In Ghibli's When Marnie Was There, there's a scene around 27:00 where Anna calls Nobuko a "fat pig". Pretty rude, but Nobuko does provoke her quite a bit. Later, around 35:00, Nobuko's mother is complaining about this to Anna's aunt and uncle ... but she also says that Anna pulled a knife on Nobuko! ("Knife" in the English dub, "cutter" in the sub.) I certainly didn't see her do that, nor do I see anything suggesting a scene was cut.

So, what's the deal here? Did Nobuko simply fabricate the whole thing? Seems like a pretty strong accusation to invent ... Nobuko comes off as a jerk, but that's really over the top. Is it a mistranslation? Unfortunately, my ear for spoken Japanese is not up to transcribing what Nobuko's mother says. Also unfortunately, my library system does not have the book the movie was based on.

  • the mother could be exaggerating things to make sure a punishment will happen. some people do that!
    – Henjin
    Feb 27, 2018 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


I bet that after 2 years, you don't care if someone answers the question; heck I wouldn't. Or, maybe you found the answer, but recently I have decided to read the novel.

That was just part of the film. A box cutter is a type of knife, so the dub/sub was similar, but there was no talk about a knife in the book. Maybe it's just something someone added in the film to make her look meaner than Anna was supposed to be.

I'm not a fan of the film, but I will see how the book ends up. I'm about 1/3 finished right now, but the movie follows it alright; for now.

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