THE TOP 4 ‘WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE’ THEORIES

I mean we had 1 hour and 33 minutes to speculate about Marnie’s identity…

‘When Marnie was There’ is a 2014 Studio Ghibli movie written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. The film follows a young girl called Anna Sasaki. She’s an asthmatic who is sent to stay with her foster mother’s relatives by the seaside in the hope that the clear air will help her breathing. While there, Anna comes across an abandoned mansion where she meets Marnie, a mysterious young girl. As Anna’s summer progresses, she comes to learn more about Marnie, and eventually also learns the truth behind her own biological family.

However, throughout the movie we are given plenty of time to come up with theories about who Marie really is. And here are 4 theories that are all plausible, before finding out the truth at the end of the film:

  1. Marnie is a ghost

    4.PNG
    I mean this thought comes to everyone while watching the film…

  2. Anna is time-traveling3.PNG
    This theory was pretty much conceived when Marnie told Anna that she is real, and the fact that when they are together Anna experiences everything as if it was happening years ago  
  1. Marnie is Anna’s mother2.PNG
    When Anna and a young girl named Sayaka visit the mansion and begin to learn more about Marnie’s diary and her life, the audience begins to consider that Marnie might not just be regular girl – that she might have more to do with Anna’s family than anyone knew…
  1. Marnie and Anna are in a queer relationship1.PNG
    Before the last ten minutes of the movie when we find out Marnie’s identity, we get to watch Marnie and Anna’s relationship grow. In certain moments, you can interpret their relationship to be something more than platonic. Anna and Marnie have a moonlit boat ride… They pair dance… Anna gets jealous when Marnie dances with a boy…
    This theory is very popular because well, it strikes a chord with people. Many queer children feel different like Anna does, they doubt themselves like Anna does and they may even ask themselves if what they are experiencing is real like Anna does.
    Anna seems to experience two different realms – one with Marnie and one without Marnie. When Anna is with Marnie they are outside the heteronormative nature of society, but it is a place which can only exist in their imaginations…
    However, building upon this idea, we see that Marnie begins to lose her contact with Anna as the film progresses and moves towards a straight storyline. One can explain that Marnie keeps calling Anna ‘Kazuhiko’ because Marnie essentially decides to ‘move on’ or ‘grow up.’ She decides to leave behind her relationship with Anna to instead marry and have children with her childhood friend Kazuhiko. And so in the end, Marnie follows the expectations society has for her.
    For the full explanation on this theory visit Baby Dyke Diaries’ blog! They explain it very thoroughly and it’s a really interesting read: https://babydykediaries.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/queer-childhood-in-when-marnie-was-there-omoide-no-marnie/
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