This anime’s pretty obscure. So obscure that this is the biggest cover image I can find of the series without it looking like complete garbage. It’s also misleading on a few levels. Let me explain.
First off, the design/animation for this series is really bad. So bad that I wonder if it was intentional. After all, this is a random slice-of-life series from 2004 with some supernatural elements to it that was an original story. Budget was probably not a sure thing. For reference, it kind of looks like a worse Ping Pong the Animation, but where as that series has great emphasis on actual animation/symbolism, this series plays it pretty safe for the most part, but has some gusto to it when it wants to really “wow” someone. It’s not a sort of “Eww, this animation is putrid” kind of thing as much as it’s a “Hrmm, I wonder if they intentionally made everything super jagged and sketchy?”
Second, this anime is really not that bright and cheerful. I was taken completely off guard by how down-to-earth and somber this series is. Sad, it is not, but rather a sort of spiritual that seems appropriate for a Japanese series dealing with an aspect of nature. It does not whatsoever try to liven itself up with kooky situations or exaggerated animation tactics. It is a slice-of-life in almost its purest form: detailing everyday lives of people with only the shtick of “wind manipulation” to act as a calling card.
If you’re thinking to yourself “Well that sounds boring,” you’re not wrong.
Boredom is my primary criticism of this piece, as is with most au naturel slice-of-life shows I take a swing at. Whether Non Non Biyori, Kamichu!, or otherwise, these specific titles dealing with what some would consider a subgenre of a genre, it always seems to come down to one thing: Can I stay awake for this episode? Spoiler: I did not fall asleep at any point while watching this, but one episode gave me a close call earlier today. The tranquil atmosphere it exudes does well in calming my spirits. Perhaps a little too well.
With tranquility in mind, let’s talk about the music of this series. Indeed, I found it notable to commend the series for its instrumentation, which combined beautifully with its subject matter to create something emotionally uplifting. I could maybe sense some symbolism going on, though perhaps just a means of giving these child characters some sense of adventure and wonderment. After all, when we think anime and kids, there’s always some form of wonderment attached, right? I blame Studio Ghibli. Woodwind instruments have a nice tone to them in this fashion, especially with some indie-vibed creation of shitty animation and lots of rainbow wind blowing. OoOoOoOoOoOo…
Characters kinda-sorta get some development throughout. A little more on the side of romantic relations than self-discovery, but there’s some effort involved, at least. I think part of what makes me so bored with these types of shows is that I’m a lot more interested in people than worlds, as worlds—unless properly addressed—stay the same with its intent from one point to another, generally. People are the things that can change, improve, or provide input on interesting things. Worlds and settings can have personality, but people and/or characters are much more complex in comparison. When a series like Fuujin Monogatari seems more interested in making the world feel alive and whimsical, with the characters only acting as the catalyst to show that, I’m just not as into that. It can be nice for shorter periods of time or within various situations, but generally, I don’t really care. This is no different a situation.
Still, it’s by no means a bad series. Only its art could qualify for outright bad, if one’s had their heart set on proving the animators are just lazy shitheads and not creative minimalists. Any recommendation of this series would have to go towards those who really like slice-of-life’s. Maybe some artsy-fartsy anime reviewer will eventually cover this anime on Youtube and preach to the world about its inner beauty and how people “don’t get it.” With a semi-shitty average rating on MAL, I’d be more inclined to agree. This isn’t a great show, but I think it’s better than what I’m sure is hundreds of anime ranked above it.
Final Score: 6/10
The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.
To see the ratings for all entries in this Summer and all others, check out the Summer of Anime Archive!