Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service ★★★★½

There's something ridiculously magical about the first few minutes of this movie, where Kiki departs with her cat Jiji to make her own way, and as she flies into the night sky the title card rolls by and she turns on her radio attached to her broom and a jazzy pop song starts playing during these opening credits. I truly believe it is one of the best things I've seen in film and as I gazed on I felt like I was experiencing God's love or an otherwise acceptable substitute.

I feel like that kind of encapsulates this movie as a whole, which is that it's a very low-key fantasy story with very little actual fantasy but what's there really feels magical. There are so many 'little moments' throughout the film that it almost feels indulgent, but the plot (which is more like a sequence of events) comes in when it needs to and thankfully doesn't feel thin.

Every character is straight-up great and upon reflection I was surprised that I loved every single one. I'm also incredibly impressed with how much I loved Jiji to death, and felt like he's one of the few animal side-kick characters in anime that I not only don't mind but actually find to be the highlight.

There's so many things in here that I would have loved to have more direct resonance with as a t(w)een. I feel like the "second puberty" we physically go through in our twenties is not just physical, and surprisingly this movie resonates to an incredible degree for where I'm at in my life. I mean I know that's definitely intentional, it just feels so masterful considering that this movie on paper is much more directly about growing up as a teen. Maybe we never grow out of this feeling, and I'm going to have a lot of 'bildungsroman-ing' to do even in my 30s.

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