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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Stories of the Top 80 Anime: Kiki's Delivery Service

30. I'm going to stop these narratives here, because if you aren't in the top 30, you probably don't deserve an exhaustive article to be written about you. Soon the faults in these series will start outweighing the good things, and I'll be forced to say "this is like x, but worse in every way." What's the use in that? Also, I've given at least a minor description of most of these series' qualities at some point or other, when I introduced them into my rankings, beyond this point. It was stories I always thought so highly of that I'd always had them high in my rankings, which suffered most from a lack of explanation and introduction to their greatness.

So why do I love Kiki's Delivery Service so much? It's the shortest story I've ranked so highly by far, just one mere movie. It's 103 minutes long, or the equivalent of 4 episodes of anime. That's 1/3 the length of any other series that qualified. But it did so much in that short time!

Kiki is a witch who wears a red ribbon, a black one piece plain dress, has a pet black cat and rides a broom. She's maybe 12 years old, with no womanly features. Even so, she's been cast out into the world to make her living, and has to provide for herself from here on, with just her one skill of being able to fly, and that not even that well.

How does she manage? Through virtue. Kiki may be one of the best girls to ever live. Even though she was in such a tough position, she still had compassion enough to go out of her way to help others. She works hard to a default, going beyond anything anyone would ask of her, while asking for nothing from others, even though she deserves so much. She makes up for her lack of material goods with hard work, endurance, and cheerful fun with her friends. Even though she has hard times, like when she loses her magic power, when she can't talk to her cat anymore, and when she gets sick, she recovers from them all due to her stubborn heart that just won't give up. And at the end of the movie, she uses her flying not just to deliver mail by flying it around quickly, but to save her friend who was stuck on a renegade blimp and who otherwise would have fallen to his death -- this feat of rescue made her a hero of the town, and increased her business via good publicity to the point of surefire success. Everyone lives happily after.

Alongside this feel good story is a beautifully depicted old western city, like something you would see in France in the 1910's, amazing music, and flawless animation for a movie that was made in the 1980's. It was so far ahead of its time, that it has simply become timeless. This movie will always be great, no matter what it is compared to. It's one of the best movies ever. The idea that virtue will ultimately be rewarded is so warm, and so cheering, and so fulfilling, that it should be watched by every child everywhere, even if it isn't true. Because we have to hope it is true, and we have to act as though it is true, or else where will we be? Kiki is a perfect role model for the whole world. You can't ask more of anyone. If we were all Kikis, this world would have been a utopia long ago.

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