Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay) Mike Jones (Screenplay Adaptation English)
Plot: A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.
Verdict: Another Great Addition to the Ghibili Selection
Story: We follow young Jiro as he learns what he wants to become as a child and follow him as he starts to make an impact in the world of aeronautical design. We see how he travels the world to perfect his skill before returning home to complete his masterpiece. We get to see how he makes it through very real moments including an Earthquake, War and Disease. We also get to see a romance that is full of its own challenges and has dreams where he learns from his idol.
When it comes to Ghibili we are usually given fantasy elements but every now and then we get a very touching story with only real people involved. I don’t think this does reach the levels of other work but it still reaches levels above any animation made by alternative companies. (9/10)
Jiro Horikoshi: A young dreamer who wants to become a top aeronautic designer and bring Japan into the modern world and compete against the other nations of the world during the next world war. He also has a beautiful romantic story of lost love that gets found again. (9/10)
Honjo: Jiro’s best friend and colleague who becomes Jiro’s most trusted friend as they both share ideas about improving their aircrafts. Jiro gives him a chance to shine when the bosses are more interested in his own work. (8/10)
Nahako Satomi: The lost love of Jiro who meets him when they are young during a disaster but loses contact because of the mayhem only to get reunited in a chance encounter on the verge of his greatest work. (8/10)
Supporting Characters: The supporting characters including bosses, family members and an idol, all add to the Jiro’s journey through time. (9/10)
Director Review: Hayao Miyazaki – As always Hayao delivers a great directed film that will be a perfect send off for him. (9/10)
Animation: Brilliant animation from start to finish. (10/10)
Biographical: Even though it is based on a couple of different people it is told like any other biography. (9/10)
Drama: Brilliant drama showing how one man’s life changes through time. (10/10)
Romance: Even though the love story is a side story it does come off really well. (7/10)
War: This is more the preparation to go to war and being able to be at the same level as the other nations. (6/10)
Settings: Each setting is beautifully put together for the story to unfold. (8/10)
Suggestion: The name Studio Ghibili means watch to all its films. (Watch)
Best Part: The earthquake is brilliantly created.
Worst Part: The true fans may not like the lack of fantasy elements.
Believability: It shows how one man became a legend. (9/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Animated Picture
Box Office: $118 Million
Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes
Tagline: Ikineba (We must live)
Trivia: In early 2013, the 72 year old Hayao Miyazaki announced that he would retire after the release of “The Wind Rises”, marking his sixth such announcement. Since then, many rumours have circulated stating that he has announced his return to feature films once again– however, these are unfounded and based on pure speculation from Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki. Suzuki himself has since stepped down as producer.
Overall: Brilliant but not Stunning Animation.