Studio Ghibli’s Whisper of the Heart turned out to be different from what I have expected it to be. Given the title, poster, and the studio’s reputation, I was ready for fantasy and poetic themes. But instead, I was given a straightforward narrative about the life of a dreamer in her own vast world.
Playing detective is my guilty pleasure. I enjoy noticing the littlest detail to decode a scene or two. I like being on the edge of my seat as I wait for what’s going to happen next. But a movie as down-to-earth and as relaxing as this never fails to give me a refreshed experience.
It is definitely a personal comfort anime movie; a go-to show whenever things get a little heavy or whenever I just want to chill out.
Whisper of the Heart As A Comfort Anime Movie
Atmosphere and Mood
Seasoning simple and everyday events in the lives of people and turning them into scenes that would take your breath away is what Studio Ghibli does best. Whisper of the Heart was able to turn train rides, walking with cats, biking, and playing instruments look so aesthetically pleasing.
While it has traces of an old look of animation given that it was created during the 90s, Whisper of the Heart has that kind of unparalleled beauty that could compete on the set of anime movies released around this decade. Some of its frames are already being used as wallpapers on phones and computers. Some have been repeatedly posted all over social media.
The film’s version of Country Roads evoked melodramatic feelings. The song managed to capture how the main characters yearned both for a relationship and a successful life. It navigated Shizuku and Seiji’s road to self-development and self-realization as teenagers.
Narrative and Storytelling
Whisper of the Heart’s narrative is relatively simple but the marks left are still visible. Aoi Hiiragi, as well as the other writers of the show, worked on a premise that is relevant across cultures and times while still maintaining a premise that screams 1990s Japan.
Some of the things it addressed included global issues, societal standards, dreams, and teenage relationships.
There are two quotes in this movie that I reflected on.
”I’ll never be good enough.” – Shizuku
”There are tons of people who are just as good as me.” – Seiji
Shizuku exemplifies the minds of a lot of teenagers when it comes to addressing talents. It’s not a bad thing. It is an age when doubt comes and people tend to question if their efforts are worth it. On the other hand, Seiji addressed his worth and the worth of others at the same time. He took reality into account, thus, the feeling of dejection. While it implies the same thing, the delivery made all the difference.
Main Characters and Their Relationship
Good looks? Check. Man with concrete goals? Check. Communicates well? Check. Really, given this checklist, who wouldn’t fall in love with Seiji? Same with Shizuku. Attraction? Check. Talented? Check. Honest? Check. Passionate? Check.
Watching partners juggle their relationship and their dreams are interesting, especially in the case of Whisper of the Heart where young people are featured. Out of Studio Ghibli’s romances, this certainly has to be my favorite. The way they show how much each other means would make you think, I want what they have.
Their relationship feels genuine, inspiring, and something that would make your heart flutter. It’s definitely an aspect of the show that I keep going back to.
Neither too action-based nor chill, Studio Ghibli pulled off a film that feels perfect for a comfort movie. It always lifts my mood whenever I indulge myself within the scenes.
Reign needs the aid of music, podcast, or video game streams while working. Her goal as a writer and an artist is to capture the ephemerality of stories. During her free time, she attempts to satisfy her never-ending curiosities about world history, media entertainment, literature, and true crime.