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Anime / The Story of Perrine

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The Story of Perrine (ペリーヌ物語 Perīnu Monogatari, lit. "Story of Perrine") is a Japanese anime series by Nippon Animation. It is the ninth production in the World Masterpiece Theater series, based on the French novel En Famille (aka Nobody's Girl) by Hector Malot. The series aired from January 1, 1978 until December 31, 1978, spanning 53 episodes. It was dubbed and exhibited in many places like Philippines, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Iran, etc.

Like the original book, it follows the adventures of the French-Indian teenager Perrine Paindavoine as she reaches for the northern village of Maraucourt, where her grandfather lives, and makes a life for herself there. It quite expands on the story, however, to make it last longer: it begins before Perrine, her Ill Girl mother Marie, their donkey Palikare and Perrine's puppy Baron's arrival to Paris (how the book began, save for Baron's presence) and follows the two there, before it more or less retakes the original plot...


Aside of what the novel offers, these are the series' tropes:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Perrine is a blond in the novel, but a redhead in the anime.
  • Adaptation Expansion: As mentioned, it adds a bit more of "meat" to the story:
    • The book starts with Perrine and Co's arrival to Paris and is followed by Marie's death. The anime begins few after Edmond's death in Bosnia and spends around a third of the story showing how Perrine, Marie, Baron and Palikare got to the capital, with Marie dying a little before the second half.
    • The incident where Perrine has her money stolen by a dishonest baker and then collapses of malnutrition is expanded and changed. Perrine is aided against the thief by two local people instead of La Rouquerie and Palikare and later buys food from a honest grocery person. She "properly" passes out after her meager supplies have run out, then Baron looks for help and manages to find Palikare and La Rouquerie, who take her to an hospital and then to Maraucourt.
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    • In the book, Vulfran properly identifies Perrine as his granddaughter at the very end. In the series, it happens a little earlier.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Downplayed: Marie is notoriously darker-skinned than her daughter, but it is mentioned that she's from India (and in fact, some flashbacks show her wearing a sari).
  • Barefoot Poverty: Averted in episode 30: when one of Perrine's short boots breaks due to overuse, she doesn't go barefoot since she works in a factory and it'd be extremely unsafe. She first ties it up with a rudimentary cord, then makes a hemp sole for it, and after saving up some francs she gets enough supplies to make both a pair of shoes and a camisole.
  • Blind Seer: Vulfram, to a more down to Earth level. He suffered almost complete blindness from a stroke he had some time ago, but he's capable of identifying his staff by hearing their voices and footsteps. (Truth in Television, logically)
  • Canon Foreigner: Baron the dog, Marcel and the foreigners from first 20 episodes.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Grandmother Françoise is the first person who realize that Perrine resembles her father Edmond.
  • Circus Brat: Marcel is a young man who lives and performs in a travelling circus.
  • Downer Beginning: The first episode begins peacefully, with Perrine talking cheerfully to some Bosnian men... and it cuts to a local graveyard where Marie is tearfully mourning for the dead Edmond, and Perrine has to comfort her.
  • Kick the Dog: In Episode 40, Baron is shot outside the hut by Tararuel and Theodor. Fortunately, he gets well.
  • Limited Wardrobe: For more than half the series Perrine wears only the light yellow blouse/brown vest/red skirt/brown short boots combo seen above (and she adds the Nice Hat later). She switches to a dark blue dress when working as Vulfran's secretary.
  • Precious Puppy: Baron is the cutest thing ever!
  • Spoiler Opening: The fact that Marie only appears in the first part of the OP sequence implies that she dies midway through the story.
    • Other scenes show Palikare nudging the passed-out Perrine (which happens some time later) and Perrine living in a hut (in the Maraucourt days)
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Perrine inherited Marie's features and Edmond's red hair and pale complexion.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Perrine knows how to sew and sometimes makes her own clothes.
  • Villain Team-Up: The businessman Tararuel and Vulfram's ambitious potential heir Theodor collaborate to take over the Pandavoine factory.
  • World Masterpiece Theater: The ninth entry, from 1978.
  • Youthful Freckles: Rosalie has them in this version.

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