The Wind Rises / Kaze Tachinu
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Drama, Historical, Romance, Studio Ghibli, Flight
First Released: July 2013, 126-minute film
Summary: The Wind Rises is based on the true story of Jirou Horikoshi, creator of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter, the most famous airplane in Japanese history. Since he was a boy Jirou dreamed of airplanes. The dream follows him through disaster, tragedy, and an overall difficult life in the 1920s through the 1940s.
The Wind Rises is directed by none other than Hayao Miyazaki. As such, you know it’s going to be a quality film. The animation is top-notch, even by Studio Ghibli standards. I appreciate the attention to background detail that I’ve come to expect in Miyazaki films. The characters are also well drawn, based on a realistic appearance rather than something cartoony. The music is composed by Joe Hisaishi and has a fitting feel to the film. The English dub utilized such Hollywood talent as: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, William H. Macy, Edie Mirman, and Mae Whitman.
Miyazaki once again uses several themes common to his films. The flight motif is obvious, coupled with pacifism. The protagonist is a male and is based in reality, which are both a break from Miyazaki’s standard female protagonist and somewhat fantasy base. I must say that I just adore Miyazaki films, he does such an amazing job with every film he directs. I’m always intrigued to see the Japanese perspective when I watch an anime based in reality. I’ve grown up learning history from an American perspective and am fascinated to learn how other cultures view historical events. Grave of the Fireflies affected me deeply by witnessing a World War II story told from the perception of a Japanese civilian.
You might enjoy this if: Like myself, you’re thirsty for history knowledge. The Wind Rises does not feel much like an anime, but instead a regular film that happens to be animated.
You might not like it if: You are accustomed to the Studio Ghibli fantasy films and a non-fiction style is too much for you to handle.
Note to the Viewer: The documentary film, “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness”, uses the making of The Wind Rises to show the routine of Studio Ghibli. It goes into the life of the founding directors, details how films are created, and discusses the future of the company.
AMV – Levity by VermillionAMV
(Warning, the AMV contains minor spoilers)
The Wind Rises Trailer