Maboroshi’s Story Is Ruined By Terrible Pacing

Maboroshi has great technical and graphic elements, but everything else—especially the pacing—is done with significantly less skill.

Beginning as a long and meticulous investigation of Masamune's issues with his inability to change, the film does a remarkable job of selling that idea through its art, animation, and soundtrack, for the most part.

 But halfway through the movie, Masamune had an insight about not letting anything stop him from living his life—even though it should have been reserved for the climax—and it causes huge tonal whiplash. It seems to come out of nowhere.

The latter half of Maboroshi is largely spent meandering as people argue back and forth about what to do about the true nature of their world, 

and Masamune keeps getting pulled further and further into romantic melodrama between the female leads, Mutsumi and Itsumi. This is because Masamune has already reached his emotional climax. 

 The first half of the film covered everything intriguing that could be said, which leaves the second half painfully boring.

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