Nadja is an orphan who lives at the Applefield Orphanage - run by Miss Appleton - in the early 20th century England. During a calm morning spent out with her friends Alex and Oliver, Nadja is called by Miss Appleton to receive a package delivered to her. Inside a small briefcase, there is an elegant and ornate dress, and a diary. Humbled by these extravagant gifts, Nadja finds a small letter which reads, "Congratulations, Nadja. Soon, it will be your 13th birthday. To congratulate you, I'm sending you your Lady Mother's memento of her first ball. I'm hoping in my dreams that you and your Lady Mother will be together again."
Naturally shocked by the prospect of her mother being still alive, she listens as Miss Appleton reveals that she took Nadja as a small baby from a friend of her mother's, because of her ill health. It was believed that Nadja's mother, due to a life-threatening illness that she suffered, could not raise a child. The diary, the dress, and most prominently the heart-shaped brooch which adorns Nadja, all connect her to her mother. These symbolic items are heavily emphasised upon during the show.
The next day, Nadja and her friends encounter a huge vehicle in the town centre, which generates a large crowd. This is mostly due to cars being an object of incredulous wealth or good mechanical handicraft, due to the technological restraints of the early 20th century. Nadja soon discovers that the automobile is essentially a moving "circus", complete with a set of colourful performers who call themselves the "Dandelion Troupe". The performers dance on stage and sing a song of world-wide greetings; the leader, Master George Haskill, watches inquiringly as Nadja teaches the dance to children. A strong gust of wind carries Nadja's hat off behind the automobile, where she finds a tiny old lady sitting by the fountains edge, holding a crystal ball. Her name is Anna Petrova and she prophesies that Nadja is a girl who "is loved by the Goddess of Fate", and will "follow a destiny that no one could have imagined". Watching Nadja are a pair of mysterious bandits who appear to be looking for her, and gaze in particular at her brooch.
The following night, while she puts all the younger children of the orphanage to bed, Nadja takes a moment to reflect on the gifts she was sent that belonged to her mother. The diary appears to be in German. While Nadja is dreaming about her dress, the two bandits from earlier fumble around the orphanage with a torchlight, in search of her. A child wakes up because of their exploits and they are startled into dropping the torchlight, instantly setting the room ablaze. Nadja hears the children screaming and quickly alerts everyone whilst evacuating the children; the "Dandelion Troupe" spot the fire and rush to the scene in their car to help.
Nadja realizes that she has left her trunk containing her mother's gifts inside of the burning orphanage, and makes no hesitation in perilously diving through the flames to reach it. Upon returning through the corridor, the path is blocked by a stoic fire, and the ceiling beams begin to creak under the pressure; Nadja crashes out of the window just in time.
Unluckily, the bandits from beforehand are waiting outside of the window, and order Nadja to hand over her brooch. Panicking, Nadja runs through the woods while the bandits give chase, but she falls; the bandits grab her and force her brooch off until it cracks open on the ground, revealing a ring. At that time, a stranger upon a glamorous horse arrives at the scene, declaring that, "A moon, as beautiful as the one on this night... does not wish to see a lady's tears."
The villains, thoroughly angry, plough into the new-comer, but he makes short work of both with effortless one-shot punches. In true shōjo-style, the boy reveals himself to be a handsome man in a pale-blue suit, and Nadja is astounded by her rescuer. He comforts her, and she remarks that he is a, "starry-eyed knight". He carries her to the "Dandelion Troupe"'s camping spot, where they accommodate her for the night; the boy then takes off almost as swiftly as he came.
The next day, Nadja awakes to find herself in a bed, inside the Dandelion Troupe's vehicle. She walks outside to find the performers, who helped to quell the fire, eating breakfast, and they ask her for her name; Nadja starts off suddenly for the orphanage. The fire ravaged a good portion of the building, and she finds the bandits from the last night consolidating about Nadja's disappearance with Miss Appleton. Nadja, racked with guilt and confusion, decides that she does not deserve to stay at the orphanage after the bandits caused the fire. She leaves a note with Miss Appleton, saying that she has left to find her mother, out in the world.
At first, Nadja attempts to find work in a sweatshop. It was common in England at the time for children to work at the age of 13 - there was no controversy over the issue, whereas today this would never occur due to child labour laws. After Nadja has been refused work from all the factories, she returns to the "Dandelion Troupe" in hope of a job. Master George tells her that the troupe cannot afford to take on just anybody, and that she must have a talent if she wishes to work for them. Nadja shows off the dancing which impressed Master George before, and it is agreed that she is the next hot talent for the "Dandelion Troupe". Her improvisational (as opposed to choreographed) dancing becomes a hit act with the first performance, and she soon finds herself in the company of friends with diverse talents.
The series follows on with her journey with the troupe, and her budding romance with a noble young man named Francis Harcourt, who appears to be the 'Black Rose'; a generous and Robin Hood-like character with a kind heart, who can relate to Nadja but is separated from her in terms of class.
Later on Nadja meets Francis whom she refers to as 'Starry-eyed Knight' at a big mansion while travelling with the "Dandelion Troupe". He was out riding on his horse when Nadja saw him. While being in the mansion she got lost and everyone in the mansion treated her as a servant/maid or a sort of low class since the nobles were above the class. Soon later Francis found her dancing alone and had a talk with her. He said that having education, being wealthy and all sorts do not amount how much you are worth. It is actually how you strive everyday in life just to survive.moreless