The story begins in a small town, Pennsylvania in 1838. Jeanie MacDowell is a cheerful and beautiful girl with light brown hair. Jeanie enjoys playing the piano and loves taking piano lessons from her mother.
Steven, a good harmonica player, and Bill, a black boy who is very good at playing the banjo, are great friends of Jeanie's. They enjoy playing music together like a small band.
However, Jeanie's happy life changes dramatically after her mother suddenly passes away.
Experiencing many difficulties and learning the importance of life, she decides to devote her life to helping many people suffering from illness.
This series is a highly emotional love story about the relationship between young Stephen Foster, who later becomes a famous composer and author of children's songs, and young Jeanie MacDowell, who becomes Stephen Foster's wife.
(Mostly Spoiler Free minus one thing that happens at the very beginning of the show.)
Kaze no Naka no Shoujo Kinpatsu no Jeanie, or Girl in the Wind: Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, in English, stars Jeanie MacDowell a young girl living happily with her parents and best friends Stephen and Bill in a small town in Pennsylvania around 1838. Considering the title it's kinda odd that she has very much so blond hair in the anime but that's a small nitpick I'll mention just for the fun of it.
The show pretty much starts out like an Worldmasterpiece Theather show with a girl going through
her day-to-day life as her father the doctor from the town helps patients together with Jeanie's mother. Tragedy however strikes not too long after when Jeanie's mother dies which changes Jeanie's life forever and drives her to discover her dreams for the future and find her own path in life.
The main three characters Jeanie, Stephen and Bill are overall strong written characters with their own will, hopes and dreams.
Jeanie herself goes through quite a bit of character development throughout the series and never breaks away from her beliefs and certainly isn't afraid to open her mouth.
Stephen however is a bit of a mixed bag as he tends to sometimes lean more towards his flaws than his stronger sides. Ultimately however he serves for a good love interest for Jeanie and isn't just a handsome boy for her to swoon over.
Bill is the most impressive of all, considering the time this anime takes place it was very refreshing to see what they did with his character and his struggles were very believable.
The anime has several strong parts throughout the 52 run episodes where it feels quite realistic and introduces problems for the characters to solve that give quite some character development.
Also what I especially liked was how the show would introduce side characters in a way that made them seem like bad people but then would turn around and show in quite realistic ways that every person in the world has their own reasons for their behaviour and actions and that it doesn't necessarily mean that someone who seems to be a bad person is a bad person.
Sometime mid-way into the series an unexpected plot twist arises which honestly makes the series far worse than what it could've been. The series does however recover after awhile but then falls in the pitfall of repeating the same type of problem in a different fashion all the way up till the last few episodes making the ending feel less satisfying than it could've been.
I enjoyed Jeanie for what it was, but I think that if I had known beforehand that the show's strength went down in the second half I would've enjoyed it more for the simple fact my expectations were higher after the first stronger half. If you're looking for an old-school anime with enjoyable characters and like anime such as the Worldmasterpiece theater ones then I whole heartedly recommend you give this one a try!