Kiki’s Delivery Service

Written by Eiko Kadono and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of the most iconic Studio Ghibli films. The animation and art is very beautiful, along with the cute scenery of Kiki’s first home and the home she moved into. Based off of Kadono’s novel – Witch’s Delivery Service –  the movie is about a thirteen year old witch named Kiki who has finally come to the age when witches move out of their homes and find a town of their own to train for a year, building onto their powers. Kiki and her companion cat, Jiji, find a town in which Kiki begins a delivery service after running a small errand for the owner of a bakery. Because of the service, she ends up running an errand for a sweet old lady, but when delivering the parcel to the lady’s grandchild, the ungratefulness of the child led Kiki to fall into a rut that takes away her magic. 

Despite the simplicity of the movie and it’s cute antics, this coming-of-age film illustrates the feeling of being burnt out and how difficult it can be to overcome it. Kiki’s magic can symbolize any situation, talent, or such. In the beginning of Kiki’s business, she made a mistake and dropped a gift. While looking for that gift, she met a girl out in the woods working on her art who later on helps Kiki rejuvenate and find herself. The message within this small snippet of the movie is the struggles one faces when starting a new art/skill. Despite the hardships, however, you often meet the greatest friends during that journey who are also working to improve themselves and their gift. These relationships can last for a long time and in your time of artistic need, these people are some of the ones you should seek advice from – or even spend time with.

Another underlying message within was when she delivered the pie the old lady made to her granddaughter and the child’s response. The child’s ungratefulness despite Kiki’s effort to bring it to her in time – despite previous plans made – and the hard work of her grandmother wasted, Kiki became depressed and lost her magic powers. She couldn’t even communicate with Jiji anymore. What’s happening to Kiki is she’s feeling burnt out. As an artist or a human in general, there will come a time where it feels as though no matter how much effort you put into something it will always go unappreciated. This leads to becoming uninspired, burnt out, and pessimistic, especially when working too hard. In order to overcome this, Kiki went with her friend that she met in the woods – hence making good friends when going through your journey. There, she takes a break and is able to regain her powers once finding her determination again to save her friend in her new town. 

Kiki teaches us the importance of breaks and self discovery when developing a new skill or art. It’s such a fun, emotional journey that I recommend everyone go on. In those 103 minutes, Kiki becomes such a beautiful soul and grows to become a mature witch. It’s such a encouraging little story. 



Yesterday, in early celebration of my birthday, my friends and I gathered in the 6th floor lounge to watch a movie. We’d decided on The Shining but it was no longer on Netflix. In search for a new horror movie to watch, we stumbled across Eli, and let me tell you, it was not at all what I thought it would be. 

Eli, a Netflix original, was released on October 18, 2019 and directed by Ciaran Foy – produced by Trevor Macy and John Zaozirny. Essentially, the movie is about a boy named Eli, given the title, and he was told that he was allergic to the outside. Whenever he touched something from outside of his hazmat suit or breathed in ‘unclean air’, he would break out into what he thought was hives which would burn his entire body. His father found a doctor that said she could help them cure the child. The mother, clueless to what this doctor would actually do, went along with the plan to get him help. Throughout the night, Eli would be ‘attacked’ by ghosts that were actually attempting to help him out of his predicament. Come to find out, the woman and her assistants were nuns attempting to reverse his genes. Eli was the son of the devil.

Now that we’ve established a brief-as-possible summary of the story, let’s look at everything that was a bit off with the movie and its plot line. I will say that it was not a terrible movie. It wasn’t even a bad movie. However, there were things in the movie that really could’ve been improved upon to turn the movie into something so fantastic and interesting.

Repetition was something that I noticed was very prevalent within the movie. The scenes began to repeat themselves as far as the situations go. Eli would be attacked by the ghosts that haunted the care home and they would reveal a piece of evidence about the ‘doctor’ and what she was doing to him during the procedures. He would then get caught and tell his parents what was happening. Each time they wouldn’t listen, and each time he would throw an angry fit. It’d gotten to the point where you could basically predict what was going to happen in a scene. It was a bit flat.

His mother and father weren’t so much static as they could’ve just been varied a little more in emotion. Their reactions to situations were basically the same reaction as situations before that, for the most part. It made the audience develop an early on stereotype about the pair and it lessened the drama that the writers and the team was going for. 

It seemed that their need for dramatization was dire because they attempted to use a character on the outside of the building to draw it out of the story. However, they abused the addition of such a character. The most that she did was basically get Eli to talk more about what was happening to him. It seemed like a waste of opportunity and a waste of a potentially good character.

To top it all off, the ending seemed a bit thrown together. It was very interesting, sure, but it wasn’t enough. This is when Eli is randomly thrown into a ritual dungeon where the bodies that belonged to the ghosts that were helping him get out were buried. We find out a little too quickly and randomly that those ghosts were his half-siblings, including the underused character I mentioned before. Now, in itself, it’s a very interesting concept but it was brought up too quickly. You see, the ending is him becoming his ‘ultimate form’, inverting his father’s face for trying to stab him, and turning nuns into upside down crosses and burning them. I must say, with that much action, introducing all this new information about this character’s relationships in the very end of the movie is a bit too much. The underrated character is waiting outside while Eli and his mother walk out of the burning building. The character explains that not only she was his half-sister, but so was the others. She then proceeds to take them to hell to see Lucifer. Very anti-climatic, yeah?

The movie was pretty adequate for entertainment purposes, I assume, but there was so much potential. The creators gave themselves opportunities to make the movie so powerful and shocking but didn’t take it with as much force as they should’ve. On a scale of five stars, it’s gonna have to be a three for me. 

A Silent Voice *Spoilers*

A Silent Voice is a movie written by Reiko Yoshida and directed by Naoko Yamada about a young girl by the name of Shouko Nishimiya who was relentlessly bullied in school by a young boy, Shoya Ishida. Years later, Shoya meets Shouko again. He desperately wants to make amends after spending years of not being able to look at people and feeling as if those around him were judging him relentlessly. The movie beautifully portrays the determination of shaping trust and building friendship despite the struggles and obstacles that may come about through that journey. 

The plot line is a very intense one, throwing many fans through loops and an emotional roller coaster that no one honestly expected. They utilize the typical “mean girl” stereotype that are usually in the stories like these. There are characters they make you learn to hate by their voices alone. For examples, a character by the name of Naoka Ueno threatened Shouko continuously for hanging out with Shoya causing Shouko to be too scared to talk to him. Shoya, the typical bully who has found some type of solace, makes the audience emotionally confused because of the fact that they don’t know whether to hate him for the terrible things he did to Shouko, or forgive him because he is trying to make up for what he’d done. 

Shouko, though the typical innocent girl, came with many surprises along the way. With Shouko being deaf, she cannot speak that well. However, in many of the more intensely emotional parts, she uses her voice to talk to Shoya and express how she feels. Hearing her struggling with her words and emotions makes the movie very hard to watch without shedding some tears. She even goes as far as attempting to end her life because she feels that her disability is a weakness and a hindrance to everyone’s life around her. 

I think of this movie as a PSA, as well. It really portrays the struggle of someone with a disability and it’s sad to say that a lot of things that happened in the movie could definitely be something that happens in reality. People with physical disabilities are often discriminated against more than one would think. Countless times, people have been mocked for the way they talk and their mannerisms all because they are different. Shoya was cruel to Shouko when they were younger when all Shouko wanted was to be friends with him. The theme behind the movie is practically ‘do unto others as you would want them to do unto you’ or even ‘respect those who are different from you’. The movies shows that karma will come back to you when you are cruel to people and you can either run from fixing that situation, or you can pay the price and make the amends that you should. 

Overall, the movie was beautiful. The animation and art captures the audience in the way a fantasy would. The audience are always immersed and it is a movie that will have you at the edge of your seat.