Welcome to part 2 of the When Marnie Was There G-View. As previously mentioned this review will contain massive spoilers on the movie’s events, especially the relationship between Anna and Marnie. You have been warned.
Check out the part 1 review down below and watch the movie before coming back here unless readers had already seen it.
Let’s go through the topics I want to discuss one at a time.
1: Is Marnie a ghost?
Marnie is not a ghost. She is a being created using Anna’s subconscious memories of the stories told to her by her grandmother about Marnie and her mansion. Hence every time Anna and “Marnie” interact it is within Anna’s dreams. That’s why I refer to this Marnie as Dream Marnie. After all, Subconscious Construct Marnie is a mouthful.
2: What kind of person is Dream Marnie?
As mentioned she is a construct of the deepest memories inside Anna’s mind. She is a combination of the stories Granny Marnie told Anna about the girl and her life at the mansion before moving away and based on said tales Anna’s mind created a world and Marnie she would imagine the blonde girl would look, act and sound like based on Granny’s tales and pictures that she saw when she was very young. Because it happened such a long time ago her memories of those tales were quite vague. It was not until Anna saw Marnie’s mansion that the deeply buried memories began surfacing, creating the dream world and Dream Marnie.
3: Anna’s journey.
A 12 year old girl whose parents died in an accident when she was very young, who also found out her guardians were being subsidized to take care of her, leading to her seeing herself as a burden and blaming them for not telling her, thus seeing their parental love for her as forced. She’s also upset at her parents for having been taken away from her too soon. This led to her self-loathing and being seen as different in a bad way and wanted to be left alone even when people around her were not being mean. Her encounter with Marnie changed that as through her she learned to open herself more to others because she finally found someone she could relate to. Even if her trust were to be somehow betrayed she had Marnie to go back to. Speaking of…
4: Is the movie yurirific?
As mentioned in part 1 it is as long as the viewer paid attention and here is why. All of Dream Marnie’s actions were based on the bits of story Granny Marnie told her about the blonde girl, who Anna had long forgotten was her grandmother at a young age. Basically every time Dream Marnie spoke to Anna it was a legitimate conversation between two girls occurring in a new reality crafted by Anna’s mind. The events that transpired were based on Anna’s memories slowly coming together after getting a hint in the real world. However, the dialogue between the girls, completely original and out of Anna’s control.
My point is that Anna’s first crush, heck love, was another girl. The bond the two shared grew stronger than best friends in time. Dream Marnie went from daisuki to aishiteru and Anna’s longing to be with the blonde girl went beyond friendship. Some would argue it was dormant memories of how much she cared about her grandmother, but at best Anna mentioned her grandma and that was it. The same went for the Kazuhiko arguments. He was in the Dream World solely because Granny Marnie mentioned a guy. She initially saw as a pest. The second time during the silo scene when Dream Marnie called out his name and later when she left Anna behind with his silhouette, the only thing in Anna’s mind was Marnie abandoning her. She did not acknowledge his presence at all. Oh and this happened before Sayako showed her the missing pages of Granny Marnie’s diary and Hisako told them the very sad tale of Marnie. Also notice the events of the dream world and Hisako’s tale have glaring differences, a huge one being Granny Marnie never attended her parents’ parties like Dream Marnie did.
To explain it in a simpler sense, think of Anna’s adventure and love story as a combination of the movie Inception, something similar to Final Fantasy X’s “Dreamscape” and…I cannot believe I am bringing this up, Runa Houraisen’s initial infatuation with Takako before meeting her face to face was based on the stories Rena told her…oh and also because she wanted to conquer a woman her supreme onee-sama let get away but that is unrelated to the subject matter.
In short: 1/3 Inception, 1/3 Final Fantasy X, 1/3 A Kiss For The Petals 7.
5: Anna’s open ending.
The mystery of the blonde girl and mansion are solved but other than Anna patching things up with a chubby girl and her worrywart guardian mom, Anna’s future is unknown. This gives strong emphasis to the fourth point. Who knows? The next person Anna has a crush on could once again be female. Something to consider.
If nothing else, the Japanese mainstream threw a tantrum over the movie’s lesbian undertones.
And that’s it. That’s how I saw the movie’s focal points and its main relationship.
For another fan of the movie’s opinion on these topics check out Yuri Canon’s analysis, or as she calls it, rant.
And here is yet another lovely lady who shares the same opinion, Dr Animeniac.