Kiki’s Delivery Service : a Classic Ghibli Experience

I don’t know what I can say about Kiki’s Delivery Service that would seem to be new and unread, unseen, unheard of. As every anime fan, I have started out with a popular TV anime series and only after I became more knowledgeable I came to understand of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli’s marvelous examples of true anime with the great plot, enchanting storytelling, cute character design (although quite similar in every movie), astounding character development and sometimes a very deep and productive book adaptation. Kiki’s Delivery Service is, to be honest, one of the last Ghibli movies I watched. I don’t know why, I just felt it would be too boring and childish for me. However, at a certain point in my life I understood that prejudices to things you haven’t personally experienced are useless, especially with anime.

Kiki is a young witch, just turned 13 who, seeing a bright full-mooned night, decides to start her training to become a true witch, just like her mother. Kiki, however, hasn’t had the education in potions her mother could’ve given her (due to lack of time and the changed times) and all she can do is flying. Going away from her happily married mother and father, Kiki is accompanied only by her cute black cat Jiji. She dreams of going to a big city near the sea from where she can start her own business as the town’s witch. This, however, doesn’t prove to be as easy as she has initially planned. Yes, at first she manages to find a big, coastal city that was still unoccupied by a witch, but without a place to live, an idea of a business and with almost no money, Kiki’s facing a hard life. Lady Osono to the rescue! This woman is the pregnant owner of a bakery and due to lucky circumstances, Kiki ends up not only living at the vacant room upstairs the bakery but also running a delivery business from there. After all, a flying delivery girl is something everyone would use, right? Love follows fast as she meets a blunt, cute boy with glasses who is ready to show Kiki how us, non-magical people, can learn to fly.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is a cute movie about growing up as a whole – as a person, as a mentality, as a way of living. It is a romantic way of seeing what life is if you really want to follow tradition and make it alone, without the help of today’s connections, without the help of the many opportunities that are presented to you in the internet and you can apply for without moving more than a finger. It is a romantic point of view of the differences between the traditional and the present state in which this world is. This movie deals with the human ability to create, to think, to improvise and to be different as well as to follow the rules, muster courage and find a way to solve one’s problems.

I don’t know how a classic Ghibli experience can be reviewed, especially in this case. Directed, written and supervised by Hayao Miyazaki, this movie which comes out on July 22, 1989 is one of the otaku’s most favourite anime items. I am not an exception. Sadly, there are people who think that Miyazaki might not be as great as the masses think… being a phenomenon that is discussed as much makes him great, no matter if there are 10% otaku who don’t like him, the Ghibli animation style or the stories he likes to adapt.


Kiki’s Delivery Service Official Website

Kiki’s Delivery Service in The List

7 thoughts on “Kiki’s Delivery Service : a Classic Ghibli Experience

  1. I’m not a fan of Ghibli’s style too. Especially the way they draw the girls – too retro and rough. I’m a huge fan of the worlds they create and the stories they tell, though, so I’m not negative at the end.

    As for Kiki, is is nice, but far behind classics like “Spirited Away” and “Totoro”. I would even rate “Only Yesterday” higher… and I quite dislike it.

    I admit, though, that if there are movies I would want my children to watch one day, that’s the Ghibli collection…

    Oh, my, I’m sooo annoying. :D

    1. Not to mention that every female Ghibli protagonist looks exactly the same. My friends and I have taken to referring to the hair style they all sport as “Miyazaki Heroine Hair.”

      Kiki’s not my favorite Ghibli film – that would be Princess Mononoke – but it’s also far from my least favorite. That honor would go to Tales from Earthsea, but to be perfectly fair I dislike the original book as well. And in terms of Ghibli films that you’d show your kids, Kiki would probably be my second choice after My Neighbor Totoro.

      1. I have to agree. With both of you. Totoro and Kiki are definitely something for the little shinigami to watch! But Mononokehime and Spirited Away together with Grave of the Fireflies are my top choices.

      2. “Miyazaki Heroine Hair.” – totally spot on. I personally love Princess Mononoke and Castle in the Sky.

  2. My heart broke when Kiki stopped understanding Jiji… I always wanted to be the lonely witch with magical quirks and when they made Kiki into an ordinary socialite, I felt the same way as when Wendy gave up Neverland and the Lost Boys in order to grow up.

    That doesn’t mean Miyazaki’s not a genius. On the contrary! His stories always make me feel, believe and think.

    Thanks for the post, it reminded me of my youth… :D

    P.S. No, I won’t get a life! ;)

    1. Don’t get a life ;) It’s always fun to be weird. Too many weirdos, though – we can’t be as antisocial as we used to be…

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