I am completely unashamed to admit that I love children’s animation despite being an adult. I also love folktales and other cultres. So you can imagone how happy I was to see that Crunchyroll had become to stream the “Folktales from Japan.”
The series as you can tell from the title is about traditional Japanese folktales. Each episode contains three tales in varying animation syles, this becomes more obvious in latter episodes. The animation is simple, yet colorful and very eye catching. The animation displays the emotions of the charcters clearly and more often than not you can tell whether or not a charcter is good or bad depending on apperances.
I personally do not like show it when Chidlren’s shows do this. (the West is just as guilty of this) I have issues with showing that children that evil people are all ugly and can be told their moral status by a glance. I also think it is rather dangerous.
I know what many of you are thinking and that I am over-analzying it, but people are influenced on how they view the world by media. Just study propoganda techniques for more extreme versions of this. Also children are far more impressionable to media.
And let’s ask ourselves….should there by a way that evilness can be judged through looks in our culture? Anyway, enough of that…
The animation is very simplified in order to tale get the message of the tale as fast as possible. There are few objects in the backgrounds, that are not used in the actual stories. However, the animation is hadly boring with amusing, over exaggerated emotions and actions constantly on display.
The scenary is often done in very lovely water colors that add much to the atmosphere of each tale. The changing are design of some tales do make it even more interesting to watch. However, much of the animation is normal anime children’s charcters on water coor background with some variation of this theme.
On to plot and characters….
Each epsiode is twenty-four minutes long. When you count the time of the opeing and closing themes that gives each tale less than eight minutes to tell their story.To add to thing all the tales are self-contained with no recurring characters.
Amazingly enough not only due the tales not feel to be lacking or shorten, they manage to get an emotional response of anger, sadness, and happiness. I do not mean tear worthy sadness, but you do feel empathy and sympathy for the charcter in the tale and often feel happy for their triumphs.
It is not enough to make you cry, but just enough to make you smile.
One of the things that stood out to me was how genuinely funny it is at times, even from an adult persepctive. Of course there is some toilet humor, (which I personally do not favor) though not to an absurd degree like I have seen on many American Children’s show.
Despite the simple aesop tales I found myself being drawn in and very intersted in the out come of the situation. I do not recall being bored for any of the tales, though that may be because of how unfamiliar I am with Japanese folklore. It may be different for someone who grew up with these tales.
It is a good show and if you enjoy good Children’s shows. learning about other cultures, and folklore I definatly reccomened it to you.
It can be viewed free and legally on Crunchyroll.