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Any Ghibli fan such as myself could attest to that particular brand of omnipresent poignancy present in Miyazaki’s works, driven to an effervescently evocative degree when it is guided by the brilliant scores of Joe Hisaishi. A sense of hiraeth — that intense, inexplicable longing for a place we have never been to — slowly creeps up your spine like an anticipated chill and finally swells into an overwhelming crescendo of warmth behind your eyes that often leaves them wet.

It’s a feeling so profound that it dredges up saturated memories of a past that may or may not belong to you, only to carve themselves a new phantom space between your ribs. It lends almost a child-like wonder in the journey of the plots where you would chance upon a specially crafted catharsis speckled between the scenes; like a treasure hunt, waiting there patiently to be set off. And then there’s the resounding revelation thereafter, a paradoxically contemplative lull that carefully fills in the blanks left behind by the chaos, metaphorical or otherwise. Easily one of the most prominent Ghibli highlights in my opinion, this space feels just as satisfactory as a conclusion, if not more.

Additionally, I also like to look at each arc, each scene, each movement as a personalized and thoughtfully prepared gift from the creator himself. Imbued with environmental awareness and a good dose of political commentary, they are a ground for heavy debates. But in any case, everything about Ghibli studio — the liberal use of space in each frame, the comforting incorporation of nature and countryside sceneries, the loaded metaphors that reflect my own ideals, even the borderline nightmarish depiction of fantastical elements — corresponds to a strange familiarity that imprints it into my very soul, for me to contemplate and ruminate and savor for a long long time…

Rajashri Pegu
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Hailing from a Mechanical Engineering background, she loves to content herself with nitpicking at the tiniest of details rather than looking at the bigger picture and would read anything between the recipe for French fries and the physics behind wormholes. She is a borderline party pooper with the nastiest of dark humour but it doesn't necessarily reflect on her writings. Not if you provoke her.

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