Whisper of the Heart をすませば is a Japanese coming of age tale directed by Yoshifumi Kondō and written by Hayao Miyazaki. Based on a manga by Aoi Hiiragi. WOTH follows a Japanese middle schooler by the name of Shizuku Tsukishima. Tsukishima practically lives in the library and, after her attention drawn to another signature. She takes an interest in a young man named Seji Amasawa.
Shizuru is a young teen whose head is in the clouds. She’s spent a lot of her time reading fantasy novels. Until she gets a little bit closer to her love interest, who opens her mind to the future. Seiji’s dream was to be a great violin maker and was in pursuit of that. She quickly learns that this is something that she wants herself. But also because she felt this is what she needed to do to stand as his equal. Ya girl set a personal goal and started running for it. To think, this all happens because she decided to chase a cat that she saw riding the train.
Aside from her budding romance with Seji, Shizuru has other significant relationships. I love how supportive her parents we’re. They didn’t agree with what she was doing. They weren’t even privy to what was going on. Yet they trusted her. Giving her the space to make her own decisions and have her own secrets. Because of this, she was able to buckle down and test herself in a way she wanted.
The friendship she shares with Shiro Nishi, Seji’s grandfather, is so wholesome. One of the most memorable scenes featured a conversation between the two. Grandpa Nishi shares a rock with valuable gems inside. I’m going to paraphrase because I don’t remember the conversation word for word. But He compared Shizuru to that very rock. Inside you, there are unpolished gems and with time and a lot of hard work. You can manifest something just as valuable. That exchange really hit home because I can relate.
One of my favorite scenes is a jam session featuring Shizuru, Seji, Grandpa Nishi, and two of his friends. It was a really fun one and even felt like we were in the room with them. I think that’s part of the charm of this movie.
Let’s go through the checklist.
- The animation was beautiful.
- The artwork is breathtaking and feels real. Ghibli is known to incorporate real places into there movies. These places are places that I really want to see. Specifically, the view from the steps that we see young Tsukishima running up and down.
- The story is cute and well pieced together.
- The cast of characters is likable.
- Plus, it ends on a pretty decent note.
What did you think of a Whisper of the Heart?