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my comments ~ written on March 31st, 2002
I saw this film a while ago, and I think I started crying at the end. I am not sure I liked the last 45 seconds of the movie...I think it could have ended with just silence and happy smiles...but I think there must be a reason for the way it ended...true love....childhood innocence....why must happy endings be a bad thing? :)

This film is not as well known as many other Ghibli films. Perhaps it is because it lacks Hayao Miyazaki's magic touch, or the adventures or deep social commentary that is in many of his other films. To be honest, I don't know because I like the film a great deal. There is a simplicity to it that is very refreshing (like "Ocean Waves", another Ghibli film that I like a great deal). Or perhaps it is because I watched it when I was in high school and I could relate to Shizuku, who is probably more "real" than Nausicaa (who for the record is my favourite Ghibli character), Sheeta or San. Those three characters are 'heros' (actually, I am not sure about San...) and they have this destiny to fulfill and dangers to overcome. It is easier for the audience to relate to Shizuku's plight of having to tell a good friend she does not share his more-than-friendship-feelings, wondering what to do when she grows up, being teased by friends about her crush, than adventures of fighting demons and evil men with sunglasses. Is it the normality of this film that makes it pale in comparison to others?

One of the things I liked about the movie was it ended with Shizuku deciding she needs to continue school. While it had been established that Shizuku was someone who was good with words, it would have been unrealistic if her book turned out to be a masterpiece and became published by the end of the movie. It must not be forgotten that she is young and it was her very first attempt to write anything of this magnitude. Though she tried very hard and invested all her energy into creating the story, practice makes perfect. That is an important lesson and I'm glad not shoved aside in favour of giving "a perfect ending".

PS -- I love the soundtrack to this film. Yes, it was not by Jo Hisaishi, but I thought it was done to suit the film perfectly. The use of Country Roads was also very nice. I can't imagine any other song used for the group music scene.

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