[Review] Kiki's a letdown in live action

By YP Cadet Tsui Wing-hei
By YP Cadet Tsui Wing-hei |

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Adapted from Eiko Kadono's 1985 series, Kiki's Delivery Service is a live-action remake that tells the story of a young witch who struggles to become qualified.

Kiki (Fuka Koshiba) turns 13 and, in line with tradition, leaves home to live alone for a year as part of her witch qualifications. Bidding her parents goodbye, Kiki and her cat, Jiji (voiced by Minako Kotobuki), settle down in a town and start up a broom-based delivery service.

But some people still believe witches bring bad luck. Rumours spread, and soon Kiki loses all her business.

Kiki also loses her ability to fly and starts to doubt the meaning of being a witch. But with encouragement from a local boy named Tombo (Ryohei Hirota), Kiki finally regains her confidence.

The pace is way too slow, and gaps in the dialogue make it seem longer than 108 minutes. The special effects are surprisingly poor. The flying scenes look as if someone was waving a broom in front of a green screen.

Koshiba should be a perfect Kiki, but somehow fails to put across Kiki's passion for flying and magic, which is another letdown.

Kadono's animes are classic; this is a huge disappointment.