Tag: Studio Ghibli

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle anime movie cover art
Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl the Heart-Devourer

Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl no Ugoku Shiro / ハウルの動く城) is a Studio Ghibli anime movie from 2004. We watched it over in the DoubleSama Discord server for June’s movie night event. And, this is the fifth Studio Ghibli movie I’ve seen.

First, I watched Kiki’s Delivery Service. Then, My Neighbor Totoro. And last year, I watched both Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Compared to those, I don’t think Howl’s Moving Castle is that great. I’d put it above Kiki’s Delivery Service. But, that’s it. The other three movies are better.

So, what’s Howl’s Moving Castle about? There’s a guy named Howl and he lives in a moving castle. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that. Howl is a wizard or sorcerer or something. And he lives in a moving castle so he can run away from his problems.

Sophie and Howl walking on air from the anime movie Howl's Moving Castle
Sophie and Howl walking on air

Howl’s castle traverses the “waste,” which is the empty land between cities. Normal people don’t go out into the waste because dangerous sorcerers live there. And, yes, Howl is one of them. In at least one town, rumor has it that Howl kidnaps beautiful girls and devours their hearts.

However, the girls also all think Howl is incredibly handsome. So, at first, it’s a bit unclear if the whole heart-devouring thing is a metaphor. It most likely is — meaning Howl makes girls fall for him. But, our protagonist takes the rumors literally and is worried Howl will eat her heart.

Of course, it turns out that Howl isn’t a cannibal. But, there was one thing the rumors were right about: Howl is hot. At least, when he’s blonde. Later in the movie, his hair turns black and he doesn’t look as good. If you like black-haired Howl more, you’re opinion is wrong.

Everybody Loves Howl

As I mentioned, all the girls in town think Howl’s a cutie. But, it’s not only young women whom he attracts. You see, Howl has a special ability to attract old women. I don’t mean older women. I mean old women.

At the start of the movie, Sophie is a young woman who works in a hat shop. But, after running into Howl, her life takes a turn. Another mage known as the Witch of the Waste casts a spell on Sophie to make her old.

Sophie then runs away from home (and work) and traverses the waste. This is when she comes across Howl’s moving castle and hires herself as the maid.

But, why did the Witch of the Waste curse Sophie? It’s because she wants Howl’s heart for herself (both literally and figuratively).

Sophie (old) sitting at Howl's bedside from the anime movie Howl's Moving Castle
Sophie (old) sitting at Howl’s bedside

Later in the movie, we also learn that the Witch of the Waste is using magic to alter her own appearance, as well. Not only did she make Sophie look old, but she also makes herself look far younger than she is. So, Howl has two old women going after him (romantically).

Then, there’s also Suliman, another old woman mage with an interest in Howl. Suliman is a bit different than Sophie and the Witch of the Waste, though. As far as we know, she’s not attracted to Howl. Instead, she wants Howl to use his magic to help her win a war against a rival nation.

Howl’s Moving Castle is a bit odd in that it seems to have two, very different lessons. On one hand, it appears to be a commentary on how growing old isn’t that bad. And on the other, it’s an anti-war movie. These two aspects of the movie felt very disconnected.

And Then They All Lived Happily Ever After

The worst part of Howl’s Moving Castle was easily the end. Everything wraps up at once without any real reasoning. It’s not even a Deus ex machina ending. No magic power saved the day in the end. Instead, all the conflict ends for no reason.

Well, I shouldn’t say that all the conflict ends for no reason. The stuff with the Witch of the Waste had an ending that made sense. The Witch of the Waste relinquished Howl’s heart to help save him in the end. And I thought her arc was fine.

But, what about the whole war thing with Suliman? Well, once Howl and Sophie decided they love each other, Suliman called off the war. Why? I have no idea. It’s not like Howl’s love life had anything to do with the war. He was just another mage Suliman wanted to use as a weapon.

The Witch of the Waste (old) from the anime movie Howl's Moving Castle
The Witch of the Waste (old)

It’s also not like the war depended on Howl’s participation. It had been going on throughout the entire movie. And Howl had been fighting against Suliman’s forces. So, why is Suliman calling off the war now that Howl has a girlfriend? It doesn’t make any sense.

To me, it seemed like the whole war aspect of the movie was almost an afterthought. There was some interesting stuff about war turning people into monsters. For example, when Howl uses magic to fight, he turns into a bird monster. But, without a real conclusion, that was all pointless.

Oh, and then there’s the scarecrow. Sophie saved a magic scarecrow early in the movie and he shows up a few times. And then, in the end, he turns into a human and declares he’s always loved her. But, she loves Howl, so sucks to be him. What was that about?


I gave Howl’s Moving Castle a 6/10, which is in line with how I ranked it against the other Ghibli movies I’ve seen. Most of the movie was good. But, the ending left a lot to be desired. It didn’t feel like the movie had a real conclusion.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you can support this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Spirited Away anime movie cover art
Spirited Away

Movie Overview

Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi / 千と千尋の神隠し) is the fourth Studio Ghibli anime movie I’ve seen. And, it might be the best. The only other one (that I’ve seen) that can compete with it is Princess Mononoke.

Of the two movies, Princess Mononoke has a far more serious story, which I appreciate. But, Spirited Away is much more fun, both in terms of the setting and the characters. And while I know people like them a lot, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service can’t compete.

What’s Spirited Away about, though? A young girl named Chihiro gets stuck in the spirit world. There, she finds herself contracted to work at an inn run by the evil witch Yubaba. Chihiro must save her parents, whom Yubaba turned into pigs, and return to reality before she forgets who she is.

Chihiro and No Face on a train from the anime movie Spirited Away
Chihiro and No Face on a train

Along the way, Chihiro makes some new friends, including a boy named Haku who also works under Yubaba. It’s Haku who teaches Chihiro how to survive in the spirit world. And, as we later learn, this might not be the first time Chihiro and Haku have met.

Now, one issue I have with standalone movies, in general, is that they don’t have much time to do things. It’s much easier to build a world, characters, and plot when you have, say, 12 episodes instead of under 2 hours. Ghibli movies are also geared toward children, which only makes this issue worse.

I’m not saying that Ghibli movies can’t be deep because they’re meant for children. And I’m also not saying they don’t appeal to adults. But, I’m always left feeling that we didn’t get to explore the interesting aspects of the movie. Everything gets set up and wrapped up too quickly.

Main Characters

Chihiro Ogino is the protagonist of Spirited Away. She’s also the character with the most development, which makes sense. But, it’s not that hard to have the most development. The majority of the characters really have no development at all. If they have any change, it happens with the flip of a switch.

I’ll discuss Chihiro more in the next section, so let’s move on to the other characters, for now. Haku is the male lead of the movie. He’s the first person Chihiro meets in the spirit world. And because he looks like a human, Chihiro feels comfortable with him.

But, despite being an important character, Haku doesn’t get much development at all. His “development” is that we later find out he’s a dragon spirit. Does that change who he is at all? No. Does it matter at all? Also no. There’s not enough time in the movie to make it matter.

Yubaba from the anime movie Spirited Away

The villain of the movie is Yubaba. She’s a witch who runs an inn as if it was a factory with no worker safety standards. Why is she evil? I’m still not sure. I guess she wants money. So, again, we have a major character we don’t know much about.

Kaonashi, or No Face, is a spirit that Chihiro lets into Yubaba’s inn. It seems to like Chihiro and wants to give her whatever she desires. But, Chihiro doesn’t have time to be friends with a spirit she can’t talk to. So, she spends most of the movie ignoring it while it eats people.

And the last character I want to mention is Kamajii. He’s a spider-like old man who runs the boiler room. Despite not being the most important character, I do like Kamajii’s role. He’s our first real exposure to this world.

Sen and Chihiro

A major plot point throughout the movie is Chihiro forgetting who she was. At the start of the movie, Chihiro’s body begins to physically fade away within the spirit world. Haku manages to stop this from happening. But, from then on, Chihiro’s sense of self fades away as the movie progresses.

Why does this happen, though? Well, according to Haku, it has to do with Yubaba’s magic. When she makes contracts with her workers, she takes their names and gives them new ones. In Chihiro’s case, she was renamed Sen., And over time, she forgets that her name was ever Chihiro.

This magic extends beyond Chihiro forgetting her name. She starts to forget where she came from and her goal of saving her family. If not for Haku reminding her, she could have forgotten who she was completely and worked at the inn forever.

Chihiro and Haku from the anime movie Spirited Away
Chihiro and Haku

But, as it turns out, forgetting who she was isn’t all bad for Chihiro. It’s also how she’s able to develop over the course of the movie. In the beginning, she was afraid of everything and preferred to stay within her comfort zone. But, as she forgets who she was, she becomes much more willing to try new things.

At the end of the movie, Chihiro makes it back to reality with her parents. She doesn’t remember any of the events that took place within the spirit world. But, the implication is that she internalized what she learned there. She’s no longer as afraid of the unknown as she once was.

Basically, the moral of the story is that the unknown isn’t as scary as you think it is. While you might be afraid of change at first, you shouldn’t avoid new experiences. Experiencing the unknown is how you grow as a person.


Despite all the complaints I had about Spirited Away, I still gave the movie a 9/10. It’s a great movie because it’s fun to watch and explores its lesson in an interesting way. But, I also don’t feel like it’s a movie that I need to rewatch. It’s a great movie, but once was enough for me.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community. We watched Spirited Away for one of our monthly movie nights. You’re welcome to join us for the next movie.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi for supporting this blog at the Heika and Senpai tiers this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke anime movie cover art
Princess Mononoke

Movie Overview

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime / もののけ姫) is the best Studio Ghibli movie I’ve seen so far. To be fair, the only others I’ve seen are Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro. But I think Princess Mononoke is much better than both of those.

Before I watched this movie, I would always have to clarify to people that Mononoke is one of my favorite anime, not Princess Mononoke. But now I can just say that I like them both. I might even like Princess Mononoke more. I’m not sure about that yet, though, so I won’t commit to saying it.

So, what do I like about Princess Mononoke? Basically everything. The characters are all good, the art’s good, the animation is great, the music is nice, and the story is mostly interesting. I don’t rewatch anime very frequently, but I’d rewatch this.

As for complaints, I only have one that’s worth mentioning. At 2 hours and 13 minutes, Princess Mononoke is a long movie. Sure, movies today seem to regularly exceed 3 hours. But I tend not to watch movies, and I think this is still long for an animated movie.

20-30 minutes probably could have been cut and the movie wouldn’t be any worse for wear. Specifically, I’d remove that from the climax of the movie. I know that might sound odd. But the climax was actually the part of the movie I was the least interested and invested in.

Now, to be fair, I started the movie at 9:40 pm and so didn’t finish until nearly midnight. So, I was tired by the time the climax came around. But even if I wasn’t tired, I don’t think the whole Nightwalker portion of the movie would have been any more entertaining.

Main Characters

(Former) Prince Ashitaka is the protagonist of the movie. At the start of the movie, his village is attacked by a demon boar (Ganon, anyone?), which Ashitaka slays with his bow. However, Ashitaka is inflicted with a deadly curse during the battle and so sets off on a journey to find a cure.

San is the other main character of the movie. She’s a human girl who was raised in the wilderness by wolf spirits who protect the domain of The Forest Spirit. As such, the title Mononoke Hime (literally Spirit Princess) refers to San.

Eboshi Gozen is arguably the main antagonist of the movie. You could also say Bou Jiko is the main antagonist, I suppose. But, anyway, Eboshi is the militant leader of an ironworks outpost in the mountains. By her order, the forests have been cut down and the local spirits driven away or killed.

San and Moro from the anime movie Princess Mononoke
San and Moro

The first of the three spirits I want to mention is Moro, the wolf spirit who took San in. San was abandoned by her parents when Moro scared them away as they were destroying the forest. While she’s protective of San and views San as her own child, she doesn’t care what happens to any other humans.

Okkoto is a white boar spirit who fights back against the humans of the ironworks for their part in the destruction of the forests and corruption of Nago. Nago was the boar spirit-turned-demon who was killed by Ashitaka at the start of the movie.

Lastly, we have The Forest Spirit. By day, The Forest Spirit resembles a many-antlered deer with bird-like feet and a primate-like face. By night, it turns into the Nightwalker, a giant, gelatinous monster. The Forest Spirit is a god of both life and death, able to give life and to take it away.

Main Theme

The main theme of Princess Mononoke seems to be balance. This main theme is also split up into smaller offshoots, with the most important and obvious being the balance between the natural and industrial worlds. Everything bad that happens in the movie is the result of industrial society encroaching on nature.

Now, for most of the movie, I didn’t think that balance was the main theme. I thought it was a story about industrial society being a negative. After all, as I just mentioned, industrialization is what caused everything to go wrong, starting with the corruption of Nago.

However, at the end of the movie, I finally realized that I was wrong in my assumption. After Ashitaka and San return The Forest Spirit’s head, San opts to continue living in the wild and Ashitaka opts to live apart from her at the ironworks.

The Forest Spirit from the anime movie Princess Mononoke
The Forest Spirit

I thought it was strange that after everything that happened, Ashitaka would want to live at the ironworks. But, it makes more sense once you look at it from a “balance” perspective. With Ashitaka and San living in those two opposing worlds, they can prevent those worlds from clashing again in the future.

The other balance sub-theme I noticed was of life and death. This is physically manifested in the form of The Forest Spirit. But, it shows up throughout the movie, as well. At the start, Ashitaka kills a spirit. And by the end, Ashitaka is protecting spirits.

There’s also Ashitaka’s curse. While The Forest Spirit initially revives him, it doesn’t remove his curse. That only happens after Ashitaka and San save the life of The Forest Spirit itself. And this question of why The Forst Spirit chooses to save creatures from or condemn them to death is also raised by Okkoto in reference to Nago’s fate.


Princess Mononoke is a 9/10. It’s a bit long and I think the climax with the Nightwalker wasn’t as interesting as the rest of the movie. But it still excels in pretty much everything else it does. I think it’s going to be hard for another Studio Ghibli movie to top this one.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi~ for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Senpai tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro anime movie cover art
My Neighbor Totoro

Movie Overview

My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro / となりのトトロ) is a children’s movie made by Studio Ghibli. You’ve probably at least heard of it before even if you haven’t seen it yourself. I feel like either this or Spirited Away is the most popular Ghibli movie.

Now, although I did watch some anime as a child, I actually never watched any Ghibli movies. The only other Ghibli movie I’ve seen so far is Kiki’s Delivery Service, which I watched back in 2018. And right away, I have to say that My Neighbor Totoro is the better of the two.

The movie focuses on two young girls, Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe, who move into a new house in the countryside with their father. At first, it appears that their mother is no longer around, but we later learn that she’s actually in a relatively nearby hospital recovering from a “cold.”

Shortly upon arriving at the house, the girls discover that it’s haunted by various kinds of small — and harmless — spirits. One spirit that lives in a giant tree nearby is named Totoro by the younger sister, Mei.

The rest of the movie then follows Satsuki and Mei as they search for and play with their new friend Totoro. There’s a small amount of drama thrown in towards the end of the movie for an exciting climax, but otherwise not all that much actually happens.

There’s also another spirit creature, known only as Catbus. As the name implies, it’s a cat that’s also a bus. I think Catbus may have actually been my favorite thing about the whole movie. Catbus’s design is just really good, and I think it’s a more interesting creature than Totoro.

What is Totoro?

Totoro looks like a mix between a raccoon, squirrel, rabbit, and bear. But what’s most important about him(?) is that he’s not actually based on a real Japanese spirit. There’s nothing called a Totoro in Japanese mythology or folklore, despite what the movie would like you to believe.

Totoro’s name is also written in katakana, so we can’t even look at the kanji of his name to figure out what exactly he’s supposed to be. He’s just a creature that was made up for the movie. However, that’s what I like most about him.

The genius of Totoro is that the movie makes it seem like it could be a real spirit. For example, Mei names him Totoro after a creature by the same name in one of her books. So in-universe, a Totoro is a known kind of spirit much like a Kappa would be in real Japan.

Satsuki and Totoro waiting for the bus from the anime movie My Neighbor Totoro
Satsuki and Totoro waiting for the bus

To me, the world-building in My Neighbor Totoro is extremely good because it’s able to blur the line between fantasy and reality in this way. Even though Totoro isn’t a real spirit, he’s just as mysterious as real spirits. It’s believable that there would be a type of forest spirit just like him.

Speaking of how mysterious Totoro is, he lives an odd life. There are smaller “Totoro” which seem to gather acorns for him while he naps inside his tree. He also has the ability to make trees grow, implying that he’s a forest guardian-type spirit.

But what’s most odd is his relationship with Catbus. The two seem to be friends, but also Catbus is Totoro’s form of public transportation. When Totoro gets on Catbus after waiting at the bus stop, where is he going? Does Totoro have somewhere to be? I like to think he was going to a job interview.

Totoro Without Nostalgia

As I’ve mentioned, I really like the world-building in this movie. The creatures are fun, and we see just enough of them to get a vague understanding of what they are and do. I think that’s important because if we learned everything about Totoro and Catbus, they wouldn’t be fantastical anymore.

But as I also mentioned, there’s not a whole lot going on in this movie, and that’s the biggest flaw for me. The movie is 1 hour and 26 minutes long and the titular Totoro doesn’t even make an appearance until after 30 minutes in.

Maybe this is on me, but I expected the character of Totoro to have a much larger role than he actually did. It’s not like Totoro ever really hangs out with Satsuki and Mei. Totoro just kind of exists and the girls sometimes see him — that’s it.

Satsuki, Mei, and Catbus from the anime movie My Neighbor Totoro
Satsuki, Mei, and Catbus

It’s also a bit misleading that this movie is tagged as an adventure. I’d argue that it’s much more a slice of life anime than an adventure anime. The girls don’t go on an adventure. The movie is all about them living at their new home, which happens to be located near Totoro’s tree.

The adventure tag would make a lot more sense if Totoro took the girls to a fantasy world. Though, from my understanding, that’s kind of what Spirited Away is — I’ll watch that eventually and probably find out I’m wrong.

Anyway, at the end of the day, My Neighbor Totoro is a children’s movie. Is it a good children’s movie? Yes. But let’s not pretend like it’s the most engaging anime movie around. I feel like the first act could have been shortened drastically to make more time for Totoro shenanigans.


My Neighbor Totoro is a 7/10 from me. And while I did just say that I generally want more than what it offered, it’s definitely a movie I would watch again. I probably wouldn’t watch it on my own. But if someone wanted to watch it, I’d watch it with them.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi~ for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Senpai tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service anime movie cover art
Kiki’s Delivery Service Cover Art


Kiki’s Delivery Service is a coming-of-age story that doesn’t try to disguise the fact that it’s a coming-of-age story. Right at the start we’re introduced to the protagonist, Kiki, as she decides to leave home and go off on her own at the age of 13 (as is customary for her family).

This may sound somewhat extreme, and if you actually think about it for a bit, you’ll realize it is, but Kiki is a witch, not some random girl without the ability to fly, so I’m sure she’ll be just fine. Oh, and she has a talking cat with her too, so it’s not like she’s alone.

When witches come of age, it’s customary for them to leave their homes and find somewhere new in the world to live and set up shop for a year of “training.” I’m not really sure what part of this is training though, since these young girls don’t work under mentors or anything.

Kiki, for reasons I’ll explain later, decides to create a flying delivery service (hence the title of the movie) in a large town by the ocean. It appears to be somewhere on the coast of Italy, so not a bad place to settle down if you ask me.

It’s also hinted at that there should only be one witch per town, or at least only one witch in training per town, but that’s not something that’s ever explicitly told to the viewer.

Over the course of the film, Kiki’s delivery service basically devolves into Kiki’s odd-jobs service, as she tends to do more than simply deliver packages. She helps bake cakes, changes light bulbs, poses for paintings, and sometimes delivers things in between.

During the low point in the story, our young protagonist temporarily loses her witch abilities. This means she can no longer fly on her broom and Jiji, her pet talking cat, turns back into a regular cat. Since there aren’t any real antagonists in the story, this was a fairly predictable development, as was how it was resolved.

The boy Kiki potentially likes, Tombo, gets carried away by a runaway airship, and so Kiki has to muster all her heart and magic to rescue him. I know this is a children’s movie, but when the airship crashes into the clock tower and collapses onto the town, not many of the characters seem to comprehend how big of a disaster that is.

Now, when first starting this movie you may feel like it’s going to be some grand, magical adventure, but in reality, it quickly turns into little more than a slice of life story about Kiki living in a bakery and working odd jobs, as I previously mentioned. There’s not much real magic or wonder to be found, but I’ll talk more about that in the conclusion.

Kiki being given candy from the anime movie Kiki's Delivery Service


Kiki, our 13-year-old protagonist’s only real defining trait is that she’s a witch. She has other traits such as the fact that she wears only black (I know, her bow and shoes are red, but ignore that), and that she can fly on a broom, but those are simply sub-traits she has due to being a witch.

The reason she started a delivery service is because flying is the only thing she’s good at. Early on in the movie we meet another witch about the same age as Kiki who’s working as a psychic, and Kiki’s mother is always shown making potions, hinting at two other possible jobs for witches.

Overall I found her to be a fairly bland character. She’s kind of tsundere, but not quite in the way we see tsundere today, and she doesn’t necessarily have any special quirk which makes her stand out.

I think the reason I feel that Kiki is such a bland character is simply because of all the newer anime I’ve watched. In today’s anime landscape, every character needs to be jam-packed with tropes and quirks which make them unique, so much so that we’ve started to see that as the norm.

Jiji is Kiki’s pet cat who has the ability to speak. Like many animals with the ability to speak in children’s movies, Jiji is also shown to have human-like intelligence. Now, that may seem like an obvious detail not worth mentioning, but it does actually come into play later in the movie.

When Kiki loses her magic, Jiji not only loses his ability to speak but also appears to revert back to the standard intelligence level of a cat. He no longer stays by Kiki’s side but rather does cat things like drink milk out of a bowl and chase after a female cat.

One thing about this part of the movie which I found interesting was that after Kiki regains her magic and can fly on a broom again, Jiji doesn’t appear to ever regain his speech and intelligence. He’s still shown to be meowing instead of speaking even in the epilogue, although now he also has a kitten.

Maybe Jiji could never actually speak all along and he was just a metaphor for Kiki’s lack of friends. Once she starts to gain friends she doesn’t need a talking cat for companionship anymore after all.

Some of the less important supporting characters are Osono, Tombo, and Ursula.

Osono is a baker who lives with her husband (also a baker) in the town Kiki settles down in. She takes Kiki in after Kiki helps her return a pacifier to a customer who left it in the bakery and becomes a foster parent for Kiki. Her husband is basically a caveman; I think he had one word of dialogue.

Tombo is Kiki’s potential love interest, but their relationship is more of a friendship than anything else. He’s the first friend Kiki makes who’s her own age since leaving her hometown to start her journey (although they aren’t exactly friends at first). Flying is one of Tombo’s dreams.

Ursula is a painter who lives in the forest outside of town. She’s a few years older than Kiki, and they met when a package Kiki was delivering was dropped outside of Ursula’s house. Overall, Ursula wasn’t that important to the story, but she was a somewhat recurring character.

Kiki and Jiji flying with seagulls from the anime movie Kiki's Delivery Service
Kiki and Jiji


If you’ve seen my reviews of movies before, especially ones considered “childhood classics” for many people, my rating shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a 5/10.

There were parts of the movie which I liked a lot, such as when Kiki borrowed some random guy’s broom and then stood in the middle of the street trying to get it to fly while the crowd stared at her, dumbfounded during the climax. Or, when later on that same guy was telling everyone that the broom she used was his.

However, most of the movie was extremely slow without much actually happening. Kiki would go make a delivery, something would “go wrong” (usually not that wrong), and then she’d end up doing some sort of odd job. I guess I just wanted there to be a little more adventure.

Unfortunately, a problem arose when rating this movie. I was torn between giving it a 5 or a 6, but because I was so torn I figured that probably meant it deserved the 5. That said, if I had given it a 6, that would mean it’s on the same level as Ordinal Scale, or Akira, which it isn’t.

And I’m not going to bump those movies up to 7s just because of Kiki’s Delivery Service, so that means it must be a 5. But, when looking through posts to choose which ones I’ll be featuring this month, I noticed I rated Eureka Seven as a 5 as well even though that too is better than Kiki’s.

What I’m trying to get at here is that I may rewatch some of the series I watched and rated a while back and do some updated reviews. Eureka Seven is first on my list for this, but who knows when I’ll actually get around to doing that considering how much I still have to watch.

Anyway, let me know whether or not you agree with my review of Kiki’s Delivery Service down in the comments below. I look forward to hearing how I’m wrong and that Kiki’s is the perfect movie, though I doubt your words will change my mind.

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