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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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    True, assuming of course that the latter installment is indeed better. Resident evil 5 was no 4. That’s for sure.
    I liked that you could time R1 to give you more damage for attacking with Quall. And it was nice that summons leveled up. So that your earlier summons don’t become completely useless in the endgame.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 03:46 AM)
    I also enjoyed FF8 quite a lot. I appreciate cinematic presentations and 8 delivered that with a lot of style. The visuals were amazing and the the music was great, and if you learned the GF BOOST ability you used the much-maligned long summon animations to stack up on some damage.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan: I used a common example, but of course everyone had a different experience with the FF series, but the point being that it’s often hard to go back to earlier titles after playing the better later installments; especially for DS which is just a modified and improved DeS.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 01:28 AM)
    Anyway the main reason I amnot wanting to linger on Demon souls is just that I have far more games to play and don’t really want to spend my entire vacation on it. I got the uncharted’s to get though after all.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 01:26 AM)
    Kafka was a good villain but everyone really has over-hyped him. FF7 is overrated but FF6 is put on too high a pedestal. Like FF9.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 01:26 AM)
    @Bam, bad comparison for me. FF7 may be overrated as all hell but it still is to me the best Final fantasy. I played ff6 and found it downright tedious. I had more fun playing FF8 and everyone seems to think that’s the worst one…though I don’t. I barely remember any of the story of FF6 and I just found it a slog to get though. Mostly finished it out of obligation.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 10:57 PM)
    It’s always a little bit underwhelming when you play an earlier game of an improving series before the later ones. It’s like playing FF6 as kid as your first FF game and then going and finding FFV and playing that while hoping it’s as good as 6.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 10:52 PM)
    The levels are simple and rather small and linear, but each world has a great and unique atmosphere and variety. The Tower of Latria is specially atmospheric and the game suddenly takes on a much darker and almost horror game feel to it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 10:48 PM)
    @Aidan: yeah I could see how somebody would just want to run thru the game once, but there are a lot of cool weapons, armor and story quests that you can do with tendencies. The PVP is fun and simple as well, and weirdly has much better collision detection than DSI&II.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 02:49 PM)
    I wasn’t keen on the levels though. There were not quite as visually interesting as dark souls environments.

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