First off - this film was not made by Studio Ghibli even though some sources list as such. The film has creative people in common with Ghibli so the film looks and feels like it might be part of the work of that studio.
This is the story of Ginga who rises from commoner to the first wife of the Emperor. She's a strong willed young woman, perhaps thirteen or fourteen, who stands out among all of the women brought to the palace to compete for the first spot. Add to it court intrigue and a rebellion and you have a potent mix.... ...or would if it didn't sort of wander into too many places for a 78 minute movie. The problem is that there is too much going on with too many characters that get the short end of the stick. I also question a couple of turns in the plot that seem intentionally bleak. For me there was a sense that it was about something in the minds of those who made it but it didn't reach the screen.
The film looks good, although its not quite as lush as the Ghibli films its confused with.
I give it five out of ten but that's probably a bit too generous for a rather bland film with some really great moments.
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