In the very early 1980’s there were an anime show directed by Isao Takahata that had a cult following. It was Heidi, Girl of the Alps, a Japanese anime that were translated in dozens of languages like Afrikaans, Italian and French. It aired in South Africa (where it was know as Heidi) Italy, The Philippines, India and over 30 other countries. In South Africa at 18:00 in the evening people from grannies to young businessman, to children from any race, creed or colour were united in front of their television sets to watch this beloved little girl and her adventures with her friend Peter, as well as her grandfather.
From being a character in a book by Swiss author Johanna Spyri to a modern household legend she has touched many lives and became a global treasure. And in Japan she is still a huge influence as well.
There is a replica of Heidi’s home village in Yamanashi Prefecture that attracts lots of tourists each year in Japan and many Japanese travels to the town of Maienfeld, a tiny village near Lichtenstein, for a Heidi-experience. In fact 60% of the visitors there are Japanese. There is also a ‘reconstruction’ of Heidi’s house on Ochsenberg, a nearby mountain where people can take pictures of Heidi and Peter Mannequins.
Heidi ran for one year on TV and it is 52 episodes, and is proof how getting to know a character or story and live in it for one year can affect and touch millions of lives. It is a story of strong moral values that teaches appreciation for the little things in life, tolerance as well as the willingness to explore new things and all this through the eyes and antics of an innocent inquisitive little girl.
If she has touched your live, feel free to share the experience with us.
Here is the original Japanese intro song, to listen please follow this link: http://goo.gl/rgZLJI
Here is the Afrikaans intro song, which differs a lot from the original song: http://goo.gl/UoiXJf
Here is also a version in German, please follow the link: http://goo.gl/kvPq14
To read more about this anime, Please follow this link: http://goo.gl/zbmLMG