Lord, who knows where?
It's so fun to fly through time
In the flying house.
In the flying house,
I just want to get
Back home again.
Flying House, full title: Time Classroom, Adventures of The Flying House, is a children's anime series produced by Tatsunoko Production, under directors Masakazu Higuchi and Mineo Fuji, and aired by TV Tokyo and local stations across Japan. Originally airing from April 5, 1982, to March 28, 1983, the series culminates in 52 episodes. The series was also distributed in the United States by the Christian Broadcasting Network (who previously dubbed its predecessor, Superbook), airing both in syndication and on the old CBN Cable Network (now ABC Family). All episodes are airing on TBN and its sister network Smile of a Child, and are available online at the Christian Broadcasting Network site.
The story of the anime consists of three young children—Justin Casey, Angela Roberts and her younger brother Corky Roberts, who discover what they believe to be an abandoned house in the middle of the woods while playing hide-and-seek. Inside, they soon discover SIR—a friendly little robot, and Professor Humphrey Bumble (Tokio Taimu in the original Japanese version)—an eccentric professor who had recently perfected a time machine. Using the time machine, the group go back through time, experiencing and reliving the past.
Tropes found in Flying House include:
- Absent-Minded Professor: Prof. Taimu/Bumble fits this trope to a T.
- Adaptation Expansion / Bowdlerise:
- As opposed to the first Superbook series in which each episode hit only the high points of each story, the writers of Flying House expanded a number of the Biblical tales into full-blown storylines, adding details not present in the original stories. For example, in the story of the fishes and loaves, the boy whose food fed five thousand is running away from his grandfather's farm to the city, where he hopes to make a better life for himself.
- Occasionally this meant altering the storylines to make them more kid-friendly. One example: "The Prize That Was Won and Lost," which rewrites Salome as a young girl about Justin and Angie's age. In addition to changing Salome's erotic dance mentioned in Scripture into something more akin to an elementary-school dance recital (complete with goofiness from the boys and SIR, who are dressed as clowns), the story is rewritten so that the vindictive Herodias tricks Salome into ordering the execution of John the Baptist, and a horrified Salome tries to drown herself out of guilt. Fortunately the kids rescue Salome in time and Salome finds forgiveness and peace by becoming a follower of Jesus.
- Adorkable: Again, Prof. Taimu/Bumble. Justin, Angie and Corky themselves also fall into this sometimes.
- Adults Are Useless: Or at least Prof. Taimu/Bumble is.
- Adventures in the Bible: The premise.
- Affectionate Nickname: Corky and Angie, as their actual first names are revealed in Episode 4 to be Corbin and Angela.
- An Aesop
- Attempted Suicide: Salome tries to drown herself in "The Prize That Was Won and Lost" out of guilt over the death of John the Baptist (although in this version, it really isn't Salome's fault). The kids stop her in time.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted with Angela as her nipples were shown onscreen in Episode 4: "Voice In The Wilderness".
- Butt-Monkey: Prof. Taimu/Bumble, true to his meaningful (English dub) name, falls victim to this. Justin too.
- Big Eater: Justin, Corky and Prof. Taimu/Bumble. Granted, they have time-traveled to the time of Jesus, making it near-impossible for them and Angie to find an abundance of food with little local money and hold it for very long, leaving them nearly famished on a weekly basis. It's still no excuse for them to gobble up everything on their plate so quickly.
- Catch-Phrase: "Wait for Corky!"
- Children Are Innocent
- Christian Fiction
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Subverted with Judas in one episode when he complains about the other apostles wasting resources. By the end of the episode, the others recognize that his concerns have merit; he is recognized as a valuable asset to the Apostles, and their fellowship is reaffirmed.
- Deadpan Snarker: SIR
- Fun with Acronyms: SIR's name stands for 'Solar Ion Robot'.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Angela's nipples in Episode 4. It didn't help many TV networks (including TBN and its sister network Smile of a Child) still viewing it when this episode airs.
- Also, in the episode "Fit for a King," in which Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey, the donkey's owner, a young boy named Joel, is shown totally nude (from the front) after swimming.
- Despite the Christian themes and rewriting of stories to remove more adult content, this series still has a surprising amount of dark content for a show aimed at young children. For example, in the episode in which Jesus is tempted in the desert, the kids succumb to temptations of their own, with legitimately frightening results: Justin and Corky end up chased by a dinosaur and nearly eaten by a giant, and Angie watches her reflection in the mirror transform into a Medusa. Also, the execution of John the Baptist is not shown on screen, but it IS heard from behind a closed door; and in another episode, a man possessed by a demon goes into a blind rage and destroys his house while his terrified son hides. This may be part of the reason why this series is not as well-known and acclaimed as its sister show.
- God Is Good
- Green Aesop
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Corky starts teasing his sister about liking Justin in one episode, and Angie gets defensive (although the blush on her face gives away that Corky is right).
- Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!
- Lethal Chef: In an episode where the kids are trying to decide on a gift for Jesus, Angie decides to bake him some bread, which comes out burned to the point of resembling charcoal briquettes.
- Meaningful Name: Prof. Taimu/Bumble in both versions. "Taimu" is a Japanese rendering of the English word "time", referring to his time traveling invention. In fact, his name in Japanese is, essentially, "Dr. Tokyo Time." "Bumble" is self-explanatory.
- Non-Appearing Title: Aside from the commercial bumpers (retained in at least one episode), the title doesn't appear anywhere on-screen in either the opening or ending sequence in the current broadcast masters of the English version (although the name is part of the lyrics of the dub's theme song).
- Non-Human Sidekick: SIR again.
- Phrase-Catcher: In some episodes, other main characters use Corky's "Wait for Corky" line by inserting their own names.Corky: "Wait for Corky!"
Justin: "Wait for Justin!"
SIR: "Wait for SIR!"
- Punny Name: "Justin Casey". Think about that for a second.
- Ridiculously Human Robots
- Third-Person Person: Corky at times.Corky: "Wait for Corky!"
- Time Travel
- Title Drop: The theme song, in English and in the Japanese OP.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
- That time Jesus and his disciples walk past the flying house. None of them take notice of the strange looking house or the half-naked man sunbathing on the roof. Or the robot.
- In fact, this happens every time the house crash-lands. Almost no one ever seems to notice it much or comment about how different (ie: huge) it looks compared to their own houses. And, again, the robot.