A beautiful animated feature broduced by Gainax, the genii (geniuses) of japanese animation, or Anime. It's cute, it's romantic and it is an absolute pleasure to watch. Based on a manga created by Kenji Tsuruta, the story is set in an alternate past, about the late 19th Century on Prince Of Wales Island.
The main character, Miss China (as she is called by the locals who can't pronounce her real name), a young chinese woman (who would have guessed?) runs a small restaurant/pension, the Tenkai on the island. Her permanent lodgers are the mad scientist Dr. Breckenridge and Jim Floyd, his assistant/partner. Always late with the rent, they are trying to complete their latest inventions, sometimes wrecking part of their rooms, or more. China, who can get quite pushy when demanding payment, has feelings for Jim but as he seems to be more interested in a local flower girl, she doesn't pursue it. (Actually, the girl is just a dealer for parts the doctor need for his inventions). But as this this is not our world, but a place that has the Spirit of Wonder, so amazing things happen and China ends up getting the best birthday present ever from Jim, ending the anime. No spoilers!
However, the anime feature only covers one of the episodes of of the SPIRIT OF WONDER manga, which encompasses three volumes of several short episodic stories. The manga features beautiful artwork and an unique style: Light and dark are used to deepen the impact of every picture so that it seems as if each panel was a carefully crafted sculpture painstakingly assembled to form an intricate layer of storytelling.
It is also available in English (published by Dark Horse), German (published by Dino Comics, and several other languages.
- http://www.gainax.co.jp/special/tsuruta/spirit.html Official Gainax Site for the Anime
I can't believe this nodeshell needed to be rescued...