Posted on 11 November 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


After watching some various Takahata-movies, I’m glad to see a Ghibli-production that does know to keep a slow, yet addictive pacing. Whisper of the Heart, or Mimi wo Sumebasa tells the story of the twelve-year old daughter of a librarian, as she meets the boy she falls in love with. Just like how Ocean Waves was an example of a high-school romance with a male main character done right, Whisper of the Heart is how a romance-story with a female lead should be.

This also remains a Ghibli-movie, and the amount of detail that has been put in both the animation and the script is top-notch, and the degree of realism is excellent, as expected. The characters also speak with voices that match their ages, instead of a thirty-year old voice-actress trying to do it. When they start singing, they really sound like the singing-voices of average people, when compared to other anime where characters suddenly turn out to have the signing abilities of a J-Pop idol in similar situations.

The story is quite simple, and not as intriguing as Ocean Waves, though it’s enough to make you connect with the characters. The first half introduces them and their relationships, while in the second half the love story between the two main characters gets developed. Basically, if you liked Ocean Waves, you’ll like this one. It’s a nice movie to watch and relax, with still enough going on to keep you interested.

Regarding the flaws, at one point, there’s a side-story about two side-characters that just disappears from the screen without getting resolved at all. It’s strange, because I would have liked to see how it developed. Another thing that Ocean Waves did better than this movie is the character-development. Sure, the characters change, but it’s nowhere near as interesting as the time-skip we saw in Ocean Waves. Be also aware that the main character remains a twelve-year old girl, and she will feel annoying at times.

Still, Whisper of the Heart makes up for this by being more than just a romance-story, where a lot of time is also spent on a cat statue named Baron and some fantasy-sequences where Hayao Miyazaki worked on. Overall though, both are movies worth the watch for anyone who doesn’t need testosterones every fifteen seconds.

9 Responses

  1. Author says:

    You’ve got an auto-reloading element in HTML somewhere, please kill it.

  2. psgels says:

    Sorry, but what do you mean by auto-reloading element and why do I need to kill it?

  3. Sonhex says:

    >Regarding the flaws, at one point, there’s a side-story about two side-characters that just disappears from the screen without getting resolved at all.

    You mean Sugimura and Yuko? If so watch the end credits, with the passersby on the road, very carefully. Therein lies your answer :P

  4. LA says:

    wow, you picked up my second favorite anime!
    Well, I personally don’t really care how stroy is interesting or not…..
    I think I like this because I watched when I was at their ages and it just reminds me how good time I had back then. Haha….

  5. Wyrdwad says:

    “a lot of time is also spent on a cat statue named Baron and some fantasy-sequences where Hayao Miyazaki worked on.”

    Actually, Miyazaki worked on the whole thing — just not as director. This time around, he WROTE the movie… it’s his story, directed by someone else (the same guy who did Ocean Waves, I believe). So it’s basically a Miyazaki movie, just without Miyazaki direction.

    -Tom

  6. Kim says:

    Ocean Waves was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki while Whisper of the Heart was directed by the now deceased Yoshifumi Kondo. But as was said about Miyazaki wrote the screenplay for Whisper of the Heart.

  7. Joe Sargent says:

    Hayao Miyazaki Banzai!! Banzai!! Banzai!!

  8. mampf says:

    >This time around, he WROTE the movie… it’s his story, directed by someone else

    He wrote the screenplay, the original story (the manga) is by Aoi Hiiragi…

  9. J.C. Carvill says:

    After reading your review, I would say it’s worth watching. It would be great to make holiday on that every fifteen seconds testosterones flows.

    The pics also show it’s classic and entertaining following just the way I like.

    Slow & beautifully paced movies are always good to watch.

    J.C. Carvill
    Email: support@cosmosing.com
    URL: http://www.cosmosing.com/jeanclaudecarvill/index.php

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  • Friend
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 12:33 AM)
  • Friend
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 12:22 AM)
    @Ninja I took your recommendation, and thus, my Tumblr name is MartaStudio
  • Mikey
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 12:11 AM)
    The second episode of Hitsugi no Chaika was quite good.
  • TheUltimateReaper
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 12:07 AM)
    I lost it when No Game No Life made that Jojo reference.
  • TheUltimateReaper
    (Thursday, Apr 17. 2014 12:03 AM)
    @ninjarealist of course but I find that to be a fallacy in and of itself. @Friend more like whether or not you were one of the idiots 8man talked about. But the show still has the parallels, so I think it was more about if you liked the genuine edge, and the truth to it
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 10:39 PM)
    SNAFU was one of those shows that hinged on whether or not you related to the main character, if I remember.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 09:36 PM)
    @TheUltimateReaper You’re right in the scientific sense of the word animal. However, people have traditionally also used the word animal to mean “non-human”. That’s the way I was using the word. I’m not saying that this kind of distinction is even a good one to make, but it’s central to the psychology of mass murderers.
  • TheUltimateReaper
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 09:10 PM)
    @ninjarealist human beings are animals though, in short, it’s just idiots thinking they’re better than other idiots, ego, ego, ego
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 09:06 PM)
    @Aidan The Congo Free State, Columbus, in all these acts of mass murder the perpetrators were able to convince themselves that the people they were killing were sub-human. It’s not hard to slaughter people like animals if you honestly think that those people ARE animals. It’s why discrimination is so evil.
  • TheUltimateReaper
    (Wednesday, Apr 16. 2014 09:02 PM)
    Still ecstatic about SNAFU, and man, No Game No Life is friggen awesome. With ep2 I’m convinced its going to be a wild ride. The tracks are clear, everything is in order.

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