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Thursday, February 4, 2016

When Marnie Was There: Not The Usual Magical Journey (MINOR SPOILERS)



Hey guys. I decided to switch it up a bit and try reviewing a different genre of anime for a change. Well, by looking at the title some of you might say "what's the need for this review. It's Ghibli. Of course it'd kick ass like always". I thought so too myself. So rather than a review I'd say this one is more of what I thought about this movie. And I'll start by saying this. "When Marnie Was There" is very different from the usual Ghibli Studios kind of work.

This is a scene from after she had one of her asthmatic attacks
A bit of the beginning

So the story starts with a girl who was sitting alone on a bench drawing a beautiful scenery of the park. This girl is Anna, a somewhat anti-social girl with a little bit of asthma on the side who is also the main protagonist of this anime. What, you thought the main character is going to be Marnie?

Her foster parents' relatives. Looks like a cheery bunch don't they? Well, they are.


Due to her having more problems with her asthma than usual her foster parents decided to send her off to their relatives in the village for some fresh air. You know, the whole "maybe the clean air would be better for you" and stuff like that. And yes. Anna is an adopted child but not the miserable, abused kind. At the beginning of the movie however, there was talk about how Anna had changed and she wasn't as happy as she was before. So maybe she had some unknown problems with her foster parents or something. You have to watch to find out.

Look at that. That's her foster mother. Her foster parents loves her. This isn't Natsume Yuujincho where the person gets passed around one relative to another.
A bit psychological and supernatural combined

In any case, the movie was quite different in this sense because I really thought that there would be some magical journey or the likes waiting for Anna at the village. There was none of that stuff. One thing was for sure and it is that this movie was pretty much aimed at an older audience, maybe for adolescence and above because there are a lot of sophisticated things addressed in this anime.

Most of the time when you watch any of Studio Ghibli's works you'd just brush off those out of place things as being something magical or supernatural. With this one however, you just can't. When Anna met Marnie for the first time, I'd thought her crazy or something. No really. The way they showed how Anna met Marnie and how she suddenly disappeared made me wonder, "Was this girl just imagining it all?"

The house in the middle of the marsh was Marnie's. It does look a little haunted, doesn't it?
 If it was any other of their works I'd just say that Marnie was a ghost and all that this girl experienced was real and made possible by the ghost. The thing is, even at the end of the movie I still couldn't say whether it was really a ghost or just Anna's figments of memories and imaginations.

The first time Marnie and Anna met at the Marsh House.
A bit of my thoughts

One of the themes of this movie would be the emotional conflicts in a twelve year old girl as she faces her own lack of self-confidence and other weaknesses and how she overcomes them. I don't really think this was the main theme however. In my opinion it'd be parental love. That was how Anna's story came to be and it was also how Marnie's came to be. The movie shows a contrast of how Anna was loved by everyone around her while Marnie was always abused by the maids in her house. But hey, that's just me trying to make sense of this movie is all.

Now, the movie might not have much of those amazing magical worlds and all that but it was brilliant nontheless. What the movie lacks in magical wonders it backs it up with a generous heap of mystery. I guess you can expect that much from the "legendary Studio Ghibli" (I'm just repeating what the poster said above). It does have quite a mature story but it will keep you wondering about a whole lot of stuff until you feel as confused as the tween that is Anna herself.

Believe me, it will.

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