Whisper of the Heart, or Mimi wo sumaseba by the original Japanese title, is about a girl living in urban Japan who loves reading books, she stumbles across an antique shop after following a cat to the area, then she falls in love. The story starts off simple and is quite an easy watch if you want to relax or just watch something that is genuinely breath-taking.
Based off the manga by Aoi Hiiragi, Ghibli studios seemed to capture that essence of youth and is so different to any other Ghibli film. Of course all the films are different but one of the characters in the film ‘Baron’ a cat statue that Shizuku brings to life through her storytelling makes an appearance again in ‘The Cat Returns’ a story about a girl who turns into a cat and goes to the cat kingdom. The English dub for both the cat returns and Whisper of the heart features the same voice actor as ‘Baron Humbert von Gikkingen’.
Whisper of the Heart always had a certain charm to me. It was so, normal. Especially for Ghibli as they like to dive into the world of fantasy in most of their films. The only slightest element of fantasy was Shizuku’s book she wrote, when she imagined what the world would be like, it was simply beautiful. The way different times of day and weather were used to portray a certain emotion or capture the moment.
The charm continues with the music. Composed by Yuji Nomi the music is very light and uplifting, perfect for the theme of the movie, matching the main characters life and thoughts, Shizuku is a curious and adventurous girl. Some of the music however is humorous, the characters find themselves in funny situations that just gives more emphasis on how it’s relatable and light-hearted. Simple things in life make for the greatest stories. The ending was perfect, they didn’t drag it out, and it was just happy.
Whisper of the Heart may not be the most well-known Ghibli film but it’s definitely my favourite.