Archive for the ‘anime (film)’ Category

Kiki’s Delivery Service

May 29, 2008

 

Classification/Genre:  coming-of-age

Length/No. of seasons/episodes:  Film (1989), 102 mins

Main Characters:  Kiki, her parents, Tombo, Jiji, Ursula, Osono and her husband, Bertha

Setting:  a European-like city

Comment:  another winner from the master — definitely a keeper

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Kiki’s Delivery Service is another Miyazaki gem that i shall never tire of watching. this coming-of-age film centers on Kiki, a young witch-in-training who must set out for a city/town of her choice and learn to live and manage her way around ‘normal’ people (sort of like a finishing school before young trainees can actually concentrate on the serious business of practicing their craft).

 

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with her familiar (a spunky black cat named jiji) in tow, Kiki finally decides to live in a seaside city because she has never seen the sea before. after a shaky start, she is able to find lodging and part-time work, while trying to get her business off the ground: delivering packages/parcels by air — courtesy of her broom. at first, city folks are amazed to see a young witch at their midst, but they eventually grow used to her presence.

after a while, kiki’s business begins to thrive. she also manages to form bonds with several people:  ursula, a young reclusive artist who lives in a remote village; tombo, a young boy of her age who is passionate about planes and flying; oku-sama, a rich and elderly customer.

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soon enough, however, kiki goes a crisis of confidence that shakes her to the core. eventually her doubts begin to affect her ability to fly and this leads her to question her choices. how she resolves this setback and finally regain her confidence is handled by Miyazaki et al. (Studio Ghibli) with delicacy and bittersweet detail — it’s the kind of stuff that inexplicably tightens your throat long after the ending credits had rolled.

with Kiki’s Delivery Service, miyazaki once again validates his deft touch in dealing with issues that confront young people who are in the brink of adulthood. nothing really earth-shaking or emotionally shattering happens in this movie, but you can easily empathize with the characters. the european setting has a comfortable, nostalgic feel to it. for some reason, there is something captivating about seeing life’s wonders and terrors from the vantage point of a young girl who is desperately trying to hold on to her broom as a source of comfort, security and ultimately, strength.

 

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