Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There Explained

When Marnie Was There is this lovely story about a little girl Anna. Although its beautiful and filled with her everyday adventures, it sure will leave you a little teary eyed

· 3 min read
Anna & Hisako

When Marnie Was There is this lovely story about a little girl Anna. Although its beautiful and filled with her everyday adventures, it sure will leave you a little teary eyed.

Anna visits this little town,

Anna who lives with her Auntie (Foster Mother) ever since she lost her parents and her grandmother suffers from Asthma. After a bit of an attack at school, her doctor advises she stay someplace with clean air. To do that and to have her charged up and refreshed, she’s sent away to her relatives in a small town. For a whole summer, Anna visits The Oiwas.

Now she likes to sketch and I got to say, she’s really good at it too. So while she’s there, she spends most of her time sketching. On her first few excursions outside, she spots this beautiful mansion that she not only wishes to draw but also draws the courage to visit. This mansion, which they call the Marsh House, is on the other side. You see, this little town is by the sea, and with the low tides and the high tides, once you’re around the mansion, it’s trouble getting back.

Anna finds her way to the mansion

But as they, our angels are always watching over us, so are hers. Even though she gets stuck near the mansion due to the tides, she finds a boat ride back home. A silent boat ride as the fisherman, Toichi, they say isn’t much of a conversationalist. Although when she peeped she didn’t find anyone in the mansion, on her boat ride back home, she seems to see one room lit up at the mansion. Safe and sound she goes home to The Oiwas and shares her adventures of the day.

Anna finds Marnie,

Over the next few days, Marnie’s curiosity draws her to this house again. She also sees dreams about a girl being combed in the same house. One day while she’s at the Tanabata festival, one of the girls snatches her ‘make a wish’ card and reads it out loud. Anna has wished for a normal life. Not quite fitting in the crows, she runs away. Soon enough she sees a paddleboat with a burning candle on it.

The very brave Anna decides to row it right to the mansion and so she does. Once she reaches, she meets Marnie. The blonde girl she’s been seeing in her dreams. Marnie is so open and warm with her, almost as if they’ve known each other forever. She shows her around and plays with her and soon the two become inseparable.

Anna meets Marnie

They meet every day, have little picnics of their own, and get to know each other better. Marnie tells Anna how she’s her precious little secret.

Anna loses Marnie at the Silo,

One day two break free from fear, and the two of them decide to trek up to the Silo. While they are there it seems as though, Marnie leaves Anna behind. Anna, already feeling abandoned by her family is triggered by it and falls sick. She feels as though Marnie did a cruel thing, as did her parents for having died so soon.

New Residents at the Mansion.

She also happens to find out that a new family has moved into the mansion. The young girl there, Sayaka and Anna become friends and get on a quest to find out about Marnie. Knowing very well that she pops into her dreams and that there is a dairy by her name, Anna knows there is something worth finding there.

Anna & Hisako

A lady named Hisako, who is also an artist helps them join the dots and tells them all about Marnie. It turns out Marnie was Anna’s grandmother who had raised her after her parents died. Everything from her childhood comes rushing back to her and she’s able to forgive her family for having left her behind.

One fun summer away in this little town, Anna not only finds friends and a home away from home, but also heals her broken heart.