Japanese Title: 魔女 の 宅急便
Romaji: Majo no Takkyubin
Release Date: Spring, 2014
Running Time: N/A
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writer: Eiko Kadono (Original Novel), Satoko Okudera (Screenplay)
Starring: Fuka Koshiba
I know Takashi Shimizu as one of the big names of J-hora guy with titles like the Ju-On series, Marebito and Reincarnation so when Alua ran a story about Shimizu directing the upcoming live-action adaptation of Eiko Kadono’s novel Kiki’s Delivery Service I was surprised and unsure how to interpret it because his filmography is filled almost exclusively with yurei tormenting cute Japanese women and not heart-warming coming-of-age tales. Perhaps he’s expanding his range into the more family friendly area. Whatever the case a production video has been released showing the cast filming scenes on Shōdo Island and giving interviews.
Kiki (Koshiba) has turned 13 and must leave home to start her apprenticeship in witchcraft and become independent. She hops on her broom with her cat Jiji and bids farewell to home, friends and family and settles in a coastal city where she must decide what sort of area in the witching profession she should specialise in. The trouble is her only skill is flying her broom…
To be fair, I am only familiar with Kiki’s Delivery Service from the Ghibli film which I have watched dozens of times (and love) because it regularly gets aired on UK television so I cannot comment too far on how true to the source novel Shimizu will be but this looks like a straight adaptation since Koshiba looks cute, the setting looks beautiful and the sets look normal.
Nope, no yurei here.
Actually this could be pretty good because the script is penned by Satoko Okudera who has written the screenplays for great anime like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and The Wolf Children, two titles that mixed magical-realism with coming-0f-age stories. Perfect for this film.
Who plays the eponymous witch? Fuka Koshiba, a former figure skater who has had a role in the dorama Breathless Summer which starred Emi Takei. You can see more of her and the other cast members and director Shimizu in the gallery of pictures below (which I got from Twitch).