The Snow Queen – episode 2

August 31, 2005 on 7:14 pm | In The Snow Queen | Comments Off on The Snow Queen – episode 2

“Aurora Town”

I would say that it took them long enough, but I’m in no position to talk. Perhaps there is a reason beyond control for everything.

In this episode, Gerda is making a living in the winter time by doing laundry, while her grandmother Matilde is working hard into the night making tapestries. In nineteenth century Denmark, it was vitally important to be able to pay for winter provisions, so Matilde overworks herself sick.
Meanwhile, the Snow Queen goes about her rounds, and Gerda has to find a cure for Matilde in a blizzard. The episode ends with the original story’s beginning … slightly altered to take care of the troll characters.

The story is presently in melodrama stage, setting the scene for Gerda’s character. Her dedication is shown in her trips out into the snow; this will come in handy for later on, as the whole story of The Snow Queen is about facing hardship and having strong faith. I doubt that there will be quite a Christian moral as there was in the original story, but it’s possible that I will be surprised.
The highlight for the episode, therefore, was seeing the Snow Queen get around. Suzukaze Mayo’s character is a woman of few words, but she exudes an air of sadness and her snow song was mesmerising.

While I like a lot of the techniques involved in this program, and that I think the Snow Queen is a semi tragic figure, the secondary character designs leave quite a lot to be desired. The washerwomen were hideous in this episode. Even in the normal characters the eyes seemed off, with Gerda occasionally looking at nothing.
The other factor is that the Red and Blue Trolls simply suck. They look like refugees from bad eighties’ American cartoons contracted to the Japanese for animation. When I was about five, I watched a hell of a lot of that sort of stuff – and it just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.

The Snow Queen is good, but not good or fast enough to warrant having to wait two months between episodes. The sudden possession of Red Troll and Blue Troll suggests that there is something evil afoot here – which is important because the Snow Queen is by no means bad, she just doesn’t undersand.
By virtue of its basis in a short morality tale, this anime had to branch out somewhere. Next week episode, at least, appears to be the pivotal mirror fallout.

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