Sugar, a Tiny Snow Fairy

As the weatherman knows but won’t admit, the weather is controlled by fairies. When it rains, it’s because a rain fairy is playing her fiddle; if it’s breezy, a wind fairy is playing her harp. Part of the training of apprentice weather fairies undergo is spending some time in the human world. There each plants a magic seed, which he causes to grow and bloom by finding “twinkles.” What a twinkle is, the fairies-in-training are not told; part of their task is to find out for themselves.
Saga is a highly-organized girl in a German town living with her grandmother. Every day she plans her schedule down to the minute. Besides going to school, she works part-time at a coffee shop. Whenever possible, she visits a music shop to play the white grand piano there. It had belonged to her mother, who was a concert pianist, and Saga also has musical talent.
One day Saga finds a tiny little girl with wings and pink hair about to pass out from hunger. She gives the creature a waffle to eat, thus acquiring a not-entirely-welcome companion and roommate. Sugar, the tiny little girl, is a snow fairy, and her instrument is a flute. She’s playful and affectionate, but she’s also undisciplined and thoughtless. It’s not easy to stick to a schedule with her around. Although it is very rare for a human to see fairies, Saga initially finds the ability more of a nuisance than a privilege.
Over the course of the 24 episodes Saga gradually becomes fond of Sugar and her friends. It doesn’t happen easily. Saga, although an attractive character, is inclined to be bossy, and she gets frustrated when things don’t go smoothly. And nothing goes smoothly when Sugar’s involved. Feelings sometimes get hurt, and it’s painful for both. Falling-outs don’t last long, fortunately, and most of the episodes focus on lighter matters, such as the fairies’ searches for twinkles, their first time at the theater, or the love of a turtle for a pigeon.
There’s no getting around the fact: Sugar, a Tiny Snow Fairy is mercilessly kawaii. If you are at all allergic to cuteness, keep your distance. If you can get past the sweetness, though, you’ll find a superior series, suitable for adults as well as children. The script throughout is well-written. Saga is a complex character who grows up a little as the story progresses. The other characters, though not as complicated as Saga, nevertheless have distinctive personalities. Noteworthy is Greta, who fancies herself as Saga’s rival. Less skillful writers would have just made her a comic villain and nothing more; however, Sugar’s writers let her display some real depth of character in the latter part of the series.
Every aspect of the production is high-quality — the art, the animation, the acting (if your kids have learned the basics of reading, I recommend that they watch Sugar in Japanese with English subtitles; the English dub sounds nowhere near as good to my ears), and, in particular, the music. Saga and all the fairies are musicians, after all, and it’s reflected in the soundtrack.
Sugar, a Tiny Snow Fairy is suitable for anyone old enough to follow a story.
The English translation of the title varies. “Sugar, a Tiny Snow Fairy” is the most frequent version, but it may be listed as “Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar” or something similar.