Review of Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Moving picture, 111 minutes

Suzuki Toshio (producer), Miyazaki Hayao (writer).

Song translation, race reading, violin manufacture, love, a fat cat and some very brief trips to an imagined magical land.

Coming of age with fantastical overtones and romance. Screenplay, storyboards and production are all Miyazaki, but the film was directed by Kondō Yoshifumi, the man responsible for many of Ghibli’s iconic character designs.

An excellent treatment of paying attention to life and challenging oneself to improve. One of the great things about it is how it goes out of its way for un-Aristotelian slice-of-life realism, such as when the protagonist turns off the light to go to sleep. It is based on a 1989 comic, with changes discussed in “Why Shōjo Manga Now?” (1993).

References here: Ghibli movie titles, En betraktelse av A Silent Voice, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989), Here Is Greenwood (1991), “On Your Mark” (1995), The Cat Returns (2002), “Proposal for ‘The Day I Bought a Star’” (2004), Turning Point: 1997–2008 (2008/2014), Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2020), Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! (2020).

moving picture Ghibli animation Japanese production fiction