June 21, 2010
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Title: Howl’s Moving Castle
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 8.8/10

Howl's Moving Castle

Summary: A love story between an 18-year-old girl named Sofî, cursed by a witch into an old woman’s body, and a magician named Hauru. Under the curse, Sofî sets out to seek her fortune, which takes her to Hauru’s strange moving castle. In the castle, Sophie meets Hauru’s fire demon, named Karishifâ. Seeing that she is under a curse, the demon makes a deal with Sophie–if she breaks the contract he is under with Hauru, then Karushifâ will lift the curse that Sophie is under, and she will return to her 18-year-old shape.

Review: Normally I like to stay away from popular movies and series that many people have already seen, but I am am a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s work. Needless to say from the rating I have given Howl’s Moving Castle, I was not disappointed. Howl’s Moving Castle was a series of wonder and amusement. The different technologies and magic brought a whole new world to the screen that easily engulfed the audience into their own realm. The storyline was well explained and interesting. The characters showed clear signs of development which is a big plus for me. I enjoyed watching  Hauru’s crew grow closer together through seemingly tedious tasks such as hanging clothes, eating a light snack, and cleaning the castle. Toward the end of the movie, I could actually feel the characters form the family they all longed for. The animation was equivalent to Spirited Away, which is to be expected. The rich, bold lines and colorful scenery was nothing short of miraculous. I was taken back by the landscapes and variety of faces in crowded streets. The magical spells had a certain glow that really brought the anime to life. Probably the area in which I felt Howl’s Moving Castle lacked in was the soundtrack. Although there were some great scenes, and the instruments were very well played, it didn’t have the variety I was hoping for. After re-listening to the soundtrack of only four songs, I could barely tell them apart. In fact, if it weren’t for the titles I probably couldn’t tell them apart. It wasn’t a tragic hit to the rating, but I felt they could have done a little better. Quite a few the action scenes went without music, something I felt would have benefited greatly.

Final statements: Being a fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, I can say anyone who shares the same interests will find this one just as enjoyable. The artstyle, storyline, and characters were beautifully done. The story packed in a lot for such a short period of time. Easily one of my favorite anime movies that can go down as a classic. High priority watch.

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