Title: Whisper of the Heart
Genre: Drama, Romance, Slice of Life
Summary: Shizuku Tsukishima, a young girl in junior high, loves to read. Yet, every time she opens a library book, it seems the same name appears on the cards: “Seiji Amasawa”. As Shizuku learns who this person is, she also begins to learn about herself and her goals in life – a discovery that will change her life forever.
Review: A bittersweet tale of love and loss. Whisper of the Heart captured the moments of change and confusion perfectly. It dives deep finding the emotion everyone feels at some point in their life when they have no sense of direction. The movie portrays signs of hope and despair people feel when they feel they have a goal in life. The soundtrack was rather nice, and I enjoyed the scenes when the characters pick up instruments and begin to sing. The song “Country Road” fit very well and performed beautifully by Olivia Newton-John and Honna Youko. Unfortunately when watching the movie I felt as though some of the subs were wrong (and considering I’m in no way fluent in Japanese that is saying something). So I will probably try to avoid that topic. When watching this movie I thought it was initially going to be a romance, but by the end I realized it was more slice of life. There were romantic aspects which were done fairly well, but this is a movie about life and I wanted to make that clear. Whisper of the Heart is supposed to help teach people that is never too late to get back to your dreams. An older sister trying to become more independent, a mother who is going back to school for a better job, and a daughter writing the story about star crossed lovers, they all bring back the hopes of reaching for your dream. Despite having a good moral message the execution wasn’t perfect. I did see the emotion the producers tried to bring out, but the atmosphere, and possibly characters didn’t feel up to par the whole movie. There were key scenes that could swell up any viewer’s heart, but they were too few and far between. As a movie it felt rushed. Character, time period, and story were the three major changes compared the manga counter part. The movie was faithful in sense it brought across the same message as the manga, so the changes weren’t a big deal. In some cases, I was happy with the changes. It seemed that the producer of the movie wanted to make it slightly more dramatic which I partially agree with. I felt a lot more character connections in the movie comparatively. The art style is fairly old (since it was made back in 1995). All characters and backgrounds were drawn by hand, some scenes drawn so well that they could be easily mistaken as photographs. The time it took to draw every scene is unfathomable for me, but I greatly appreciate the artist’s hard work and dedication.
Final statements: The movie has the potential to become a classic. The feeling of trying to obtain a goal in life can be shared with everyone. It may be the subs that I used, but I wasn’t completely engulfed into the storyline. I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. I felt that the movie should have created a tighter bond between the two young lovers who appeared to be much older than middle school. After combining and comparing, Whisper of the Heart is still a preferred watch.