One of the series that flew under the radar of anime fanatics four years ago was “Fantastic Children”. Despite the simplistic, Tezuka-style drawings, this series is very intelligent and packed with scary mysteries to be solved. A box set of this series came out recently this year in March.
The series starts with a paranoid narrator rambling about the dreaded Befort children. They are searching for Tina, the girl who can help them at their home planet, Greecia.
However, the Belfort children are really seven gray-haired scientists who reincarnate into children every few years. They want to convince Tina to return to Greecia, their home planet. Apparently, she is the ultimate weapon for Greecia, but escapes to Earth to keep herself from getting involved with the countries at war. To keep away from the reincarnating Belfort children, Tina reincarnates every 10-20 years into a different person so that no one can ever find her. From the 1700s to the early 1900s, Tina remains elusive as a fugitive.
In the 1900s, Tina is now a young girl, named Helga, wearing a blue skirt and pink blouse. She is an orphan who doesn’t want any association with guys either. Toma sees her lying on a statue at his secret island. Although she doesn’t speak to him, he likes the girl, and he eventually saves her from the orphanage where she is mistreated. However, he has no idea that Helga have some association with Tina, and that these Befort children have robots, karate skills and fancy weaponry that Toma can’t handle.
Although the opening episodes are definitely a confusing mix of separate scenes between a detective, the Belfort children and Toma and Tina, this series is incredible. I have never seen a more fluidly animated series in my life. Although the characters are drawn rather simplistically, they move very smoothly. The digital animation is also implemented well. However, the story is the true highlight of the series. This series is about provocative mysteries, such as dark mythic creatures, ghosts and family members who disappear to join a group of gray-haired children wearing black cloaks. On top of this, there are orphanages with bodyguards who imprison Tina, secret agent organizations experimenting on people and, of course, the reincarnating Belfort children. And there are even flying robots.
Trust me–it sounds like the worst seasons of “The X-Files”, but this series is the best mix of Miyazaki children and Hitchcock horror that I have ever seen. Although this series is for kids, the spooky music and shocking revelations clearly distinguish this for older audiences. This is one of those series that really doesn’t sound like it would work, but it does work. In fact, it is one of the best series I have ever seen.
Images courtesy of aniweblog.org and hirvine.com