Oct 3, 2021
First of all I wanted to state that I know this anime from when I was a child growing up in Poland. Back then none of the kids knew what an anime was unless it was something of the sort of Sailor Moon or DragonballZ. I had basically grown up thinking it was a Polish production or European at most, complete with Polish dubbing and a Polish intro so realising it's actually an anime based on Waldemar Bonsels's stories about Maya the Bee has been quite a journey.
I decided to rewatch the full series afraid it'd be too boring and childish for me to
continue but I was happily proven wrong. Although a tad outdated it's a wonderful, funny series about the diverse lives of various insects and critters existing alongside them.
The character designs of all the bugs are adorable and lovable, the animation - a little janky - but more expressive and you can definitely see the hand-drawn-ness of it in the way the characters move. Their endearing designs are a great lighthearted way to introduce a child to the world of insects without giving them trauma :P
Also I absolutely adore the backgrounds of the series. They seem to be done in watercolor or gouache, and they look beautiful and professionally done. As a watercolor fanatic I have saved a bunch of stills from the series as inspiration fodder.
Maya the Bee also has pretty decent music composed for the series, with my favourites being the cicadas' and crickets' musical numbers and the intro. In the Polish dub the intro was sung by Zbigniew Wodecki who had done a wonderful job, the intro being so catchy in Poland almost every then-kid-now-adult knows at least the main part of the song.
The characters can be a little bit basic but each of the main characters has their own distinctive way of being without coming off as bland. None of them are too perfect to be true and all have their strengths and weaknesses well balanced out. The main theme of the series is about how different they all are and how it's crucial not to judge each other harshly, as every creature's journey through life is different and deserves respect.
Anyway, I had a blast coming back to the series and was delighted to see that even as an adult it succeeded in educating me about the world of insects and inspiring me with the beautiful painted landscapes. It's a charming series with great rewatch value.
What did you think of this review?