Studio Ghibli’s Whisper of the Heart tells the story of Suzuku Tsukishima, a teenage girl who finds herself distracted from her studies when she discovers that every book she checks out of the school library has been previously checked out by the same boy. With no knowledge of who this boy is, Suzuku finds herself, for the first time, focusing more on a fairy tale like fantasy of true love than on her school work, spending her days reading and imagining who he might be, while her best friends begin to experience love and heartache in the real world.
The romantic comedy style relationship between Suzuku and Seiji is lovely to watch, as she finds herself constantly fighting with the boy who turns out to be the one she has been fantasising about meeting. The film feels like it is split into two parts, with the first part of the film dealing with Suzuku’s attempts to find the boy who has, without even meeting her, captured her heart, while the second part sees Seiji go off to Italy for a trial apprenticeship as a violin maker. During their time apart, Suzuku attempts to regain her focus and discover what it is she would like to do with her life. With the help of Seiji’s grandfather, and all of the books she has spent so long reading, she embarks on a new path, once again putting her studies on hold to write her first novel.
The film is heart-warming and uncomplicated, a simple tale of a young girl’s first experience of love and romance, and finding out who she wants to be when she escapes the confines of the high school environment.
The film is out to own on January 9th on Double Play, with special features including storyboards and ‘Behind the Microphone’. A delightful anime feature from the creators of Spirited Away which will almost certainly leave you with a smile on your face!