Anime Meta-Review


Kiki's Delivery Service


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Majo no Takkyubin
  • type: movie
  • grade: exemplary
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title is a personal favourite.
  • made: 1989
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

Let's be blunt, there is no Ghibli film that is not worth seeing. Even given that high starting point it must be said that this is a very classy film. Sadly it is also a subtle film with a focus on atmosphere, character and mood which makes writing a review somewhat challenging. Kiki is a young thirteen year old witch living in an idyllic representation of some European country in the recent past. The profession of witch being seemingly known and tolerated. Witch tradition dictates that she must make her own way in the world for a year, with whatever abilities she has mastered, before she can progress further.

Thus we get to see the young Kiki (and her cat familiar) leave home and get to follow her growth both as a witch, but more importantly as a person as she interacts with a variety of people and events. The characters, especially Kiki, are very well rendered (including the cat) in a marvellously subtle and believable fashion. Anyone who doesn't empathise and sympathise with the marvellous character of Kiki (another capable Miyazaki heroine) must have a granite heart.

The story is largely sedate and patient in its pacing, but generates more than enough atmosphere and events to keep you interested leading up to the satisfying conclusion. Admittedly those who demand stories with epic scale and a lot of action will not find that here, but I find it hard to imagine anyone not being interested in watching this anime. The technical production is Ghibli at its best, the voices and music are excellent and well integrated and the whole production oozes class, style and warmth, you can tell it was made by people who love what they do. The environment, design and backgrounds are likewise excellent. This film has been released (by Disney) to video and thus should be available to those regions Disney recognises as important (which does not include Australia).

The Anime Review likes it, but finds the unexplained existence of witches an annoyance in this review. Akemi's AnimeWorld have their trademark lengthy and perceptive review but it is not without a certain amount of spoilers. The conclusion is definite though, "Among the best anime". The Anime Critic give an excellent and concise review while noting that those who like Miyazaki's more epic tales might be disappointed. There's another excellent review from THEM who love it. With this many glowing reviews how can you resist seeing this?


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:20 WST 2009