Whisper of the Heart
Genre: Slice of Life
Studio/Creator: Studio Ghibli/Aoi Hiiragi
Distributor: Buena Vista/Disney
Running Time: 1 hr, 41 minutes Age Rating: 5+
My Rating: 10/10
Summary: Whisper of the Heart is about a girl named Shizuku, who falls in love with a boy named Seiji, who wants to become a violin maker. His passion inspires her to try her luck as a writer, and she writes a story about a girl and an English-accented cat named The Baron, which is also shown at times.
Review: This is another one of Ghibli’s more “quiet” titles. Because it’s a drama, it will probably bore young children, which is why “5” is the age rating I selected, rather than “any”. I found this film to be enjoyable and poignant, and consider it among Ghibli’s best. The only reason I don’t really call it a romance is that, to me, there’s no obstacles that stand between Shizuku and Seiji getting together. Both their families seem to approve of their relationship, which is handled very innocently. The parts concerning the Baron are surreal and beautiful. The music is a pleasant surprise (see music), and I think it’d make a great live-action piece, although I doubt anyone’d be able to find a clock like the one in the movie. I also liked the view when Seiji showed Shizuku his place of inspiration. The sunset was breathtaking.
Music/Score: The John Denver song, “Take Me Home Country Roads”, appears in the film. It’s actually somewhat of a surprise, as I was unaware that John Denver’s fanbase had extended to Japan. The music itself has a cheerful feel to it, as if celebrating the innocence of youth.
Sub vs Dub: The dubbed version has a great singer for Shizuku. It also features Cary Elwes, one of my favorite actors, (You may remember him as Wesley in The Princess Bride) as The Baron.
Violence: (0/10): None.
Language: (0/10): None.
Nudity : (1/10): Shizuku’s older sister takes off her shirt, revealing her bra. This scene isn’t particularly procavative, but it was worth mentioning, in my opinion.
Religion: (0/10) none.
Related Media: This anime is based on the similarly-named manga by Aoi Hiiragi. Ghibli also made a movie called The Cat Returns, which also features the Baron.
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