It’s a blink of eyes and we are creeping into a new year. Before saying goodbye to 2018, here we offer a recommendation of an anime film that would end your year in a very sweet way. It is called Whisper of the Heart by Studio Ghibi, which is a romantic film involving middle school students located in Japan during 1990’s. As any youngsters would encounter, it comprises of the elements of having crushes, doubting about future, and striving for dreams. When Shizuku, a middle school student, finds a name –Amasawa Seiji, that exists in almost every book that she has read in the library, she longs to meet this mysterious boy. An accident of following a cat leads her to meet Seiji. Since then, She decides to start writing as she is inspired by Seiji who wants to become a violin crafter.
What I like the most about it is that it is very beautiful, in fact, too beautiful to be true. It soothes your soul and makes you realise, that’s it, all you want at the moment is just a voice that tells you that, hey, it’s alright to escape from the reality for a while and delve into the fluffy feeling of being innocent.
Like the cool breeze, it gives out a sense of refreshment when you watch the characters merely smiling and blushing over each other as any clumsy youngsters would react around their crushes, with no calculation and manipulation to act upon under the name of love. During these scenes, I can’t help but to keep smiling with a fluttering heart.
I read all kinds of books so my name would be on the cards before yours. — Amasawa Seiji
It is such a cringy but sweet moment when Seiji tells Shizuku that. That’s when our hearts beating so loud, accompanying by our internal screaming. Oh, it is as though sweetness could drip from our throats down to our hearts.
However, a crush would not be just about sweetness, sometimes, it is sour and bitter. As if having bitten a lemon, it leaves your taste in utter sourness and then fades with sole bitterness.
As Shizuku’s best friend Yuuko is having a crush on Sugimura—another friend of Shizuku, Sugimura is having a crush on Shizuku. Perhaps, it is inevitable to avoid one sided love, with bitterness reminding us that, well, there’s always two sides on one coin. To experience happiness, it seems that one should also undergo the equivalent amount of pain.
It’s mere confusion.
Shizuku, who is skeptical of what she truly passionate of, could be related by many people. There’s a confusing phrase in life where we do not know the future, with sheer unknown lies ahead of us. Also, we think we are too plain to find the passion that would make us shine.
She later discovers that she is interested in writing. So, she puts a lot of efforts into writing a novel in order to prove to herself that she is capable of doing that. It turns out that her first draft is not as good as she thinks and at the same time, her marks drop drastically. The painful realisation strikes her—a moment where she is more lost than ever for doubting her own ability to follow her dream of writing.
You’re wonderful. There’s no need to rush. Please take your time to polish your talent. – Shirou Nishi
With the kind words by Shirou Nishi, Seiji’s grandfather, it’s good to keep in mind that it takes time to reach where you aim to go. It’s necessary to be patient, and of course, to be kind to ourselves.
Family and friends
What makes this film heart-warming is that Shizuku’s parents and friends support her decision to write a novel. Even when Shizuku clearly falls behind of her academic results in school, her father talks to her and tries to understand her perspective. This scene surprises me as her parents are willing to listen to her rather than forcing their opinions on her. What could be more touching than having your family to trust and believe what you want to do.
Not everyone has to follow the same path. – Seiya Tsukishima
Yup, as the title of the film suggests, Whisper of the heart, we should definitely listen to what our hearts tell us to do instead of complying to the societal expectation.
Claim to be young and innocent!
The film starts with playing the music named Country Road and ends with it as well. As the music flows through, we are quickly drifted to this world full of love and dream by its lovely melody. Even when the music stops and the film ends, I hope we would still find ourselves drowning in such an innocent feeling that keeps us lively. Let this sweetness comes with us, as we wave goodbye to 2018 and pass slowly to the light of 2019!
Written by Koo Hui Ru