong willed, and never gives up or disregards what she believes is right. Sometimes she can be a little naïve, but it is to be expected from a twelve year old girl in that she still has things to learn. No matter what the situation is or how grim things become, she never gives up and always stays strong. Ami Koshimizu does an amazing job voicing her, and this is one of the main reasons why this series stands out so much.
Keith and Francis Harcourt:
Doing my best to avoid giving away big spoilers, both of these characters were awesome. They are both very passionate about what they do and what they believe in, they will go to great lengths to make sure the right is right (or how they believe anyway). Their relationship with Nadja grows very complex as story continues, and they are intertwined with the nobles and how that’s related to the story. They were great from the start, but I think the entertainment value of the final fifth of the series was seriously amplified because of them.
Members of the Dandelion Troupe and other supporting characters:
Ashita no Nadja has a rich cast of supporting characters, most notably the group of people Nadja travels with. All of them are great in one way or another. Kennosuke is tough and brave despite being weak in size, Anna is a clever old lady and made me laugh with her craftiness to help the Dandelion Troupe, Rita is just adorable, and the other members are kind hearted and caring as well. There are also many other characters that met and helped Nadja along her journey, some friendly and some not. They all played their part in contributing to the story.
I have never been the type of person that likes or roots for the antagonists, and this show was no exception. There were many people that could be considered antagonists, the most obvious being the two men… well I’ll stop there. If you’ve seen at least the first episode then you know what I’m talking about. But there were many others, too. Greedy nobles who care only for themselves and (in my opinion) are some of the most heartless and narrow-minded people I have ever seen. Coughpremingerdukecough. There are others, and I won’t even bring up the most irritating character in the story for the sakes or spoilers. But I think you get the point. There are lots of characters that I did not like, a contrast to the many great characters that there were.
In addition to its great story and characters, Ashita no Nadja did very well in the animation and sound departments. The animation is good for being made in 2003. The animation style is quite unique. There are many gorgeous backgrounds and landscapes, but I won’t deny that the sometimes the character animations look just a little too old and messy. This did not impede my enjoyment in the anime one bit; I like to see new styles now and then. The details matched the settings well (though I didn’t pay complete attention to this detail the whole series, so I can’t judge it with complete confidence in its accuracy). As far as sound, every bit of it was beautiful and may I say fitting for the specific moments, whether they were dramatic, sad, or peaceful. The opening was nothing short of wonderful, both the song and the images. The theme that played in the middle of each episode was also quite catchy, as well as the ending theme. Needless to say, the quality and effort put into the visuals and audio is very noticeable, one of the many more reasons why this was such a great watch.
My final thoughts: This anime is amazing. Its light hearted at times, its dark at times, and it will probably make you cry at least once. It’s so much fun watching Nadja go on adventures with the Dandelion Troupe that you wish you could experience it again. There is no other anime quite like this that I’ve seen. The story is deep, touching, and thought provoking at times. You will be hooked by the first episode by the strong story and characters, then sad after the satisfying final episode. A gem such as this deserves more attention.
Score: 8/10 (Amazing)
If you don’t mind romance, adventure, or a slightly dark and mature story then get out there and watch this anime!
Ashita no Nadja....oh my god this anime! Before I go on with my review let me tell a short little story. A couple of years back, my brother and I started watching this anime not knowing what to expect. But before you know it we got so hooked that we saw that last 8 episodes in Spanish not understanding a word they were saying and with no subtitles just to see what will happen. This anime becomes an emotional roller-coaster maybe unlike anything you've ever seen before. It's a masterpiece and it's sad that most people don't know about it giving it's from 2004 and
the fact that it was so rare to find anywhere. But maybe now if more people see it they will spread the word because anime fans need to see this!
Now on with the review!
Story 10/10: Not spoiling anything, the story revolves around Nadja, a young orphan who finds out her mother might still be alive and her adventures around the world in the company of the Dandelion troupe, a travelling group of street performers filled with colorful characters. It's a magnificent tale of discovery, wonder and awe. The story starts and keeps a rather cheerful tone until the third act when things get serious. You will get so invested in this after the first half that you will have to see all of it in one sitting. And I'm not saying the first half is bad by any means it's just the tone of the overall plot that differs. Starting with a revelation and a quick departure on an adventure, continuing to explore the joy of travelling around the world and ending with intrigue and emotional conflicts.
Art 9/10: The art is very good for 2004 being colorful and elegant. It's joyful, intense and refined getting you really immersed into the anime. You can definitely see the effort put into this.
Sound 10/10: The sound in this anime is excellent! Starting from the wonderful intro to all the other songs that accompany Nadja's performance with the Dandelion troupe, the themes and the ending, the sound is perfect in this anime. Everything you hear is like an year massage, it just sounds great.
Characters 10/10: Oh the characters. There are allot of colorful characters in this anime and you will enjoy each and every one of them for their role, from the over the top villains to the joyful warm Dandelion members that make Nadja feel like family and the seriousness of the heroes. Nadja herself if very enjoying to watch because you can see her grow and mature throughout her experience around the world and also you really want to cheer for her seeing how she tries her best never to give up and works hard towards her goals. The male lead or leads which are also the love interest are really interesting as well. They are equally determined in their goals and interest for Nadja and feel the need to help her in every way possible. Their ways of achieving their goals is very different and their view of the world is also different but you will find yourself rooting for one or another or both nevertheless. The villains are great as well rating from silly to charming and over the top or to diabolically clever and maleficent. But they are not villains just for the sake of it, they all have their reasons, be them good or bad and they play a big part on how much you will get invested in this anime.
Enjoyment 10/10: If you can't already tell I've really really enjoyed this anime. I consider it a masterpiece, and although subjective as this opinion might be I think everyone who will see it will think of it as either good or excellent if they are being honest. Like I said earlier it becomes so griping that you will skip a night of sleep with having to go to work the next day just to see it to the end.
Overall 10/10: I can't rate this lower than 10. It's just such a great experience which I wish on everyone. This anime will make a permanent mark on you and you will never forget it. Give it a try, disregard the fact that it's a little old or longer than your average 12/24 episodes running shows today and watch it! You will not be disappointed!