The Tale of the Princess Kaguya ★★★★★

Delicately intimate and ravishingly grand; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is beyond words in its beauty and its deliberate majesty. Every frame of vital animation conjures up feelings that are both tangible and fully realized, delving into a story of family, regret, and respect. The story leaps off the screen, bringing multi-layered characters to life in a sweeping fashion, commenting on both the world in which we live in and the endless details that culminate into a thriving environment. The film feels alive and pure, evoking childhood and adolescence in an undiluted way that can only be described as magical.

Saying anymore than that wouldn't be doing any justice to Isao Takahata's startling vision, as the film is a visual experience that plays with your emotions like a rambunctious toddler. It isn't like the massive tear duct explosion of 1988 (otherwise known as Grave of the Fireflies), but it might actually be better. The film is something special, something original, something simple, and above all; something exquisite. I haven't seen every Studio Ghibli film, but this is arguably the best that I've seen so far. It's like stepping into a dream that you never want to wake up from, just going along for the ride as you drift towards the stars.

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