Retro Play: Whisper of the Heart
Before classics like Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited away, there was a lightly successful hidden gem called Whisper of the Heart. The main character is Tsuishima Shizuki, who reminds us all of ourselves when we were younger.
She’s wondering what she wants from life. She dreams of being a successful writer, but is full of a typical self-doubt. She encounters Amasawa Seiji, who is the same age as her. He dreams of being a violin maker. The two of them weave this magical coming of age romance story.
“A tale based on the screenplay from the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki. During summer vacation, a schoolgirl named Shizuku, who longs to discover her true talents, observes an ordinary-looking cat riding by himself on the train.
Intrigued, she decides to follow him. This chance encounter leads her to the mysterious Seiji, a boy who is determined to follow his dreams, and The Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers in her heart. Soon, Shizuku’s exciting adventures carry her far beyond the boundaries of her imagination. Featuring extraordinary storytelling, enchanting animation, and an all-star voice cast.”
Many of geeks will feel like they can relate to the main question of the movie. The question is should one follow what society wants and conform to its normatives, or should you be brave enough to follow your own original dreams.
But this is pretty common in both movies and anime right? So what makes this one so special? It’s the delivery and revelation that the main character comes to. The revelation is roughly one that also gives us a peak of the genius who would bring us Spirited Away, and bridge the gap between eastern and western storytelling elements.
The build up to the story’s revelations is on the slower side but we think that this is how the normality of the story is established. We are shown the day to day things that the main character does which establish a concrete connection with her and life. It, in a way, reflects our own realities.
The music is also done well in the movie. There’s an emotional element to the piano pieces that establish the most grounded and emotional scenes. As you would guess, the violin element of the movie is placed in just the right parts of the story. The sound marries well with the beautiful vistas of the animations.
Whisper of the Heart should be seen by any anime buff, have a watch and as always let us know what you think.