A solitary 12-year-old tomboy is sent to the country because of her asthma. There she soon becomes fascinated by an abandoned villa overlooking the marsh, and the dream-like blonde girl who lives there. But who is Marnie? And why can no one else see her? This dainty rendition of an old-school English novel about a unique friendship should seduce audiences beyond its teen target. Although missing the fantastical, visionary twists of a Miyazaki, this latest – and potentially last – animation from Japan’s Ghibli Studio is yet another gem.
When Marnie Was There | Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Japan 2014) with Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura. Starts November 12
Originally published in issue #143, November 2015.