When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Mânî, 2014)

The latest film from Studio Ghibli was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who previously directed The Secret World of Arrietty (2010). This one is slightly more reminiscent of the studio’s more offbeat realistic teen dramas such as Only Yesterday, Ocean Waves, or Whisper of … Continue reading

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no monogatari, 2013)

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is the latest and purportedly last film from Studio Ghibli co-founder, Isao Takahata. (We’ll see if Takahata is better at following through on his retirement announcement than his partner Hayao Miyazaki has been.) The source … Continue reading

Patema Inverted (Sakasama no Patema, 2013)

Patema Inverted is a science fiction anime, and it’s a difficult movie to talk about without spoilers. I’ll try to be careful, but if you’re allergic to spoilers, beware. I saw this as part of the Seattle International Film Festival, … Continue reading

The Wind Rises (Kaze tachinu, 2013)

Miyazaki has become one of my very favorite directors over time. I’ve seen all of his feature films multiple times. To say that I came into his most recent (and reportedly his last) film with heightened expectations is an understatement. … Continue reading

From up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka kara, 2011)

I haven’t seen Goro Miyazaki’s first film, Tales from Earthsea (2006), which was widely criticized for not being as good as the work of his famous father, Hayao. Those are some pretty tough footsteps to follow in! My first impression … Continue reading

Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka, 1988)

I’d long heard that this movie was a punch in the gut, and it certainly lived up to its reputation. Director Isao Takahata is a co-founder of Studio Ghibli, along with Hiyao Miyazaki, and Grave of the Fireflies is utterly … Continue reading