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Cute little Nadja Applefield lives in a British orphanage, the Applefield house. She's the local CoolBigSis, dances around to distract herself and wonders how is her mother doing in Heaven, while steeling herself for her 13th birthday when she'll have to leave her home and start building her own life away from the orphanage.

One day, however, her life changes. Miss Applefield, her guardian, brings her a trunk with several pretty things (a diary, a PimpedOutDress, etc) and a letter. In the paper, someone tells her that [[MissingMom her "dead" mother]] actually is ''alive''. Nadja is understandably confused, so Miss Applefield explains that she was given away by her mom unwillingly, since said mother [[IllGirl was very ill]] and not expected to live for long; by the looks of it, though, she ''did'' survive her SoapOperaDisease, and Nadja can certainly hope to meet up with her once she leaves Applefield House and makes a good name for herself in the real world.

But before Nadja can digest all the news, two Bad Men come up to steal her things. Specially, Nadja's [[OrphansPlotTrinket medallion]], which seems to be connected with her past. After being rescued by a MysteriousProtector and a fire almost destroys the Applefield Orphanage, Nadja stuffs her belonging in her suitcase and leaves to not bring them moure trouble. Soon she crosses paths with the itinerant circus known as the Dandelion Troupe, joins their ranks as a dancer, and takes off with them to search for her mother, her past, and answers to her questions.

''Ashita no Nadja'' (明日のナージャ, Ashita no Nāja, lit. "Tomorrow's Nadja") also had a manga adaption started after the anime run started and before the anime run ended. It was serialized by Kodansha in the manga magazine Nakayoshi and collected in two bound volumes. The anime series was produced by Toei Animation right after the [[Anime/OjamajoDoremi end of one]] CashCowFranchise, and before the [[PrettyCure beginning of another.]] It premiered in Japan on the anime satellite television network Animax and the terrestrial TV Asahi network, as well as several local cable channels. The series is available on DVD (in Japanese) containing two to three episodes each.

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!!This anime provides examples of:

* AdultFear: [[spoiler: Colette Preminger]] experiences a terrible dose of this when she [[spoiler: wakes up from an illness-induced coma]], only to be told [[spoiler: by her retainers]] that [[spoiler: her baby daughter Nadja had died of the same sickness that almost killed Colette herself. (Complete with a heartbreaking scene where Colette rushes to Nadja's wooden crib and finds it empty, collapsing in tears). In reality, Nadja had been sent away to an English orphanage to trick Colette into coming back home to her clan. And both mother and daughter only learn of the whole deal ''thirteen years later''.]]
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Nadja loves Francis, but also is attracted to [[spoiler: his twin brother Keith]] because of this.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Poor Sylvie...
* AnimationBump: Episode 26 is very noticeably different from the other episodes in the series. It is more serious in tone, contains higher quality animation and the gorgeous use of high-contrast backgrounds. This is due to the fact that it is directed by Mamoru Hosoda.
* Creator/AmiKoshimizu: Nadja was one of her first roles.
* ArrangedMarriage: Leonardo and Julietta, which becomes a PerfectlyArrangedMarriage once [[CharacterDevelopment Leonardo gets over himself]]. [[spoiler: Francis and Marianne ''were'' going to be betrothed, but Nadja appears and throws a huge wrench in the plans.]]
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Nadja uses this twice in the series.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler: Rosemary, post FreakOut]]
* BodyDouble: [[spoiler: Since both she and Nadja are sweet-faced, blue-eyed, blonde pre-teenage girls, Rosemary plays this role and impersonates Nadja ''real'' well.]]
* BreakTheCutie: Colette was ''very'' broken at some point. Nadja gets broken later, as well. And Rosemary gets so broken that she [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope jumps off the slippery slope.]]
* BrokenBird: Sylvie, to a degree. Rosemary as well by the end, even admitting it to [[spoiler: Nadja]] during a talk, [[spoiler: though her final scene shows her [[PluckyGirl still moving forward]] ]].
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Christian "Mummy Professor" Strand. Harvey Livingston.
* CainAndAbel: [[spoiler: Colette and Hermann (siblings), Keith and Francis (twins), Nadja and Rosemary (childhood friends). The two latter get better.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: [[spoiler: Colette]] gives this to her dad, when [[spoiler: she finds out about the whole deception.]]
-->[[spoiler: Colette]]: [[CrowningmomentOfAwesome I don't care about royalty or honor, Father!]] I just want [[spoiler: to see my true daughter!]]"
* ChangelingFantasy: Subverted: Rosemary loved to dream she was a lost princess who would someday find her true noble family, [[spoiler: but the "princess" was Nadja and not her... And when she found out... boy, did she ''snap''.]]
* CharacterDevelopment: One of the reasons why the series is so enjoyable.
* ChekhovsGunman: Rosemary is just a face in the crowd in the first two episodes, then starts getting some more scenes by the second part... and by the end is one of the most important characters.
* CircusBrat: Rita, Nadja, Kennosuke.
* ComingOfAgeStory: It starts when Nadja has to leave the only home she has known, travelling with the Dandelion Troupe to find her origins and grow up...
* CompressedAdaptation: The manga. They shortened it, thus taking away many characters (which means loss of CharacterDevelopment), including but not limited to: [[spoiler: Keith, Rosemary, Marianne, Jose, and Carmen.]]
* ConspicuousCG: Nadja's music box is ''clearly'' CG.
* CoolBigSis: Sylvie "the Songbird" Arte, Julietta. And actually, Nadja ''used'' to be one in Applefield House, and sorta has these dynamics with little Rita.
* CuteMute: Rita. [[spoiler:She gets better.]]
* DancesAndBalls: Six of them, where Nadja is always in [[SheCleansUpNicely a nice dress.]] [[spoiler: Except, in a subversion, at the last one, intended for her.]]
* DeconstructedTrope: For such an idealistic series, it brings a ''massive'' deconstruction of tropes like GreaterNeedThanMine, ShelteredAristocrat, PrincelyYoungMan and WideEyedIdealist through Nadja's love interest Francis Harcourt. [[spoiler: Because when he sees that his philanthropy is ''not'' enough to make the world better, his [[MartyrWithoutACause huge]] [[StepfordSmiler hidden]] [[HeroicSelfDeprecation problems]] [[HiddenDepths come to the surface]], and not only he gets called out for his naivete and lack of self-worth ''by some of the people that he's attempting to help''... but at the end of the series he crosses the DespairEventHorizon, and both Keith and Nadja have to work ''damn'' hard to bring Francis back to stability.]]
* DiscussedTrope: Several RichPeople and PrincessTropes, but specially TheOjou.
* DoggedNiceGuy: To a degree, both Oliver and Kennosuke.
* DomesticAbuse: Just another reason to hate Hermann Preminger: his treatment of his wife Hilda.
* [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Dropped a Bridge on Her]]: [[spoiler: Though she doesn't die, Rosemary's calm departure from the Mansion once she loses to Nadja quite feels like this.]]
** Also, [[spoiler: Miss Applefield got a shelf dropped on her. It happened pretty much off-screen, save a flashback, and only to have the OrphanageOfLove disbanded and give Nadja ''yet another'' reason to angst.]]
** Let's not forget [[spoiler: how Jose gets hit by a carriage ''right'' after he and Carmen have resolved to separate but stay in friendly terms until they truly reach their dreams.]]
* DudeMagnet: Nadja gets a lot of romantic attention from many male characters.
* EvilPlan: [[spoiler: Hermann's plan to steal Nadja's brooch, ruin her chance to claim the Preminger fortune (though she doesn't care about money and only wants to meet up with Colette) and become heir.]]
* EvilUncle: If what he does to get his niece's inheritance doesn't qualify Hermann as such...
* EyesAlwaysShut: Thomas O'Brian, Anna Petrova.
* ForgottenChildhoodFriend: Rosemary is [[ChekhovsGunman in the background]] during the first two episodes, but is only introduced as a close friend of Nadja's from the orphanage ''way'' later.
* FreudianExcuse: Hermann never had a chance to make friends during his childhood because his father kept him too busy with the training to succeed him and now resents Nadja for being chosen over him despite this.
* FryingPanOfDoom: Grandma Anna has one
* GentleGiant: George "Leader" Haskill
* GentlemanThief: Black Rose [[spoiler:aka Keith Harcourt]]. Also [[spoiler:Francis is the Black Rose Thief in the manga.]]
* GenerationXerox: [[spoiler: Nadja and Colette once meet before they learn about their bond.]] They're practically the same, personality wise.
* HeartwarmingOrphan: Kennosuke, Nadja and Rita. Rosemary too before she became an EvilOrphan.
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: Francis is a male example.
* HelloNurse: Sylvie
* HotForStudent: [[spoiler: Nadja's father Raymond Colbert was Colette's piano tutor. They fell in love and eloped. [[BreakTheCutie Much misfortune followed]].]]
* IdiotBall: Nadja's attitude towards the brooch is nearly incomprehensible. She had it for ''thirteen years'', it being the only memento of her family, obviously incredibly expensive, and she had never ''tried to open it''. Then, once she learns it ''is'' important and that it has a ring inside, she not only never inspects the ring or brooch, she also ''keeps using both in plain sight''. She should have locked it away the moment she found out someone was trying to steal it or, at least, separated ring and brooch to keep at least one safe. Not to mention [[spoiler:she almost lost it twice, and she still never took precautions to keep it safe. No wonder it got stolen.]] The only excuses for this behavior would be that Nadja doesn't want the others to be at risk for it (which is pretty in character considering how she left the Applefield home when it was almost burned down) and/or that she had been ''ridiculously'' sheltered in her OrphanageOfLove (not that unbelievable, Miss Applefield never said anything either ''and'' the orphanage itself is located in the countryside, rather far from London itself), and even '''those''' run thin soon.
* IllBoy: Stephan, [[spoiler: Abel's crippled and long-lost son.]]
* InadequateInheritor: Hermann being perceived as such by his father is what started the plot. If not for this, Nadja and Colette would probably never learn about each other being alive.
* IntrepidReporter: Harvey Livingston
* {{Jerkass}}: Fernando, Hermann, Duke Preminger and [[spoiler: Rosemary]].
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: [[spoiler: Keith]], Marianne, Antonio, John Whittard.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Though Hermann, Rosso and Bianco go to jail, Rosemary goes away without more punishment aside of Nadja slapping her once and beating her verbally.]]. Also, Antonio never was punished for his ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney mentality, [[spoiler: aside of failing to woo Julietta.]]
* KidAnova: Nadja. Oh God, Nadja.
* LadykillerInLove [[spoiler: According to Julietta, Leonardo stopped flirting with other girls when Antonio became his rival in love, paying more attention to her]].
* LoveDodecahedron: Nadja has several guys pining for her romantic attention (Oliver, Kennosuke, Francis, Black Rose [[spoiler: aka Keith]] and Christian). She herself loves Francis, but is strongly attracted to Black Rose [[spoiler: alias Keith (making this a SiblingTriangle)]]. Marianne loves Francis and [[spoiler: tells Nadja that she should hook up with Keith at some point]]).
* LoveHurts: Holy shit, it does.
* MadLove: Rosemary has a crush on Fernando, who treats her like crap.
* ManipulativeBastard: Antonio, Hermann, to a degree Oscar. [[spoiler: Rosemary takes it to new extremes.]] Duke Preminger also counts for what he did to Colette and Nadja just because the latter was born from a marriage he didn't approve.
* MartyrWithoutACause: [[spoiler: Francis, as time goes on and his PrincelyYoungMan archetype is deconstructed more and more.]]
* TheMasochismTango: Jose and Carmen. OUCH.
* MeaningfulName: "Nadja" means "hope" in Russian and is the title of a novel by Andre Breton.
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: Grandma Anna
* MissingMom: Nadja's mother, [[spoiler: Colette]] Also, Francis's mother. [[spoiler: Who is also Keith's MissingMom, of course]].
* MoralMyopia: [[spoiler: When Keith finds out about Nadja choosing Francis, he berates brother his twin for "wanting to keep a free spirit like Nadja in a GildedCage" in his opinion. Well, Keith... who are '''''you''''' to single-handedly decide that Nadja will undoubtly be unhappy with the guy she has chosen - ''[[GreenEyedMonster a guy who is not you]]''? At least '''ask''' Nadja about it instead of treating her like your property.]]
* MouthyKid: TJ Livingston, Fernando Gonzales
* NaiveEverygirl: Nadja. Rosemary starts as one.
* NoRomanticResolution: [[spoiler:Nadja keeps wavering between Francis and Keith. By the end of the series, the three meet up and reach a common agreement so they leave it there for a while, until they're more mature. Still, it's hinted that Keith is more than willing to pull an IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy if needed...]]
* NostalgicMusicBox: Nadja has one, [[spoiler: and unbeknownst to her, it contains ''very'' important info about her past]]
* TheOjou: Marianne, Julietta, Colette. The trope itself is discussed, explored, and arguably deconstructed.
* OrphanageOfLove: Applefield house.
* OrphansPlotTrinket: Nadja's medallion is the biggest proof of her identity. To a degree, also her PimpedOutDress.
* ParasolOfPain: Sylvie uses her ParasolOfPrettiness rather efficiently when she needs a weapon.
* ParentalAbandonment: Nadja and all the Applefield kids, Francis [[spoiler: and Keith]], Antonio (DisappearedDad, distanced from his mom), Harvey and TJ, Kennosuke and Hanako, Rita...
* ParentalSubstitute: Emma Queensbury cared for her nephews when they lost their mother.
* PetTheDog: [[spoiler: Rosemary in her final scene, even though the cost is [[KarmaHoudini her getting away without consequence]], makes sure to tell Nadja that she wishes her good luck ''and'' that she should take care of her mother.]]
* PluckyGirl: Nadja, in the best tradition of young shoujo heroines.
* PrincelyYoungMan: Cruelly deconstructed with poor Francis.
* PromotionToParent: Kennosuke and Harvey had to take care of their little siblings (Hanako and TJ) once their parents died.
* ProperLady: Julietta, Emma, Hilda, Marianne, the deceased Countess Harcourt.
* RagsToRoyalty: Nadja is [[spoiler:the direct heiress to an Austrian clan]].
** [[spoiler: RebelliousPrincess and SpiritedYoungLady - In the very end, as she refuses to fully take over the clan per her grandpa's orders and, with Collette's approval, returns with the Dandelion Troupe.]]
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: The tiny little lions Cream and Chocolate
* RichBitch: Fernando's aunt, oh so much. Subverted with Marianne, who is [[BrutalHonesty blunt and selfish]] but doesn't use her riches to make self look better than she is; she's more of a LovableAlphaBitch.
* SacredFirstKiss. Subverted. [[spoiler: Nadja is mad as Hell at the Black Rose Thief for kissing her... but this isn't her first kiss. That one was given to her by Francis... who happens to be Black Rose's twin younger brother, but nobody knows that]]. Though she seems to be more mad because [[spoiler: Black Rose's kiss was a borderline ForcefulKiss.]]
* SadClown: Abel Geiger is a more or less normal one with great wisdom and knowledge, but his backstory is [[TearJerker maybe the saddest]] in the whole series.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Of ''course'' this one would happen.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Nadja often dresses up elegantly for special occasions, some of them being VERY plot-important. [[spoiler: When Rosemary sees Nadja like this, her already frail self-esteem crashes and she had a huge FreakOut, which leads directly to her FaceHeelTurn.]]
* {{Shorttank}}: Nadja, again
* {{Shoujo}}: To the core.
* ShrinkingViolet: Rosemary, [[spoiler: pre FreakOut. This series shows ''very'' clearly that, when a Shrinking Violet ''does'' snap... snap she does]]
* SpannerInTheWorks: [[spoiler: When Hermann betrays them, Rosso and Bianco ruin his plans as they let Nadja escape from the room they're locked in and tell her where to find their reports, which is ultimately Hermann's perdition.]] At the same time, [[spoiler: Hermann thought Rosemary would be his puppet, but she proved him brutally wrong by being more ruthless and smarter than he thought.]]
* SpoiledSweet: Francis, Colette, Count Waltmuller, Oscar, Hilda. Rosemary would like to be this if she were ever a princess, but....
* StepfordSmiler: [[spoiler: Oh, Francis.]]
* StoryArc: The show is a somewhat episodic world tour up until the last 15 episodes, in which a more concrete storyline finally transpires.
* SmugSnake: Hermann.
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Again, Antonio and [[spoiler: Keith (despite him being blond)]]
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Rosso and Bianco.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Leonardo and Thierry
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Nadja and Rosemary
* TooDumbToLive: Colette. When she was about to elope with Raymond, one of the family's servants filled her music box with some gold coins and a note explaining it all. Colette eventually sold the box without even suspecting there was something valuable inside it.
* TroubledButCute: [[spoiler:Keith]], so much.
* TrueCompanions: The Dandelion Troupe.
* [[spoiler: TwinSwitch: When Francis is mistaken as Black Rose, he refuses to discard his identity and fully intends to pay for Keith's acts as a GentlemanThief. This is seen as a sign of Francis's increasing mental/emotional stability, however, and not to mention Keith himself is '''very''' distressed by the prospect as he immediately recognizes this attitude as a signs of an incredibly unhealthy behavior pattern ''that Francis has carried on from early childhood''.]]
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Oliver, for Nadja. Marianne, for Francis. [[spoiler: Count Waltmuller used to be this, but he became Colette's VictoriousChildhoodFriend]]
* UnsettlingGenderReveal: Sabine is a 10-years-old {{Bifauxnen}} from Switzerland who unsettles Kennosuke, Nadja ''and'' Rita.
* UnstoppableRage: What happens when Thomas is given booze.
* UsedToBeASweetKid: Rosemary ''was'' a genuinely kind girl in the past. But good lord, did that change.
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler: Colette's kind second husband and Nadja's stepfather, Count Gerhard Waltmueller. Doubles as SecondLove.]]
* VillainousBreakdown: Hermann has one at the end.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Hermann is the example of what happens when this trope becomes someone's Main/StartOfDarkness.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Thomas hates violence, George hates ghosts, Rita hates fire.
* [[WickedStepmother Wicked Stepfather]]: While Hermann's stepson Oscar isn't the main victim of his wickedness (aside from how Hermann treats Oscar's mother Hilda), it doesn't change the fact Hermann ''is'' somebody's stepfather and a wicked person. While Hermann occasionally pressures Oscar [[GoldDigger into marrying some wealthy woman]], it's unlikely it'd be any different if they were related by blood. In fact, the only relevance Oscar not being Hermann's biological son has to the plot is that it's the main (or only) reason Duke Preminger doesn't consider making Oscar his heir.
** [[spoiler: Count Waltmuller]] averts this trope by [[spoiler:allowing Nadja to live with him. She decided to return to the Dandelion Troupe, anyway, and he didn't hold it against her either.]].
* WoundedGazelleGambit: [[spoiler: When Nadja dolls up to find out the truth about her BodyDouble and her stolen medallion and sees Rosemary posing as her, Rosemary claims at first that she's been kidnapped and blackmailed by Hermann. Nadja falls for it and Rosemary destroys her GorgeousPeriodDress.]]
* WrenchWench: Kennosuke is a male example.
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