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The Boy and the Heron: A Young Man’s Symbolic Journey through Grief

By | Adventure, Animation, Anime | No Comments


As an animation enthusiast, I am admittedly a latecomer in experiencing Hayao Miyazaki’s long-celebrated gallery of animated storytelling. I regrettably had never experienced the spellbinding masterpiece that was Spirited Away when it arrived at Western theatres in 2001. The first time I viewed Howl’s Moving Castle, it was in French and without English subtitles, so I had no real idea as to what was going on. The first Studio Ghibli movie I went to the cinema to see proper was Ponyo back in early 2010. It was a fun, colourful and vibrantly animated viewing experience. However, it felt much too cutesy and saccharine for my liking, as it catered to a much younger audience. Consequently, it lacked the robustness and emotional depth that Miyazaki’s productions were known for. Suffice to say, It wasn’t an ideal first impression of his filmography. After recently viewing his earlier works; Kiki’s Delivery Service, Nausicaa, of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke I recognised how Miyazaki had become a household name in animated cinema. His library is rich with nuanced fantastical storytelling, strong and compelling character writing, and sumptuously detailed backgrounds and animation.

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A Silent Voice: A Touching Pursuit of Reconciliation and Self-Love.

By | Animation, Anime, Drama, Slice of Life | No Comments

When it comes to addressing delicate and uncomfortable subject matter such as bullying, depression, or suicide within a fictional narrative, a writer must take great care in considering the various nuances and complexities that these issues entail in providing an honest and meaningful discussion surrounding them. Some narratives that tackle these issues can, unfortunately, fall into the trap of oversimplifying them and end up coming across as contrived, disingenuous, and even problematic as a result. A Silent Voice (2016) is not one of those narratives. This 130-minute long anime movie delivers a hard-hitting, poignant yet mindful assessment of the pervasiveness of bullying and the many forms it can take, the struggles and anxieties that people with disabilities face in connecting and communicating with others, and ultimately, the journey towards self-forgiveness and self-discovery. It is a stunningly beautiful and heartfelt piece of animation that speaks volumes of the potential of anime as an artistic medium to critically evaluate sensitive topics with the level of sincerity and nuance that they deserve.

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