Jan 23, 2022
I'm surprised that nobody has made a review on this underrated gem, here! I guess i'll just make one for this show by myself.
Sasurai no Shoujo Nell (Wandering Girl Nell in english) is a anime show made as far back as 1979. The show is part of the progmming block called "Kirin Meikyoku Roman Gekijou". Sadly, not much is known about the programming block other than, assumingly, to be a rival to Nippon Animation's World Masterpiece Theatre.
There's only four shows made for the programming block. And unlike the other three where they are somewhat original, this one is based off the series of novel known
as The Old Curiosity Shop by british author, Charles Dickens.
So what does this anime has to offer? Here's what i know:
The story takes place in London, England. Where lives a girl named Nell who lives with Mr. Trent, her grandfather and works at his shop.
One day, she receives a visit from a greedy bastard named Kilp, who wants Mr. Trent to pay a loan that he made. The problem, however, is that Mr. Trent barely has any money and spends alot of his money onto gambling. Because of this, Kilp warns her and Mr. Trent that if he doesn't pay the entire loan, Kilp will be taking away his shop by buying it and kicking Mr. Trent out of business. And what's worse is that since Nell had no family other than her grandfather, she would be forced to marry Brass, Kilp's assistant, who so happens to be waaaaay older in his own age compared to Nell's age (I know this sounds wrongg, but it's a Charles Dickens adaption. What do you expect?).
Of course, she and Mr. Trent don't want to do it. And to avoid his plan to ever happen, they decided to leave the shop and london itself. As time would go one, Nell starts wondering if her mother is still alive and tries to convince her grandfather to go see her. But Mr. Trent is doubtful of ever seeing Nell's mother. But then he holds his grudge againts her and tries to settle with her to go see her mother if she's still alive in Paradise. A location where people lives.
Kit, Nell''s friend who worked at Mr. Trent's shop, was concerned about her disappearance and settled on going after her. Along the way he meets a mysterious man who's also looking for Nell and Mr. Trent as well so he can unveil the truth about Nell's mother.
Meanwhile, Kilp, much to his dismay, found out that she and Mr. Trent left london and also decided to go after them as well. Alongside with his assistant Brass and his minions.
It's a story of a one big journey where they will encounter many people around them and many locations they go in search of Paradise and Nell's mother.
It's a very wonderful, sad and touching show that builds alot on world-building and many characters that we meet upon each episodes. Each episodes can sometimes be a joy to watch or pretty depressing to watch as there will be some things that are tackled throughout the show. Such as death for example.
The anime really knows how to give out lots of episodes that keeps me interested into watching it and so do you. The more you get invested into the show's story and it's characters, the more better it gets.
And speaking of the characters, that's also the highlight of the show as well. Many of the characters are very memorable and really great to watch. You have, of course, Nell. The main protagonist of the anime. I find her a really wonderful character because i love how she has a will to help people out in certain situations.
You also have Mr. Trent who may not be the best character in the entire show, but does serve a purpouse to help and protect her granddaughter whenever a certain danger or situation happens. He can be a bit grumpy and sometimes a little bit violent at times, but we need to keep in mind that he is an old man who has gone through lots of crazy stuff in his lifehood.
There are also characters that also help the story keep going. Like Kit, who's always concerned about Nell and willing to help her out to find her mother, the mysterious man who wants to find Nell and help her find Paradise. As well as showing her the truth about her mother and his identity.
And then you have Kilp, Brass and their minions, who are the villains throughout the show. Kilp is one greedy bastard who always wants money and make people's lives miserable by taking away their shops from them, Brass who's a goofball but also a kind of creepy guy who always has a crush on Nell, to the point of wanting to marry her and then you have Kilp's minions who serve as the enemies that Nell and Mr. Trent keep on avoiding.
Each character does alot through out the show and does help the show keep up as a breath of fresh air compared to others Charles Dickens' adaptions. And many of them are just as enjoyable and memorable as Nell.
The animation is done by DAX Productions. Although they are not that famous of a studio as something like Nippon Animation, they are the same studio that also produced other anime shows like Sword Art Online and Assassination Classroom. So it's a interesting piece of history to learn something about theses shows in common.
The art looks pretty good even for 1979. You have lots of beautiful background animations that looks straight out of a novel book. And while the animation can be limited at best and the character designs aren't that special, they do get the job well done.
The sound is also pretty good, too. The sure there are a few episodes where the audio can have some hiccups, but for the most part, it's all good.
The music is also very wonderful to listen. It gives the show a pretty nice and sad mood whenever a scene happens.
And the voice acting is also great as well. Seiyuus like Harumi Ichiryuusai, Eken Mine, Yoshiko Oota and even GeGeGe No Kitaro's singer himself, Kazuo Kumakura do an amazing job to voice the characters. They put alot of love to the characters. Which makes me love the characters even more!
But not all things are perfect. There are a few episodes that i find it weak. Like for example, there's an episode about Nell trying to babysit a baby while the baby's mother leaves. Which i find it a waste of time because i thought the mother was so stupid to let her child go around the village all by himself. Which is too dangerous for a baby to go there. And with Nell having to do the job for them is just stupid in my opinion. But at the very least it did had a decent ending to that episode. And the moral is: Don't freaking let a child go to any places without their permission. ESPECIALLY IF A BABY IS LIKE WHAT? 2? 3 YEARS OLD!?
Anyway, other than that stupid instance, overall, i had a great time watching this wonderful show.
The story is great, the art is pretty darn good, the sound is great, the characters are very enjoyable, my enjoyment to the show is pretty good and overall, i had a great time with it. This is easily one of my favourite anime shows from my top 100 favourite animes and it's a really really REALLY underrated gem that needs to be seen.
Go check out the anime if you have the time.
Anyways, my name is Diogo, and it's been my review on Sasurai no Shoujo Nell (Or Wandering Girl Nell). I'll see you next time! ;)
What did you think of this review?