With a smoking 100% critic rating and a 91% audience rating from Rotten Tomatoes, you should already be well on your way out the door to pick up The Tale of Princess Kaguya. Whether you’re an anime enthusiast or not, you’ll find this Studio Ghibli film an exquisite masterpiece of storytelling, artwork, and gravity. By the end you’ll be wondering just exactly where the time had gone and how you could ever return to normal life after living with Princess Kaguya’s alternately heartrending and uplifting story. The Tale of Princess Kaguya was directed and written by co-founder of Studio Ghibli Isao Takahata, and it is by all means a testament to his breathtaking cinematic capabilities.
The movie is based off of Japan’s most famous folktale. The Tale of Princess Kaguya is the story of a little girl found in a shining bamboo stalk by a bamboo cutter in rural Japan. The bamboo cutter takes the little girl home to his wife where she transforms into a crying infant. From there on the girl grows rapidly into a beautiful young lady, and the story outlines a struggle of identity as Princess Kaguya is moved from her rural homeland to the civilized heart of Japan.
The Character Development
The Tale of Princess Kaguya seamlessly meshes a variety of crises, joys, and sorrows to produce character development that is little found in today’s cinema. Every character changes and ages as you watch, becoming as familiar and irreplaceable to you as your own family. Romantic undertones will catch the sentimental viewers’ attention, while elements of a coming-of-age story will intrigue the younger viewers. Magic blends with realism to combine into a story that is utterly impossible, and yet lingers with you as though it had happened in actuality.
This anime was hand-drawn and took decades to flesh out into the movie you can view today. It is full of extraordinary watercolor designs that take on humor, happiness, and horror as the story progresses. There’s nothing missing from the experience, and those unfamiliar with anime will quickly find themselves unperturbed by the lack of “real” images. Every detail has obviously been crafted with painstaking care and vibrates with the love that it takes to make something truly grand.
Take Time Out
It would be easy to go on and on about the movie- but, quite simply, it’s best if you go discover it for yourself. It’s a movie that will sweep you away from your ordinary life and hurl you into the unknown and the beautiful, the delightful and the dark. The music is equally extraordinary and unique to the film. Take a moment out of your busy day to experience life with The Tale of Princess Kaguya. You won’t regret it.