The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises Studio Ghibli

The Wind Rises – Hayao Miyazaki

Kaze tachinu (original title)

Summary:  Since a boy, Jirô Horikoshi (voiced by Hideaki Anno) dreams of flying.  Upon discovering his unfortunate nearsightedness he doesn’t let it thwart his fascination with aircrafts; instead Jirô decides if he can’t fly planes, he’ll design them.  Yet, life hasn’t laid an easy path for him, but with each struggle greater than the one before, they each guide him closer to his goal.  When he begins his journey travelling to Tokyo to begin his studies in aeronatuical engineering the Great Kanto Earthquake strikes. Panic and devastation spreads around him, yet a chance meeting with a young girl called Naoko (voiced by Miori Takimoto) will later have a big impact on his life too, despite leaving her and her maid he had helped to safety without leaving his name.  He walks away and continues his life towards becoming one of Japan’s greatest airplane designers in history.

My Review:  This wasn’t the type of Studio Ghibli I was expecting.  Although I have watched some creations from the Japanese animation powerhouse that have certainly had a teaching element; The Wind Rises told a different tale of true historical stories Japan experienced and learnt from in it’s history.  That’s not the usual imagined faraway places, with magnificent characters and beings, but it wasn’t disappointing either.  It scratches at the surface of a number of unhappy times for the country, like the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1927 as mentioned above, the effects of the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidermic and Japan’s involvement in the war.  All still with the Studio Ghibli’s glowing wonder of stunning visuals. It may be a bittersweet struggle The Wind Rises shows of Jirô’s journey in becoming an accomplished airplane designer, against formidable hurdles, but it’s his quiet ambition that’s the real uplifting factor, if you watch it closely enough.

My Rating: 2.5/5

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