Joel Haver’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was loving how low stakes and grounded everything was until the ending blew it. Also I wasn’t horribly enchanted with the “lose powers for no reason only to get them back at the ideal time” cliche. I think there’s a stronger ending where Kiki learns to live without her powers and restarts her delivery business with the help of Tombo’s flying bicycle. This seems so obvious to me that the action filled climax we get instead almost feels shoehorned in to appease audiences.
With these squabbles aside, the animation is utterly gorgeous and the light-hearted atmosphere undeniable. The fluidity of the motion and just how much of it there is is mind boggling. There’s a shot where Kiki is leaving a supermarket with her arms full. There’s also a woman entering through the other door at the same time and various shoppers moving about inside. The shot could’ve just been Kiki exiting a door alone and the movie would be largely unchanged. Yet every other shot has little details like this, and the sum of those details across the movie makes a world of difference. Time and time again Studio Ghibli push themselves to not just do a passable job but to go the extra mile to create a movie brimming with life. They wild for this one.