Written March 11, 2014
If you are a Miyazaki fan, this is a must go for you. The story follows the main character for 25+ years throughout important stages of his life. As a young man, he has very powerful dreams and those dreams follow him and play and important role through the many trials and tribulations he faces. The rising action and climax is not as distinct as other movies or how some might prefer, the movie flows like the rolling hills featured in the movie - just relax and let your imagination wonder.
Written May 26, 2016
The Wind Rises is a visually stunning film. It is a bit long and drags in places, yet it is worth seeing. I have never seen more smoking in a film.
Written October 24, 2016
Fans of Miyazaki's earlier work will be delighted to see the master is still fully on top of his game. The animation is nothing short of spectacular: what would be a throwaway transition shot in some other animator's film here becomes a study on the play of dappled sunlight. And prewar Japan is rendered in loving detail, caught in the fascinating transition from traditional to modern.
The story is gently but deftly told, interspersing scenes from the life of airplane designer Jiro Horikoshi with fantastic dream sequences in which Jiro imagines flying with various aircraft models and developing a relationship with an older Italian airplane designer whose work he admires. It's a sad tale—Jiro gets to design his airplanes, but knows they will be used for a war he is opposed to; he gets engaged to the girl he loves, but knows she is ill and won't live long—but Jiro's heroic attitude of taking the bad with the good and making the most of his opportunities gives it enduring hope as well.
Written March 11, 2014
This was a beautiful example of old school animation that rivals Disney in it's heyday. The detail and mood setting realism was astounding. This was the swan song and last work of this world famous anime artist and should not be missed on the big screen. I will see this again.
Written March 08, 2014
Putting the debate over its politics aside (although I think it's a very valid and much-needed one!), I really enjoyed The Wind Rises. It feels like more of a character study than a straight narrative, so if you're not into that sort of movie, this might not appeal to you, but if you're someone who misses seeing hand-drawn animation on the big screen, definitely check it out!
I think the one issue I have is that the romance between Jiro and Naoko could have been a bit more rounded-out...as someone who's always loved Miyazaki's films for their wonderful female characters, I was kind of disappointed that Naoko wasn't particularly interesting, but I guess that's to be expected, since the focus of the film is really more on Jiro than anyone else.