Chitose, a rich junior high schooler, has to transfer to the "poor" junior high school upon the death of her father, who has only left her with a goldfish (Gyopi-chan) to remember him by. Surrounded by barnyard animals and weird classmates, and having to hunt for her food in the nearby countryside, she despairs at her fate, until the Cutest Anime Character Ever Created, Wapiko, becomes her friend in a time of need. When it turns out Gyopi-chan inherited her father's billions (not to mention talks and flies!), Chitose and her new friends set out to rebuild the junior high that has been neglected for so long.
Before there was Usagi, before there was Sasami, there was Wapiko. Wapiko is, quite simply, the cutest character out of the early 1990s, and quite possibly, the most hyper-kawaii schoolgirl in all anime. She is what makes this frenetic, yet sweet anime series work, like a can of Dr. Pepper, or better, cream soda. And, of course, the utterly silly show mascot, Gyopi-chan, makes goldfish cool again.
When SD people (and lawyers!) start flying across the screen, spirals in place of legs, you know you have truly entered the Cute Zone. And this is a feel-good show that transcends the need for anything socially redeeming (which it has, despite itself, in Chitose's selflessness, however idealistic, though that probably won't last long ^_^).
Technically, it's pretty simple stuff, with animation and music that practically ooze cuteness. The style may seem familiar to many viewers- most of the animators and staff for this series would go on to work on Toei's next big Nakayoshi shoujo-manga adaptation, a little thing called "Sailor Moon". If you've seen the first season of that show, then you pretty well know what to expect. It's not virtuoso animation, but Wapiko's so gosh-darn cute, you won't care.
Sadly, the window of opportunity for most Americans to see this show has probably passed -- its age and audience seem to preclude any company from licensing it (much like Akazukin Chacha). Until very recently, the only availability for this show has been by way of ancient VHS digital sources, but one group has begun digital sourcebing the show off digital sources for a new generation of anime fans.
To put it simply, if you like anything cute, have fun with this if you can find it. You'll be thankful you did!
Yes yes yes yes yes! KYUUUUUUUTE! I want more! — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Nothing objectionable. Children would love this, as would a good many adults. The serious-minded may not go for this though. (Phooey.)
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Partial (2/54)
Goldfish Warning! © 1991 Toei Animation
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