The Secret World of Arrietty

12 Days of Anime 2020: The Secret World of Arrietty

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Today is the eighth day of my 12 Days of Anime 2020. I will be talking about an underrated Ghibli film, The Secret World of Arrietty.

I am a bit familiar with this movie as I know the Japanese voice actors (I am a fan). Still, it took me years before actually making a move to watch this. Me and my mood issues.

Anyway, I am excited to watch this. I’m not expecting it to be amazing like Howl’s or Spirited Away, but at least I expect to have a good time watching this movie.


While spending the summer at his aunt’s house, the young but sickly Shou makes an amazing discovery: after following the house cat into the bushes, he gets a glimpse of a miniature girl about the size of his finger! Calling her kind “Borrowers,” as they survive on tiny bits of human possessions, the girl introduces herself as Arrietty. As he discovers that she lives in the house basement with her parents, Pod and Homily, Shou becomes imaginably excited at the idea of such unique neighbors.

However, he fails to understand the adversities they face on a daily basis. In addition to keeping their existence hidden, they must also embark on perilous adventures into human territory, from the house to the outdoors, in order to make a living. Despite her parents’ warnings, Arrietty befriends Shou, stirring up unexpected events that may change their lives forever.

Delighting the eye and conquering the heart, the breath-taking story of a friendship transcending the tensions between two different human kinds begins. (MAL)


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Oh man, I really enjoyed watching this movie.

The Secret World of Arrietty is that kind of movie that you just sit back and relax to. Nothing amazing happening but I had a great time watching this movie.

The movie follows an interesting friendship between a human and a small human. Their friendship then causes a lot of problems and events that would change both their lives and the people around them.

The main things that made me like this movie was how the story was handled and the friendship of Shou and Arrietty.

The story sparked my interest. Who knew a story about small people and humans would be this interesting. We got to see the everyday life of small people and know the reason as to why they are hiding. Because the story was so well-paced, each detail shared in the movie were really vital and important to the plot and narrative of the story. It was done really well.

The friendship between Shou and Arrietty was really sweet. Even though they only become friends in the latter half of the story, their moments together had a lot of impact on each other, and it was very wholesome to watch. I really like how both of them were open to each other, Arrietty calling out Shou’s insensitiveness about her kind and her concern for Shou’s health. They really made a strong bond in a short span of time.

However, my only problem with the movie would be its antagonist. Haru, the housemaid, was unlikable. I really don’t understand her reasoning as to why she wanted the small people out of the house. Now that I think about it, I think she did mention that she sees them as a nuisance because the small people keep on stealing stuff. In some ways, her reasoning is valid, though shallow. It must have been trippy for her as the housemaid losing stuff all over the house. But still, she lacked the empathy to understand the life of the small people. I guess, there are just people who are not that understanding.

Now for its art and animation, Studio Ghibli did it again. It was solid and I had eyegasms watching it. Interestingly, the character designs doesn’t look a lot like the modern Ghibli movies I recently watched. The character designs remind me of the old studio Ghibli movies like Whisper of my heart and Kiki’s. So I checked the production team behind it. Ah, this wasn’t a Hayao Miyazaki work but a debut of another director, Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Even though there were some unique touches he added that doesn’t scream Miyazaki’s work, it still was within Ghibli’s animation brand. Bruh, he did well with this one.

I had mentioned above that the reason I got wind of this movie was because of the voice actors behind it. Yeah. Just like the other Studio Ghibli films, the Voice Actors behind the characters are quite famous, and most of them I am a fan of. I had been a fan of Kamiki Ryunosuke ever since I saw Keizuko:SPEC years ago. The moment I heard he also does voice acting to a lot of animated movies, I immediately checked them out. Bruh, he was the voice behind Taki of Your Name and Kenji of Summer Wars. I just love him. Lol.

Anyway, for my overall thoughts.

I really like this film. The movie wasn’t grandiose and over the top. It was more grounded to reality with a little twist. As this was a studio Ghibli film, the movie also contains moral lessons that people should know and follow. The movie wasn’t hard to watch and follow. It was chill and easy to watch. I definitely enjoyed the heck out of this movie.

Will this be included in my favorite movie list? Nope, I don’t think so. Yeah, I did like the movie, but not enough to be part of my top list.

Still, this movie is a must-see.

This has been Will Sirius and thanks for reading.

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2 Comments

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    I just saw that movie the other day for the first time. While I wouldn’t call it my favorite Ghibli movie, it was still good. I saw the dub version by accident and it was surprisingly good even though Disney was involved with it. The characters were interesting, but I had issues with the Spiller character because he felt like he was playing up some Native American stereotypical undertones. Everything else was good and I will even say it has an amazing soundtrack that was low-key brilliant.

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