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One for the Ghibli-minded
on 24 March 2006
For fans of Studio Ghibli's films, this is probably worth seeing. It's a wonderful piece of animation, and it has several memorable scenes by any film's standard.
But... it's long, and it feels longer. The creators have not made concessions to their audience's patience, nor do they keep a close eye on developing the plot at an even pace. This veers all over and left my initial enthusiasm unrequited by the end. The film is packed with cultural references which might make limited sense to western viewers.
If you found the narrative pace and odd-ball parts of Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle to your taste, you still might find this goes off the deep end a little. If you're looking for an introduction to Japanese anime, or Studio Ghibli, there are a half dozen other films in the 'collection' I'd watch first. Save this for when you know you've got the Ghibli bug...