When Marnie Was There

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When Marnie Was There
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Genre: Drama
Coming of Age
Starring: Sara Takatsuki
Kasumi Arimura
Release Date: July 19, 2014
Country: Japan
Prequel: N/A
Sequel: N/A

When Marie Was There is a 2014 drama coming of age anime film.  It was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, written by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Keiko Niwa, and Masashi Ando, musically composed by Takatsugu Muramatsu, cinematography by Atsushi Okui, edited by Rie Matsubara, distributed by Toho, Yoshiaki Nishimura and Studio Ghibli, and starred Sara Takatsuki and Kasumi Arimura.  It's based on a novel of the same name which was written by John G. Robinson. 

Plot

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 Marnie has closer ties to the protagonist than we might expect.  

Why It Rocks

  1. This movie spectacuarly covers several deep themes, such as alienation, insecurity, belonging, trying to find ones worth, the importants of family, the importants of friends, and moving on.  
  2. Excellent animation.  
  3. Incredibly emotional, probably the saddest and most heartbreaking of any of Studio Ghibli's movies thus far.  
  4. Appealing character designs.  
  5. This is one of the few Studio Ghibli films in which most of the usual Studio Ghibli staff didn't work on it.  It was written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi instead of Isao Takahata or Hayao Miyazaki, it was edited by Rie Matsubara instead of Takeshi Seyama, and it was produced by Yoshiaki Nishimura instead of Toshio Suzuki.  
  6. Great voice acting.  
  7. Both of the lead characters, Anna Sasaki and Marnie, are incredibly likable, interesting, and sympahtetic.  
  8. Amazing soundtrack, especially the main theme "Fine On The Outside".  
  9. All of the side characers are good too, espeically Anna's aunt and uncle, they're such positive, uplifting, and supportive relatives.  
  10. The ending was extremely sad.  
  11. It was very interesting to see Studio Ghibli hint at the two lead characters having a subtle lesbian relationship, which has never been done before in one of their films, so it's quite progressive for them.  

Reception

When Marnie Was There has a 91% critic rating and a 88% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 3.8/5 on Letterboxd, a 7.7/10 on the International Movie Database (IMDB), a 8.27/10 on MyAnimeList, a 81.86% community approval rating on Kitsu, and a 4.1/5 on AnimePlanet.  

Videos

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