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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? November 2018

December 8, 2018

やれやれだぜ。
Winter time, winter grind. Let’s see if we remember how to write these…
It can be tough out there to get your hands on a series you’d like to own. While series come and go on streaming services, generally speaking if there is an anime series you’d like to watch, and it’s relatively recent, you can find it.
In contrast to that, if you’re looking to purchase a series you’re interested in, or have previously seen and enjoyed enough to want to own, the prices for disc releases can often be pretty absurd. Popular series such as Sword Art Online and Kill la Kill might ask well over a hundred bucks from you to own per season (~12 episodes), whereas series which are more niche such as Strike Witches can be had in their entirety (three, 12 episode seasons plus a full length movie) for roughly the same price.
When it comes down to the old concept of supply and demand, it makes sense, but from a dollar-per-episode standpoint from series to series, anime pricing can seem quite absurd. It pays to be into the lesser-known stuff, for sure.
I’m knee deep in holiday season grind mode at work, and as is no doubt evident by the lack of posts here on the Soapbox, I haven’t had anywhere near enough free time to watch anything – little less to write up an article about it. For the sake of getting something – anything- on here before Year End Post time, I snatched away a couple of hours to watch something I’ve been waiting two months now to find time for:

 

Majo no Takkyuubin-
Even in the ever-expanding hustle and bustle of modern life, there are traditions to be upheld, and being a witch, Kiki is no stranger to traditions.
For witches such as herself, it is customary to leave home at the young age of 13 to find a life and a living out in the world.
While her abilities as a witch are admittedly a tinge rough around the edges, Kiki is nonetheless anxious to get out into the world and to find a town to call home. With the promise of a perfect night on which to depart, Kiki and her trusty, if rather snarky familiar Jiji, does just so.
However, while Kiki might be happy to hit the world at large head on, life outside home isn’t quick to welcome her with open arms. It’ll take unwavering determination to find the life she dreams of.

What I thought-
My dark secret as a person who consumes anime is that I’ve watched very few Studio Ghibli productions. Sure, I’ve covered Hotaru no Haka on here in the past, and back during high school I recall seeing Spirited Away. Aside from these two, I’m at a loss.
And to a degree, covering these movies seems a bit unnecessary. There seems to be this sort of unwritten rule that states that “It’s a Ghibli production, so of course it’s great.” This is evidenced in the opening moments of Kiki’s Delivery Service; the production is just superb, and there’s just this perfect, almost indistinguishable aura of joyous warmth and tangible sense of place nestled in there.
The ability for Kiki’s story to step from moments steeped in silence to ones swelling with boisterous musical swells is outright uncanny, and draws you into the story wonderfully. Her tale isn’t overwrought with hardship, but what is there is felt, and seeing the methods with which Kiki utilizes to overcome her obstacles is engaging throughout.
The quality of the visuals is also not to be overstated. This carries through from the start of the film, with Kiki’s mother’s shop drenched in meticulous detail, to the sweeping green plains and open blue skies of the outside world. As what is becoming an older film these days, the trademarks of cel-based animation are evident; “actor” objects are generally less detailed and use colors which stand out more, cueing you into what parts of the scene will move at some point or another, but this is no real detriment to the experience.
Kiki’s story itself is modest; there is no big bad guy to beat here, nor any real overarching goal other than to survive and be happy, but there are themes expressed in the happenings of the narrative that are worth considering. The idea that society is cold, but a single member of society can be warm and inviting; the sense that kindness and respect has a greater benefit than shunning one another; that life isn’t about the world welcoming you, but you finding your place within it. There is a lot to absorb, I suppose I would say, between the luscious visuals and the number of themes at play in the narrative.
This is a film which might be enjoyed for a number of reasons. Whether it’s a bright tone you’re after, a small cast of instantly lovable characters, or a vibrant backdrop for rumination on topics which are just as valid in today’s world as they were decades ago, this is a film which I’d be foolish not to recommend.
Majo no Takkyuubin is a bright and endearing coming of age story about a little witch in a big world, and the trials one goes through to find their place amid the everyday demands of modern life. 

 

As I mentioned above, work has been consuming me from the outside in for the past couple months. The light is on the horizon though, if we can just get there in one piece.
I wish there were more of an update for me to offer; videos are on hold, and I haven’t even been keeping up on currently airing anime. It’s just work, (sometimes) sleep, work, (sometimes) eat, work, repeat. Here’s looking to getting back into the normal routine soon!
(Last year this month.)
じゃ。

From → Anime

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  1. Spitz’s Year End Wrap Up 2018 | Spitz's Soapbox

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