17 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Folktales from Japan episode 1

Because I write about the first episodes of everything!

Although now this means I also have to write about the first episodes of the new Beyblade, Cardfight Vanguard and Bakugan as well. I’ve doomed myself to writing about kids anime.

Folktales of Japan is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a series of fables, each about 8 minutes long. It’s interesting to see what kinds of fables they tell in Japan. For example, they still adhere to the highly important rule of 3, along with some other basic morals of each story such as being kind and loving and so on. Classic kids story stuff, the exact kind of stuff you’d see in any western fable. Now by all means I like fables. Even the three on display in this episode were very solid stuff. I like that sort of classical storytelling.

The ‘problem’, if you can call it that, is Fairytales of Japan is a kids show through and through. We’re talking a target audience that are still struggling to tie their shoelaces. There’s an ever-present narrator who is essentially reading from a book, and the animation is very simple. Think any toddler show you watched as a child, like your Bagpuss or Thomas the Tank Engine or whatever your local children’s cartoon was from whatever your nationality is. Which is fine for children, but I’m not a child, and neither are any of you lot. The stories are good, but the method through which they’re told aren’t particularly engaging.

It does make depressed though that I can no longer enjoy children’s shows though. Something died in me over the past few years. An inner child that can no longer be filled with that same childish glee from the youthful view of the world these kinds of shows present. It’s the reason I couldn’t get into those Precure series, and the same reason I feel any return to the Pokemon franchise would just leave me depressed as my nostalgia drips away. I envy those folks who can still enjoy these kinds of cartoons. But in the end, I wasn’t able to reach the final destination of the elitist spectrum.

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  1. Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Did you try My Little Pony?

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink


    • Scamp
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      No. The fanbase eventually scared me away

      • Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Just because, it’s one of those shows that’s pretty similar to these that you mentioned here, in terms of having straight, honest, kindergartener-based morals, it just also happens to be watchable.

        It’s usually brought up as a good example how how something that is aimed at little kids can also be enjoyable for everyone else. (except, of course, elitists :P)

  2. Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see this – I’m really interested in fairy tales and don’t know of any from Japan.

  3. Hellur
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    If it was targeted at an older audience I’d have loved it, my fav animes by far are the cultural/supernatural ones like xxxholic, natsume, and of course mushishi

  4. Kiseki
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Poor you who can’t enjoy kids’ shows anymore. :( Some of them are so silly you can’t help but enjoy them.

    I’ve seen older audiences enjoy Vanguard by the way. I think? I remember seeing CMs for it targeting said audience (not just fujoshi).

    By the way, are you going to finish Avatar before watching Korra?

    • Kiseki
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 1:39 am | Permalink

      Were these emotes always here?

    • Scamp
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      I’ve yet to watch beyond the first season of Avatar. I did plan on completing it before Korra, but never got around to it. Shame because I would have liked to join the zeitgeist surrounding the new season, but oh well

  5. Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I love that you took the time, put in the effort, and wrote a quality post on an anime no one will bother to watch, let alone write about (though I’m sure there are others out there who have done/will do). It’s a testament to how dedicated you are to anime and your fans to do this. Thanks.

    As for the anime itself, it was nice but I do have a question. Do you or did you have an interest in Japanese fables and folktales before watching this anime?

    • Scamp
      Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Why thank you

      I had no particular interest in Japanese folk tales. I only watched it because Crunchyroll happened to pick it up

    • Posted April 5, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink

      Hey! I’m watching it. I like shows with simple japanese, its nice to be able to follow the entire story every once in a while.

  6. RogerMoore
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I thought the show was pretty enjoyable. I found the similarities between our culture’s old stories and Japan’s really interesting. The show obviously isn’t a masterpiece or anything, but it was really charming and relaxing in a way.

    I only watched it because Crunchyroll picked it up though. Hadn’t even heard of it before that.

  7. Posted April 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Basically, this is all in the same vein as Momotaro, and it’s not a new concept in Japan. I think the older version of this show is still running on NHK in Japan.

  8. Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I think this is a neat little show but… yeah, it isn’t all that engrossing. I didn’t have trouble watching, but I found myself pausing several times to take care of other things, which I should feel somewhat irritated about whenever I have to do so.
    Still, as far as kid fare goes, at least it tells some decent stories.

  9. Xyopq
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    You should totally review Beyblade, I think you’ll like it *Pokerface*

    • Posted April 5, 2012 at 4:06 am | Permalink

      Make sure you watch all of it, right when you start getting bored the show really gets better.


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