Review of Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011)
Shinkai Makoto (writer-director).
Plotted like the average juvenile fantasy novel. Some nice surprises and some very dull clichés, particularly the ending. If the cosmology had been developed, dropping the aurora and using a less naive inversion of The Golden Bough (1890), and the creature designs had not looked like rejects from Xam’d: Lost Memories (2008), it could easily have been very good, even with many of the silly tropes, such as the anti-occult special-forces squad leader who now teaches your homeroom and the Ghibli mashups left in.
References here: Your Name (2016).