Anime Review: When Marnie Was There

anime_when_marnie_was_thereAnna has been sick for some time. She has asthma and for the last little while has not really shown any emotion to her adoptive mother, whom Anna calls her aunt. Having lost her parents when she was just a baby, Anna now feels that she is an outsider to even the world itself. She just exists in it. After her most recent bout with asthma and being left under the weather for awhile afterwords her aunt decides to send her to some relatives in the country to get away from the city air; hoping it will both clear up her lungs as well as her ailing heart.

Out in the country Anna has been trying to continue her lonesome ways. However, while out for a walk she comes across a beautiful old mansion next to a marsh. There she meets a young blonde girl names Marnie that befriends her. There is something strange about Marnie though. Sometimes she just vanishes and the mansion she lives in reverts to its normally empty state. Does this blonde girl really exist, or is she just a figment of Anna’s imagination?

This was another wonderful Studio Ghibli film with nothing visually unclean (language was clean too). There are some mild undertones that Marnie and Anna might develop more than just a friendship, but it is extremely mild. Nothing ever came even close to happening between them so I would chock it up to either my imagination or translation issues. Trying to translate from one language to another while keeping the lip movements somewhat in sync could easily make it difficult for them to get the exact right emotional meaning across.

Sadly, this may be the last film by Studio Ghibli. Before its release, they announced that they would be taking a hiatus from film production. The reason is that one of the founding members, and masterful director, Hayao Miyazaki retired. Even though they have produced many good movies without his direct involvement, it is possible they feel they might need a reorganization or perhaps just some time off before starting their next project. Hopefully we will see some more from Studio Ghibli in the future. They have always produced very good movies, most of which have been very clean.

Summary: Another great kid friendly movie. A little slow to start but an interesting story once it gets going.
Movie length: 103 minutes
Content: Clean (visually and language)
Language: Japanese and English

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