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Movie rec: Whisper of the Heart

Apologies for the slightly neglected blog — this has been a busy week for me! One of the things keeping me busy has been the Studio Ghibli film series showing at Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox Theatre this month.

You’re probably familiar with Studio Ghibli even if you don’t know it. They’re the Japanese animation studio behind Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Ponyo, and the Howl’s Movie Castle movie. I’ve enjoyed all the Ghibli films I’ve seen, but there are a bunch I’ve missed, so my husband (who loves everything Ghibli) and I are getting to catch those on the big screen. The first one we saw, Whisper of the Heart, I’d particularly recommend of YA fans.

At first glance, this is a fairly simple story about a girl in her early teens (she’s finishing her last year of middle school, which in Japan would put her at 14 or 15) dealing with the typical challenges of family, friends, and boys. But the characters are so well-written that they don’t feel typical at all, and the movie explores some pretty deep themes, like taking risks in order to pursue your passions and the idea that you discover your talents by working at them — you’re not going to be born with an already perfect skill. It also has a very sweet and believable romance, based on an emotional and personal connection rather than “OMG he’s so good looking!”

And if that isn’t enough, you also get to hear the classic song “Country Roads” translated into Japanese! :D

Even if you’re not already an anime or Ghibli fan, I highly recommend checking it out.

Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
We'll have to look for this one--I hadn't heard of it, and we're currently on a Miyazaki kick at our house. Thanks for the rec!
Mar. 17th, 2012 03:42 am (UTC)
Hope you enjoy it! :)
Mar. 16th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
I just watched it for the first time last year and loved it too! How excellent you have a local Studio Ghibli film series! I know there are several I have never seen still. One day!
Mar. 17th, 2012 03:44 am (UTC)
I feel very lucky that this theater decided to host the series! I'm getting to see this one, Totoro, Kiki, and Pom Poko, which were the main ones I haven't already seen. Disney is starting to release them on blu-ray, too, which is very nice. :)
Mar. 16th, 2012 03:44 am (UTC)
We love that version of "Country Roads" in our house :-)
Mar. 17th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
It's very nice! :D
Mar. 16th, 2012 04:03 am (UTC)
This has been an old favorite of mine. I copied a fansub of it from a friend's copy way back, like 15 years ago. It's definitely not for everyone--quiet and slow going as compared to something like Princess Mononoke, or even My Neighbor Totoro. But, if you have a talent that you're trying to unlock, and your 10 year old inner self needs some encouragement to keep going, then this is the ultimate balm.

It has a special spot in my heart.
Mar. 17th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
It's definitely more quiet, but I actually found myself more wrapped up in it than I was with Totoro (which we saw the following night). I think it's all about how much the conflicts speak to you personally, even if they're less "big". :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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