魔女の宅急便 (Kiki’s Delivery Service) Discussion Thread: Chapter 2

I too found these (page 21 and page 22 in the red book) very difficult. I have almost no clue what’s going on on page 21. Kiki’s trying to convince Jiji to do something while her mother is away. Jiji’s not too into it — maybe he’s enjoying a sunbeam and doesn’t want to move? But that’s a wild guess.

OK, let’s take the hard parts one by one…

  1. Kiki is explaining or trying to convince Jiji, and says: それになんでも口をはさみたがるでしょ。I think 口をはさみ means to interrupt, and たがる is to be eager to do something… but I can’t make any sense out of the whole thing.

  2. Jiji apparently gives in, saying: また抱いてねたりしたら、かびがはえちゃうよ。The first part, something like: if again hug and sleep? Not really sure. And the second part, thanks to TamanegiNoKame we know かび is mold, but… grow mold? That doesn’t make any sense. What exactly is Jiji agreeing to do here?

  3. The last sentence on this page comes after Kiki has (apparently) inserted her body diagonally into the gap between the wall and the storage shed. と同期に、うれしそうな声をあげました。At the same time, a happy-seeming voice rose up. I expected this to be followed by some direct quote telling us what the voice said, but that doesn’t happen. So maybe I misunderstood. Or are we to just imagine a sort of happy squeal, gasp, or “ooooh!” sound?

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Just fyi it is かび which I am pretty sure means mold. So mold will grow or something like that.

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Page 22 (red book) also has quite a few hard parts for me.

  1. Kiki says: こんどは、うまくいったらしいね. Something like, This time, it seems skillful (?)

  2. Describing Jiji’s reaction: ジジも目をまるくして見あげています。From context I think this is basically Jiji too was looking up with round eyes. But can anyone explain this まるくして in the middle? I think まる here is round, but what is くして?

  3. Kiki again: あたしはね、なにもかも新しくしていきたいのよ。As for me, I want to do nothing new? That doesn’t make much sense. And what’s the かも here?


  • Joe

OH! So it is. Well that changes things. (I’ll edit my post.) Still not sure how the whole sentence fits together though.

かびがはえる can also mean to get out of fashion so that’s another possibility.

According to Jisho なにもかも means ‘anything and everything’ and from the context of the following sentences I think this 新しく is not just ‘new’ but ‘modern’, so It might be ‘anything modern I want to do’ (her mom won’t let her).

But apart from that I’m as lost as you are. I feel bad that I’m a bit relieved to see I’m not the only one finding these pages difficult.


Page 23 (red book), there’s some sort of banter going on that I don’t understand at all. Jiji wants to understand how he (is Jiji male?) can be new/modern, and Kiki suggests:

Is this すいて here 空いて, to be empty? And あげます is one of those verbs with a zillion meanings, but I usually think of it as raise/cite/give. To give (or do for you) the emptying of a beautiful hand? And then the second part is something like, until [it] shines brilliantly? …Wtf?

Kiki continues:

できたて means fresh-made and ほやほや is fresh, so you’d think I’d be able to work this out, but… “I’ll do it fresh-made for you”? What the heck are they talking about here?

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Could I get help with this sentence from page 16 (blue book)?


Mainly I keep seeing the "たった” in places I don’t expect it. Like here, it’s after the より, and I don’t know what it means. Jisho says it’s “no more than”, but ばかり means the same thing…

Here’s my translation:

This was at a height only three meters taller than the rooftops, but

it was a really wonderful feeling.

But what does the たった add?

I think the sentence means, “Because she will want to interrupt”, i.e. she wants to do it now, because otherwise her mom will get in the way. That was my interpretation.

Well - I eventually I came to “If you carry [sentence subject] to bed again, it will get moldy.” But I don’t think that Jiji is the subject, I don’t think we know yet what it is.


@LucasDesu ok, thanks. i checked も手伝って on ALC and it lists “due in part to” as another meaning also.

Haha, I think I figured this out.


あれ = over there
たっぶり = full of, plenty
お日さま = Mr. Sun (haha)
あてなくちゃいけない = slang for あてなければいけない = has to hit/expose/etc

So put it together and I think Jiji is responding to Kiki suggesting that they go over there, and Jiji says “Okay, but, Mr. Sun needs to be shining over there too.” Edit: I originally interpreted this as he wants it to be sunny because he’s going to go, too, but now I think he’s just saying it has to be sunny because of whatever Kiki is doing in the tool shed.

It’s a bit hard to understand what they’re talking about because of how secretive they’re being.



yes, this sentence is hard to understand at this point because Jiji and Kiki know what each other is talking about but the reader doesn’t until several sentences later.
たっぷり=full; in plenty; ample
お日さまに=to the sun
あてなくちゃいけないんだよ=must expose

So together, “But that must be fully exposed to the sun.”

抱いて=embracing, holding in arms
たり=“ing” (maggie sensei can explain it better than me. How to use 〜たり ( = tari ) & 〜たりして ( = tarishite) – Maggie Sensei)
したら=if did
はえちゃうよ.=will grow

So literally translated like, “If you did holding-sleeping, mold will grow again.” Loosely translated like, “If you held it while sleeping, mold will grow again”.

Hope I didn’t confuse you.



From what I gather, Kiki is complaining about her mother. Just before this sentence she says, 大げさにさわぐんですもの meaning like “she makes a big hoopla out of everything”.
それになんでも口をはさみたがるでしょ。 meaning like, “Besides, she’s eager to interrupt everything/whatever”.

If you look right after the sentence on the next page, there’s is this quote 「見てっ」.



目をまるくして is from目を丸くする meaning “to stare in wonder; to be amazed​”.



きれいに=completely, entirely
毛(not 手)をすいて=to comb fur/hair
(て)あげます=to do for (てあげる)
光る=to shine
So together, something like, “I’ll comb your fur/hair completely until it shines like glitter.”

Yes, Kiki is talking about making Jiji like he’s “freshly made” like “fresh made” bread or something. Jiji then says, “Freshly made cat-what! Don’t describe/say it/me like cooking!”



I’m trying to figure this one out too. The grammatical difference is that たった according to Jisho is a prenominal noun and verb as well as adverb. ばかり is a particle. Therefore, there must be some difference in usage but I, like you, don’t see right now how it makes a difference in translation. I’ll have to do some more searching around to figure this out. Let me know if you come up with something.

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@trout, Thanks for all your help! I feel like we can do this if we keep this up. :relaxed:

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I gave up and asked my old Japanese teacher. His response is that “たった” is mainly used to stress how something is a small quantity or size, but can also be used to stress that something was in the recent past. Like if you say たった今 it is “just now” or "たったこの間” just a little while ago, たった5分前 just five minutes ago. ばかり can also be used as “just” or “only”, but also (perhaps perplexingly) be used to indicate an estimation of things. This is usually evident when there is a number word involved.

The たった here is to stress that it was only three meters, “merely three meters”, and the “ばかり” is giving the idea of “about/or so”.


Hey, that’s nice you got someone like that who can answer your questions. Helps a lot! :+1:

OH! That line got so cleanly cut off in my scan that I didn’t even realize anything was missing. But I checked the book, and sure enough, there it is! I wish all the difficulties were that easy to resolve. :slight_smile:

Brilliant! It all makes sense now. (And yes, I feel like an idiot for seeing 毛 as 手… I should have known better. Oh well, this is why we practice!) Thanks for the help!