English Title: Whisper of the Heart
Starring: Youko Honna, Kazuo Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana
Directed by: Yoshifumi Kondô
Synopsis: A very sweet story with a screenplay by famed animator Hayao Miyazaki. Shizuku Tsukishima (voiced by Youko Honna) is a young Japanese girl who loves to read books. She notices that when she checks books out of the library that someone named Seiji Amasawa has previously checked out the same books. She wonders about this boy, then runs across an annoying boy at school. Later their paths cross again and a wonderful relationship begins where Shizuku realizes she must follow her passion for writing.
Cinema Cats: This is an absolutely charming film. Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki in particular use cats often in their films, and we will be reviewing many of these in upcoming posts. But this film in particular is very special, especially for cat lovers and artists. Shizuku follows a cat from a train one day hoping for adventure, yet finds so much more. The cat which leads Shizuku to the quaint shop is nicknamed “Moon” by the son of the owner, and appears often throughout the film.
There is also a cat statue which the shop owner calls “The Baron,” and this figures prominently in the story and in the follow-up film from Studio Ghibli, The Cat Returns. I simply don’t want to give too much of this movie away because its charm is in the way the story and characters unfold.
Final Mewsings: When you follow a cat, you open yourself to adventure.