Written December 21, 2014
If you're expecting the kind of story the Japanese master has spun in his last two ventures then you'll be sadly disappointed. No strange spirits oozing out of walls or humans turning into pigs. What you will find, however, is a uniquely wonderful coming of age tale which touches on several things common to Miyazaki--the ugliness of war, beautiful animated landscapes and bombs. All of this swirls around the growing up of a brilliant young man and the forces which mold him into the genius he becomes. The single greatest influence in making him the man he becomes is the young love of his life, which he discovers as he attempts to do the best and right thing early in his life, and a random act of kindness eventually leads to the uniting of the two. The significance of this union is reflected by a line in the movie which, loosely paraphrased is, greatness can only be achieved when there is a love fire burning at home and a drive to succeed at work. Yet another masterful stroke by Miyazaki.
Written January 09, 2014
This was tough to watch. At the end we were all confused as to why someone would pour so much time into this effort as their final movie.
Written February 22, 2014
My son (12) writes:
We were lucky enough to see this first-run movie in history class. However, the history of the movie was never explained, and as a twelve-year-old who is not especially aware of the Japanese Imperial tradition before World War II, I was lost at sea. The whole idea of serving an Emperor weirded me out, so I lost a lot of the flavor of the characters, the animation, and most of all, the plot.
My father told me that he would have prepared my class with something about what it meant to be a proud Japanese kid dreaming of great things back in the 1920's. I hope he'll give me that lesson one day, but right now, it just highlights a pretty negative, boring experience for me.
Yo, parents!! Explain this movie to your kids BEFORE you take them, or none of the characters' motivations make any sense at all.
Written March 03, 2014
I would love to tell you everything about The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu). But let me tell you this without ruing the movie with a detailed description.
If you already like Hayao Miyazaki films this film does not disappoint in any way.
If you are new to Hayao Miyazaki films, or to Japanese animation, then The Wind Rises is an excellent place to start. It's beautiful, dramatic, and has historical tie-ins that was well presented without being overbearing.
Most of all this is a movie that can stand on its own no matter what name or style is tied to the film.
Worth my money even more so since my wife and daughter both enjoyed the film too.
Written February 19, 2014
its a movie you have to watch to understand.