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.
The Source: Baron: The Cat Returns by Aoi Hiiragi.
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: The Cat Returns.
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.