Cute little Nadja Applefield lives in a British orphanage, the Applefield house. She's the local Cool Big Sis, 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 Pimped-Out Dress, etc) and a letter. In the paper, someone tells her that 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 was very ill and not expected to live for long; by the looks of it, though, she did survive her Soap Opera Disease, 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 medallion, which seems to be connected with her past. After being rescued by a Mysterious Protector 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 end of oneCash Cow Franchise, and before the 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.
This anime provides examples of:
Adult Fear: Colette Preminger experiences a terrible dose of this when she wakes up from an illness-induced coma, only to be told by her retainers that 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.
Animation Bump: 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.
Changeling Fantasy: Subverted: Rosemary loved to dream she was a lost princess who would someday find her true noble family, but the "princess" was Nadja and not her... And when she found out... boy, did she snap.
Freudian Excuse: 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.
Idiot Ball: 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 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 Orphanage of Love (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.
Ill Boy: Stephan, Abel's crippled and long-lost son.
Inadequate Inheritor: 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.
Karma Houdini: 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 Screw the Rules, I Have Money! mentality, aside of failing to woo Julietta.
Ladykiller in Love According to Julietta, Leonardo stopped flirting with other girls when Antonio became his rival in love, paying more attention to her.
Love Dodecahedron: Nadja has several guys pining for her romantic attention (Oliver, Kennosuke, Francis, Black Rose aka Keith and Christian). She herself loves Francis, but is strongly attracted to Black Rose alias Keith (making this a Sibling Triangle). Marianne loves Francis and tells Nadja that she should hook up with Keith at some point).
Mad Love: Rosemary has a crush on Fernando, who treats her like crap.
Manipulative Bastard: Antonio, Hermann, to a degree Oscar. 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.
Moral Myopia: When Keith finds out about Nadja choosing Francis, he berates brother his twin for "wanting to keep a free spirit like Nadja in a Gilded Cage" in his opinion. Well, Keith... who are you to single-handedly decide that Nadja will undoubtly be unhappy with the guy she has chosen - a guy who is not you? At least ask Nadja about it instead of treating her like your property.
No Romantic Resolution: 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 I Want My Beloved to Be Happy if needed...
Nostalgic Music Box: Nadja has one, and unbeknownst to her, it contains very important info about her past
The Ojou: Marianne, Julietta, Colette. The trope itself is discussed, explored, and arguably deconstructed.
Sacred First Kiss. Subverted. 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 Black Rose's kiss was a borderline Forceful Kiss.
Sad Clown: Abel Geiger is a more or less normal one with great wisdom and knowledge, but his backstory is maybe the saddest in the whole series.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Nadja often dresses up elegantly for special occasions, some of them being VERY plot-important. When Rosemary sees Nadja like this, her already frail self-esteem crashes and she had a huge Freak Out, which leads directly to her Face-Heel Turn.
Shrinking Violet: Rosemary, pre Freak Out. This series shows very clearly that, when a Shrinking Violet does snap... snap she does
Spanner in the Works: 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, Hermann thought Rosemary would be his puppet, but she proved him brutally wrong by being more ruthless and smarter than he thought.
Spoiled Sweet: Francis, Colette, Count Waltmuller, Oscar, Hilda. Rosemary would like to be this if she were ever a princess, but....
Too Dumb to Live: 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.
Twin Switch: When Francis is mistaken as Black Rose, he refuses to discard his identity and fully intends to pay for Keith's acts as a Gentleman Thief. 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.
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 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.
Count Waltmuller averts this trope by allowing Nadja to live with him. She decided to return to the Dandelion Troupe, anyway, and he didn't hold it against her either..
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: When Nadja dolls up to find out the truth about her Body Double 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 Gorgeous Period Dress.