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Hello Sandybell: Hidden Truths and Life Changing Encounters

Hello Sandybell: Hidden Truths and Life Changing Encounters

From space with the adventures of the pirate Captain Harlock we return to Earth with a very different story. We stop in Scotland, among vast green valleys, to discover the history of Sandybell, a lively girl of about 12 who has so much to discover about her identity and her past. We are in 1983 when this anime produced by Toei Animation arrives in Italy which bears the title of Hello Sandybell and is divided into 47 episodes. The soul highlights many of the predominant characteristics of Japanese anime of those years, starting with the orphaned protagonist. But let’s not spoil further and discover, step by step, the story of this new protagonist of our column.

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Hello Sandybell: the story

Meetings that change your life

As rarely happens in 80s anime, Sandybell’s story is contemporary at the time it arrives on the screen. Our protagonist is a girl of about 12 who lives in Scotland with her father. However, she is orphaned of a mother (and we know this is not a big news for these souls!), Which she knows has disappeared after her birth. Her quiet life about her, shaken only by some calls for her pranks as a girl, is however upset by a series of new arrivals in the country where she lives. The first is that of Kitty Shearer, a rich and spoiled girl who will see Sandybell as a rival and, therefore, to be destroyed by any means. The other encounter is the one with Mark Branch Wellingtona charming noble boy, betrothed to Kitty.

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Mark, Kitty and the real mother

It is precisely the feeling that is created immediately between Mark and Sandybell to sharpen Kitty’s hatred towards our protagonist. As Kitty therefore tries to put a spoke in the wheel in every way, Sandybell begins to have suspicions that Mark’s mother may actually be her mother too. In addition to a resemblance to her, Sandybell notes a passion for the woman for daffodils, which unites her to her real mother. But when things seemed to take a positive turn in her life, that’s it the drama looms and with more tragic events.

A tragic death and a shocking truth

The first drama that upsets the life of our protagonist is the death of his father Lesley, for some time already suffering from heart disease. Before dying, however, the man reveals a shocking truth about her life: him he is not his real father. In fact, he saved her when she was still in diapers during a shipwreck and it is likely that her mother died on that occasion. The indication of the narcissus arises from the fact that the child had a narcissus-shaped earring in her hands at the time of the rescue, probably belonging to the woman. The man also tells her to leave for London and look for a journalist friend of hers who can help her now that she is left alone.

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A new life

The second drama that upsets our story instead concerns Mark: his parents (and therefore also the woman that Sandybell believed could be his real mother) die in an accident. Mark, left alone, should then marry Kitty and take care of the estate but he refuses and messes up organized weddings, not loving the young woman. Finally he decides to leave to realize his great dream: to become a world famous painter. Sandybell also leaves and arrives in London, where he then begins working as a reporter at the newsroom of his father’s friend. Kitty will not stand by and watch: she too leaves for London and starts working for the editorial office rivaling Sandybell’s. Her goal is to find out where Mark has ended up, convinced that her rival knows about it (but she doesn’t, since Sandybell is looking for him too!).

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The end

The second part of the anime focuses on the Sandybell and Kitty’s reporter lifetraveling in search of news together with another journalist, Alec Peterson. The three encounter a long series of adventures, also meeting outlaws and criminals. During these trips, Kitty she realizes that she is not in love with Mark and she falls in love with her colleague Alec instead. Between one trip and the next, Sandybell manages to find clues about Mark, thanks to some of his works left around the world. The protagonist, however, throughout this time has also continued to look for clues about her mother. These bring it to the end in Corsica and it is here, in a monastery, that he finds it again. The woman lost her memory in the shipwreck but seeing her again immediately realizes that she is her daughter and the two embrace happily. Finally Mark, who has now become a famous painter, returns to Sandybell. The two can finally live their love.

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Hello Sandybell: curiosities and considerations

Those much loved canons …

Our Sandybell is, without a doubt, a protagonist who reminds us of some girls we have already met during the various appointments of our column. Easy to find similarities with Georgie – the discovery that the mother who raised her is not her real mother and the departure for the search for her real parents; as well as with Lulu the angel among the flowers – travels around the world and a boyfriend with the dream of becoming a great painter; or again Candy Candy – the move to London and the search for one’s origins. We could continue for a long time, proving that, at the base, even this anime finds those canons so loved by Japan, especially in those years.

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Password: censorship!

However, it happens all too often that the Italian transposition of Japanese anime ends up being shredded here and there. Action that almost always involves the loss of elements that are not only decisive for the plot, but also useful for the depth of the story. This also happens in Sandybell. The anime, conceived in Italy for a very young audience, is deprived of violent scenes or otherwise considered sensitive. In some cases, entire episodes are eliminated: it happens, for example, with episode 32, in which Mark is beaten.

The growth of Sandybell

The series is essentially divided into two parts. In the first of her Sandybell she lives her life as a child: she combines pranks, makes new encounters, lives a normal growth not without some obstacles. The death of her father, however, serves to definitively close this phase of her life, characterizing a sudden growth, so much so that at only 14/15 years old Sandybell is in London, she works and travels around the world aboard the camper of she.

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Leaving aside the questionable fact that a 15-year-old girl drives around the world, there is a little curiosity about the camper. This is not the only anime in which there is the presence of a camper (see The magical world of Gigì); the thing is not accidental but wanted by the toy companies for the sale of a playset to the viewers of the anime. A very good opportunity to sell toys of this type.

The acronym

Our Sandybell doesn’t have a single abbreviation. In its first release in Italy, in Rai in 1983, the homonymous theme song is sung by Steffi and Le Mele Verdi, with text by Maria Letizia Amoroso and music by Corrado Castellari. The reruns that are then broadcast on TMC have the initials titled “My friend Sandy Bell“, Sung by a female member of Cartoon Kids. The most recent version, broadcast on Mediaset in 1998, bears the title of “Hello Sandybell“, With music by Max Longhi and Giorgio Vanni and sung by Cristina D’Avena.

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Sandybell Christie – The protagonist of the story. A cheerful and sunny girl who, after the death of her adoptive father, will search for her true origins.
Lesley Christie – Sandybell’s adoptive father. She saved her from the shipwreck and raised her as her daughter.
Kitty Shearer – A rich and snobbish girl, immediately rival of our protagonist because she is betrothed to Mark.
Mark Branch Wellington – He is Kitty’s betrothed, but falls in love with Sandybell. He embarks on a journey around the world to become a world famous painter.
Alec Peterson – A freelance journalist that Kitty and Sandybell meet after they arrive in London. He will then become engaged to Kitty.
Edward Lawrence – He’s Sandybell’s real uncle.
Linda Lawrence – She is Sandybell’s real mother. She took refuge in Corsica after the shipwreck, when she lost her memory.

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Eager to relive the adventures of others 80s anime? From the fight of the space pirate Captain Harlockwe smiled together with Alvaro and Camilla from Fantazoo. We met Ranma 1/2 among the Cursed Springs, and we stumbled upon the dreams of Red-haired Anna. We went to a dystopian future with Conan and we are passionate about the sporting challenges of Holly and Benji, Lots And Mila and Shiro. But also a lot, more!