, Associate Editor, Features
Good things happen in twos over at Studio Ghibli, as yet another two of their classics are released simultaneously. And again both founding fathers are represented here: one title is the fantastic "Kiki's Delivery Service" by Hayao Miyazaki and the other title is the UTTERLY fantastic "Only Yesterday" by Isao Takahata. Both films are examples of Studio Ghibli's mastery and should be counted amongst the very best animated features ever made. The release date is December 5th (happy St. Nicholas!). Both releases can be expected to be regionfree and contain at least English subtitles.

"Kiki's Delivery Service" combines the fantasy element of a young flying witch in training with the daily drudgery we all share in real life, the stresses of growing up and having to work for a living. There are some truly amazing flying sequences in this (no surprise with Miyazaki Sr. at the helm), and the way "broomstick physics" are handled is unbelievable. You can almost feel the effect of extra weight or wind-shear.

"Only Yesterday" is almost the exact opposite, describing the thoughts of an adult single woman in contemporary Japan (well, contemporary upon the film's release at least) who questions her daily routine and the decisions she has made in the past. Juxtaposing a current holiday with childhood memories, this film is one of the best depictions of the longing and fear that comes with change, and for all its lack of sheer spectacle I consider its finale to be one of the best in movie history.

Being Japanese, these discs are bound to be pricey but the good news is that other countries will soon be picking these up after Japan. Me, I cannot wait to own these in HD.

You can pre-order these films through these links:

Kiki's Delivery Service

Only Yesterday
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