Film Review: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

One of Studio Ghibli’s newest additions, The Tale of Princess Kaguya was released in the UK this year, despite being released back in 2013 in Japan. Based on the Japanese folk-tale of the bamboo cutter. The Tale of Princess Kaguya is an enchanted and beautiful story about a small girl who grows out of a bamboo shoot and is raised by the bamboo cutter and his wife. She is then brought up to be a proper princess who is found to be desirable to many noblemen.

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Princess Kaguya is reluctant to marry, so she sets her potential suitors almost-impossible tasks to prove their love for her. Over time Princess Kaguya gets sick of her princess-like duties and longs to go home, she then ultimately falls into depression. Meanwhile, the Emperor hears of Kaguya’s beauty and several marriage refusals, thus he becomes intrigued with her. The Emperor’s advances terrify Kaguya’s which calls on her to send out cries to the moon to bring her back home. Unaware and unable to change what she’s done Kaguya has to face the consequences to her family and friends.

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As a Studio Ghibli fan I was very excited about this film. The artwork and animation was different from most of the other Studio Ghibli films, but it was still beautiful. The artwork style represented more of a watercolour effect instead of their generic anime cartoon style. The characters were all loveable. Even the smaller characters who added light relief like Kaguya’s personal servant.  The storyline itself was comical in parts as well as having an unexpected ending. When watching the film in the cinema with my friends at several points I tried to predict what would happen concerning Kaguya’s relationship status. At one point I was totally convinced that she would end up with her childhood friend Sutemaru due to the heavy emphasis on him at the beginning. Oh, how wrong I was. I wasn’t expecting it to end in the way that it did, but I’m glad it broke the norm of a happy ending.

Overall, the film was perfectly told and captured like every Studio Ghibli film. Films like these are one of the reasons why I like anime and the Japanese culture.

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