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 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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  • feri
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 01:20 PM)
    Yamaha R15 dan Yamaha R25 Motor Sport Racing dan Kencang
    http://tiny.cc/yamahakencang
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:54 PM)
    I didn’t think Tears to tiara was that bad…though I watched it with the dub. Certainly made it more entertaining. Ah…those accents bring a smile to my face every time.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:51 PM)
    And finally c) The very existance of Guilty crown disproves your theory five times over. F*cktons of money thrown at it, was a goddamn trainwreck.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:50 PM)
    b) Ignoring all anime with limited budgets and great storytelling and using low brow comedy as a gauge for quailty. Seriously get the f*ck out. Comedy shouldn’t be used as a gauge because out of all genres it is without a doubt the most subjective. And it’s enjoyment is heavily dependant on the person and the mood. You don’t go to comedy for 5 star drama.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 12:46 PM)
    Well he’s likely gone by now but…
    @Kurozuka, sigh. Honestly to try and prove that a single factor is the cause of the entire gauing of an animes quailty is completle idiocy. Forget proving your credintals, you have to prove you have respectable intelgence first. Because
    a) Emma said it for me but again. More money = less risks. The more money you pour into something, the more generic it becomes.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 10:17 AM)
    @Emma: Hence my offputing attitude towards generic anime in general.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 10:12 AM)
    But yeah, I don’t finish stuff I don’t like any more, actually don’t care about is probably a better choice of words than don’t like.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 10:00 AM)
    Tears to tiara has a ridiculous amount of unnecessary characters, the pacing and direction is a disaster , the characters are bland and the end twist is embarrassing, it was a lifeless and empty anime that put me off the medium for some time, I should have never did the “it might get better” “I have to complete it” mentality back then.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 09:57 AM)
    I plan on doing a third watch of Hako come to think of it soon.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Sep 17. 2014 09:55 AM)
    @Emma: Hmmm … they both sound interesting. I actually like the artwork that I found on mouryou no hako and actually have no problem with fast dialogue (I kept up with Tatami Galaxy with not much problem after all) so Imma download an episode of each and give ‘em a go tonigt. Thx.

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