Posted by psgels on 21 November 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Hayao Miyazaki may not be as good at realism as his good friend Isao Takahata, but for that he makes up with an excellent sense of storytelling. While Takahata’s movies often consist out of random sketches that don’t really have much to do with each other, Miyazaki creates wonderful coherent stories, that make full use of their airtime, and so far, Kiki’s Delivery-service is one of the best examples of this.

While the concept of a small witch who runs a delivery-service may sound boring, it’s everything but that. Kiki is probably one of the most likable characters that I’ve seen in a Ghibli-movie, and this movie makes sure we see all sides of her, whenever she’s happy, sad, cheerful, determined or down-hearted; she turns into a wonderful character. The themes range from the airplanes, which sort-of became Hayao’s signature, to independence and accepting the different sides of people. This is another gem that’s right for every age that ha the guts to admit to like cute characters.

One downside of this movie is basically the opposite of what you’d expect from a Takahata-movie: it’s too short. I feel like there’s so much more potential left in this story, even though the length is nearly two hours. There are many side-characters that could have easily gotten more development, and Hayao could easily have created more interesting jobs for Kiki to do.

The dialogue for this movie is great and life-like, though some of the plot-twists feel a bit forced. I’m especially referring to the climax, which got introduced in a Deus ex Machina-like way. Also, this being a Ghibli-movie and all, I don’t think I have to elaborate much on the graphics: they rock, especially for a movie that was produced in 1989, the same can be said for the soundtrack.

While I admit that Howl’s Moving Castle had its issues, and Nausicaa may have been a bit too preachy, the other movies from Miyazaki so far have been really excellent. While Kiki’s Delivery Service wasn’t as imaginative as Laputa or Spirited Away, it makes up with an addictive storytelling that really should be regarded as an example.

4 Responses

  1. qwaszx says:

    that movie was good. I never saw the ending though. Just as fun as the other works.

  2. anon says:

    Have you watched Porco Rosso? This is imo Miyazaki’s tightest film.

  3. TTT says:

    Finally a review on my most adored ghibli movie!! =D

  4. Kite says:

    This has to be my favorite Miyazaki film to be honest! :)

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  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 10:16 AM)
    @K-off: it’s the old doctor’s approach: start with the worst case scenario, and everything from then on would feel like a downhill Sprint. Never wanna raise the patient’s hope and then crush it with unfortunate reality.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 05:08 AM)
    @Kaiser As Tom Lehrer said, “always predict the worst, and you’ll be hailed as a prophet.” Not putting that movie down or anything, but the 70s was a period of time when it was rather easy to pick on the middle east in the middle of the OPEC embargo.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:22 AM)
    Loosely related but damn, I remember when Network called out (though briefly) America’s relation with the saudi’s.
    Brave 70s movie.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:20 AM)
    They pretty much own a chunk of our economy, we can’t afford that shizz right now. Granted their own economy ain’t hot enough to pull their investments, but oil countries stay afloat as long as they have oil.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:17 AM)
    Saudi Arabia was involved you say? Nonsense! Only 9 of 12 perpetrators were Saudi, and you know only the other three matter.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 03:01 AM)
    @Kaiser Oh yeah, I have a huge problem with how Saudi Arabia’s been skirting around those issues and making backdoor connections they knew they couldn’t uphold. Lucrative deals dating back to FDR, the Gulf War, and now they’re fighting some bullshit proxy war in Syria with their money.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:49 AM)
    @K-off: I see the Saudi’s are pretending they weren’t in on 9/11.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:47 AM)
    @K-off: On a funnier side of politics though, Gerry Adams got in trouble for shitweeting about Django Unchained, trying to compare black oppression to Irish being oppressed, also people went apeshit because he jokingly said nigger.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:44 AM)
    @Kaiser and then there’s Turkey, which wants in on the EU really badly but can’t seem to behave itself when it comes to oh-so-stable caucusus region.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 26. 2016 02:39 AM)
    Though Britain leaving the EU is a curious thing…as Northern Ireland would have to go along with that…
    …I would be then in a country that is partially in the EU.

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