The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Poster

Japanese title: かぐや姫の物語 
(Kaguya-hime no Monogatari)

Other title: The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, 辉夜姬的物语,
Le conte de la princesse Kaguya, La storia della principessa splendente,
Die Legende der Prinzessin Kaguya, Сказание о принцессе Кагуя.

Comments on Movie: The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)
"A work of stunning minimalism, subtle complexity and aching beauty, it's a magnificently animated, sincerely penned masterpiece that defies the demands of the masses with a deceptively simple 10th century canvas that puts most modern CG-animated films to shame." - Kenneth Brown,

"Leave it to a master storyteller like Isao Takahata to remind us how precious youth is; how full of colour and joy it should be, and just what should be offered up in exchange for leaving our youth behind." - Ryan McNeil, The Matinee.

"Definitely not your average flick" - Rosalyn Lim.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Trailer

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) at a glance
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) is an anime film directed by the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata. Based on a 10th century Japanese folktale entitled The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, it has won several film critics' award and the Best Animation Film at Mainichi Film Award. It is one of the nominee for Best Animated Feature Film at 87th Academy Awards.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Synopsis
Legendary Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata revisits Japan's most famous folktale in this gorgeous, hand-drawn masterwork, decades in the making. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime. From the studio that brought you Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and The Wind Rises comes a powerful and sweeping epic that redefines the limits of animated storytelling and marks a triumphant highpoint within an extraordinary career in filmmaking for director Isao Takahata.

21-in-1 Update: 

Movie Review: The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) 

Mysterious girl in the bamboo.

Although I have known The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter my whole life, I have not the faintest idea about the full story. Each time when I try to recollect this particular Japanese folktale, my visual memory would show images from Hello Kitty's TV adaptation; the bamboo cutting scenes and the grown up princess wearing the Kimono.

Princess Kaguya loves Kimono.

However, it is different now. Since the day I watch The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013), all of the animated feature's impossible to forget details have permanently ingrained inside my head. The watercolor-like visuals are beautiful, the characters' expressions are genuine and the whole feature is just so captivating.


Not only you will be able to observe Japanese culture, you will also be able to watch helplessly hilarious and sometimes depressing traits of human beings. True that some of the scenes could be strange or even confusing but if we understand the underlying message of this Japanese folktale, we can learn invaluable life lessons from just watching this. Overall, you may find watching The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) a haunting experience due to the nature and the style of the this animated feature.

Will she be able to find true love?

Nonetheless, I won't say The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) is perfect as there are several aspects I do not like, but there are certainly more aspects to like than dislike. Due to that, this animated feature is possibly one of the best retelling of Japanese folktale in films. Therefore, it is one of my favorite animated feature of all time.

She is destined to be a princess.

As expected of Studio Ghibli's co-founder director Isao Takahata; The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) is unique in its own charm. I have seen the original Japanese version and I am pleased to report that this animated feature is definitely not your average flick. The ending is slightly weird but you will leave all sorrow behind after watching it.

Princess Kaguya runs under the moonlight.

PS. This is my 90th animated review! Sorry this takes so long to post, I was truly occupied!

Movie Ratings
Will write a page regarding this and add this to all animated feature entries in the future.

Who will like this?
Fans of Studio Ghibli and Japanese culture enthusiasts will like this one!

More Photo(s)

Left, baby Princess Kaguya plays with wild boar piglets. Right, grown up Princess Kaguya.

Left, childhood friends and memories. Right, mysterious little girl found in the bamboo shoot.

Left, horrified Princess Kaguya. Right, giving a formal name to Princess Kaguya.

Glowing bamboo shoot with miniature girl inside.

Details of the movie
Director: Isao Takahata
Producer: Yoshiaki Nishimura, Toshio Suzuki, Seiichiro Ujiie
Story: Isao Takahata
Screenplay: Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi
Cinematography: Not sure.
Music: Joe Hisaishi
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Starring: Aki Asakura, Kengo Kora, Takeo Chii, Nobuko Miyamoto
Full Credit: [IMDb]
Distributor: Toho
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Genre: Drama Fantasy
Running time: 137 mins
Budget: USD 49,000,000 est.
Box office: USD 24,153,513 est.

Official website(s)

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Only Yesterday (1991)
Pom Poko (1994)
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
Studio Ghibli
Rosalyn's Favorite
Rosalyn's Animated Movie Marathon

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Behind the Scenes

Favorite Movie Character
Princess Kaguya.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Movie Quotes
Sorry not available.. :< If you have the movie transcript, do share it with me!


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