Such a cute movie, i wanted to hit myself in the head with an aquarium from the cuteness
A sweet, small-scale anime, which explores all the awkwardness and inner conflict of young love, teen social anxiety and an emergent personal identity. As late summer winds gently blow, we contentedly explore a sleepy Tokyo suburb alongside an aspiring, if apprehensive, young writer. Stumbling upon old thrift shops and secret city perspectives, we delight alongside her, mutually appreciating the sense of freedom and discovery. Little adventures can be the most satisfying, like these fleeting chances to probe and examine the private character of her home town.
That aspect of the film makes for some great, charming, slice-of-life material. And the relationship drama, after school is back in session, doesn't feel overwrought or exaggerated, either. It just... lingers and lingers, way beyond the point of watch-checking and brow-raising. Slow pacing is essential to those earlier scenes, allowing us to really understand and appreciate both character and setting, but it's not as powerful or purposeful in these later bits. Peppered with the usual Studio Ghibli joys and pleasures, it's beautifully realized and sincere, just a bit staid and long in the tooth. The playful flights of imagination so lavishly promoted on the movie poster don't last even five minutes.
The film is best described as cute and warm. The animation was simplistic but beautiful (especially for the time of the film’s creation). The “Country Road” song getting repeated so much in the film was rather hilarious considering what a meme the song has become in recent years. It’s certainly an interesting song to set as the film’s anthem of sorts.
Felt a little like a “teen angst” anime at times, but it was kept fairly lighthearted and it quickly turned back to a fairy tale love story. There were moments where it just felt like an adventure, but it kept going back to the young love and drama, most of which felt like very stereotypical teen drama.
There were definitely moments that felt weird as the main character would change attitude every couple sentences in away that felt more like inconsistency than character development.
Overall, it was a pretty cute and happy anime film that was lighthearted and adventurous enough to keep me content.
This narrative may suffer, a little, from culture disparity. To make the film make sense, I came to some cultural assumptions: 1) When advancing from Junior to Senior High, in Japan, you have to pass entrance exams and however well you grade will determine which schools are open to you, so 2) at a much younger age, than in North America, a child must make substantive life decisions about a future career. 3) Kids are allowed to be more independent and self-determined at an early age, but, they also seem to get away with being defiant, even rude, to their parents who seem to have little influence in their lives. 4) Japanese children carry a lot of responsibilities within their homes. In this year, I have been introducing a young friend (9 years of age) to the works of Studio Ghibli, and, by and large, it has been a delightful adventure for both her and me but I'm not sure this movie would be appropriate for her (Junior Highers who date and fall in love? or, even think about making lifelong partners?, insolent responses to their parents?, considering leaving school after Junior High!?! - I'm not sure I'd even want to seed these ideas into her young life. Shouldn't childhood be about childhood?). The story also seems to be rather meandering and leaves a lot of sub plots unresolved. The artwork is the high standard of quality we have grown to expect from Ghibli filled with the nuances of human movement and expression. The theme song seems an odd choice for the film and yet I'm not sure there is a unifying theme in the piece. I have to say this film left me shaking my head. I give this film a 5 (huh?) out of 10. [Anime Drama]
Whisper of the Heart is a slice-of-life romance anime about a girl named Shizuku and her struggle to find where she belongs. The movie does a few typical whimsical anime things but in the end is a bit shallow and doesn't finish it's storyline arcs. I believe that since it's from a comic it must have more content but the movie barely scratched the surface. This movie is almost two hours long and it feels like nothing happens. The main theme through the movie is the Country Road song and it leads the main character on her quest to figure out who she is. The animation as always is good and the backgrounds are nice but I think you can skip this one.