Kurenai no Buta, aka Porco Rosso, differs quite greatly from most of Hayao Miyazaki’s other movies. Firstly, the main character is neither a child nor a human(at least when it comes to appearance). The tone is also more quiet and serious than, for instance, Laputa, but it’s not as serious as The Wind Rises. Though set in the period between the World Wars, it feels very much like a war drama with a heap of romance. That said, the heavy focus on airplanes and pilots is definitely something that Miyazaki would make, so it’s not totally different from everything else.
Porco Rosso was the first Ghibli film that I thought was really good. I couldn’t really get into the fantastical world of Laputa or the mundane one in Kiki’s Delivery Service. Later on when I went back and watched Totoro, I found that wonder and magic does work for me, but not always. Totoro worked for me because of it’s themes surrounding family, Princess Mononoke worked for me because I really liked the lore, and Spirited Away worked because it was basically as close to perfect as possible, at least in my opinion. But Porco Rosso appealed to me by being somewhere in between fantastical and mundane. It’s much more down-to-earth(only figuratively speaking, of course) than Laputa, but simultaneously much more action- and drama-heavy than Kiki’s.
The Wind Rises is probably my favourite Miyazaki film, partially because it shows that he is capable of writing many different kinds of stories, not just fantastical ones with nature-related themes. And for the same reason, I really like Porco Rosso. It’s by no means a perfect movie, however. Among other things, it ends quite suddenly and while it does resolve the main conflict, there’s a lot of smaller aspects to the world that I would have liked to see more of, such as the world itself. But maybe those imperfections are the things that give the movie its charm. Maybe I should watch it again and find out.