MY DADDY LONG LEGS:
My Daddy Long Legs or Watashi no Ashinaga Ojisan as it is know is a 1990 anime based of the 1912 novel of the same name by Jean Webster. This is a part of Nippon Animation’s World Masterpiece Theatre which was a bunch of novels which were turned into anime by Nippon Animation.
This anime follows Judy Abbott, a child from the John Grier orphanage. She was abandoned in the slums of New York as a baby and was taken in by the orphanage. She is forced to stay there for all of her pre-teen life. Until one day, Judy is selected out of a possible four to go to the prestigious Lincoln Memorial High School in New Jersey by a mystery man. Judy never sees the face of this man however she does the shadows of this man. Due to his freakily long legs in the shadows, Judy affectionalty calls him “Daddy Long Legs”. She also has to write to him every month which is referred to in almost every episode.
It is at this school where we meet her friends, Sallie McBride and Julia Pendleton. There is also another roommate who comes in around episode 20 called Leonora Fenton, however she only lasts a couple of episodes as she is forced into Florida. This series lasts throughout the girl’s high school life, up until its graduation. I like how this is done as the older they get and the more they learn, the more mature they get. This is different from the novel as the novel is based in college. Throughout their time, relationships start to form and more characters start to form, Jervis Pendleton, Julia’s cousin who Julia does not like at the beginning however Judy falls in love with him since he is not your “typical rich person”, Jimmie McBride, Sallie’s brother who is a Quarterback at Princeton University who falls in love with Judy however Julia also develops feelings for him (even going as far to learn American Football), and Bob, Jimmie’s friend and captain of the football team who Sallie also develops some feelings for (however since they are both awkward, this does not really end anywhere). There are also some minor characters introduced who really do not do much in order to me to really talk about them.
The last 15 episodes or so changes the story up a bit since Judy wishes to become more independent. This leads to her arguing with “Daddy Long Legs” and disobeying things by taking jobs despite Daddy telling her not to. She also is taken to a Farm against her wishes (this is most likely set up by Daddy Long Legs since some story plots take place here which may ruin the entire series if I tell them here). Despite this, Judy finally makes up with Daddy. Judy is asked to deliver a speech for the graduating students, Daddy even promises to show up, however he gets very sick and eventually, Judy has to go out and find him. It is here where finally, Daddy Long Legs is revealed.
I rate this story an 8/10
Judy: I actually like Judy quite a lot. I do find her to be quite a sympathetic character. I do think she should have listened to her father a lot more during the last arc however I do understand her position based on her lifestyle and the fact that she has never allowed to experience true freedom before. I was cheering for her all throughout this series. She does grow up in maturity as well the teachers at the school (mostly the English one), her friends and especially Daddy Long Legs teach her about the world around her and how to act in situations. She was definitely the best character in the show as a show based around her should be.
Sallie: She is the nice, kind and helpful friend to Judy. She has some quirks like her anxiety to public speaking however for me she was a little too bland. She really does not develop that much which is mostly due to the fact that there really is not many situations that you can develop her. Still, she is not a bad character by any means and won’t make you want to skip forward or anything.
Julia: She starts out as the snobby rich character who starts of as friends with Sallie however Judy doesn't like her. She does however get the 2nd most amount of development behind Judy (Around the time she meets Jimmie is where it really starts) and she does start to get friendlier with Judy. Furthermore, when you see her parents, it does become evident why Julia is not really happy with her life since her parents are absolute shitheads. I did really start to feel sorry for her at the end.
Jervis: I did like him, however he really didn't offer much in terms of personality. He is the friendly, goofy guy in the series. I also find it a bit weird how he straight up falls in love with a minor even though he is about 30 however it does make more sense at the end of the series (It is a pretty massive spoiler). Still a pretty good character though as you do really feel his love for Judy
Jimmie: Again likeable, however not given to much development other than his relationships with Judy and Julia. Does seem to be a nice guy, even though he blatantly ignores Julia’s feelings for him because of his feelings with Judy.
The other characters are really not given enough screen time or development for me to really comment on them too much.
I rate these characters a 7.5/10
I love the art. Not because of the actual art style or quality since it is good for the time but not specular. What really gets me is the fact that they ACTUALLY manage to make the characters grow. Not from teenager to adult or kid to teenager but year to year, the 3 girls actually do grow in height. This is especially noticeable from flashbacks. I believe not enough anime that last years have this sort of continuous physical growth and that this should be more prevalent. I did have a few problems with the art/animation (especially those basketball scenes) however they are not really noticeable enough to ruin this series
I rate the art at an 8.5/10
I like this anime quite a bit. It is not the best series out there I’ll admit however if you are looking a good lengthy show or perhaps an older style show then this would be a good one to watch. Your views may be different in terms of how you feel of the characters or story however I do believe this is suitable for pretty much everyone.
I give the series an overall rating of 8/10