From the producers of award-winning Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli, releases a new movie The Wind Rises. Known for their whimsical movies including Howl’s Moving Castle and The Secret World of Arriety, Studio Ghibli suddenly changes their genre altogether.

In their previous movie, From Up on Poppy Hill (2011), was also set in a historical era. Critics bashed the film in reviews for being cheesy, predictable and overall a plain bad story. This kind of reaction might have intimidated other companies, but to Studio Ghibli it only proved they needed to work harder.

The Wind Rises, set in Japan during WWII, is a heartfelt love story. Available with a limited time soft opening, it received rave reviews. Praised for the spectacular graphics, Ghibli’s classic art style once again pleased audiences.

It follows the story of Jiro Horikoshi (voiced by Hideaki Anno), a man who dreams of becoming a pilot. While returning home from vacation, a sudden earthquake hits. Causing Naoko Satomi’s maid to break her leg. Here, Naoko Satomi (voiced by Miori Takimoto), makes her first appearance. After helping the pair back to Naoko’s home, he sends them off without even telling them his name. Seemingly ending the brief connection between the two charcaters.

Jiro continues on his daily life and years later, studies aircrafts to begin developing airplanes. His first prototypes are failures, leaving Jiro disappointed as he spends his holiday at a summer esort. It just so happens that he encounters Naoko again, where the two fall in love. During this time, hardships brought upon the couple only solidifies the love they have for each other.

Though controversy has been stirred among older attendees over content, questioning the company about age appropriateness. It is historically accurate, parents are concerned that the bombs and smoking may influence younger viewers to bad habits.

Not only questioning target audience, audiences also stress the plot may be too difficult for younger viewers to grasp. The Wind Rises tells a rather tense story of the first innovation that is responsible for many deaths in times of war.

The magic of Ghibli movies will continue to enlighten new generations as we say farewell to a well loved producer Hayao Miyazaki. This movie will not disappoint, it’s romance balancing out with the intensity of war. That being said, this is a movie intended for older students. Overall, this was a visually stunning and striking movie, but Studio Ghibli should stick to its lovable, family-friendly fantasies.


Image Caption: Courtesy of Studio Ghibli