23 February 2014 | bbickley13-921-58664
Definitely Oscar worthy.
So when I first saw that an anime called the Wind Rises was coming to theaters I could not wait to see it simply because it was an anime coming to theaters. I had no idea what the movie was about, but when I saw the movie, I discovered it was about one of my Favorite subjects, Airplanes.
It's a very simple story that could have been done in Live-action. Jirou who as a boy met his hero, airplane designer, Caproni in his dreams was inspired to become an airplane designer. Years later Jirou lives his dreams and designs airplanes for a manufacturer who sells his beautiful designs to be used for the Ugly art of War. Jirou also fines love in the movie with a young girl name Naoko. All the characters in the movie who supported Jirou, from his little bratty sister, to his firm but fair boss, to his best friend and rival at work. They all help to make you feel like Jirou had a real posh life. I also loved how the story gives us a perspective of Japan pre-World War 2 through the life of Jirou.
All of this could have been done in live action, but the craftsmanship of fame director Hayao Miyazaki makes you think otherwise. The animation takes a very surrealistic approach to telling this drama without making it seem cartoonish like Mickey Mouse. The scene portraying the great Kanto earthquake of 1923 made the ground feel like it was coming to life as a giant wave just took out an entire city. The Dream sequences worked very elegantly, just naturally seeming through. And the planes! the animation team did a great job of making the entire layout of the airplanes look fantastic.
I've seen dramatic anime where the animation does nothing to push the story along but Mr. Miyaazaki did fine work to make sure that was not the case. It's been forever since I've seen a 2D moving illustration on the big screen, it felt a little weird, but this was definitely the movie to bring us all back to that. Someone told me that Hayao Miyazaki may retire after this one as he feels he can't top this. I will not disagree, because this one is excellent.