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Whisper of the Heart (1995)
"Mimi wo sumaseba" (original title)

G  |   |  Animation, Drama, Family  |  15 July 1995 (Japan)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 25,883 users  
Reviews: 101 user | 70 critic

A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.



(screenplay), (comic), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Youko Honna ...
Issei Takahashi ...
Seiji Amasawa (voice)
Takashi Tachibana ...
Seiya Tsukishima (voice)
Shigeru Muroi ...
Asako Tsukishima (voice)
Shigeru Tsuyuguchi ...
The Baron (voice)
Keiju Kobayashi ...
Shiro Nishi (voice)
Yorie Yamashita ...
Shiho Tsukishima (voice)
Maiko Kayama ...
Yuko Harada (voice)
Yoshimi Nakajima ...
Sugimura (voice)
Minami Takayama ...
Kosaka-sensei (voice)
Mayumi Iizuka ...
Kinuyo (voice)
Mai Chiba ...
Satoru Takahashi ...
Akiko Sakaguchi ...
Hiromi Yasuda ...


A young girl finds that all the books she chooses in the library have been previously checked out by the same boy. Later she meets a very infuriating fellow... could it be her "friend" from the library? The boy's grandfather has a violin sales and service shop. The boy wants to be a violin maker like his grandfather. Written by Dana Anthony <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Suki na hito ga dekimashita!


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

15 July 1995 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

If You Listen Closely  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is based on a one volume manga, "Mimi wo Sumaseba" by Aoi Hiiragi. See more »


It is not clear whether this is a mistake or a hint that the Baron is alive, but in every scene that the Baron is shown, he looks different than the time before (position of hands, cane and hat). See more »


[sees Shizuku asleep]
Yasunari Tsukishima: Look at her, my little warrior.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits we see people walk by the bridge. The "stray" cat (the one with many names) walks by the bridge as well. Also the young students who had struggled with unrequited love, named Sugimura and Yuko in the American version, meet on the bridge and appear to begin a dating relationship. See more »


References Porco Rosso (1992) See more »


Take Me Home, Country Roads
Written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert and John Denver
Performed by Olivia Newton-John
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Perfect family entertainment -- great cultural insights, too
21 January 2006 | by (Phoenix, AZ) – See all my reviews

Whisper of the Heart is the perfect English title of this masterpiece.

It was such a joy to watch an animated film so effectively produced that you start to forget it is an animation. Characters become real; situations and thoughts and feelings come alive. The story is clean, decent and uplifting in every way. Plus, American viewers get an accurate glimpse into the way younger Japanese teens are viewed and view themselves.

I lived in Japan for several years as a child, and a number of the background sounds (the peculiar insects singing in the trees, the electric trains passing) and customs (bowing to elders, enjoying the wonderful soups, singular focus on school success) struck a deep chord of remembrance. This film is fashioned with such detail and consideration for artistic elements -- I just loved it. I wish my kids were still under 10 and I could have shared it with them. Nowadays, I'm afraid the older boys (over 12) would lack the patience to enjoy the film because, frankly, it bears no relation to high-action animation from Japan or the U.S.

I found this film by accident on Turner Classic Movies, and viewed it the English-dubbed version. There is also a subtitled version, but if you want to enjoy it as a family with youngsters, you'll prefer the English language version. The English voices are clear and well done.

It's a beautiful story with a timeless theme presented with loving care. This film is so good, and so insightful, that I would suggest it could be shown in schools or home-schools for its cultural content alone. And if you have an ounce of sentimentalism, sense of wonder or appreciation for creative beauty, then you'll watch it all by yourself after the kids have gone to bed.

48 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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i have fallen in love with shizuku... Totoroisperfect
This film is so misunderstood it's a sin. coke-on-demand
Good ending? jeremail82
Concrete roooooooaaaads Truman_Galapagos
Amazing portrayal of suburban Tokyo.
In the dream (slight spolier) Myst_Dragon
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