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Anime / Alps Story: My Annette

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Many remember an old anime about a bright and plucky little girl who lives in the Swiss Alps, where she spends most of her time with an awkward Book Dumb boy who is also her inseparable best friend...Heidi, Girl of the Alps? Not at all.

Alps Story: My Annette is a Japanese anime released in 1983 by Nippon Animation, based on the children's novel Treasures Of The Snow written by Patricia St. John. It is the 9th entry of World Masterpiece Theater series.

Despite the cheerful atmosphere of the pilot about Annette and her friend Lucien, the story quickly takes a dramatic turn: Annette's mother dies after giving birth to Dani, Annette's little brother, whom Annette loves a lot and takes care of him like a surrogate mother. Five years later, Annette's friendship with Lucien is ruined when the latter becomes an Unwitting Instigator of Doom, accidentally causing Dani's terrible accident which leaves the child permanently unable to walk without crutches. Wracked with guilt, Lucien spends the rest of the anime trying in every way to reconnect with Annette and her family, but it's much harder than he thought, as Annette is still very angry. Will she ever forgive her old friend?


Many tropes in this series are already covered at Treasures Of The Snow. Here there are only tropes exclusive to the anime.

This work contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Backstory Change: In the novel, Grandaunt Claude Martha is actually Annette and Dani's paternal grandmother. In the anime, she is Pierre's aunt who lives in another village and has her own children.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • In the novel, Monseuir Peguin first appears when he met Lucien in the woods. In the anime, he shows up to protect Lucien from the hunters.
    • In the novel, the part where Dani found the broken wooden toy ark happened after the school exhibition. The anime meanwhile shows it earlier which serves as a forshadowing in solving the main conflict.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Monsieur Nicholas is a Cool Teacher in the anime, a very far cry from his book persona where he outright tells Lucien's crimes to the class and encourages the kids to pick on him.
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    • Lucien's older sister Marie is this as well. In the novel, she constantly bullies on Lucien out of frustration in her work but in the anime she becomes nice towards him albeit she gave him a corporal punishment once.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the book, Lucien's hair is described as being black, but in the anime it's a reddish maroon color.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime expands on the scenes where Dani goes to a special doctor to get his leg healed into eight whole episodes detailing the whole process, whereas in the book it was just a couple chapters long, and it was mostly glossed over.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Klaus is a female white kitten in the books, but in the anime he's a male ermine for some reason.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Pierre, one of Monsieur Nicholas' students is an intelligent, role-model student whom Lucien gets jealous on in the novel. In the anime however, his role is reduced and sometimes seen being bullied by Jean. The model student role is taken by Franz instead.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: In Episode 14, Dani is given some bar of chocolate as a reward from enduring his leg injury during his family's trip to the doctor's office.
  • Anti-Hero: The sour, stubborn, resentful Annette is a far cry from the usual heroine of dramatic animes of the 70s/80s, who is typically a sweet and perfect All-Loving Hero whose Trauma Conga Line only makes her more sympathetic like Candy Candy and Georgie!. While not a bad person, in Annette's case, the Trauma Conga Line reveals her darker and more unpleasant traits, and it takes a lot for her to have a Jerkass Realization.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap:
    • Annette does this to Lucien at the end of Episode 13.
    • Peguin gives one to Lucien in order to stop him from attempting suicide, when talking him out of it didn't work.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The European opening is mostly cheerful and upbeat, and the lyrics seem to promise a show about children playing happily together in the mountains. The actual series is dramatic.
  • Berserk Button: In Episode 6, Lucien gets furious when Annette calls him a coward and a liar. Annette lampshades about it after that.
  • Beta Couple: Marianne is shown having a crush on Franz but she gets flustered when her friends teased about it.
  • The Big Race: Annette and Lucien participate in annual sled racing contest during winter season ever since they were kids. Later, Dani attempts to join there too.
  • Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: Klaus and sometimes Pepper get this kind of treatment from Dani in few episodes.
  • Blush Sticker: Annette and Dani have them all the time.
  • Bookends: The show begins with the narrator recollecting the story of a young boy and a girl who lived in Switzerland around 80 years ago, and it was reprised at the end of the last episode.
  • Book Smart: Annette and Franz are stated to be the best students in the class.
  • Bowdlerise: This version has toned down several character's attitudes in order to make it child-friendly and the references about Christianity are minimized. Apart from those issues, it managed to be quite faithful to its source material.
  • Canon Foreigner: Jean, Anton, Franz, Pepper, Monsieur Fernand and Elizabeth are some of the characters who only appeared in the anime version.
  • Cool Big Sis:
    • Lucien's older sister Marie is shown that she cares about her younger brother much, but sometimes she gets worried about his laziness.
    • Annette is this too according to Dani.
  • Cool Old Lady: Annette's Great Aunt Claude Martha. Not only is she the most understanding and rational person in the entire series, she actually knows how stupid Annette and Lucien are behaving toward each other and gently calls Annette out on her grudge. Not only that, she's especially kind and understanding when Annette confesses she breaks Lucien's wooden horse carving. Not only that, she understands that Lucien didn't hurt Dani on purpose, unlike Annette, who believes he did.
  • Cry into Chest: Annette does this at least twice. The first one happens during her confession to her grandaunt that she broke Lucien's wooden horse carving, and the second one is that she found out from Dr. Givet that Dani's operation is successful.
  • Determinator: Lucien,  when he tries to find the doctor who can cure Dani's leg. Watch episode 40 to see it in action.
  • Dream Sequence: The show has some of these.
    • Episode 7 shows that Annette dreams that she's playing with her mother in the flower fields.
    • In Episode 16, Lucien had a nightmare where Dani is seen walking with crutches and has sad facial expression.
    • At the start of Episode 30, Annette met an evil version of herself in Lucien's chalet showing how latter break Lucien's wooden horse sculpture to the former.
    • Episode 34 has Annette had a dream about a man walking outside the snow and begs to open the door. Said man turns out to be Jesus Christ and Annette will encounter the same predicament as him.
    • Episode 46 has Dani deaming that his left leg is free and he's able to walk in the fields again.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the French dub, Lucien is called Julien, Dani is called Denis, and Klaus is called Noel.
    • In the Spanish dub, Annette is called Ana.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Annette and Lucien both have endure some hardship to cure Dani's legs and resolve their friendship.
  • The Edwardian Era: The show takes place in year 1900 to 1907.
  • Everyone Can See It: Between Annette and Lucien. Monseuir Peguin and their families are some of the characters who noticed that Annette and Lucien are more than just close friends. Annette and Lucien, of course deny it.
  • Exty Years from Publication: Inverted. The show was made in 1983, and set around 80 years ago.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Episode 20, when Dani and Grandaunt Claude found a broken wooden toy ark outside their chalet, the latter told the former about the story of Noah and how he and his family were spared from a massive flood. Said story and the thing they found would be later important in fixing Annette and Lucien's friendship.
    • In Episode 31, Lucien was shown going on the mountain pass as an attempt to leave Rossiniere and forget his problems regarding his broken wooden horse sculpture. He would later return there in the next few episodes.
  • Gang of Bullies: In Episode 8, Annette, Marianne and Christianne are picked on by three boys who are few years older than them at the forest, until they were defended by Lucien and Franz.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: Lucien thinks about taking his own life. The old man in the woods, Peguin, catches him and convinces him not to go through with it, even if it involved an Armor-Piercing Slap.
  • Happily Married: In the last episode, Marie is married to a sailor named Cesar and they are shown having a stable, loving relationship.
  • Held Gaze: Near the end of Episode 13, Annette and Lucien do this after she slapped him on his cheeks.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Annette and her brother are both blonde, even if they have a brown-haired father and their Missing Mom was a redhead.
  • Inter Species Friendship: Dani and Klaus. They've been shown playing in their house in several episodes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Annette and Lucien are both deeply flawed kids, but the story put a lot of emphasis on their Character Development (at different times) after they realize their mistakes.
    • Jean can be rude and arrogant (especially towards Anton), but at his core, he's a good guy who is very supportive of his friends.
    • Elizabeth is seen indifferent and doesn't like Annette at first, but she warms up considerably after she found out from her mother about Annette's situation.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Downplayed, it's more like "Kids can be cruel". Unlike many similar dramatic animes at the time, there is not an evil adult causing the children's suffering, and in fact, pretty much all the adults are portrayed as good people. This series deconstructs the Children Are Innocent trope and the tragic consequences of the children's actions.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The show seems to have this for several times, such as how it's bad to keep grudges for so long and it's better to continue their friendship.
  • Language Barrier: In the early episodes, the kids in school have trouble understanding Franz who is a transfer student from Schaffhausen and once they made fun of him by teaching to speak some bad words in French. Franz learns to speak French five years later.
  • Lethal Chef: Annette herself is this at first. At one point in the early episode, she made a soup that is too sweet, to the point that her father politely refused to eat it more. She gets better later with the help of her grandaunt.
  • Lighter and Softer: The anime is less dark compared to the original novel, and even Lucien's situation is less tragic. In the novel, the infamous accident makes him an outcast who is bullied and hated by both classmates and teachers. In the anime version, he remains on good terms with some of his classmates and his teacher is sympathetic towards him. Also, his sister is nicer to him, while in the novel she was a Big Sister Bully.
  • Like Brother and Sister: This is how Annette viewed towards Lucien when they were young. Her family on the other hand thinks something different.
  • Mascot's Name Goes Unchanged: The French dub changed the names of the major characters except Annette herself, for some unknown reason, since all the characters already have French names in the first place.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Annette and Dani's mother is named Francine in this adaptation.
    • Lucien and Marie's deceased father never had his name revealed in the novel, but in the anime he's given the name as Victor.
    • The novel mentioned that Annette has some female friends but their names aren't revealed. In the anime, they are named as Marianne and Christianne.
  • Narrator: The show has this usually explaining the audience about how the characters feel and think. With the show tend to be difficult to understand in some parts, this is particularly helpful especially for young viewers.
  • No Antagonist: The main conflict is a fight between the two protagonists caused by an accident. There is no Big Bad here.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. Annette has a classmate named Pierre, which is also the name of Annette's father.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Jean and Anton serve as this.
  • Promoted to Parent: Early in the anime after Dani is born, Annette has to take care of him, which involved making a lot of sacrifices. Thankfully, this didn't last long, as her father invited his aunt to help out.
  • Real-Place Background: Apparently, the staff in the show travelled to Rossinière, Switzerland and many of its areas have some sort of real-life counterpart.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The mayor in Rossinière, who sometimes makes jokes to the residents in the village during his speech and encourages the students to study well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lucien delivers one to Annette after Annette tried to hit him with tree branch as a revenge for making pranks to her friends. Annette's response is that she ran away breaking down in tears.
  • Road Trip Plot: Episode 10 has Annette and Dani accidentally hop on the train without any tickets. Dani enjoys riding on the train while his sister Annette keeps hiding on the seats to avoid the conductor. They are later found by Marie at the train station in Montreaux.
  • The Runaway:
    • In Episode 25, Dani had a tantrum and left the house after he heard from his family that he doesn't have a chance to walk again. He ends up in a cave but fell on the pit inside there. He is later found by his family and realize that he is still loved by them.
    • In Episode 31, Lucien does this after his wooden horse carving was broken and failed to show it in the school exhibit. He returned two days later, with the help of the dog he met in the forest.
  • Sentimental Sacrifice: Pierre is forced to sold one of his cows to pay for Dani's medical bills. Grandaunt Claude tells Dani that his father does that because he has no other choice to get more money and he's willing to sell the rest of those for his sake.
  • Shipper on Deck: Dani and Monseiur Peguin are this for Annette/Lucien.
  • Sick Episode: In Episode 34, Lucien catches a flu after he was dumped with a bucket of cold water and released his anger towards Annette. He recovered three days later.
  • Smooch of Victory: Near the end of Episode 12, Annette does this to Lucien with a kiss on the cheek after he saved the forest from the hunters. Lucien swoons after that.
  • Spiritual Successor: Subverted. At first sight, Annette may seem just a blonde Heidi as seen in the description and the show sets in Switzerland, but the story is actually much Darker and Edgier, and the main character Annette is nothing like Heidi.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • Annette cries heavily after she thought about how she was saved by Lucien and managed to make amends with him. She was told by her grandaunt that it was normal to cry like that.
    • Lucien does this after he managed to cross the snowy mountain pass near the end of Episode 40.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: The Japanese opening theme "Annette's Blue Sky" reflects the importance of values received by God like honesty and friendship.
  • Title Drop: The show has pulled this twice. The first one happens near the end of Episode 3 when Annette's mother had said it to her daughter before she died and another one is in almost the very end of the final episode.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: By the standards of the show's setting, Annette is quite tomboyish, especially compared to her female friends or Lucien's sister. She is a sassy Outdoorsy Gal who can get physically aggressive when she argues with boys, but wears a pink dress and doesn't mind feminine things like sewing or helping with the housework. She's also occasionally shown to be vulnerable, crying or getting scared, proving that she's not always a Little Miss Badass.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: Franz says goodbye to his friends due to his father being transferred in Lausanne for work.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Annette and Lucien are often seen arguing almost constantly yet they do maintain their friendship. They mellowed down after their main conflict was resolved.
  • Will They or Won't They?: There are some hints in the last few episodes where the main characters will have a Relationship Upgrade but it's up to the viewer's imagination to figure that out.
  • Yodel Land: Played with. The story is set in the Swiss Alps, so the mountain setting is very similar to Heidi and one of the main characters is even an aspiring woodcarver. However, it takes place in the French speaking part of Switzerland, not German.
  • You Remind Me of X: In Episode 43, Annette tells Dr. Givet's wife Helena that she reminds her of her deceased mother Francine. Helena is happy about the comparison.
  • Youthful Freckles: Annette and Lucien both have these in this version.