The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Genre: Coming of Age


Starring: Aki Asakura
Kengo Kora
Takeo Chii
Nobuko Miyamoto
Release Date: November 23, 2013
Country: Japan

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Japanese: かぐや姫の物語 Hepburn: Kaguya-hime no Monogatari, stylized as The Tale of The Princess Kaguya) is a 2013 Japanese animated fantasy drama film co-written for the screen and directed by Isao Takahata, based on the anonymous literary tale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and produced by Studio Ghibli for Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Hakuhodo DYMP, Walt Disney Japan, Mitsubishi, Toho and KDDI, and distributed by Toho.


Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her, but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

Why It Rocks

  1. This movie has a storybook style charm to it that, despite the admittedly depressing tales swirling away in its depths, really does its best to endear itself to people of all ages, being cutesy and somewhat silly at times, while also deep with its heavier story beats.  
  2. Excellent animation.  
  3. This movie has a unique source of inspiration.  Most Studio Ghibli films are either based on manga or novels, but this one is based on an ancient story from Japanese folklore, which makes it much more intriguing.  
  4. Appealing character designs.  
  5. The art style is also very unique in this series.  The character designs and the backgrounds, everything, looks like they were drawn by water colors, and the lack of detail only adds to the unique style of the movie.  
  6. Good voice acting.  
  7. The main female character, Princess Kaguya, is incredibly likable and sympathetic.  
  8. Great soundtrack.  
  9. One of the best aspects of this movie is the story, and how it unfolds, very slowly, little by little, with its characters and dialogue. 

Bad Qualities

  1. Due to the movie's long length, it might not appeal to people who have short-attention spans.


  1. This is the last film made by one of Studio Ghibli founders Isao Takahata before he tragically passed away in 2018.  


The Tale of Princess Kaguya has a 100% critic rating and a 90% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 4.1/5 on Letterboxd, a 8.1/10 on the International Movie Database (IMDB), a 8.2/10 on MyAnimeList, a 81.55% community approval rating on Kitsu, and a 4.1/5 on AnimePlanet.  



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