When Marnie Was There

Alt title: Omoide no Marnie

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pinkarray's avatar
Jun 28, 2015

Another overrated project from Studio Ghibli. Their movies have not
been up the standards of movies such as My Neighbors the Yamadas or The
Cat Returns since 2012 with The Secret World of Arrietty. While The Cat
Returns wasn't that great, The Secret World of Arrietty was so
sentimental, it's painful. With the exception of Wind Rises, the movies
were overrated with simplistic Tale of Princess Kaguya (at the beginning,
of course). I was pretty skeptical about this one. While it started off
with a great beginning, it got boring and annoying when Sayaka showed
up. She is a forgettable character who was kind of mean, yet so nice,
she's clichéd.

Anna bothered me for some reason, it was because of her boyish clothes
but it was also something else, I don't know. Maybe she's just a
stereotypical pre-teen. Marnie was the standout character of all the
characters, she was perky, friendly, and mysterious.

Anna befriends Sayaka which drops the ball because a lot of movies have
characters befriending the clichéd nice girl. The art and animation
were still amazing as usual, but I am very disappointed in Studio
Ghibli for ending up like Pixar. The movie of course got cloying as it
went on whether it's between Anna or Sayaka or Anna and Marnie. It also
ended in a sentimental way. Maybe if they brought Hayou Miyazaki back
to directing, he would save the studio and bring it back its glory.

Also, I thought Sayaka's voice acting was a pretty bad job. The themes
just didn't click with me, it was boring and sometimes not empathetic.
Studio Ghibli tried too hard by throwing in creepy parts and an
emotional ending to be like their other movies. The creepy parts did
not blend well and ruined the pacing of the film.

6.5/10 story
10/10 animation
7/10 sound
5.5/10 characters
6/10 overall
haize78's avatar
Apr 19, 2015

When Marnie Was There is simply a lovely, moving, heartwarming tale. Really, there's nothing more to add to that.

The story is quite simple, but it's narrated in a sweet and delicate way flowing very nicely and effortlessly to a happy ending. It never drags and the pacing is perfect. 

The protagonist is a girl called Anna, who is sent by her foster mother to spend the summer with some relatives living in the countryside in the hope that the clean air might help with her asthma. Anna is a sad and lonely child, being adopted she is resentful both of her real parents and her adoptive ones. She feels she doesn't belong, so her reaction is to withdraw into herself, shutting everyone else out. The movie is the chronicle of her summer stay in the country. Things start changing for her when she meets and becomes friends with Marnie, a mysterious girl who lives in a mansion overlooking the marsh. And I won't add anything else to avoid spoilers.

The animation is beautiful. The backgrounds are incredibly detailed and the colours are amazing. Many scenes are so pleasing to the eye that you can use them as wallpapers for your pc. I really love how they drew the old mansion. But, in general, the animation is carefully perfected with attention to the finest detail.

The soundtrack is very good as well. I think the ending song is a perfect fit for the story.

As for the characters, no complaints. Anna is a convincing and believable portrait of what a child in her situation would feel and how she would react. And the rest of the characters are similiarly well presented and built. Really, there isn't a single false note in the entire movie.

I cannot but recommend it warmly. Studio Ghibli did a fine job.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
heartsDmise's avatar
Apr 5, 2015

I have got to say, that this is my favorite Ghibli film out of all of them.

I didnt expect to be moved so much by this movie. The characters were brilliantly portrayed and I loved their expressions.

I cried during the movie because I was able to feel every bit of emotion in this film.

The story's pacing was just right, and nothing was rushed.

It began with a mystery and by the end of the movie, everything was tied together nicely.

This is a movie suitable for any ages and enjoyable for your whole family, although I would suggest you bring some tissues along because Im pretty sure you will cry xD

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
delolmo's avatar
Apr 21, 2016

Having just finished watching this movie, I had to stop for a second and ponder whether I was happy/sad or satisfied/unsatisfied with it.  I am really thorn about writing this review simply because it left me with a mix of emotions.

The story follows Anna, who is unhappy with her life and is sent to live with other relatives for the summer due to an illness among other things. Somehow she makes a unique friend (Marnie), who is very much interested in her and they seem to click. There are several pieces not fitting together in regards to Marnie’s story, but they all come together at the end. Since I don’t like to write spoilers, I will just say that the story in itself was rather simple, but the development of it was well done. Given the description given in this website and the tags of it, I seriously was not expecting it to go the way it did, had I known I probably would not have watched it. Why? Because the supernatural/spiritual side is not my cup of tea. Despite the fact that the aspect before mentioned is not of my liking, I recognize the story keep me on my toes until the end. I do believe however, that the movie is overrated here, I do not believe the story line was original enough to be deserving of such high rating. Thus, given the lack of originality and the simplistic theme that is seen, I gave the story an 8/10 with the understanding that the pace and development of the story are strong points to it. I must say the message of the story is sweet and some moments pull at your heartstrings towards the end.

As far as the animation goes, I was rather happy with the graphic design. It was typical to the newer anime that has come out and it was very appealing to the eye. The landscapes were very pretty but the character design was a bit generic.  The music was nice, it’s hard to say much of it when is rather brief like in this movie. The voices for the characters were suitable and pleasant to the ear as well. The song at the end was nice, although I wondered if a Japanese song would have been better. I just seem to prefer it that way.

As far as the characters go, we do not see much of anyone except Anna and Marnie. I honestly cannot understand the feelings of Anna, she is really bitter but in my mind there just isn’t any good reason for it. Because of this logic, I felt the story lacked “credibility” and made it hard to relate. Marnie is a more complex character and you will not fully understand her until the end. She is mysterious in many ways, but you can’t help to want to know more about her. I wish there had been more depth in the interactions between the two as this may make up for the lack of other characters that could have been included in the story. I would think that perhaps the fact that it was made a movie and needed to be short and concise prevented it from developing the characters more or including others that could add to the story. Did anyone else wonder who Toichi was? There were some lose ends that I would have loved to see resolved in the movie. Because of this reason I gave this category a 7/10 with the understanding that Marnie was an outstanding character due to its own complexity but the rest fell short in my opinion.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
tollie01's avatar
Jun 1, 2019

First some items I need to adress. I'm Dutch to expect some spelling errors, if they are to annoying just message me and I'll fix it.

My opinion may vary from others and this is fine. People are different so there is a good chance that I will not like what you love. Deal with it. I'm not telling you that you should hate it too, I'm telling you why I didn't like it.

I'll try to keep swearing to a minimum but fail utterly on occasion. In general it is the more the anime pisses me off the more I swear so watch out for the low scored ones.

Art: It's GHIBLI. Do I have to say more? If you are familiar with GHIBLI then you know what you are getting.

Sound: It's great. The budget for movies is usually bigger and it shows. Also it's GHIBLI so quality is assured.

Characters: The main character is Anna. She is an orphan who lives in a loving house but she doesn't believe it. She is a gifted artist who loves to draw and suffers from astma.

Marnie is a young girl who lives in a big house by the ocean. She befriends Anna and they spend a lot of time together.

Setsu and Kiyomasa are relatives of Anna's foster mother and agree to take her during the summer, hoping that the ocean air helps her astma. Both are very laid back and give Anna all the space she wants.

Story. After collapsing during class from an astma attack, Anna is send to live with the sister of her foster mother. Once there she sets out to draw the amazing landscape and meets a young girl named Marnie. They become friends and meet up often.

Rant. This is not my favorite GHIBLI movie as I'm to much of an action junky for that but it is definitely one of their better ones. The story is bitter sweet and the ending packs a punch, eventhough you will see some of it coming.

Visually it is gorgeous, with a lot of panoramic shots. As Anna is an artist who likes to draw and who is good at it you see the world through her eyes. You understand why she loves the scenery.

If you are a fan of GHIBLI than you've already seen this. If you like to watch a good animated movie then look no further.

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
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