Monday, October 20, 2008

Reporter Blues

There are animated series you watch once and forget. And then there’s the series you watch and never really forget, because they have a place in your heart, because they inspire you, because they are something special. For me, “Reporter Blues” is such a series.

Main character of the series is Antoinette, known as Tony to her friends, a young woman who comes to Paris to work as a journalist for “La Voix de Paris” (The Voice of Paris). As the story is set in the 1920s, the Paris Tony discovers is not modern Paris, but a city full of adventures and excitement. (Well, modern Paris still is a place for adventure and excitement, but in the 1920s there was more of them around.)

What inspired me in this series was the portrait of Tony. She isn’t just a young woman, she’s self-confidant, adventurous, curious and rather fearless. In addition, she’s a good reporter, plays the saxophone and is a rather reckless driver. Together with her (boy-)friend and colleague, the photographer Alain, she stumbles into one adventure after another.

Her look (long, red hair worn open, a blue-green suit with tight-fitting pants and a short-sleeved white shirt) is created in the first episode, where those (together with a skirt she never puts on) are supposed to be part of a fashion show and Tony is mistaken for one of the models. From then onwards, Tony is sometimes, but rarely shown in other clothes.

A lot of the adventures are centred around crimes committed by a gang around one woman – a woman Tony meets on her first day in Paris: the mysterious Madame Lapin. So you could say both sides of the board (black and white) are in female hands in this story.

As a young girl, I was fascinated by the series. There were other series centred around girls or young women, but most of them dealt with a brave girl dealing with a melodramatic situation (like “Sara the little princess”, for instance) or they were set in a place and time I could not relate to that well (like “Anne of Green Gables”, a great story, but in a completely different society). Tony lived in the past, too, but not that far. She had a job, she lived in a rather modern environment and she led an adventurous life. I was fascinated with becoming a P.I. then and becoming a reporter seemed to be the next best thing – also a lot of research, but the chance to tell stories, something that was missing from being a P.I.

The series is out on DVD now in Germany and I took the chance to get it. I watched it for the first time after many years – and enjoyed it a lot. And the opening and ending music are still great, by now I recognize some of the drawn places, due to having been in Paris in 10th grade, so the series is still fantastic, even after 20 years.

Although I’m not a reporter and I don’t drive as reckless as Tony and don’t wear my hair (which isn’t red anyway) long, I still find the series fascinating. That says something, after all those years.

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