We all know that in this medium we love there are some shows that take a degree of Otaku knowledge to watch. These shows can be jarring or outright repulsive to others who see you watching and enjoying them. Now I’m not telling you to try to get your friends and family to watch harems or super ecchi anime, but there are titles out there that can help you share anime with them. This new series will be a part of “BrOtaku Recommends”, but these will also be anime you can share with your loved ones. Particularly the ones who think anime is either just porn and/or violence.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
For those of you who know this movie it’s easy to see why it’s a good anime intro pick. “Kiki’s Delivery Service” came to the world in 1989 from the brilliant mind of Hayao Miyazaki. You might know the name Miyazaki from such works as “My Neighbor Totoro” and the Oscar winning “Spirited Away”. It’s a forgone conclusion that there will definitely be more Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films in this series due to their incredible beauty and depth of storytelling. Studio Ghibli and all the titles it has acquired are, for lack of a better term, the Disney of Japan (minus the anti-semitism). The worlds they have brought to life are nothing short of breathtaking, and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” is no exception.
Kiki’s story is set in a world where magic and industrialization are meeting up. Kiki is a witch, and as such is expected to leave her village to train on her own at the age of thirteen (because Japan). When she leaves home, with her cat Gigi, she finds a big coastal city to settle in. She soon realizes that country life and modern cities are worlds apart. Still she finds room and board for herself working in a bakery, and eventually she finds a job doing deliveries for extra money. Her old fashion ways make her a hit with her customers, but somewhat ostracize her from all but one young person. A boy named Tombo befriends Kiki wanting to learn her secrets of flight, since he himself is interested in modern aviation.
Soon after meeting a meeting with Tombo, Kiki finds that her magic is becoming weaker. Worse yet she can no longer communicate with her Gigi, her cat familiar. After a brief stay with an eccentric artist however, Kiki learns that the will to fly needs to come from within. Not long after this a perilous situation involving Tombo and an out-of-control zeppelin force Kiki to take to the skies once again. Overcoming her anxiety Kiki saves the day, on a janitor’s broom no less! It might not seem like a terribly deep story, but it’s the simplicity of it that makes it memorable.
The reason I say this is a show that you can share with most anyone is not only because of the simple down-to-earth story. It has a lot to do with the art style and soundtrack of this movie as well. Kiki’s delivery service had the fortune of coming out during the era when all anime was hand drawn, and it also had the tremendous fortune of being directed by the meticulous Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is famed for excepting nothing less than perfection from his animation, and it shows in this movie. In “Kiki’s Delivery Service” you see that every action and emotion is animated so that it feels organic. The baker’s wife (Osono) in particular has a laughing animation that always makes me smile.
In short watch it if you haven’t already, then get your nay saying friends/family together and let them enjoy it as well. Too often do we as fans of anime hoard our favorites, only mentioning them to our fellow fans. Time to bring anime to the general filth- I mean public. If more people see the irrefutable artistic side of anime there’s a decent chance that we’ll stop seeing so many news articles decrying the depravity of anime and manga. Now the depraved stuff you keep away from the majority of the humans out there. Remember show the good side, hoard all the awesomely depraved side. I might have gotten off topic here.
What did you think of my first recommendation of anime to watch together? Let me know in the comment section or on socail media! Also let me know of anything else anime related you’d like me to talk about as well. All joking aside the more people that watch anime outside of Japan, the more Japanese studios will be willing to export. We’re seeing a real surge of anime coming overseas these past five or so years, but we could always have more. Maybe one day we’ll have an Akihabara district in the US, now that would be awesome! Well we can dream, but till next time…
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!