Anime: Fantastic Children
Fantastic Children is an Anime
that, despite its older art style, ran from 2004 to '05. It's an original 26-episode story with plot twists galore, and has received high praise from critics.
The story begins with the mystery of a group of five strange white-haired children, who have been sighted at various points throughout history, stretching from the 1600's to the present day. A detective who has heard of this enigma discovers a strange connection between it and a missing persons case he's been working. Meanwhile, an island boy embarks on a journey with a mysterious orphaned girl who never speaks but is constantly painting pictures of bizarre, incomprehensible landscapes. These plots manage to link firmly together into a complex, deeply moving saga. To explain further would ruin things, but let's just say it's a story that links equal parts adventure, coming-of-age, mystery, tragedy, history, the fantastic, and romance. Yep, there's quite a bit going on in this one.
This anime contains examples of:
- A Boy and His X: Tarlant and his robot Wonder, who will initially only respond to him and the other Children. In the second ending, fully-human Tarlant is shown with a dog he calls Wonder.
- Adult Fear: Your 5-year-old child disappears one night and police specialists are completly sure he/she left willingly. You wait next 6 years for any news only to be informed that his/her body was just found along with other missing children, who died in mysterious circumstances. If you even accidentaly meet your child during these 6 years he/she will immediately run away and disappear again.
- Alien Among Us: Subverted: the aliens don't care about humans. They're only on Earth because they had no other choice.
- Arc Words: There is a poem that appears several times in the series. It's always spoken aloud, and usually the one reciting it is Aghi. It turns out to be well-known in Greecia.
- There is also an arc picture◊, which Helga is fixated on and draws constantly. This is the water tower in Greecia, and all of Tina's reincarnations have been artists who drew this picture, although in different styles and with differing degrees of accuracy.
- Artistic License – Geography: The setting looks more like Cambodia, but the map shows names picked from NW Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, UK).
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Meet Palza, also known as Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (badly misspelled, though, the spelled his family name "Rugen", similar to the German island in the Baltic sea), discoverer of X rays.
- Beta Couple: Palza and Mel
- Big Bad: Georca.
- Big Brother Instinct: Inverted Duma to Helga/Tina. He's actually her younger brother, but oh well.
- Bilingual Bonus: The ending theme song, "Mizu no Madoromi", appears in three languages in the dubs: the dub language (when Aghi sings it to his sister), Japanese (as the first ending theme song), and Russian (as the second ending, because the singer Origa speaks Russian as a first language). In the Japanese version, there are only two, Japanese and Russian.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Thoma
- Conspicuous CG: Done for the robots and some machinery.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Literally. The whole of Greecia looks like this, and many things in the story are based on Greek mythology.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Duma's one can qualify as this.
- Did Not Get the Girl: A large part of the plot and have a big part to do with why he and she were reincarnated. He couldn't win her heart at the beginning and still couldn't by the end.
- Disney Villain Death: Hesma
- Evil Uncle: Georca.
- First Guy Wins: Between this and Unlucky Childhood Friend, Seth never stood a chance with Tina.
- Freudian Excuse: Duma's mother was killed. However, it turns out he isn't actually a villain. His father Georca, who was the one who killed his mother, is.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Dr. Radcliffe became obsessed with unraveling the mystery of the Children of Befort. Needless to say, the more he found out, the madder he went. He could have been saved a lot of suffering if he knew that his theory was actually as far from the truth as you could get.
- Heroic BSOD: Just about every character does this, most notably when they get their memories back, typically taking an entire episode to snap out of it. Seth also gets one after Soran rescues Tina.
- Kick the Dog: Georca has done lots of them, but the most notable is when he beats his wife in front of his own son Dumas.
- Living Shadow: Enma.
- Love Hurts: Sess, especially when Tina was saved by his rival Soran.
- Motherly Scientist: Gertha cares about safety of her subjects, not because they are scienificly significant, but because "they are humans." She keeps telling it to her coworkers, when they try to force last of them into submission.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Sess, to Soran.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Sess, after he killed Soran.
- Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: The palace guards vs. Gueroca's goons.
- Really 700 Years Old: The Children of Befort have been reincarnated on Earth many times. They only live for 11 years each time before being reincarnated again, but they were first seen on Earth in 1489.
- Reincarnation: All of the main characters except for Cooks, his assistant, and Chitto are reincarnations of Greecians. The Children are Greecian scientists, Gherta is Mel having lost her memories, Helga is Tina, Toma is Seth, and Damien is Duma. All of these reincarnations except for Soran's were intentional.
- Retraux: The series was drawn in an intentionally retro style.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Almost every character, with the most notable examples being Sess/Sesu/Seth, Soran/Solan, Duma/Dumas, and Thoma/Toma/Tomas.
- Status Quo Is God: At the end of the series, nothing on the grand scheme of things changes. The Children stay on Earth and lose their memories of Greecia, and Helga/Tina and Seth/Thoma don't leave either. Depending on your viewpoint, this may seem like a Downer Ending, even though most everyone is happy.
- Not really, IMHO, the children stay on earth, but they accept to live full human lives, rather than continue to reincarnate every so many years in order to keep their original memories. Also, Georca is dead, so presumably no one will try to retrieve Tina's soul again. The premise of the story is no longer valid, how is that status quo?
- The children didn't have that large of an effect on the world around them, aside from attracting the attention of a few scientists. On Greecia, the only of the royal family left is still Titus (they were on Earth for the entire story). Some future disasters were averted, but the actual result is much closer to the status quo than the goal of the children.
- The children didn't WANT to effect the world around them, in fact the only two who did had to leave the group to do so. Their goal was to rescue Helga/Tina and atone for what happened in the past, and they did that, albeit not in the way they'd originally planned. More importantly, Tina finally gets to be with Seth after waiting centuries for him. That's a pretty important change.
- Tears of Remorse: Sess has these immediately after having killed Soran.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: The story takes place in 2012.
- Unexplained Accent: Despite everybody else speaking regular English without any noticeable accent, the English dub has Tohma (and to a lesser extent, his mother and father) speak in some strange unidentifiable accent.
- What Happenedtothe Mouse?: Cooks and Alice get that. Non of them is shown after Cooks is knocked out by Demian during Final Battle.