MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 12 ~ Kiki’s Delivery Service ~

Kiki’s Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便) is a 1989 film written, produced and directed by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎 駿). It tells the story of Kiki, a 13-year-old girl who leaves home in order to become a full-grown witch. After settling in the city of Koriko, Kiki decides to take advantage of her flying abilities and starts a delivery service. I’m really excited about today’s film – not only because it’s a Ghibli production, but because the story itself is really good. Yes, the story is about a teenage witch that can bloody fly on a broomstick and talk to her black cat, Jiji; the film’s themes however are definitely some that everyone can relate to – believing in yourself, discovering who you are, having the courage to follow your dreams, and all that jazz :D. I’m gonna shush for now, because I’ll just end up saying things like ‘this is awesomely awesome because it’s awesome’. What did you think of it, Nikki-chan?

That it was indeed awesomely awesome because it was awesome. On a more serious note, I really liked it. As I’m sure I’ve probably said already, I really love witchcraft-themed media, so this hit all the right spots for me. I loved the animation, the music, the characters – Kiki is awesome, and so is Jiji. I love that in most Ghibli films there is character development (even though they’re short, compared to a series, for example), and this one is no exception. I liked how they showed how Kiki gets out of distress and how she managed to regain herself. And yes, you were right about the themes of the film – I’m sure almost everybody out there has found themselves perhaps not having an artist’s block, like Kiki, but going through a harsh time. It’s a theme as a whole which is common to Ghibli films, and that is very near and dear to me.

I agree, the story’s only enhanced by the gorgeous visuals and Joe Hisaishi’s (久石 譲) score. I love how you actually manage to say why the film’s awesomely awesome ^^. And yes, it’s really refreshing and even uplifting to see stories with these themes (i.e., we all need a good dose of Ghibli every now and then :D). Oh, and Jiji is beyond amazing!!

Ahahahaha! We really do need to watch some Ghibli every now and again! So, what are you guys out there waiting for?? And here ends our Twelve Magical Days of Christmas – I liked doing this actually! I had a lot of fun! What about you, Moro-chan?

I really enjoyed doing this as well! I’m actually kind of sad that it’s over. Guess we’ll just have to look forward to this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas!

I agree, and we hope you guys will do so, too!

So, here’s the trailer for this lovely film – enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

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MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 11 ~ Princess Arete ~

アリーテ姫 (Princess Arete) is a 2001 anime film produced by Studio 4°C, based on The Clever Princess story by Diana Coles. Apparently, in Japan, this film is a successful feminist piece. And for good reason. It shows the story of a young princess who doesn’t want to be a princess – pretty cliché, right? Well, there’s no prince to come save/fix/marry/wake her up with a kiss/rape her while she’s sleeping/etc her. No, sir, she saves herself. You might spend half the time you’re watching it wondering what it is about, but it’s worth it even though it’s not your usual fairy tale. I think it’s a bloody good effort and it shows a strong female lead character, which I really liked. Oh yes, yes, indeed, I am a feminist, but not one of those who says guys are always wrong and it’s your fault women don’t have rights, but one of those who wants gender equality – fair stuff for both males and females. I’m rambling again, so do take over.

You’re not rambling; this really has to do with the movie as well ^^. I liked the film a lot. I found myself going all ‘woah, what’s gonna happen next?’ throughout as I never knew what to expect. And even when I thought ‘ok, this is gonna happen now’, it didn’t because Arete changed things; she took matters into her own hands and did what she thought was best for her and those around her.

Yup, I liked that, too. I liked the music, too, actually, it fit both the story and its style. As for the animation, this one, too, reminded me of Ghibli films – relatively simple but expressive. And I think the pacing of the film was ok, too, I mean, you’re not overwhelmed but not bored either, right?

Mhm, the pacing was quite alright and the film does indeed remind of Ghibli productions. I really, really loved how it was able to convey a genuine medieval feel (from the clothes people wore, to the buildings they lived in, to the lack of lighting inside the castle); the OST did a great job of creating this atmosphere and adding to the story as well. Thanks again for suggesting we watch this film, Nikki-chan ^^.

Hehe, anytime.

And that does it for today’s post. Enjoy the trailer below and thanks for stopping by!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 10 ~ Hide & Seek ~

Hide & Seek (カクレンボ) is a 25-minute-long anime film directed by Shūhei Morita (森田 修平) and produced by Yamato Works. The story of this anime centres around an unusual game of hide-and-seek called “o-to-ko-yo” (オトコヨ), which can only be played by 7 children at one time, all wearing fox masks. One by one, the children who enter the game disappear. One night Hikora (ヒコラ), a young boy, joins the game in hopes of finding his missing sister Sorincha (ソリンチャ). And this is how our magically creepy anime of the day starts to unfold. How’d you find it?

Short. And sometimes, a bit unclear. And the buildings were ludicrously tall. It was an interesting story, but you can’t figure it out unless you think outside the box. I mean we both thought the demons were a bit too mechanical, didn’t we?

Yes, we did. It kind of bugged me from the start that whenever they moved, they squeaked and creaked all over the place.

Well, apparently, this show aims to promote awareness that Tokyo’s development is putting an end to children’s games, such as, for example, hide and seek. It made a lot more sense after reading this. And I think it’s a nice way – albeit on the slightly horror side – to raise awareness. I liked both the animation and the music, what about you?

Yeah, things made more sense after reading that bit about the city’s development and the sacrifices that come with it. I definitely enjoyed the music as well, and the visuals. I think the ‘demons’ were animated really nicely; I mean, I found them to be genuinely eerie. It might’ve been short, but the film definitely managed to create a really immersive atmosphere.

Yup, it’s really easy to get into it.

So, enjoy the trailer and thanks for reading!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 09 ~ Miyori’s Forest ~

Miyori’s Forest (ミヨリの森) is a 2007 anime film produced by Nippon Animation and directed by 山本二三 (Nizō Yamamoto). Miyori is about to become the guardian of a forest she never remembers going into, but this isn’t all. The forest is inhabited by creatures who not only seem to know her since she was a baby, but also know a secret which is crucial for both their survival, and the villagers’. How did you like it?

I quite liked the film. The story is easy to figure out from a certain point onward, but it was fun to discover all the spirits living in Miyori’s forest as well as the village built next to that forest. The film had quite nice visuals as well – some bits reminded me quite a lot of scenes from Studio Ghibli films, like Mononoke Hime. How did you find the film?

Ghibli-ish, indeed. I am a big fan of productions where when someone finds out about spirits or stuff which seems ‘supernatural’ they don’t waste half or worse, three quarters of the series/film to show me the drama, until they finally accept they are what they are. So I think I really liked this film, with regards to this. She took it very well and it might have taken her a while to adapt to living in a village after coming from Tokyo, but I’d say she did well. They created really good characters for this film, I think I liked them all – except for the jerks trying to build a dam and destroy the forest, bloody hunters! I think I’m getting rather fired up again, so do take over.

Well you’ve got a very good reason to be fired up. On the other hand, the jerks were eventually driven away and that was quite satisfactory to watch xD. Although one might say that this film isn’t so much on the ‘magical’ as it is on the ‘supernatural’ side of things, I’d say it was quite enchanting; it shows how much one can accomplish if they only ask for the help of others (be they people or, in this case, spirits).

Hm, it is supernatural, but on the magical side of it, what with the deity of the cherry tree, and the god of wind and stuff like that… I don’t know, I just felt it was a magical experience more than just a supernatural one, but that’s just me.

And on this note, we’ll leave with the trailer (albeit a very short one). Thanks for reading!

MaHo Café: Twelve Magical Days of Christmas 2015: Day 04 ~ A Summer Day’s Dream ~

This is a fan-made series which has an original plot, but features characters from the Tōhō Project. As of yet it consists of 2 OVAs and a special (episode 2.5). It was created by the Maikaze dōjin circle and directed by Tokine (時音). I’ve never heard about the Tōhō Project before watching this series, so I must admit I was a tad dazed and confused throughout the series, especially since it presents the viewer with quite a few characters. All in all, it was enjoyable to watch; I just wish they’d make another episode or two and conclude the story. What did you think of it?

Well, I’d heard of Tōhō a few years ago, due to some music videos I stumbled upon on Youtube. I knew there was at least some manga based on these games, but I didn’t think there were anime, too. To start with, this particular short story is about Reimu Hakurei (博麗霊夢) – a shrine maiden – who solves Incidents (strange events with supernatural causes) in the Gensōkyō world – a place where all sorts of creatures live. I think I liked the animation the most. That, and the music. I mean the story isn’t such a big deal, and before you can remember your own name, you’re flooded with at least a dozen characters’ names – not that this would be bad.

Speaking of the story, the only thing that stood out for me was the fact that everyone seems more than willing to get into over-the-top fights over what seems like an insignificant thing (e.g., a stolen watermelon).

Or a book – even I would fight for a book.

Fair enough, but what I mean to say is that characters were pretty quick to jump to oh so dramatic skills like ‘rabid red eyes of death’ (not the real name of the skill, but you get the point), or use swords that will ‘cut through anything and everything’, etc.

I don’t know…if you take my Wotsits away I might use that skill, too. By the very end of the special, though, I started thinking that Alice in Wonderland served as a great deal of inspiration for this story. I mean, the run after the rabbit, a girl called Alice …I don’t know, I just felt so. But I did enjoy it, and I agree, I wish they’d continue it. I think it has potential exactly because of how simple and no-brainer the whole thing is, but also because of the beautiful animation and music; I mean if they can afford it, why not? It’s a nice little magic story.

True… now that you mention it, I did find myself thinking that the voice acting was quite good. Now excuse me while I go out to buy some more Wotsits :D.

Without further ado, here’s the OP/PV – enjoy and thanks for stopping by!