Posted by psgels on 15 July 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews



I decided to check out this anime, which aired in 2004, as it’s another one of Ghibli’s works. I have to say, it was pretty interesting and unique. Though, unfortunately, not memorable.

The movie is mostly a love story, between an ordinary young woman who makes hats as her profession and a strange, evil wizard. While this may sound cheesy, about ten minutes in the movie a twist happens you so wouldn’t expect. Starting from that point, the “woman” gets to live with the evil wizard, she gets to know him, she gets to know his dark secret and in the end, she attempts to save him.

This movie is a massive two hours long, and manages to fill this time perfectly. There are almost no chances to get bored, as there’s always something happening on the screen. Each of the characters also acts very naturally, nothing seems to feel rushed. The world in which the movie plays also looks amazing and full of imagination.

Still, despite its originality, the movie does remain cheesy in the end. The minor plot sequences are very imaginative, though the major plotline has a lot of bugs. A lot of things also don’t make any sense at all. The two main characters’ cases also don’t get explained at all. Especially the ending left me with a bad feeling.

The graphics also are an interesting issue. While they do look amazing, Spirited Away, which was produced three years earlier, looked much better for some reason. You would expect the opposite, as both movies come from the same studio. The music, while not memorable, remains very fitting and enjoyable.

Overall, I’ve always wanted to watch Howl’s Moving Castle, though I never knew what to expect. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, though it could have been done much better. If you want to see a good movie, I’d suggest to check out Nausicaa or Spirited Away first.

12 Responses

  1. Avatar DiGiKerot says:

    67/100? That seems a little generous to me. Miyazakis movies have been going downhill with every movie since the obvious highpoint of his career that was Porco Rosso. Time for him to retire methinks.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Hmm, I haven’t seen too much of Miyazaki to really say something about it. Still, the movie did have enjoyable elements, in my opinion.

  3. Avatar Rednights says:

    Ack! I’ll agree Nausicaa has this beat, but Spirited Away? Bleh.

  4. Avatar Pegah says:

    I dont know why everyone’s being so negative about it, Howl’s Moving Castle was one of my favourite miyazaki movies.

  5. Avatar Nel says:

    I know this hasn’t been commented on in forever, but i just now happened to stumble across this blog. I really like Howl’s Moving Castle, but there’s an actual novel that the movie is based off of by Diana Wynne Jones (I believe that’s her name). I really liked the movie, but after reading the book (which is pretty different) I, too, think the movie could have been better. (the ending is a little different too) So if you enjoyed the movie, you might just enjoy the book.

  6. Avatar shizuku says:

    are you still a virgin living in your parents house?

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Talk about random comments there…. but yeah, I’m still a virgin. Why did you want to know that anyway?

  8. Avatar Kadiri says:

    Honestly, I happen to love Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. I have both of them, and I enjoy watching them from time to time. For me it was also a little confusing, but it was really enjoyable. I read the book it was based on later, and I like that even more. ^_^ Thank you for your opinions.

  9. Avatar Saki says:

    I like the book so much better than the movie. The movie is rather flat and not as complicated as the book.

  10. Avatar Nekara says:

    I watched this movie just last week, and honestly, I liked it a lot. The overall plot is rather predictable and the end is a bit cheesy but that didn’t really bother me. In fact, I disliked the ending of Spirited Away a lot more. Now that was one hell of a cheesy ending. Also, I found it fun comparing the two movies and their quality in graphics and styles. If they ever made a series along the same premises, I’d definitely watch it. It’d be awesome if they made a series and shift it’s focus a bit more central, towards the other characters and the war too.

  11. Avatar Topaz says:

    I think Howl’s Moving Castle should be left as a kids movie. Loved it when I was younger, but after I re-watched it now, I didn’t like it much.

  12. Avatar summerberries says:

    Howl is not much as stories. Ghibli’s series is full of uniqueness. They are art. Storywise, i would prefer spirited away. But overall, I will rate Howl higher.

    Why? Howl is more interesting, you can never guess where the story goes. It’s not much adrenaline rush, but a lot of unexpected turn and twist.

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