Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring 2012 Folk Tales from Japan Episode 1

Hey guys! It's me again. I know I haven't updated much lately, but it's a new season and I'm excited for this one, so I decided to resurrect the seasonal reviews. So without further ado, see under the break for my first review of the season, Folk Tales from Japan!

There is something about folk tales that I love. They're charming and nostalgic. Even if they're ones you didn't grow up with as a child, they manage to be nostalgic somehow. That's what this series is like for me. Charming, relaxing and pleasantly nostalgic, all while teaching me about other cultures.

Let's make something very clear first, this is intended for very young children. This is the Japanese equivalent of Thomas the Tank Engine or Mr Rogers Neighborhood (are these shows even on anymore?) The average anime viewer will not find this particularly entertaining or fun, and its certainly not going to be "anime" enough. The art style is very simplistic, along the lines of Doraemon or My Neighbors the Yamadas. For some, this will be a deal breaker.
Each episode contains three different folk tales, each with its own style of animation. This episode had "The Old Man Who Made the Dead Trees Blossom", "The Man who Bought a Dream", and "The Rat Sutra".

Each folk tale was very sedate and languid, moving slowly with very little drama or surprises. They're fairly typical tales, with a very distinct Japanese flair, teaching morals and Japanese culture.

Its certainly not your typical fare, and will have very little appeal to most. For people like me, who enjoy folk tales and any chance to learn more about another culture, it's a delightful and enlightening series that's entirely worth it. For those learning Japanese, it's also likely to be useful, as the language is very simple. If you hear folk tales and are immediately interested, and can look past the obviously very young target audience, you will probably enjoy this series. A relaxing gem that certainly worth your time.

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