Nearly any anime fans know Studio Ghibli. They are known for producing fantastical films that immerses you with the world they have created. Most of all, they perfectly capture the beauty and nuances of adolescence.
And one of the best films that embodies that is Whisper of the Heart. There may be some fans who would scratch their heads in confusion, as this is the first time they have ever heard of the film. After all, it did not garner much popularity in the same level as Spirited Away and even Howl’s Moving Castle have.
But this article will explain why this film is a must-watch. It is a slice-of-life and romantic film that can even make you learn something about life.
Finding Your Dreams
To summarize, Whisper of the Heart is a film about dreams. The main protagonist, Shizuku Tsukishima is a 14-year-old girl who is about to start high school. She is at the stage where she must decide on what she wants to do. She is a teenager trying to figure out who she is and what she wants. She wants to find something to look forward to in her life – a goal and a dream.
If there’s something Shizuku is passionate about, it is reading books. She loves to visualize and imagine a lot of wonderful things as she usually reads fairytales.
She then met a boy in her school, Seiji Amasawa, by chance. Initially at odds, Shizuku then discovered Seiji’s dream of becoming a violin maker/luthier. Seiji is someone who has already found out what he wants to do in life – something that Shizuku is still trying to figure out. Seiji helped her realize that she has a talent for writing.
Shizuku then decided to pursue writing with the use of her vivid imagination. She started to love it, as she became enamored with writing a fairytale story of her own.
Shizuku is someone very relatable to a lot of us. Whether or not you are an avid reader or writer, you can still relate to her in pursuit of her dreams. Sometimes, it is frustrating that we still do not know what we want to do in our lives. We tend to feel envious of others who already have clear goals in achieving their dreams. Oftentimes, we compare ourselves with other people’s journeys and we feel like lagging behind. It is normal to feel this way.
In the film, Shizuku also showed little envy towards Seiji, but she lets it inspire her instead. It can serve as a reminder for us that we have our own journey to take. The people who are steps ahead from us can help and inspire us depending on our mindset.
Pursuing Your Dream is Difficult, But Worth It
Shizuku did not have an easy and smooth journey in pursuing her writing dream. She experiences countless doubts of her talents. She keeps on asking herself whether or not it is all worth it. She keeps on questioning if the story she wrote is enough. Is she even enough?
Shizuku’s feelings in writing her story feels all too familiar. Whenever it’s your 1st time doing something you love, it is always a mixed bag of emotions. There is the drive, the excitement, and passion; but it also comes with the anxiety, hesitation, and self-doubt. Sometimes it all becomes too much that it can hinder you from continuing. Even worse, it can be big enough to make you quit.
We wanted to succeed in what we are passionate about. Even though it is our 1st time, there is that earnest desire to succeed. We tend to forget that we should allow ourselves to make mistakes in our first few tries. No one is an expert in the beginning. We have to accept that it hurts failing and falling short in doing what you love. But we must remember that the important thing is we tried and did our best. We can still improve ourselves, and become experts in our craft.
We will need to hone ourselves further and refine our skills as long as we are willing to do it. Having dreams is what makes our life more colorful. It is what pushes us to truly live. Therefore, the journey and destination are definitely worth it in the end if it makes us happy.
A Healthy Relationship
Shizuku and Seiji’s relationship is an example of a healthy romantic relationship. Even though the two were at odds with each other at the start, they eventually became each other’s supporters and inspiration.
Shizuku supports Seiji’s dream in becoming a luthier despite his hardships, and is genuinely happy for him. Shizuku’s envy towards him did not evolve into negativity, instead she used this as a push for her to become better. Seiji, on the other hand, helps Shizuku in finding her dreams. He is also the one who encouraged her to pursue writing as he believed she has the talent for it. They both believed in each other that they can do it.
Despite their relationship, they are independent from each other. They both have their own goals and dreams. Neither is too dependent on one another for their own happiness. They do not hold each other back, nor do they put too much pressure either. It is simply a relationship with a love so pure and wholesome based on mutual understanding.
They are just there for each other, supporting and encouraging each other in what they want. Neither of them is more of the receiver or a giver. They showed a two-way relationship where they reciprocate each other’s efforts.
The two will indeed face more difficulties in the future when it comes to their relationship as it is just the reality. After all, they are still teenagers and a lot can happen when you’re growing up. You tend to drift apart due to different experiences in adulthood. The future you imagined when you were young does not seem as bright. But what’s good is that both Shizuku and Seiji are intent on making their relationship last.
A healthy relationship involves two people who are willing to work on it. It is not going to be perfect, but they have a lot of faith. That is what’s important.
Call them naive for thinking a teenage relationship could last long, but at least they are willing to try. Considering their relationship, an optimistic future can be expected. Above all, their relationship is something anyone should strive for. If you love romantic anime, their romance will be right up your alley.
Where Can You Watch This Film?
Studio Ghibli films are available to stream on HBO Max and Netflix, which includes Whisper of the Heart.
Netflix streams the films in most territories worldwide except for United States, Canada, and Japan. On the other hand, HBO Max made the films available to North America.
Truly, Whisper of the Heart is a pleasant film to watch which leaves your heart in a flutter. It can even make you reflect and make your dreams alive again.
Read More: Is Chihiro In Love With Haku?