A Little Snow Fairy Sugar, Vol. 1: Sweet Mischief (2003)
Review by Dindrane

Original story by Haruka Aoi
Directed by Shinichiro Kimura
Character Design by Keiko Kawashima


Dindrane's Anime Warnings:

Released by Pioneer
Region: 1
Rating: G
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Get it for your daughters.

A Little Snow Fairy Sugar suffers from interminable cuteness. This cuteness and high saccharine level will prevent many viewers from ever giving this title a chance, which is a shame, because it really has some good moments, not to mention a lot of creativity to offer.

The basic story centers on Saga, a 13-year-old girl whose entire life depends upon her tight schedules. She’s a very good girl--concerned about doing well in school, anxious to volunteer helping her elders, and so on. But when her schedule and schooling are disrupted by the arrival of a tiny fairy that only Saga can see, her response is less than loving. Sugar is an apprentice fairy who cannot become a full-fledge snow fairy, like her mother was, until she finds a mysterious “twinkle,” which she has been told can only be found somewhere in the mortal world. With Sugar and also searching for a twinkle, are other apprentice fairies, Pepper, a would-be wind fairy, and Salt, a sun fairy in training.

One of the things that makes this series interesting and will engross young viewers is the way each fairy is drawn to represent his or her element, such as the red and yellow costuming of the sun fairy. In addition, each fairy has a musical instrument that they use to conjure up their weather, such as the rain fairy and her violin, or the little piccolo that Sugar plays to create her snowflakes. This ties in nicely with Saga’s desire to be a great pianist like her mother; the message of music as a universal language that everyone can understand, even both fairies and mortals, is interesting and a good message for kids.

The audio and video quality are both superb here. The show looks great, with pretty animation, bright colors, and nice detail. Even the backgrounds serve to accent the action and highlight the characters. The audio is similarly good, which is important given the role of music in the show. The voices are well-acted, and only the character of Sugar becomes annoying with her high-pitched squeaking.

Basically, this series will appeal particularly to younger anime viewers and some pre-teen girls. Older viewers won’t get much out of it, though it is very nice to look at, and the musical elements are fun. If the plot becomes more complex in the future or the music becomes even more important and metaphysically valid, then the series might even rope in some older viewers, assuming they can handle the sweetness.

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