Inspired by the aesthetics of design and the freedom of flying, Jiro Horikoshi pursues a life dedicated to the creation of a beautiful aircraft. He labors from his childhood, filled with dreams of engineering, to adulthood as he creates an elegant, flightworthy plane—the Mitsubishi A6M Zero—that eventually is used for something quite different than he expected: war.
Story | 8/10Fast-paced telling of a story that emphasizes the significance of dreams. "The Wind Rises" also leaves one in awe of the technological development of Tokyo, Japan during World War II. Though I found some parts of the story could have been a little further elaborated, the film itself is still a masterfully told tale. The story of "The Wind Rises" takes place during the era of World War II. So it is a film that very well presents to the Western audience one of the Japanese perspectives during WWII. This movie also presents two sides of the same coin: a development of a romantic relationship and the growth of a genius Japanese aeronautical engineer named Jiro. I found the story's developments to be well-knitted together. Which I find, is just as expected of its famous director, Hayao Miyazaki. Animation | 9/10The animation was simply beautiful. The animation staff of Studio Ghibli are very talented at animation and were clearly well-directed by Miyazaki, of course. I loved all of the colours and details in the backgrounds. The character designs are a classic style.Fluid and smooth animation. Like all previous movies by Studio Ghibli, "The Wind Rises" has beautiful enough animation to captivate any lover of animated films! I also think Studio Ghibli done thorough research for certain technology designs in the film (such as what a standard war plane looked like). Sound | 8.5/10The music was beautiful, but in a couple of scenes an instrumental song or two felt somewhat unfitting to me. Still, this film contains very fitting music for the era the setting takes place in. I recommend this film for any fans of classical or orchestral music, as well as fans of traditional Japanese music. Characters | 8/10The characters were loveable and likeable for me. It honestly felt like there was no reason to dislike any of the characters. Because of how likeable the characters all were, I think "The Wind Rises" may be one of the films with the best character development, or at the very least, best use of characters. It's just the character development was rather subtle, so it seemed the characters continued having the same temperament and personalities well into adulthood. However, we still see Jiro's growth as an engineer and designer of airplanes. We viewers also get to watch the gradual development of Jiro's romantic relationship. Overall | 9/10I am giving this final Hayao Miyazaki masterpiece a good 9 out of 10 stars. I really enjoyed this film. Like many anime movies, it makes you laugh and cry. I recommend this film to those who like history, Japanese culture, anime in general, etc. Again, I found it to be a fast-paced story that can easily captivate anyone who's watching. The movie itself is not as vivid in colours and submersed in fantasy as "Howl's Moving Castle" or "Spirited Away," but is still yet another wonderful film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Any fan of Studio Ghibli will love this movie!
I have loved Studio Ghibli movies my entire life and this one did not disappoint. The scenery and character animation was breathtaking and imaginative while still staying true to the historical setting. The story had a calm pace, but it never left me bored. Jiro's accomplishments from childhood to manhood were masterfully told through following his everyday life, but the viewers were not excluded from his hopes and dreams. The love story in this film was natural and beautiful, but laced with hardship, as life usually is. The ending left me with a sorrowful, yet peaceful ache--I wouldn't have wanted it to end any other way. Content wise, there are a few instances of strong language, but otherwise it is completely clean. Overall, a magnificent film. Definitely worth watching.
The Wind Rises is a depiction of the life of Jiro Horikoshi, his dreams, his genius, his courage, his vision of his nation rising from the ashes of war, only to find that it would be pushed back into destruction by those who would exploit his engineering achievements. And, oh, yes, one more important theme. The thought that love overcomes a sea of misery. It is a story of Japan in between the world wars ... impoverished, wracked by social and financial insecurity. Growing up in these times, Jiro is consumed with a love for flight, but his near-sightedness prevents him from being a pilot. The first twist in the plot was the first of a handful of fantastic encounters with Count Caproni, an Italian aviator. The count's encouragement prompts Jiro to pursue a career in aerodynamics. It is on the way to college when he saves the life of a young girl, Naoko Satomi, Jiro's future bride and tragic love. On his graduation, Jiro comes to Tokyo to work at a struggling company ... Mitsubishi. He needs to transcend the wood and nails concept of building aircraft. But his first designs fail due to the stresses flight would have on such weak materials. He is sent to Germany to study the engineering skills of Hugo Junkers, whose massive all-metal aircraft has left Japan decades behind in development. Dodging secret agents, Jiro returns with new inspiration to design the fighter plane A5M Zero. Jiro's progress is accelerated by Japan's ambitious military industrial complex. Jiro's importance in the development of the Zero forces the young genius to go into hiding as he works through the last stages of what would create a swift, easily maneuverable aircraft ... doomed to be the fiercest fighter plane of WWII. The music was awesome, a parade of masterfully orchestrated short pieces which define the weariness of Japan struggling after WWI, the majesty of flight, the grit and determination of Jiro and his fellow engineers honing their craft to produce the technology which would pull Japan out of its industrial lethargy. The animation was solid with scenes of dark rushing toward scenes of brightness, interweaving the turmoil of the twenties and thirties as Japanese banks fail, lines of the unemployed search for the elusive opportunity. Masterfully rendered. The strength of this movie is centered on its sorrow being overcome by the love of Jiro’s life encouraging Jiro to live on (Horikoshi will do so, until 1982). So gripping was that double poignancy of JIro's short love affair with the tuberculosis victim Naoko and the realization that his pristine aviation creation the A6M Zero would be finally obliterated by 1945. This is Hayao Miyazaki at his best story-telling. The Wind Rises was slated to be Miyazaki's last, but his post-retirement How Do You Live? might give us one last blaze of anime glory.
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