Producer solves a mystery that’s puzzled fans of the anime film for decades.

Every now and then, Studio Ghibli movies are broadcast on Japanese television during a prime weekly movie slot known as “Kinyo Roadshow” (“Friday Roadshow“) on Nippon TV. Last Friday, it was time for Kiki’s Delivery Service to make a comeback, and to help celebrate the event, Kinyo Roadshow posted a series of behind-the-scenes information about the movie on its official Twitter account during the broadcast.

For example, Ursula’s painting is based on an original real-world artwork entitled “Niji no Ue wo Tobu Fune” (“The Ship That Flies Over the Rainbow“), which was created jointly with special needs students from Hachinoheshi Ritsuminato Junior High School in Aomori Prefecture.

▼ The girl on the horse doesn’t appear in the original work, which is currently on display at the Hachinohe Art Museum.

Another fascinating tidbit that fans may have missed is the fact that Hayao Miyazaki himself has a cameo in the movie.

“Pay attention to the person behind the old man bragging, “I leant her that scrubbing brush!” The man wearing glasses in the upper right corner of the screen…Do you think he looks like someone?”

While a lot of the information shared was already widely known to a large number of diehard fans, every tweet received thousands of likes from viewers. However, the most liked tweet of the night was this one, which discussed a pivotal moment at the end of the movie, when Kiki can’t hear her magical black cat Jiji taking any more.

The tweet above reads:

“It appears that Kiki is now able to fly again but Jiji remains silent. Actually, it’s not because Kiki’s magical powers have weakened, but because Kiki has progressed to a new stage that Jiji has returned to being a ‘just a cat'”.

Hayao Miyazaki, who directed the 1989 movie, has himself confirmed the theory that Kiki has grown by the end of the movie and therefore doesn’t need to talk to her feline friend anymore. However, in this next tweet shared by Kinyo Roadshow, it appears that Toshio Suzuki has some new information to add to the topic.

The tweet above reads:

“Regarding this topic, this is what producer Toshio Suzuki has to say: ‘Jiji is not just a pet, he’s another self [for Kiki]. So when she’s conversing with Jiji, she’s really just talking to herself.”

The next tweet continues the topic with:

“Her being unable to speak with Jiji at the end means that she no longer needs her alter ego, and that she can now do well in the town of Koriko. Kiki will grow into a fine witch who can do things by herself without having to rely on the existence of Jiji.”

A number of fans have often wondered if Kiki and Jiji ever communicate with each other again after the course of the movie, so this statement by Suzuki puts a definite full-stop to that fan theory.

While it’s sad to see this magical phase of their relationship end, the main theme of the movie centres around growth and change, so it’s natural to see the friendship between Kiki and Jiji transform into something new as well.

However, the real surprise from Suzuki here is not necessarily the fact that Jiji is “another self” for Kiki, as this has been confirmed by Miyazaki and discussed in fan circles before, but the fact that Kiki was essentially talking to herself the whole time.

This is a theory that some fans have brought up in the past, only to be brought down by others questioning the logic of it all. According to naysayers, if Jiji couldn’t talk and Kiki was talking to herself, how would she be able to get the information she does from Jiji about places she hasn’t been? How would the radio have turned on while she was flying and how would she have known what the birds are saying?

However, those fans might want to take a moment to stop and remember that this is a movie about a flying witch, after all. A witch would be able to do all these things with the help of her innate magic powers, and besides that, whenever it comes down to making a choice between in-story logic and fantasy in his movies, Miyazaki will always choose fantasy to add an extra dash of magic to the narrative.

It’s one of the many reasons why Ghibli films are so enchanting, and it also gives us an excuse to rewatch Kiki’s Delivery Service again, to see how it reads now that we know Kiki was conversing with a meowing cat this whole time.

For us, this new revelation from Suzuki only makes Kiki and her magical adventure even more relatable, because we know how irresistible it can be to talk to black cats like Jiji, especially when their meows make it sound as if they’re really speaking our language!

Source: Twitter/@kinro_ntv via Jin
Featured image: Studio Ghibli
Insert images: Studio Ghibli (1, 2, 3)
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