Howl’s Moving Castle: anime review

Title: Howl’s Moving Castle
Genre: fantasy, drama
Released date: November 20, 2004
Running Time: 118 minutes
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Animated by: Studio Ghibli
Comment: Howl’s Moving Castle was loosely based on fantasy novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones. I’ve read the book and in my opinion the anime adaptation felt more like Miyazaki’s work that Jones’. Howl’s Moving Castle followed Sophie Hatter who ran her own hat shop. Her life changed when she accidentally met the wizard Howl and was turn into a 90 year old woman by the Witch of the Waste. Like most of Miyazaki’s film, the characters were neither good nor evil. They had flaws, weaknesses and their own motivations. In other words, they were very human. The daily activities of the characters such as eating, house keeping, cooking, bathing was greatly detailed. This helped bring the characters to life and create intimacy with the viewers. The animation was, as always, spectacular and the original score by Joe Hisaishi was beautiful. The climax when Sophie rescued Howl by undoing and making new contract with Calcifer the fire demon could be a little hard to follow at first because the viewers must interpret the event purely from Sophie’s action with no conversation at all. Conclusion: There was magic at work in this anime. Maybe Miyazaki was a wizard himself.
Rating: A

One response to “Howl’s Moving Castle: anime review

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