Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – When Marnie Was There


When Marnie Was There was both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Admittedly, it was slow in the beginning, much more than Studio Ghibli films usually are, but once it got going and stared really exploring the two main girls in depth, it really got me hooked. The story of an introverted asthmatic girl going to the countryside and being helped out of her shell by a mysterious girl named Marnie plays out like a more serious take on My Neighbor Totoro, though it is still very much its own thing. I suppose this goes without saying, what with it being a Ghibli film and all, but the animation is stunningly gorgeous, some of the best I’ve seen in recent memory. The main girl, Anna, is also pretty interesting and I can see her being very relatable to viewers with autism, anxiety issues, or who are merely introverted themselves.

There are two issues I had, one minor and one major. The smaller of the two is that it was very unclear that Anna was a woman before they outright referred to her as such. Her voice and design were so androgynous that it really caught me off guard, though I don’t want to press the issue because that might have been the idea. The second is that, before the big reveal at the end, Anna and Marnie’s relationship came off far less platonic than they were intending, especially since they were constantly saying that they love each other. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but it’s clear by the end that wasn’t what they were going for. This, along with some other bits of dialogue, make me think that this may have been a translation issue, since Japanese is one of those languages where you can say one thing several different ways and each would have a different meaning.

This is the first Ghibli film after Miyazaki’s tenure and I can safely say that the studio is in good hands. Definitely one of their slower paced films, but it shows that slower doesn’t mean bad. If I could sum this up in one word, it would be “beautiful.”

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