Emily of the New Moon
Mimi: Emily’s New Moon is a delightful anime based on classic literature. It began as a children’s novel in 1923, and it later became a Canadian TV series in 1998. Finally, it was adapted into an anime in 2007, bringing its original premise back for a new audience.
The story takes place in Prince Edward Island, Canada somewhere between the late 1800s and early 1900s. A young girl named Emily who had already lost her mother as a baby later loses her father to an illness. She gets taken in by her mother’s side of the family called the “Murrays” whom she had never met before. Her life prior to moving in was rather carefree and flexible; however, she has to adjust to a completely different lifestyle with the Murrays. There, she has to have responsibilities, mannerisms, and a school education while maintaining the Murray’s reputation. The story mainly consists of her adapting to these changes, as well as making friends, rivalries, and coming to grow as a person.
This anime is more about developing characters rather than following a progressive plot with a specific goal. It explores themes such dreams versus reality, what it really means to grow up, how to overcome pain, and so much more. What might turn some people off is that the pacing is very slow, and the story’s overall tone is light-hearted and warm. However, there is enough drama to keep the show very entertaining as it tends to deal with heavy and touchy subject matter, beginning with the death of a parent. The story is very well executed and has a solid conclusion.
Nothing falls short of being beautiful, colorful, and stunning. The artwork will take your breath away. There is nothing more gorgeous than to see some of Canada’s landscapes animated so beautifully here. Much effort and detail went into the backgrounds and overall atmosphere. I could really smell the apples and feel the warm summer breeze while I was watching. And whenever it snowed, individual pieces of snow looked fluffy and real. What a refreshing experience.
The character designs are a little untraditional, yet fitting. Everyone has a more realistic appearance; don’t expect to see anyone with bright purple spiky hair. However, each character still manages to have a distinct look. You won’t feel like they all have the same face with different hair thrown on top.
The soundtrack is orchestral, melodic, and atmospheric which fits the historical setting perfectly. I must also praise the detailed background noises such as the grass blowing in the wind, the running water, thunder storms, and other nature sounds. All of the sound effects enable you to feel as if you are presently in that environment.
The show’s strength really lies within its characters that are so convincing. The star of the show, Emily, won’t let herself be taken advantage of. She stands up for what she believes in, which often conflicts with her mannerisms. She is also innocent, naïve, and sensitive, but she does her best to be kind to others. The most captivating aspect about her is that she is very poetic, as it is her dream to become a poet and writer someday.
Emily’s main friends are Ilse, Perry, and Teddy, who each have their own personal lives and dreams explored. They fully develop along with Emily into fantastic characters.
We can’t forget about the Murrays whom Emily moves in with. Her Aunt Elizabeth has been described by Emily to be the “ice queen.” She is very strict and has a tense relationship with Emily. She also lives with her Aunt Laura and Cousin Jimmy who come to her aid when she is in trouble or feeling down. The other Murrays occasionally make an appearance and analyze Emily’s progression through her new life.
It has been very fascinating to watch Emily interact with her new family as much as she hangs out with her friends. Emily does meet many other side characters along the way, and their backgrounds are also rich in detail. Everyone has their own special place in the story; they remain interesting till the very end.
Each episode of Emily’s New Moon leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling and satisfaction through engaging story-telling. As this was something that I could share with my family, I wholeheartedly recommend this anime to anyone. Please don’t dismiss this as just a children’s happy-go-lucky show. While it is indeed fun, it is also mature, thought-provoking, and worth the watch for an audience of any age.
Mimi’s Score: 9 Meeps out of 10 (Great)
Alex’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)