Also known as, and probably better known as, Whisper of the Heart. As I mentioned in my post on Arrietty, I think Whisper of the Heart had a ton of potential, and I’m sad about the fact that Yoshifumi Kondou passed away before he could make another film. Because Whisper of the Heart touched me in a way that Miyazaki never could with his external themes of environment, flying and adventure in general. Whisper of the Heart is not about finding meaning in one’s life through epiphanies triggered by some outside force, it’s about finding it through, well, the “whisper of the heart”.
I must, however, admit that at times I had trouble staying focused on watching the movie. Maybe it’s a thing that can be remedied just by watching the movie again, but I felt like the themes ended up being too convoluted and esoteric to deliver a good climax. For instance, I never figured out just how the writing and performance of the song “Country Road” pertained to the story as a whole. I liked it, but I felt like its importance dropped off significantly in the second half of the movie.
Or maybe I’m just misremembering because I dicked around on Twitter too much during the second half. I do remember liking the way Shizuka’s struggle with her writing was portrayed, and I particularly liked the “dream sequences” where she entered her own story, because it allowed the movie to include Miyazaki-esque fantasy adventure without compromising the down-to-earth nature of the actual story. But as I mentioned above, I felt like the movie lacked a good climax, and I’m pretty sure that I can’t have been so distracted from the movie that I missed the climax entirely. Yeah, I think I definitely need to watch this movie again, if only to confirm or repudiate those hazy memories that I have of watching the movie.