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Kiki's Delivery Service
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 02/01/2002

The time has finally come for Kiki, a young witch, to set off on her own for a year away from home. And so Kiki journeys to a bustling city with her black cat Jiji, where she decides to stay. But unlike other witches her age, just about the only skill Kiki has is flying on her broom... which prompts her to start an airborne delivery service with the help of some newfound friends -- Kiki's Delivery Service.
Yet another classic from Hayao Miyazaki, Kiki's Delivery Service has long been loved and enjoyed by both the young and old in Japan. Disney brought it over to the US on video during the late 90's, almost a decade after its original release.
Kiki's Delivery Service begins in a rustic little town where Kiki and her family live. Witches seem fairly common there for some reason, and nobody is the least bit perturbed by young girls flying around on brooms or ladies concocting various potions in their homes. It's a tradition among young witches to spend a year away from home in order to train themselves, and Kiki has finally reached that age. Thus, Kiki sets off for the big city that night -- with only her mom's trusty broom, the clothes on her back, and her loyal cat named Jiji. It's morning by the time Kiki gets to the city, and she is overwhelmed by the sights that greet her. Kiki somehow manages to make friends with the owner of a bakery, who in turn allows her to stay in one of the rooms there. She also helps Kiki start her own business -- an airborne delivery service called Kiki's Delivery Service. This is where the story unfolds.
Kiki's Delivery Service is character-driven for most part. Kiki is a young girl trying to get by on her own in an unfamiliar place. She gets thrown into various situations, and how she tackles the challenges that come her way is pretty much what this anime is all about. I found the whole scenario a tad too ideal though -- how Kiki chances upon a kindly baker who is willing to take her in; how everyone reacts with awe at the sight of a witch flying through the city skies; how she meets a lot of really nice people in the city. Kiki does realize how different the city and the countryside are, however. There are times she feels inadequate, seeing the lavish lifestyles of girls her age in the city. She too wishes she has beautiful clothes to wear, or nice shoes to walk in.
The visuals are exceptional, as can be expected from Hayao Miyazaki's work. The backgrounds are picturesque and rendered in painstaking detail, providing a magnificent setting for the story. The character designs possess Miyazaki's trademark simplicity, but they are pleasant to look at nonetheless. Movements are very smooth as well.
Kiki's Delivery Service is a gem of an anime, emphasizing good values such as responsibility, inegrity, and friendship. It's something that I'd especially like my kids to watch, but its charm is expansive enough for everyone to enjoy.
The import region 2 DVD is bilingual, and features English subtitles.

Kiki's Delivery Service
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Review Title:
Kiki's Delivery Service
Alternative Titles:
Witch's Express Delivery
100 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Adventure, Comedy, Drama,
Fantasy, Magic, Romance
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