Monday, May 25, 2015

Fiction to Film (1)

So. Ha. You guessed it! A new feature!
I love manga. I love books. I have a passion for the animated films of Studio Ghibli. So each month or two I will watch one of the films (see below for a comprehensive-ish list) and read the source material, and then review the both of them. Ooh. Aah. It’ll be fun and glorious.

The Cat Returns is, if not quite my favourite of the Ghibli films (hello, Howl) is perhaps my most watched, and I adore all the actors for the english language version. It’s also got a lot of cats, and my niece loves it.
And I learned it’d been inspired by a manga, so I was excited and mighty intrigued.

It was so interesting to read and watch the visualisation of the story, the changes in plot, depth and animation- vs -illustration. Interestingly, the film actually has more to it than this, with practically the entire plot of the manga, plus more, plus added depth, so overall I think I like the film a touch more, but the feel of this was… so unique and interesting. I really enjoyed seeing how the fi;m transcribed Haru’s characteristics and personality, the level of involvement of the dashing Baron, Muta and Toto, how it all ended. It was well worth hunting down for it’s own enjoyment aspect, but doubly so for how it gave an extra insight to the film.

The relationship between Yuki and Haru was pretty different to what it was in the film (spoilers, highlight with caution!)- Yuki was Haru’s pet who died-but it was very sweet and more emotionally real than the little snippet that was carried across to the film. I would definitely have liked it even more if it had been retained. It would have added so much to the story.

The film, though, takes what the story starts and shoots it off to a whole new level. In the least (or most, you choose) corny way possible, it gives literal voice to the story. It just takes everything that bit further, makes it more memorable- more of an impression is made, in general.

Something I particularly like is how the animation style is carried across. I never felt completely settled with the animation of the film, mostly how the people were presented, but I have a lot less issue with it after reading the manga. They’re pretty closely aligned (the manga is a little less polished and more comic in it’s style) and I love how that was carried across, can appreciate it truly, now.

Also. It had a great soundtrack.


  1. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the manga or the film, but I love the idea of your new feature! I like comparing and contrasting adaptations (especially when it comes to a fave book of mine) and it's interesting to me to see how filmmakers bring text to screen. It seems like with the manga they managed a unique spin on it, which is great- especially if you feel like it still went with the original!

    1. Oh no, really? I guess they do form a corner of the Ghibli films and manga spectrum that are lesser known, now that I think of it. Just I've watched the film so many times, it just seems incredibly familiar! Still, if it's something you end up taking interest in then I'm glad I introduced you to it, Charlene!
      Oh, and thank you! I'm so happy to hear that! That wouldn't be HMC, would it?

  2. I thought I knew the Ghibli films but this one is new to me! When I was pretty young my parents rented Spirited Away for me and I was terrified by No Face. Like, seriously terrified. It still haunts me to this day *gazes into distance* Haha but joking aside, I've kinda avoided his films because of that xD Fun feature though!

    1. Aah. Ghibli and Romi go well together. I'm actually not sure of all the titles/films they've made, though, more- I suppose- just the mainstream ones, though perhaps Pom Poko is the one example of that!
      OH. Yes. No face, lucky for me, didn't terrify me so much by the end of the film, so I could grow to kind-of-like-him, but he is seriously terrifying at times, you are very right! I'm sorry that film scarred you!
      Thanks, Alise! I hope you'll give Miyazaki a chance again, sometime. xx

  3. I remember watching The Cat Returns, and thinking it was the weirdest Ghibli movie I had ever seen XD I have actually only watched it once, which I am now questioning because if it's your favourite after Howl's (which is my favourite of them all, as well), then I should definitely be watching it again.

    I have actually never read the manga versions/manga originals of the Ghibli films, which is actually REALLY weird because I adore manga. I suppose I feel like I love the movies and what they give me, so I don't think they'd bring me anything new. But I might try them out sometimes. I mean favourite stories in a new format would be pretty good! :D

    Also: have you seen Whisper of the Heart? Because The Cat Returns is supposed to be the movie version (kind of) of the story that the main girl writes!

    1. Oh, really? No, for me that goes to Pom Poko. It is incredibly odd. The one I've never actually been interested in rewatching, which is pretty huge for me! Oh (another) and I wouldn't say it's my favourite after Howls Moving Castle. Rereading what I wrote, it does sound like that though, doesn't it?! Oops. No, I do like it quite a lot, but it's probably my 5th or 6th favourite, so not all that high up. Very rewatchable though!

      That makes sense. And I understand not wanting to be disappointed in the thing that first created the world and characters you later loved in a different format, like you mentioned with Howls Moving Castle. For me, I think I feel more like I can hold the fondness for the originals whilst reading more about what they first were. WELL, that's the hope. Whether it pans out with this series, I don't know!

      Yes I have! I actually really want to watch it again, it's been about 3 years. I so love that one, though, and so neat they do that backstory in film. I wonder if it links up in any written work, too?

  4. Confession time: I have yet to watch any of the Ghibli studio movies. I KNOW, I'M SORRY. I'm glad you enjoyed it though and I like the idea of your new feature :)

    1. VLORA! Please do, I'm sure you'd really appreciate them! They're like magical little balls of mystic oddness and joy, and they're just about my favourite thing when it comes to film. Aah, I do have a lot of overrunning passion when it comes to those films!
      I RECOMMEND: Howls Moving Castle. Hope you'll give it a try!
      Ooh, thank you lovely! xx


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