25 January 2011

howl's moving castle

Hayao Miyazaki is probably my all-time favorite director. When I first watched Spirited Away several years ago, I immediately fell in love. Since then I've tried to watch as many of his films as I could, and I've enjoyed all of them very much.

My second favorite Miyazaki film is Howl's Moving Castle. I was extremely excited to watch it for the first time and I was not at all disappointed. Everything about the film is perfect in my eyes.

So when I found out that it was loosely based on a book, I very much wanted to read it; I just finished the book last night. It was hard for me to accurately judge how well I liked the book, since I know the movie so well. Some things I liked very much in the book-- such as how it goes more in depth about all of the characters and their lives, and that there was more of a focus on magic in general and both Michael and Sophie learning to do magic.

However, it seemed to me that too much was crammed into the last chapter of the book. Howl and Sophie's relationship wasn't even hinted at until the very end of the book, and I had been expecting it to gradually play out as it had in the movie (because that made more sense). I was also a bit put off by their visit to Howl's real home-- it seemed like it had nothing to do with the rest of the story, and it felt very out of place because it wasn't ever really elaborated upon or explained.

I think I'd have enjoyed this book more when I was younger, or of course if I hadn't seen the movie a million times already. Despite its differences to the on-screen version, it was an enjoyable book. I'm tempted to read the other two books in the series just to see if anything is further explained.

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