Whisper of the Heart (1995)

When part-time writer and full-time dreamer Shizuku notices her school library books have all been previously taken out by the same mysterious name, she is intrigued by who it could be. When she notices a stray cat on a train, she follows it to an antiques shop which allows her imagination to run wild.

Whisper of the Heart is Studio Ghibli's 9th release and by following in the same blueprint as the studio's other films, Whisper of the Heart is fairly predictable to fans of the Japanese anime powerhouse as it depicts typical life in Japan, mixed with ingenue love and sprinkled with fantastical elements.

But predictability must not be taken as a sign of poor or lazy writing at Ghibli; of their 21 films released to 2020, just two have scored below 85% at Rotten Tomatoes.

Unlike many of the studio's films that preceded it, Whisper of the Heart looks at human relationships, rather than focusing on the fantastical. It is this childhood innocence that drives the film forwards with no cynicism or cliché.

While anime, with its cutesy drawings, may not typically be for the older generation of Westerners, this is a film that really needs to be watched with all the family. It not only focuses on childhood romance but also the relationship between Shizuku and her parents and older sister - a lot of which is hugely relatable - as well as the pressures and praises that come when growing up.

Typically Ghibli, and arguably one of the studio's most accessible films.

4 stars


  1. I'd never head of this one. Sounds like a gem.

    1. Neither have I. Would need to check it out. I love anime by the way. :)


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