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Heroine Overview

Without even thinking about it, I used to be able to fly. Now I'm trying to look inside myself and find out how I did it.
~ Kiki.

Kiki is the title character and the protagonist of the 1989 Studio Ghibli film, Kiki's Delivery Service based on the 1985 book of the same name by Eiko Kadono.

She was voiced by Minami Takayama in the original Japanese version, Kirsten Dunst in the Disney dub and Lisa Michelson in the Streamline dub.

Background

She is a young witch who leaves home for a year to begin her training once she turns 13. She owns a black cat named Jiji.

Biography

Kiki first meeting Asano and volunteering to return a woman's baby pacifier for her.

An ancient tradition in the witches culture states that when a girl turns 13, she must leave her home to find a town to work and train in for a year so she can prove her matureness to become a senior. Kiki, a kind, friendly and joyful girl who is the lone daughter of a witch, is anxious to leave her rural hometown to begin her adventure. One afternoon, she listens on the radio that the Moon will be full that night, and she considers that is the right time to depart.

Kiki prepares and departs at midnight on her mother's broom. She tells her black cat, Jiji, who she can understand, that she is looking for a town by the ocean. Suddenly, a heavy rain entraps them and she finds shelter on a train car. She decides to stay the night there. The train departs the station while they are sleeping, and she wakes up when a cow licks her foot. Kiki looks outside and finds that they are now by the sea. She is excited to see a town on the coast and flies towards it.

After learning that there is not a witch residing in that place. Kiki decides that she wants to stay. But then she almost causes a traffic accident while flying on the crowded streets. She is caught by a policeman, but he is distracted by the yells of somebody being robbed. The police officer leaves and Kiki walks away. She meets a curious boy named Tombo, who is impressed by her ability to fly. Tombo tells Kiki that he was the one who distracted the policeman. But Kiki is still in a bad mood over what just happened and flies away.

Kiki struggles to find a place to sleep that night. But then, a lady walks out of a store calling out to another woman, telling her that she forgot her son's pacifier at her store. Kiki offers the lady to return the pacifier to the woman, she accepts and the witch jump to the air and flies away, much to the woman's impression. Kiki successfully returns the object to the baby and introduces herself as a witch. After hearing her story. The lady, a baker named Osono, offers Kiki to stay at her home.

The following morning. Kiki thinks that she can use her ability to fly to begin a delivery service. Osono likes her idea and tells her that she can use the bakery telephone for her new business. A pretty lady tells Kiki that she has a birthday gift for her nephew but she has no time to give it by herself, so she turns into her first customer.

Kiki flies over a forest, where she finds a flock of geese. Jiji tells her that they are warning them of a dangerous air current, the current reaches Kiki and she crashes on a tree, where Ursula's crow is nesting, Ursula's crows attacks Kiki and the rest of her flock joins her. Kiki flies away from them, but she realizes that she has lost the gift, a tiny black cat plush, he tries to find it, but Ursula's crows charge to her again. She has the idea of using Jiji as a substitute. She delivers Jiji, who has to pretend that he is a plush the entire day.

Kiki finally finds the toy cat in a cabin in the woods, she looks for its owner and she finds a girl older than her, named Ursula, drawing on the roof. She agrees with Kiki to return and fix the cat if she cleans the house. Kiki finishes her work and retrieves the plush. She rescues Jiji and returns to the bakery where she has an emotional reunion with her hosts after the adventure.

Kiki continues with her delivery service but soon she has no customers for a while. One day while she is bored waiting for somebody to hire her, Tombo visits the bakery. Kiki still acts cold to him, But Tombo still invites her to a party later that day. Kiki panics as she never attended a party before and she has no clothes to wear. Osono tells her that a woman in black is already very elegant.

Kiki has to deliver a pie to a girl's party, she arrives to the house of an old woman, the girl's grandmother, who tells her that the oven broke down and the pie will not be ready. But Kiki helps her to bake it in a wood-fired oven. When it is ready. Kiki realizes that she is late for the party, she still has to make the delivery under a storm. When she returns home, she sees Tombo down in the street, but she feels sick and decides to stay in bed.

When she feels better, Osono sent Kiki towards Tombo's place with a delivery. The boy is excited to see her and shows Kiki an invention of him: A flying bicycle. Kiki and Tombo takes a ride on the vehicle but they crash on the beach. She tells him that flying was funnier when she don't had to do it to work. But he tells her that he would like to work on what he loves the most just like her.

Some friends of Tombo arrives on a car, and invites him to a ride on a blimp. Kiki is intimidated by them and returns home.

Kiki develops depression and melancholy, then she realizes that she can't understand her cat anymore and, worst of all, she has lost the ability to fly, that means that her training is not going to be completed and she will never become a senior witch. But Ursula makes a surprise visit and invites her to her cabin. Ursula shows the witch a painting inspired by the day they met and draws a portrait of her with a sad face, which she finds adorable, Ursula tells Kiki that she usually becomes blocked, but she finds the solution to her problems by looking within her heart and finding a new purpose to make art. Kiki deduces that something similar is happening to her powers.

When she visits the old woman again. She bakes a chocolate cake for Kiki and asks for her birthday's date, telling her that she is so thankful for the day she helped her. On TV, the blimp that was stationed at the beach is going to start travelling to the South Pole, but a heavy air current causes it to get loose in the air with Tombo and a police car hanging off a rope. Kiki hurries to save his friend and asks a street sweeper for his brush.

She tries and succeeds at flying on it. She reaches Tombo after the blimp crashes into the clock tower and saves him. She is congratulated by the townspeople and surrounded by the press reporters, Jiji reunites with her and the two share a rub on their faces. Later she sends a letter to her parents telling them that they are alright in the city.

Personality

Kiki preparing to take off.

Kiki is friendly, kind, cheerful, and curious, eager to see the world when she still lives in her hometown. But in the city she starts to feel scared of people, specially from girls of her age who are surprised by her old fashioned clothes and the fact of her being a witch. But with the help of Osono, and Ursula later, Kiki grows confident and regains her magical powers.

Navigation

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Animated Features
Nausicaa | Pazu | Sheeta | Satsuki Kusakabe | Mei Kusakabe | Totoro | Seita Yokokawa | Kiki | Jiji | Porco Rosso | Fio Piccolo | Taku Morisaki | Shizuku Tsukishima | Baron Humbert von Gikkingen | Muta | Prince Ashitaka | San | Chihiro Ogino | Haku | Lin | No-Face | Bôh | Zeniba | Haru Yoshioka | Toto | Yuki | Howl Jenkins Pendragon | Sophie Hatter | Calcifer | Markl | Arren | Therru | Ponyo | Sosuke | Arrietty | Latin Quarter Members: Umi Matsuzaki, Shun Kazama | Jiro Horikoshi | Anna Sasaki | Marnie (Ghibli)

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