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Anime / Porphy no Nagai Tabi

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Porphy no Nagai Tabi ("Porphy's Long Journey") is a 2008 anime series and part of the World Masterpiece Theater. It is based on Paul-Jacques Bonzon's 1955 novel The Orphans of Simitra.

It tells the story of Porphyras "Porphy" Patagos, who lives happily with his parents and younger sister, Mina, in the Greek village of Simitra. He is a fan of automobiles and dreams of running a service station. His life is destroyed one day when an earthquake strikes and leaves him and his sister without their parents.


They decide to run away to avoid being separated by adoption, but Porphy loses track of Mina during their escape and she accidentaly boards a ship to Italy, so Porphy has to travel through Europe and find her.


  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Episode 42 has the sewers in Paris.
  • Animesque: Inverted. The style in which the characters are drawn seems to be taken from realistically-rendered western animation, with smaller eyes and bigger noses. The lack of shading also seems to draw inspiration from the ligne claire style.
  • Attempted Rape: In episode 46, Carlos tries to rape Mina but Mina manages to get out of the room and begs Isabella for help.
  • Bathtub Scene: The show has this several times. It's usually Porphy, but it has been with Isabella and Rose.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Bernard the St. Bernard (really) from episode 37. Begs Porphy to pet him and doesn't mind Apollo perching on his nose.
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  • Bros Before Hoes: Apollo almost settles down with a female owl, presumably feeling that he's being replaced by Bernard the dog. But when he senses that Porphy needs him, he leaves the female owl.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Alessia. She's someone Porphy meets before the earthquake and who doesn't show up again until episode 44, where she helps an extremely exhausted and downtrodden Porphy get to Paris.
  • Christmas Episode: Episodes 51 and 52.
  • Cool Pet: Porphy and Mina's pet little owl Apollo.
  • Crisis of Faith: Porphy briefly goes on an angry atheistic tirade when Elena and Damon tell him that God is protecting him, saying that if God really existed, He wouldn't have let his parents die.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The population of the walled city from episode 34 prefers the words 'making a present to the angel' instead of 'dying'. Or 'killing', as it's implied old or dying people are put in the angel's well.
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  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Alessia kisses the sleeping Porphy in episode 44.
  • Elopement: Porphy and Mina's mother, who was from a rich family, ran away from home to marry the poor Christophore.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Porphy arrives at Corina's house after the earthquake; there's a shot of her doll all ragged on the ground outside her wrecked house.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Apollo the owl and the Patagos' goats are restless before the earthquake strikes. Apollo in particular tries to warn Porphy and Mina.
  • Feuding Families: The Barbazza and Mancini families from the Sicily episodes.
  • Foreshadowing: The show has several of these, including the Real Life pictures at the ending credits.
  • Free-Range Children: 13-year-old Porphy travels alone and often on foot in his journey across Greece, Italy and France.
  • Ghost City: Porphy visits actual ghost city Craco in episodes 20-21.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Apollo, shot by a hunter who was threatening Porphy in episode 43. All you see is the gun going off and feathers flying.
  • Heroic BSoD: Mina becomes mute and unresponsive after hearing about her parents' death.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Apollo in episode 43.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Gina from episode 39 and Rose from the final arc are implied to be prostitutes, but are of great help to Porphy in his journey; Gina gives him food and a pep talk, while Rose lets him stay at her house in Paris.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Porphy's classmate and resident Alpha Bitch Corina dies in the earthquake with the rest of her family.
  • I Will Find You: After the earthquake, the plot is about Porphy going to search for Mina, who accidentaly boarded a ship to Italy and fell in with some wanderers.
    • Marienne escapes from prison in order to find her daughter Cristel.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Porphy thinks Alessia is a boy at first, because she has a somewhat deep voice, and was wearing pants and keeping her long hair under a cap.
  • Love Triangle: Iralia is in love with Maximillian, but so is Rebecca.
  • The Mafia: It's not stated out loud, but it's obvious that the Barbazza and Mancini families are mafia, considering they threaten with violence and death those that try to fish without their permission.
  • Maternity Crisis: Zaïmis' little sister is born the day after the earthquake. Remember that their father just died and everything is in chaos.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: After the earthquake, the show is about Porphy and Mina fending for themselves without their parents.
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: Inverted with Apollo and his one-episode love interest; he's a bright shade of brown while she's a dull wine color.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Porphy and Mina's parents in the earthquake. Particularly hard-hitting, since they're actually alive for the first 12 episodes and you get to know them quite well.
    • Zaïmis' father also dies.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The earthquake that every plot summary tells you about only happens at the end of episode 12.
  • Recap Episode: Episode 29. Porphy meets Barnes in Rome and is handed a letter from Zaïmis. Porphy recalls everything that happened up to the earthquake while reading it. Then he gets to writing a reply and recalls his journey to find Mina until he got to Rome. The ending shot of the episode is actually important as it reveals that Mina is in Rome too.
  • Series Mascot: Apollo, since he's in the title card and eyecatches. Makes it all the more surprising that he dies.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Porphy and Alessia have Belligerent Sexual Tension in the very episode she is introduced, which ends with her kissing him on the cheek. Very late in the series, she kisses him on the lips, but he's unconscious.
    • Porphy and Rose (despite Rose being a 20-something-year-old implied call girl) go on a date in episode 49. She later goes to the extreme of trying to stop Porphy from meeting with Mina because that'd mean he'd leave her. The nature of her feelings is indisputable by the final episode: Porphy asks her why she'd help him so much; she dodges the question, but says in her Inner Monologue "The reason is to make the one you love happy."
    • Zaïmis and Natalie manage to have quite a bit of this despite only meeting in the final episode. They have a Meet Cute, which ends with Zaïmis looking dazzled at her leaving. Then in the final scene, they meet at the theater and... notice each other.
  • Shout-Out: The show has plenty of references from previous World Masterpiece Theater titles like in episode 37 where there is a picture of a boy and a dog in the church.
  • The '60s or The '70s: The stationed American soldiers and the various cars date the story to the mid-to-late-20th century. In particular, the reference to Johnny Bench in episode 9 means that it doesn't take place earlier than '67.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Porphy/Porfy, Alessia/Alecia.
  • Terrible Artist: Porphy is bad at drawing, as evidenced by his drawings of Apollo and Mina, the latter of which is used as a portrait in a missing persons notice in episode 24.
  • Title Drop: Downplayed; Rose to Porphy in the final episode, "Now your long journey is about to come to an end." ("Your long journey" in Japanese is "Anta no nagai tabi.")
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Though it's not confirmed until episode 44, where she recovers from it, Mina suffers from this due to the shock of her parents dying.
  • Uptown Girl: Porphy and Mina's mother Anek was from a high-class family and their father Christophore was of humble origins.
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: In episode 42, Porphy and Marienne eat Spam rations that had expired ten years ago.
  • Wham Episode: After the first 12 episodes show you Porphy's peaceful and simple life, episodes 12-13 hit you with the earthquake and a bunch of characters close to Porphy dying, including his parents, completely changing the direction that the plot seemed to be heading.


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