On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.
Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.
Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world's most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan's plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo.Written by
The announcement of this film was a pleasant surprise after Ponyo and From Up on Poppy Hill, which both had simple, childish plots. Few films in Japan have tackled the lives of imperial period heroes; the ghosts of the 1960s urge people to denounce what really happened in that time and memorialize an imaginary anti-war movement, for example in this year's film "Shounen H". For Miyazaki to choose a subject like this showed that he was really going for a huge challenge. Miyazaki is of course anti-war and environmentalist. But Ghibli films are never negative. What sort of positive image of the Zero bomber inventor would Miyazaki produce?
The result is astounding. As everyone has noted, this is not a children's movie. It's complex, so it doesn't have the epic sense of Miyazaki at his best, but history and adulthood are just as complex, and Miyazaki does justice to both. The film indeed stays positive throughout, by showing from start to finish how everyone wishes they themselves would behave, rewarding the viewer with virtue and beauty, but without being condescending about the hardships of real life. In a sense, the film is about the "importance of dreams", but it's also about what it means to be a dreamer in real life, and how our highest fantasies can be turned into beauty if we put our minds to it. The cartoon medium is put to full, extravagant use in dream sequences that merge right into the narrative. Certain elements at the end of the film leave the obvious unsaid in a peculiarly Japanese and fulfilling way. The most classic films of Japan, like the great works of Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu, say something profound about the meaning of life, and Kaze Tachinu deserves a place among those ranks.
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