A few months ago, I started a new hobby: to watch Ghibli’s movies while folding my clothes. Before starting this, I watched their movies randomly, but I decided to do it chronologically, and thus started from Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa (yes yes I know it’s not Ghibli’s but somehow there is a connection via Hayao Miyazaki), and just now I arrived at Kiki’s Delivery Service (KDS).
I give this movie 4/5. I have to admit that it’s not quite memorable to me, compared to, let’s say, Grave of the Fireflies which depressed me. Being a journey-kid story, I feel it lacks something, or rather, someone: a person who will take advantage of the protagonist’s naivety. Everybody in the movie seems to be a nice person, whereas just in the evening before I read about Grace Quek, previously and widely known as [Annabel Chong], at that time a girl studying in London and already experienced among the harshest thing you can find in the world: being raped. Even [Sans Famille], also known in Indonesia as Remi, teaches you more, about family rejection, grief from death, starvation, and other psychologically-challenging hardness one can find on the street. I can list some more “complaints”: Kiki doesn’t seem to travel far enough, and everybody in Koriko even speaks the same language as Kiki’s (it is Japanese, although apparently Koriko resembles a European city). But anyway, KDS might not aim for the same audience, so it might not be a good idea to compare it with those stories.
Despite my criticisms, I can relate to KDS. Depression is no stranger to me, and I believe Kiki’s experience dealing with new environment, insecurity, and personal “quarter life crisis” will help her becoming a great witch in the future. I also praise the tradition of “merantau” or, loosely translated, adventuring among the witch diaspora. I always appreciate the idea of migration, as it helps us understanding foreign cultures and related clashes with our own ideology. It also mentally shapes us, so it is amazing that a girl as young as 13, as in the case of Kiki, was so eager to take her own journey away from her hometown. Ha, even she was concerned that if she were to stay to long in her town, she might bump into love too early and could not leave at all! The younger me also wrote this poem back in 2008, on the now-dead blog, but nevertheless still accessible through the Wayback Machine: [Love can Wait]. It was so raw and amateurish, yet it was purely baked from the deepest part of my heart. Ha!
Kudos to Kiki. Wish her luck in her journey.
Final note. Kiki was lucky as she was not born on this Earth. [Earthlings might burn her alive for performing witchcraft].