A parody of working life at the Ghibli animation studio, Ghiblies is a playful series of shorts that deals with the personalities and day-to-day activities of life in and out of the office.
summary by Liegenschonheit
Highs: Second OVA; well contained shorts; beautiful art
Lows: First OVA
Ghiblies is one of those small projects that companies like to do for industry events, Christmas parties or to throw in as extras on releases of theirs. As such, not much is to be expected from it in terms of production values and visuals. However, this is Studio Ghibli, and great things can be salvaged from the unlikeliest of sources.
Unfortunately, though cute and sometimes funny, the first OVA is rather unimpressive. However, with low quality art and animation, this short still serves its purpose and offers a lighthearted glimpse into the goings on at Ghibli, though it is laced with obscure inside jokes and references that make it seem that this episode was made more for the enjoyment of the staff than for the casual viewer.
The real treat in Ghiblies is the second OVA. Strikingly different than the first, it features several lovingly created shorts that are crafted using the finely honed Ghibli artistry we have all come to expect from the legendary studio. Two shorts in particular are memorable. One features three officemates going out for a super hot curry lunch. The vibrantly lush colors, imaginative character designs, detailed backgrounds and smoothly integrated graphics make this roughly ten-minute, self-contained story a visual treat. Great voice acting and a terrific cover of Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry add a fantastic audio element, as well. Another lovely treat is a reprise of a story touched on in the first OVA, a beautifully expanded story of one of the office worker’s first love. Here soft watercolor pastels mix with a simple yet distinctively Ghibli art style to tell a classic and enthralling story of a grade school crush.
Ultimately, the first OVA of Ghiblies is probably best watched only by the truly Ghibli-obsessed for whom the real life photos of Ghibli staff at the end will be an added bonus. For everyone else, however, skipping directly to the excellent material on the second OVA is highly recommended.
Ghiblies can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.
A higher-quality version of the second OVA only can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE. (The first torrent is about 400MB for both. This one is almost 4G for just the one!)