When Marnie Was There

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Trailer 1


A young girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with flowing blonde hair. As the friendship unravels it is possible that Marnie has closer ties to the protagonist than we might expect. (Shout! Factory)

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Trailer 1

Reviews (3)


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English After the very beautiful The Secret World of Arrietty, I was very curious to see Hiromasa Yonebayashi's next project, all the more so because this time the screenplay was not written by Hayao Miyazaki, and I could see what this animator is all about. When Marnie Was There features beautiful music and animation like almost every other production by Studio Ghibli, so I probably do not need to go into too much detail. I tend to take this for granted, which is why I like to find shows and movies made by this particular studio. It will only be a question of whether it deserves four stars or five stars, a decision made by how intense my experience was and how moved I was. I guess I am saying that it only depends on how well the anime's creators manage to hit me with the story, the characters, and their imagination. I have to say that I enjoyed this movie quite a lot and that it made me quite emotional in a good way. The beginning was quite enjoyable; the main male protagonist, who is like an outsider, is always very interesting, and it was no different with Anna. When she meets Marnie, it is quite mysterious because of the circumstances. However, I must say that the anime's creators managed to beautifully portray the intensity and strength of the relationship between the two girls. The bond between them was palpable, and even at this point, I was already wondering, "why?". At times I even thought that it would be a shoujo-ai because of the intensity of their connection. There is no love like true love. I had managed to block out the logical explanations of things before the revelation at the end, so I could enjoy the emotional conclusion with peace of mind (it was strong, although I still did not cry). In my view, this is a very enjoyable movie worth five stars, although my rating is more like 8.5/10. ()


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English When Marnie Was There, the last film that we will see for a long time from the the legendary Studio Ghibli, which is undergoing a complete transformation following the retirement of its founders, was conceived as a watershed project. As the first film in the studio’s history without any creative input from Miyazaki or Takahata, it is entirely the project of younger creators, including the production crew (led by Yoshiaki Nishimura, who managed the production of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya). Unfortunately, however, the result was also the first Ghibli production in many decades not to top the annual box-office rankings – with revenues of 3.6 billion yen, though more than Takahata’s Princess Kaguya, it earned the least of any classically animated Ghibli film of recent years. This is not Studio Ghibli’s first title targeted at adolescents, so it is possible to speculate that the reason for its weak commercial performance was probably the widely publicised retirement of Miyazaki and viewers’ perception that a guarantor of quality was leaving the established brand. However, such concerns immediately dissipate upon watching the film. In terms of the quality of the animation and the screenplay, When Marnie Was There fits right in with the company’s portfolio, though, unlike Hayao Miyazaki’s classics, it does not contain as many fantastical elements, but instead focuses more directly on the psychology of the characters. And that is the substance of its distinctiveness and exceptionalism. After the inconsistent, though still excellent, Arrietty, Hiromasa Yonebayashi demonstrated his own style and voice in the context of the Ghibli brand. In this case, he has made an enchantingly delicate film about growing up and finding one’s own identity and the personal harmony connected with it. He captivatingly draws viewers into the inner world of his characters, transforming classic issues of adolescence into a densely symbolist narrative that radiates grand emotions even though it takes place in the serenity of a summer holiday in the countryside. ()



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English Sure, this isn't Miyazaki, but it's also not a bad animated film. I feel like that doesn't happen with movies from Japan, at least not if it's still Studio Ghibli. Still, this film is not as memorable as others the studio has made before. It's almost as if the transition to a more serious subject without the exuberant fantasy didn't work out so well. ()

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