They’re the best Anime that 1991 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Parasol Henbei, Ningyohime Marina no Bouken, Pygmalio, and more!
7: Parasol Henbei
MAL Score: 6.07
All children dream to have a friend straight from a fairy tale… A little boy opens his closet and finds a strange creature with a parasol sitting in there. Nobody knows how he got there and from what mysterious worlds he is, but it is a fast friendship from the beginning. And nobody can ever know…
6: Ningyohime Marina no Bouken
English: Saban’s Adventures of the Little Mermaid
Japanese: 人魚姫 マリーナの冒険
MAL Score: 6.24
Marina is a mermaid who is in love with Prince Justin, a human prince from a kingdom on the shore. Marina saves Justin when he almost drowns after a chase from a giant Cyclops and a shipwreck attack from a three-headed sea serpent. She then makes a deal with Hedwig the sea witch to become human temporarily to try to win Justin’s love. Justin and Marina become close but Justin thinks that Princess Cecily, a human princess, was the one who saved him from drowning and therefore he gets engaged to her. Justin eventually remembers that Marina was the one who saved his life but by then Marina becomes a mermaid again. The two continue to secretly meet and try to find a way to be together while dealing with Hedwig’s plans to take over the kingdom, and Cecily’s attempts to get Justin to marry her. Marina and Justin are aided by their underwater friends, Winnie the seahorse, Bobo the tropical fish, and Ridley the sea otter. They are also aided by the wizard Anselm and by Chauncey, Justin’s page.
I espesially loved the two first episodes who reflects the tragic lovestory between the land and the sea.
Moest exiting outside the story itself is to discover the backgrounds of the Seawitch and the wizard Ansem.
On the downside I think there is too long until they find any selution to the main conflict.
MAL Score: 6.78
Coult, the prince of the kingdom of Loon, is living a happy life with his father King Stephan and many retainers. He is cheerful, bright, tender-hearted, and gifted by the god Aganade. Coult’s mother Galatea (the daughter of Aganade) married King Stephan. However, Medusa, the daughter of the evil spirit, was envious of her happiness and turned her into a statue together with many villagers when Coult was still a baby. In order to save the other villagers, Stephan pledged allegiance to Medusa, and was forced to promise to make Coult do the same on his 8th birthday.
When the day arrives, Coult declares that he will defeat Medusa and revive the people who were turned into statues. He sets out on a long journey to search for the daughter of the evil spirit.
(Source: Nippon Animation)
4: Dragon Quest: Yuusha Abel Densetsu
English: Dragon Warrior
MAL Score: 6.82
Dragon Quest is loosely based on Dragon Quest III. The names and some of the characters are familar, but the world map is smaller and a very different shape. The two main characters are Abel and Tialah. Tialah receives the legendary Red Stone from the Aliahan Village sage Master Yogi. Soon after, Tialah is kidnapped by the evil Baramos who wants to use the Red Stone to resurrect The Great Dragon and be granted eternal life. Abel swore to rescue Tialah and he is given the Blue Stone, which can only seal the Dragon once it has been released.
Bandai co. was back then a big distributor and giver of ( in partnership with toei amongs other studio’s) videogames based of populair serie’s and merchandise, and had partnerships with developers like sqare enix, wich is since 2003 called squaresoft i believe and namco.
Dragonquest is still one of toei most beloved and prominent products ever since 1986 ( it started out on the Famicon, EU had the nintendo modified for the market, and the PC-Engine system wich is mostly unknown outside Japan) and has been seen as one of the first RPG franchises, little before Shin megami tensei(1987- ongoing) or the Final Fantasy series ( 1987 ongoing)
or the breath of fire serie’s ( 1989-??) to name a couple. sadly i’ve only played some old rpg but never the first release of the serie’s.
The story itself give’s WAY more than the summary says i mean omg shit became intense halfway through!! and remember , its LOOSLY based so it means than some elements and /or npc’s dont even appear in the game itself
but does not take away the potential of what it could do more and adds a extra taste to it in following the ‘Rpg guideline, the further u get and more levels u unlock, the harder the enemies and terrain unlock special artifacts , meeting new charachters, upgrade items ect.ect.
Animationwise, if Dragonball never exsisted, there would never been Dragonquest, like 2 drops of water.
The soundtracks itself fits , but gets repeated a lot during action scene’s.
If we imagined to take a peek inside goku’s head what he is dreaming about to be a legendary hero in a fantasy world we got this:
Young abel = 13 year ol gohan
Slime ( the onion like creature’s abel has a blue one) he calls ChiChi
Baramos the devil= Hatchiyack from the DBZ ova plans to eradicate the sayians ova
Tobi = a long silverhaired trunks
Jikoku= a demonlike overambitious impression of vegeta
just to name a few.
i enjoyed the fullest out of this show and is a FREAKIN DISGRACE that it never had a official DVD release outside japan, yeah keeping the best shit for themself alright ):
Overall, i would watch it all over again because it appears as a kidshow but it give’s a very colourfull and dark aspect in itself , and its damn funny plus its is one show that makes a lot memorable thanks to a lot of positive factors!!!
I LOOOVE DRAGONQUEST!!!! u got + 1 up life
I would recommend this to any fantasy/adventure fans, even if you are not big on Dragon Quest specifically. It is very much a product of its time but I found myself genuinely surprised at some of the directions the story went in when my initial opinion was that it would be a super generic spin off anime to make money off the games popularity when it was beginning to really take off as a series.
Besides the budget feel from time to time, my biggest problems were that it had a slow start and how magic works in this world. Most good adventure stories start off a bit slow, so I get that, but this was my second attempt to watch this and didn’t really get into it till around episode 15ish I believe. My first attempt being back when DQ9 first came out, and between it being hard to find and super slow in the beginning, I just gave up. So if you are not feeling it completely, I don’t think I can blame you for not wanting to stick with it.
The other thing is magic healing is super inconsistent, which I feel is somewhere between a nit pick and a legit issue with the story at times. It really just comes down to what the plot demands at the moment.
So, like I said, if you like adventure stories I would say check it out. It is no Record of Lodoss War, but it really was surprising how well it turned out and how much it succeeded in translating the feel of an RPG adventure into an anime.
3: NG Knight Ramune & 40
MAL Score: 6.88
Lamune is an ordinary 4th grade boy who loves playing video games. He buys one from a peddler girl and helps her sell the rest. At home, he plays the game called “King Sccasher” & beats it. The peddler girl then comes out of the TV screen and asks for his help, calling him “The Blood Relative of the Chosen Hero Lamuness”. She is Princess Milk and takes him to Hara-Hara World where his role is to revive the Guardian Knights. To do this, he had to find an unlock the shrine which held Tama-Q, a robot who became Lamuness’ Advisor Robot, and key to freeing the Guardian Knights. All of the Knights are free-thinking mechas except for King Sccasher which is piloted by Lamuness. Opposing Lamuness is Don Harumage and his minions Da Cider and Lesuka.
2: Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken (TV)
Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト ダイの大冒険
MAL Score: 7.60
After the defeat of the demon lord Hadlar all of the monsters were unleashed from his evil will and moved to the island of Delmurin to live in peace. Dai is the only human living on the island. Having been raised by the kindly monster Brass, Dai’s dream is to grow up to be a hero. He gets to become one when Hadlar is resurrected and the previous hero, Avan, comes to train Dai to help in the battle. But Hadlar, announcing that he now works for an even more powerful demon lord, comes to kill Avan. To save his students Avan uses a Self-Sacrifice spell to attack, but is unable to defeat Hadlar. When it seems that Dai and Avan’s other student Pop are doomed a mark appears on Dai’s forehead and he suddenly gains super powers and is able to fend off Hadlar. The two students then go off on a journey to avenge Avan and bring peace back to the world.
The main detractors from this anime are ones that plague many other Shonen anime series. While the story is full of action from the beginning, the real storyline doesn’t start until a few episodes in, which makes the pacing seem a little slow at first. The show also suffers from too many flashback scenes, likely added to pad out episodes in an attempt to keep the anime from running out of source material, as the manga was still in serialization at the time. This became painfully tragic when the anime was canceled in Japan due to the broadcaster wanting to replace the show with a variety show (Ratings were not that bad, and toy sales must have been good enough since they had created toys for characters that never appeared in the anime.) Because of its cancellation the last half of the last episode diverges from the storyline of the manga dramatically, but still does not tie up the story concretely. It is particularly sad, because the point that the anime ends is where the story really starts to take off in the manga.
In the end, while this is an enjoyable anime, it is fundamentally flawed by its ending. Like many other series, if you want to get the full story you need to pick up the manga. Luckily the manga is very much worth snatching up on its own right, but it is still is regrettable that some of the most touching and exciting moments of the manga lack the color and the voice acting of anime. What exists of the anime is worth watching, and fun on its own. I can only hope, that like Saint Seiya, this anime one day makes a return in OVA form so that the deeper story of the manga can be told.
Dragonquest a.k.a Dragon warrior started out in 1986 on the Famicon console( modified in the west and known as the nintendo) wich i believe was developed by Bandai&.co before it was adapted in to books, then anime starting Dragonquest: abel yuusha densetsu in 1989, and even now videogames are available for the nintendo DS systems.
The story is adapted in a way that most rpg elements are there, but the story is a bit extended and slighly adapted, you start as the boy called Dai on a island (starting zone)and is friendly with almost every creature on the island because there was a dark ruler that posseses everything, and only 4 chosen figures could save the land , because of that story Dai wants to become a hero through his retainer and master called brass.
Things really start to kick off when master brass feels increasing dark energy and strange things happen , and therefore trains Dai with spells and magical equipment,
and later on more interesting ( party members) appear wich become’s a very important matter like:
Master spellcaster and swordmaster avan and his apprentice POP,
the brave but lovely long-range fighter Maam
The brave but bold armored crocodile
the knight with a sad past Hyunckel
A princess that needed saving, forgot her name
a very cool thing about it is the follow up of the bosses and the choice to join them, like in the videogame’s but they first need to be ‘dispelled’ and defeated, and the locations and journey all are soooo fun to enjoy watching .
Dragonball orientated animation, child-friendly and coulorfull i mean come on thats clear!
The music was fitting with the mood of every episode and for its time ofc and the al famous soundeffects that only Toei back than did.
I love almost all charachters, from the heroes, side-charachters till the villians because everyone had a story to tell that tied in the past, or something thats unfinished to pursue their goal, and there is no lack of charachter and lore content .
Jumping outta my skin, i had that multiple times during some very intense and dark scene’s , and yelling in happiness when a boss got defeated yes i enjoy it THAT much.
overall : 9 and thats sadly on behalf of the production , i saw the good ol VHS version dat needed a update and a freakin release in the western world, it drives me nuts that serie’s like that is like almost well ….. unheard of or something. damn glad i watched it
The story was well done, even if it wasn’t groundbreaking, the art is fantastic for the time, I loved almost all of the characters and the music was well done.
Not a perfect show by a long shot, even with my biases, but overall, it’s good. The reasons why I enjoy this show are similar reasons to why I enjoy the games, they’re charming and likable, a cozy spot when I just want to have fun.
1: Tanoshii Muumin Ikka
MAL Score: 8.16
Spring has finally arrived in Moomin Valley, giving way to another great adventure for Moomintroll and the rest of its inhabitants. With Snufkin coming home from his winter migration, the locals of the valley finally begin to rise from their hibernation. Finding a mysterious hat, the Moomins cannot bring themselves to throw it away due to its fine quality, instead hoping to eventually find its owner.
While playing games with his friends, Moomin tries to hide in the silk hat. When his friends come looking for him, they are shocked to discover that Moomin has transformed into a hideous creature. Examining himself in the mirror, he is disgusted to find himself completely unrecognizable.
Transforming back to normal after scaring his friends and family, Moomin and Snufkin decide to toss the hat in the river. As it drifts away, they begin to wonder who the hat belonged to and whether its owner will return for their lost possession.
I think it should only be appropiate of me to give my very first review to the very first anime I’ve ever seen… and it would be this! Moomins, or Muumilaakson Tarinoita, as it would be called here in Finland, is without an doubt, one of the very best works of anime, that I’ve ever seen – period. Not necesarily “the best” because of the plot, nor even for the story, but because of the characters, and the world they bring to life, simply just by being there. It’s an iconic classic, that’s what it is!
As a child, I grew up watching this anime, and I didn’t even realize it was an anime, before finishing high school, thinking it’s just some swedish cartoon – yeah, I was stupid! Now, I’m not really good at reviewing something, that I love, so let me just put it bluntly…
Moomins is a fantastic little slice-of-life story in a fantastic world, full of fantastic creatures and stories, that should belong to any little finns bookshelves – Moomins was originally a bookseries first! Not nescessarily ment for little little children per say, but good stuff nontherless!
The story is… well, there really isn’t one! Like I said, it is, down to it’s core, just some slice-of-life storytelling, heavy emphasis being on the slice-of-life. No big conflicts, villains or actual from-the-beginning-to-the-end- story arcs, and that alone can be a very heafty negative to many viewers. There are little mini-arcs here and there, but not any big arcs – just feeling the need to clarify that!
But, what’s the plot, then? There are these cute little moomins, with their colorful and delightful little friends, and because there’s no school, jobs or social insecurity – whatever that is! – they spend their days by just… running around in this ever-so peaceful and beautiful moomin valley, find secrets and solve mysteries, all in a while waiting for ever-looming winter, that will by every coming year, put every singe one of them into a deep sleep, before the next warm summer. It’s basically just… life – nothing more, nothing less! Some minor arcs, or themes may pop up in every now and then, such as the Lighthouse-arc, with it’s themes of isolation and fear of loneliness, the Little Visitors with stranger-danger- warning signs all over, and the King Ruby, with the themes of materialistic obsession, but those aren’t even that long to beging with – about two to three episodes – and won’t take away that certain sence of travel with no goal, as you move along with the show.
The “story” itself is not even that hard to follow, and that’s only to be expected from a show, made for (nordic/melancholic) kids. As a child, you can just let yourself enjoy all the fun adventures, all the lovable characters, and their antics, as well as have a few frights and sad tears here and there – I swear, that Groke still gives me the shivers! But, just because Moomins was originally intented to entertain children – in my mindset, anyway – it still doesn’t mean that it can’t age well, or be even more relevant to us adults! As an adult, you can still enjoy all the same things, as you did as a child, but this time, the innocence of a child replaced by the experience of an adult helps you marvel the subtle philosophies, wisdoms and lessons, that either did scar you for life as a child, or give you now that little spark of hope as an adult, when winter seems to just go on, and on, and the warm days of summer seem ever so distant, and gray. Moomins remainds me – an adult, only by the definition of a word – that not all good things in the world come with a pricetag, and sometimes, it’s okay to just be who you are, flaws and all, and just sometimes, the world itself is way too big and mysterious place, to try to even comprehend it. Moomins feed that little child in me, and I simply love it!
The characters in moomin valley are the force, that keeps this show alive and real. Every single character is like a someone, who you know, used to know, or would like to know, in real life. You want to be hugged by a mama moomin, you want to listen papa moomin’s stories, and have all these crazy adventures with him – or not, if you want to hold your booze *wink*. You want to watch stars with Snuffkin, and wonder, what life even is, and what is it for. You want to play all day with Moomin trollen and pals, and kick Stincky’s ass, when he’s teasing and bullying poor little Ninni – am I spelling it right? None of them are completely morally black or white, and that’s what makes them realistic, and… well, alive, like real people. They may not be the deepest, most multi-dimentional characters you’ve ever seen in terms of a storytelling or characterization, be it in anime or in any other story or media you might know and love, and none of them really change in any meaningful way, but they all feel like real people, and that’s exactly, what I wanted as a child, and expecially now, as an adult – real, lovable and colorful people, with realistic personalities, that are just simple enought, that you feel like you know them good enough, but feel like there’s still something beneath them… something secret, and maybe even a little bit darker, than you’d expect.
That said, Moomins sertainly isn’t for everybody. Some of the stories, themes, situations and characters may indeed scare some of the smallest in the family, and some may not be able to get ovet the fact, that there really isn’t any big picture/lead/red string in the story, or that the characters never really change – they are, what they are, and that’s that – finding the overall show either lacking, overly simple, stupid, even, or being just plain boring. Like already said above, there are some little arcs here and there, like The Exploits of Moominpappa, Moominsummer Madness, and Moominland Midwinter, based on the original books by Tove Jansson, but that’s about it – no big plot twists or revelations of bigger scale. There’s also no actual villain/s, nor big threat/s or conflict/s, and in the end… pretty sad ending too, with two best friends departing, and never seeing each other again – one of the biggest tear-jerkers of my childhood/anime-life!
The original books are also way more darker, and gloomier, with all-so-subtle references on booze, drugs, and even heavier philosophies and darker themes like death, suicide and abandonment, but that’s just us finns for ya! Little bit dark, mixed with a little bit of cuteness! Also, although this series was drawn in Japan, I’ll be damned if anyone can find this in its entirety (26 episodes is NOT a COMPLETE series of Moomins! There are 76 episodes + season 2!) in any other languages than finnish, swedish or japanese, which can also be a big turn-off for some!
All in all, I would warmily recommend this series with a full heart, and not just for kids… or just for finns/swedish. It’s a fantastic world, with fantastic characters, and cute yet meaningful stories and themes, that I for one haven’t yet found from anywhere else, from any other franchise. I’ve always known, that if we all could live even just one year in a place like Moomin valley, we all would possibly be… maybe not better, but changed people, and that thought alone, makes me wanna travel that far away distant place time, and time again.
The series follows the basic formula of nearly every other Anime. Something happens, the Moomin family must fix it and everything turns out well. However, the series isn’t completely episodic. There is a handful of episodes which introduces new characters, while others add background history, giving more depth to the main characters. The best way to watch this is in chronological order.
The animation is fantastic and superior compared with the second series, “Tanoshii Muumin Ikka Bouken Nikki”. Everything is fluid, nothing is crudely drawn and the backgrounds are beautiful. The music is a masterpiece in itself and will stick itself to your brain for months. The same goes for the opening and ending. Season 3 introduces some new music which isn’t as great as the prior, but it still fits the series.
No matter what age you are, you should give this a try. This is a smash hit in scandinavian countries (and, of course, Japan), and with good reason. Every episode will make you feel like home. The enviroments are beautiful and there will be many instances where you wish you lived in the moomin valley: not having to worry about getting a job, going to school or any criminals (Stinky isn’t really dangerous anyways). This is a perfect, peaceful life, where only their own mistakes and curiosity makes each adventure possible. This is the life of the Moomins.
The stories were and still are pretty damn entertaining. They take you to so many different places out of this world, from past to real time. i dunno how to explain but they just were so well written.
The art style was all new when Tove Jansson first published her novel stroies or what ever theyre called. And Japanese made quality work animating it. You could sense clearly all the feelings of the characters and the atmosphere from just looking at it.
For sound im reviewing the Finnish version, cuz thats what i grew up with. The voices of the characters matched the personalities perfectly. Moominmamma has her lovely and calm voice, Pappa has his firm and kinda wise voice and sniff sounds …. well like sniff . I can´t explain it better. The character voices are just so perfect. The music tracks are also something so unbeliveable. Usually they were the biggest aspect when it comes to making the setting and atmosphere of the scene from scary and ominous night in forest to kinda magical and calm winter journeys.
And the characters ohhh boy. Every character had their own, kinda iconic personalities. Mamma is motherly, calm an very kind to everybody. Snufkin is the cool and wise traveller that cares a lot about his friends but still likes to be alone, even though it may hurt him and others. And Stinky, although he was most times playing tricks to everyone, he still has a (relatively) warm heart. And the thing in the character design is that, like us humans we all have those little times when we get full of fury or just burst into happy tears. So did the Moomins, unlike some characters from other shows . From worried father saving his scared son from danger to something unexpected and irreversible happening.
These adventures and their characters will always be the shiny pearl of my childhood.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Tanoshii Muumin Ikka
2. Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken (TV)
3. NG Knight Ramune & 40
4. Dragon Quest: Yuusha Abel Densetsu
6. Ningyohime Marina no Bouken
7. Parasol Henbei