Movie: Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Posted 30 July, 2014 by Lianne in Entertainment / 5 Comments

During summer vacation, a schoolgirl named Shizuku, who longs to discover her true talents, observes an ordinary-looking cat riding by himself on the train. Intrigued, she decides to follow him. This chance encounter leads her to the mysterious Seiji, a boy who is determined to follow his dreams, and The Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers in her heart. Soon, Shizuku’s exciting adventures carry her far beyond the boundaries of her imagination.


Okay, last year I started watching all of the Studio Ghibli movies but sort of stopped this year for some reason (too many books, not a lot of time spent watching movies). After writing a particularly exhausting and D= test last week, I wanted to unwind completely and decided to watch one of his movies. This one wasn’t as long as the others and it seemed light enough for my present mood. Contains some minor spoilers ahead!

Suffice to say, this movie is vying for the top of my favourite Studio Ghibli movies (up there with Howl’s Moving Castle (review) and Spirited Away (review)). It was an absolute delight from start to finish, sort of reminiscent to From Up on Poppy Hill (review) with the way daily life is shown. I found it amusing because for all of its straightforward plot and Shizuku’s normal, quiet life, there’s plenty of drama going on, namely a sort-of love triangle that was going on (I say “sort of” because it’s there but it’s not in the forefront or in-your-face or anything). It also thought the high school sequences were amusing and just right in that, ugh, kids will be kids

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

What I especially love about this movie is how much I can relate to Shizuku and what she’s going through; I found myself thinking that it was quite timely that I watched this movie when I did. Us bookworms will find something to relate to in Shizuku’s reading habits (reading to the wee hours of night, sneaking in a page or two when you’re supposed to be studying etc.), but issues like trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life, following your dreams, and writing (both the desire to write & the writing process itself–poor girl looked like she went through NaNoWriMo), also resonated with me. The fantasy element of this movie was utilised quite nicely in the story; I think some of the posters were a little misleading by focusing on that aspect of the story because it made up such a small part of it, but it was an interesting glimpse into Shizuku’s imagination πŸ™‚

I’m also happy that I finally got around to watching this movie because then I can thoroughly enjoy this reference:

not my gif

OMG, the amount of sass/”I don’t give a —-“/”I do what I want” that this cat had cracked me up! Even when Shizuku was talking to it and asking things like “Are you hungry?” the cat was still like “Hmph”, LOL. I could just squish that cat, it was so plump xP

While fairly predictable in some parts, Whisper of the Heart was highly enjoyable and very heartfelt. I cared about the characters and whether or not they would achieve their heart’s desires or not, whether the character would end up with the one they like at the end, etc. I heard some people weren’t happy with the ending, but I thought it was quite sweet. I highly recommend this movie if you’re looking for something delightful and wonderful to watch and/or you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli movies πŸ™‚

Meanwhile, the next movie on my list will be The Cat Returns because…well, like the title says, the cat returns πŸ˜‰

Rating: ★★★★★

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5 Responses to “Movie: Whisper of the Heart (1995)”

  1. Ah, I love Studio Ghibli and this is one of my favourites. Do you watch them in English or the original Japanese?
    (spoiler below!)

    I guess book lovers can’t not love this book. I really love her growing friendship the boy. Although, I think that the ending was translated to make it more hopeful and happier for them both.

    • I watch them in the original Japanese + subtitles (which I noticed sometimes the subtitles seem off (sentences on the screen when no one’s talking), but anyways, lol) πŸ™‚ The only three movies so far that I’ve watched in English were Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke (the first time).

      I guess there’s also that extra nostalgia with the library cards (I thought it was really cute how they were following each other via the books they read) πŸ˜€

  2. The cat may have been my favorite part of this movie. Studio Ghibli films just gets cats. They’re so……cat-ish…? The snootiness in this cat is hilarious, but I can believe it!

      • Sometimes cats in movies can be kind of depressing like, why is that cat so snuggly and understanding when all my cat does is imperiously demand food from me and sometimes condescend to a scratch behind the ears? Studio Ghibli understands my cat! πŸ˜‰

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