Now that I am done with work, I have had more time to catch up on watching TV shows/movies. I am hoping to watch all of the Studio Ghibli movies, and one of the most recent I watched is Howl’s Moving Castle.
Howl’s Moving Castle is considered one of the most popular Studio Ghibli movies; on this list by the New York Times ranking all of the Studio Ghibli movies, it comes in at #6. The movie is based on the book by the same name, written by Diana Wynne Jones. I am not sure how similar the two versions are, but the movie is excellent.
Considering that Howl’s Moving Castle was released in 2004, the animation is incredible. It looks like it could have been released within the past couple of years, and it has held up well over time (also, similar to Spirited Away, I think the picture quality may have been upgraded since it was moved to HBO Max).
According to the Wikipedia page, there are many messages that Miyazaki is trying to convey; for example, the movie touches on the subject of war, age, and feminism. While I mostly just watched the movie to enjoy it and to practice my Japanese, I can sort of understand the deeper messages after reading more about the film. I think it is definitely a film that could get even better once you know what Miyazaki was intending.
Howl’s Moving Castle Recommendation Rating: 3
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for