Japan Today

Mixed reviews for Ghibli’s new movie

By Kay

Prior to the Saturday release of Ghibli’s new feature anime film, "The Wind Rises" (Kaze Tachinu), numerous preview screenings have already taken place across Japan. It seems that not everyone is happy with Ghibli’s new creation, especially the younger audience.

Expectations have definitely been sky-high for "The Wind Rises," especially as it is the first movie in five years to be directed by Ghibli guru Hayao Miyazaki. The film got off to a good start, earning rave reviews from special early screenings for the media/entertainment industry. Animators and musicians gushed praise with comments like “The film moved me so much I almost sobbed out loud,” or “There’s never been a better movie, and there never will be in the future.” Obviously, such buzz only helped to heighten fans’ anticipation.

But since the preview screenings for the general public started earlier this month, there has been some mixed response on the Japanese internet. The main objection raised seems to be that the plot is hard to understand or even worse, boring, especially for young children, so much so that some parents have commented that their children couldn’t sit still through the movie, while another parent confessed, “When I asked my child what he thought of the movie, ‘I didn’t get it,’ was all that he would say.” All right, so maybe the film isn’t exactly the best conversation starter between parents and young kids. But is the movie really difficult to follow?

The plot of the movie combines the fictional biography of Jiro Horikoshi, the engineer known for designing the famous Zero fighter planes, with a romantic short story of the same title written by novelist Tatsuo Hori, so there definitely is some heavy mixing of history and fiction; in addition, there are some long scenes that depict dreams, blurring the line between reality and fantasy, so we have to say that yes, the story would probably be hard for small children to understand. And since it’s part historical fiction and part love story set in 1920s and 30s Japan, you won’t find a great deal of adventure or fantastical creatures like Totoro or Ponyo, which the kids of course adore. Taking all of this into consideration, we guess the Japanese public is right in saying that "The Wind Rises," despite being a Ghibli anime, is not really a movie for children.

That being said, Ghibli has made films for adults before. Even without seeing the actual movie, it’s obvious from the trailer and film description that "The Wind Rises" isn’t a fantasy or action-adventure story, but something more along the lines of "From Up on Poppy Hill." It’s a quiet story that is maybe best viewed like a painting, which inevitably some viewers may find to be a little lacking in excitement.

At the same time, people who have seen the movie have also praised the artwork, some even saying that it’s the most beautiful looking Ghibli anime ever. And we certainly have to agree that this film is a feast for the eyes, especially the gorgeous planes, even if the story doesn’t quite hold the attention of children.

Source: Nikkan Cyzo

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Moviegoers upset about Studio Ghibli anime’s trailer trailing the film they came to see -- Ghibli Fest… not in Japan, but at The Cinematheque in Vancouver -- Twitter User Offers Theory on Ghibli Characters’ Past

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the movie was not for kids. Its made for more mature audience so what's the big deal? Go watch pokemon kids.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder if an animated movie about the young inventor of the A-bomb and his romantic love interest would be as appropriate and entertaining as this film.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The Zero had its moment, okay. The Yamato and her sister ship the Musashi were bad ideas from the start. And the pre-1945 period of colonization was a failure and an embarrassment for much more than just being a failure. But so many Japanese cannot just let any of them go.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Numerous previews have been shown of this film and it was obvious this was not going to be a kids movie. Why would you take your kid to see it just to complain afterward?

That is why I think Ghibli was also going to release Kaguya Hime too which is a popular kids story here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow, not one mention of "Grave of the Fireflies"?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I saw a sneak preview 7/7 — I really enjoyed the film. It isn't a kid film. The film's first dream sequence establishes the anti-war stance. The later ones basically explain the only way for Jiro to fly is to work with his nation's military ambitions. Our hero doesn't like the choices but as part of the Navy, he isn't then seeing the horrors the Imperial Army is creating. He is aware later.

There are tender moments, from the amazing recreation of the great Kanto quake where Satomi catches Jiro's hat. Using a slide rule as a foot brace. When the two realize they're in love — it really is a tearful moment.

And there has been a romantic film of one of the Atomic Bomb scientists - it featured Richard Feynman.

The film ends with as strong as an anti-war statement as possible.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I wonder if an animated movie about the young inventor of the A-bomb and his romantic love interest would be as appropriate and entertaining as this film.

If you didn't watch the movie, you shouldn't assume it is a nationalist movie. Sparky Santos says the opposite.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Master M loves airplanes and their history so i am glad he had a chance to make another film of his love for them. As for the history if the Zero, it is history and part of the normal history of any modern nation carving a path thru competition and international race for growth and resources. Time to stop demonizing the past for Japan and allow it to be a nation in development just as any modern nation was and is. The Zero was a remarkable plane and until one was discovered undamaged in the Aleutians after it crashed, largely a mystery to the Allied designers. I am looking forward to seeing this, as other Studio G movies have been overly weird and out of balance. Not every Studio G movie should be forces to be just for kids.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I see no problem with this movie being for adults and am actually glad that it is something more mature instead of another Ponyo. I really felt that Ponyo was the weakest Ghibli film yet. Ghibli has made mature themed films in the past, so what is the big surprise here?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i'm actually in the minority here because i just don't like any of miyazaki's films. irrespective of the story, i just don't like his animation style, the hand-drawn images should be more crisp. give me pixar any day of the week.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

rickyvee - I don't think humans can compete with a computer render in terms of crisp lines. You are comparing two very different things...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cat Bus is King!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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