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Kiki (キキ , Kiki) is the main protagonist of Kiki's Delivery Service. She is a 13-year-old witch-in-training who sets up her own witch delivery service. She has a cat named Jiji. She is played by Minami Takayama in the original Japanese version, Lisa Michelson in the Streamline dub, and Kirsten Dunst in the Disney dub.

Personality

Kiki is strong-willed, leaving her home in Karikiya for a year at 13-years old in order to become a train as a witch. She is very friendly, curious, sweet, and upbeat, however is rather stubborn at times and proud, which is sometimes to her disadvantage. She is very attached to her pet black cat, Jiji, and introduces him as her best friend. Kiki is not ever so popular after her first arrival in Koriko as she is viewed as a bit of a show off, but gradually makes new friends with her customers and is the town heroine at the end.

Appearance

Kiki has short, dark brown hair, which she ties back using a large, amaranth red bow. She wears a medium-sleeved, jet black dress, which mostly appears to be violet or indigo, white undergarments that consist of a tank top and bloomers, and amaranth red flats that look scarlet red at times.

At the beginning, she's dressed in a bright green, short-sleeved dress with a bright pink apron, long, grey socks that are falling down and the same shoes.

Kiki is not initially pleased with her appearance at the beginning of the film, but later on is told to like herself as a witch by her mother, Kokiri.

History

Kiki was born in the summer of 1947. She lives with her parents Okino, Kokiri, and pet cat, Jiji, until the night she decides to leave. It is customary for a witch at the age of 13 to spend a year away from home and start training.

Behind the Scenes

Kiki arriving at the coast of Koriko.

According to Hayao Miyazaki, "Instead of making other people happy, Kiki is the kind of person who ends up relying on others without realizing it. What concerns her the most are her feelings and her happiness. I didn't provide any instructions for the voice actor Minami Takayama, but her performance was astonishingly good. She claimed she could relate to Kiki's feelings."[1]

Image board of Kiki standing in her bedroom.

"Kiki acts like a child in front of her parents, but when she's alone she has serious thoughts. While she might be blunt toward boys her age, she's respectful toward her seniors-particularly if she admires them. She's not, however, a calculating little girl. Her reactions-whether spontaneous, or simply manners she acquired from her parents-show how dynamic she is.", he added.[2]

Character designer Katsuya Kondō elaborated on her design, "Initially, I followed the original story illustrations and drew Kiki with long hair, but this would have been difficult in terms of animation. Still wanting to be faithful to the original story, I had hair bundled with ribbons to be removed when she was alone in order to convey her dual nature. But this didn't really fit with her character so she ended up having short hair. I wanted her cheeks to be reddish from the start."[3]

Paraphernalia

  • Kiki uses a broomstick which can fly.
  • She occasionally brings along a radio.

Relationships

Quotes

"I'm gonna be the very best witch that I can be, Mom. And I know having a good heart is important."
—Kiki

Trivia

A black-clad witch appears in Whisper of the Heart.

  • In the Streamline dub, Kiki was voiced by Lisa Michelson, who also voiced Satsuki Kusakabe in My Neighbor Totoro.
  • Kiki was inspired by Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking.
  • Kiki has a Totoro-like plushie from My Neighbor Totoro.
  • In the Kirby series, she is the inspiration for an enemy called Keke, who appears to be a fusion of Kiki herself and Jiji.
  • Kirsten Dunst, who is Kiki's voice actress in the Disney dub, sometimes goes by her character's name on occasion.[citation needed]
  • Kiki makes a cameo appearance during the "goblin parade" scene in Takahata's Pom Poko, where she is seen flying on her broom.

References

  1. "The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service", p.28
  2. "The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service", p.46
  3. "The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service", p.32
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