I'm having one of those right now and started browsing videos of the children's/teens' series I used to watch when I was a Nanaling, about 16 years ago, when "16 years ago" was a longer period than my entire life, and thought that it'd be neat to share it with you, since they're cute videos and you're unlikely to know them. All of these series have the same lead writer, Cris Morena, and were remade in several countries. The cast was often recycled between series, so you might recognize some actors and watch them grow. You might even know a couple of them from other places, since some later got jobs in Disney Channel or foreign series. These shows were characterized by having a gigantic cast and many songs. Outside anime they're probably the only series I know that have a separate song for the opening and ending credits. Anyway, here they go:
The title is a double diminutive for "girl" so it's untranslatable. Something along the lines of "itty bitty girls". The story followed a group of orphans at an orphanage, who were under the care of a loving mother figure. The series spanned from 1995 to 2001, so from this setup the plot diverged greatly. There were fantastical elements and it could be really tacky and cheesy at times, but it was idealistic and cute. I don't know, maybe it's the rose-tinted glasses. These are some of my favorite songs:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTKM4_… "Heart with punctures" or something. The second ending.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glr-cT… "Lies". It was super depressing, with the older girl telling the younger that her parents loved her and the younger basically saying "Don't tell me lies; it hurts".
www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ43PK… "Give me a CH". The nonsensical third opening. I STILL remember the dance steps, even though around this time it started overlapping with Sailor Moon and the pigtails girl had priority.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbbXwR… "Flower bud", tacky as hell but one of the better known songs, and I like the violins.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl6l3B… "Flying better", a song about how connecting with others ("together we can fly better").
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhhUw1… "Remembering", the ending for the 1999 series, which was characterized by awesome scenery. By this point there was a new mother figure and an entirely different setting, after the previous season ended with the mother figure getting married (yes, it's clichéd) and everyone living happily ever after. It was pretty weird, like many things in this universe. This was where the orphans lived from this point on:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wTFkT… "Forever Chiquititas". In this season the quality spiked, probably because they were making millions. Half the videos were made in beautiful touristic places from my country, like this:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI9AxK… "Let yourself go". Now that I've listened to it again it's become one of my favorites. The clothes are legit traditional wear for that region, and the traditional instruments give it the beautiful sound of the mountain. It's a song that talks about letting go of the things that weigh you down, especially insecurities, and becoming free to soar.
By this point the green screen had been ditched and the clips could be pretty artistic:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCbfpz… "Life album", a song about "collecting" important moments in your memory like stickers in an album.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_KvHo… "Pan y queso" is the name of a children's game, and the song talks about returning to the games of our chilhood, kinda like what I'm doing right now but in a less antisocial, reclusive way. This show used the word "reinvent" way too often.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs5xOX… "Adolescent". There was a song about growing up in every season, but this one's the best in my opinion. Though, I have to say, I didn't remember there was so much fanservice. XD Not sure whether to be unsettled or not, because even though the characters are teens the actors who are shown with revealing clothes were all above 20.
Something I particularly like is that the series explored different music genres, at least in the song intros.
Are you still with me? There's only a few videos left. After their idyllic time at the farm, some tragedy I don't remember strikes the cast once again and a handful of the cast is left alone once again, even some who hadn't been orphans before that point. Yep. Aided by the magical book they set out for the old Rincón de Luz orphanage and find it, because it was magical too:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JkG0N… "24 horas". Yep, standard-issue orphanage, as you can see. My mom hated it for this reason. This is a clip with random members of the cast, it's not from the actual series because that'd break the timeline. Still, that's how Rincón de Luz mostly looked like. Once the kids find a new home, a third Mary Sue arrives to love them:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrs21E… "Starlight", because her name is Luz and that means "light". It's a song about dancing. And laundry, apparently.
The orphanage is now inhabited by a Phantom of the Opera ripoff who falls in love with. There's a song about that
www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xzasj… "I see you and tremble". Her clothes are a costume for this video. His are not.
There's another song about adolescence, but this time more belligerent:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A53Km… "Rebel". I'm pretty sure this planted the seed for a series that started running before Chiquititas was over. At some point the guys go on vacation to make the ending:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-wi8c… "Open, come in". No, it's nothing sexual, you pervs. I have no idea what this song is about, but I like the tune and the lake is beautiful.
After this season I started high school and I wasn't home when Chiquititas was on. Besides, there were too many new characters I didn't care about and I guess I was just growing past it. However, it seems that things came full circle when Agustina Cherri, who played Milagros in the first series, returned to become the new mother figure. And the timeline got wrecked anyway:
Did you follow any series as obsessively when you were younger? Are there any songs that make you nostalgic? Link me, and I'll watch as a reward for bearing with me. If you'd like me to translate anything, just ask. This isn't the only Cris Morena series I watched, so if the mood strikes again I'll make another post if only for my own enjoyment.
And yes, I still remember all those dance steps.