|Title (English)||Secret Garden, the|
|Title (Japanese)||Anime Himitsu no Hanazono||Art Sample
|Notes||Polish title=Tajemniczy ogrod. The apparently un-altered Polish version has the title "Secret Garden" in English.|
Synopsis of book: Mary Lennox, a neglected and disagreeable child, is suddenly orphaned by a cholera epidemic in India. Brought to her uncle's Yorkshire mansion overlooking the moors, she is left much to herself, and presently discovers a locked walled garden. She makes friends slowly with the maid, Martha, who brings her meals, and later with Martha's brother, Dickon. Later she discovers an invalid boy, her cousin Colin, who is kept in a room of the mansion. The book is a morally improving tale of how Mary becomes a better person and helps Colin recover his health.
|Review|| Colin | Mary & Dickon
A NHK adaptation of the classic children's story by Frances Hodgson Burnett, who also wrote "A Little Princess". It's not as good as the WMT adaptations, but still worth a look. In fact it's mostly a bit more straight than you might fear after encountering the bouncy opening credits. The end credits, which (for some unfathomable reason) show Mary as a puppet, are plenty weird, and some of the character design is good. In particular, Mary's expression varies charmingly from wide-eyed innocence through to rage without ever being excessively cute-ified. I also like the character design for Camilla, the wise-woman.
The anime seems a more upbeat affair than the book, and it's not a particularly faithful adaptation, having more material than the original novel, at least one extra major character, Camilla the wise-woman (jap. Kamira). Dickon's menagerie of tame animals all look sickeningly "cute". Substantial extra material appears particularly in the latter part of the series. In a way one would like to be reporting that these insertions are inferior, but in fact they are a whole lot of fun. In one episode, the villagers, upset by some infant mortality, and armed with pitchforks etc., march on Camilla's cottage bent on burning her as a witch. In the next, "Lord Richmond" and his wife appear at the mansion to hold a hunt with foxhounds. The nasty-looking hounds chase after Dickon's cute animals, but the hunt is hilariously subverted by childish mischief. At one point Lord Richmond and wife burst into Camilla's cottage and [I swear] demand "Is that your cat, madam?"
The original English text is available online, or check your local bookshop.
|Credits||Dir: Tameo OgawaData from Ben Ettinger|
|TV Showing||See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.|
|References & Help||Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.