Is it a controversial piece of ‘World Masterpiece Theater’? ‘Unforgiving reality’ depicted by ‘My Annette’

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A “terrible rift” between childhood friends who were good friends

Among the World Masterpiece Theater,” which has turned many of the world’s masterpieces into animations, one that stands out is Tale of the Alps: My Annette,” broadcast in 1983.

The best friends who grew up like family had a rift after a minor dispute and the subsequent accident. This gave rise to unforgivable hatred. I’m sure many people felt suffocated after watching the love-hate drama depicted in the film. This time, we will reflect on the most controversial work in the World Masterpiece Theater series, “My Annette.”

Annette, a girl, and Lucien, a boy who lives in a mountain village in the Alps, were childhood friends. At least at the story’s beginning, the two have a warm friendship similar to that of Heidi and Peter in “Heidi, Girl of the Alps” broadcast in 1974. Annette loved her younger brother Danny, who was born in exchange for her mother’s life. When Danny’s pet stoat, Klaus, destroys a wooden carving, Lucien gets angry and knocks Klaus off. This caused a rift in the relationship between Annette and Lucien.

Then, in episode 14, “A Horrible Event,” a decisive major incident occurs. As his girlfriend Annette’s birthday approaches, Lucien is considering making up with her. He gives Annette a wooden necklace for her birthday and Danny a wooden toy. Lucien apologizes to Danny, gives him a present, makes up with him, and suggests they give Annette a wreath together. However, when Danny tells Annette that Lucien won’t invite her to the celebration, Lucien gets angry and tries to steal the flowers that Danny was picking. Klaus, the stoat, then bites Lucien, and Lucien demands an apology from Danny.

Lucien threatens Danny with dropping Klaus into the ravine if he doesn’t apologize, but when he tries to escape, Klaus bites him again, causing him to drop Klaus in pain. Even Danny, who wants to save Klaus, falls into a deep ravine. Lucien runs away in fear, and the accident leaves Danny unable to walk. After this accident, Lucien begins to be treated with disdain by everyone in the village. His only solace was wood carving.

Old Man Penguin, who lives alone in the forest, becomes his teacher and helps him hone his skills. From there, Lucien’s suffering, tormented by a sense of guilt, is endlessly depicted. I think everyone has had the experience of regretting an irreversible mistake and thinking, “I wish I had done that then.” That’s why so many viewers empathized with Lucien and shared his heavy feelings.

On the other hand, Annette has a hard time forgiving Lucien, as there is a scene where she smashes Lucien’s wooden carving. Gradually, Annette begins to feel guilty about her stubbornness. It was in episode 35 that the dark and depressing development that continued endlessly changed. Once again, Klaus, the stoat, was the trigger, and the story moved. On a snowy night, Annette goes outside to look for Klaus but accidentally falls into a river. That’s when she found Annette, who was about to freeze to death, and it was Lucien who saved her.

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