Whisper of the Heart (1995)

G   |    |  Animation, Drama, Family


Whisper of the Heart (1995) Poster

A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and a boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.


8/10
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  • Yoko Honna in Whisper of the Heart (1995)
  • Yoko Honna in Whisper of the Heart (1995)
  • Castle in the Sky (1986)
  • David Gallagher and Brittany Snow in Whisper of the Heart (1995)
  • Whisper of the Heart (1995)
  • Yoko Honna in Whisper of the Heart (1995)

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5 June 2006 | cosmic_quest
9
| Charming
A Studio Ghibli film, 'Whisper of the Heart' differs from most anime produced by the company in that it is not about cute creatures or other-wordly adventures. Instead, it is a bittersweet tale of a normal teenage girl and the trials of growing up.

The film follows Shizuku, a girl in her mid-teens, who lives for her love of books and writing. During her numerous visits to the library, she become aware that all the books she has taken out have been previously checked out by a boy named 'Seiji Amasawa'. It doesn't take long to realise that this Seiji is, in fact, a fellow classmate at her school who she finds infuriatingly arrogant. But as she comes to know him properly, discovering he is a boy with firm ambitions to be a great violin maker, he leaves her yearning to find her own path in life as well as tasting love for the first time.

What makes 'Whisper of the Heart' so beautiful is its honest depiction of what it is to be an adolescent on the cusp of adulthood, avoiding pitfalls like descending into sap, depicting teenagers as being perpetually stroppy and difficult or sexing up characters in a vain attempt to make them more appealing to the shallow. We've all been in Shizuku's shoes: feeling the turbulent tugs of first love, floundering over what do to with one's life when it seems everyone else seems to know their own dreams for the future and juggling the turmoils of school life and exams at the same time. Anyone who has ever been fifteen years old will be able to empathise with Shizuku and Seiji and that's what makes them such strong, concrete characters. It also offers an interesting insight into the Japanese culture as we get a close-up look of everyday family and school life in Japan, which in itself is as fascinating as the actual story.

'Whisper of the Heart' is much more than just a teenage love story. It's a charming, poignant tale about life and dreams. Another first class film by Studio Ghibli.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The backgrounds, clouds, and flying islands (they are called "Laputa") in the Flying sequence were painted by an artist named Naohisa Inoue. He is a former high school art teacher, who continued painting pictures of "Iblard" on his own. When he had his exhibition, he sent an invitation to Hayao Miyazaki, since Inoue was a huge fan of Miyazaki anime. Of course, he didn't expect anything, but Miyazaki showed up, and he bought one painting (which is now on the wall of the cafeteria at Ghibli). The painting is called "Upward Draft", and looks exactly like the fantasy scene in this film. Then, Miyazaki asked him, "Can you work on our next film?". Inoue also worked in this film as a voice actor. He did one of Mr. Nishi's friends, who joined the "Country Road" jam session (he's the tall one).


Quotes

Shizuku: Strange, its as if I have known you for a long time.


Goofs

(At 22:56 - 23:20) When Shizuku first follows Muta the cat into Mr. Nishi's antique shop. Just as Shizuku watches Muta enter the shop, we are shown a golden pig statue sitting on the ground being used as a door stop to hold the shop door open, with its head angled so that it is looking to its right (to the left from our perspective.) But in the next scene we see that the pig's head is not angled to either side at all - and is instead shown looking straight ahead.


Crazy Credits

During the credits we see people walk by the bridge. The "stray" cat (the one with many names) walks by the bridge as well. Also the young students who had struggled with unrequited love, named Sugimura and Yuko in the American version, meet on the bridge and appear to begin a dating relationship.


Soundtracks

Take Me Home, Country Roads
Written by
Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert and John Denver
Performed by Olivia Newton-John

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Animation | Drama | Family | Music | Romance

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