Saturday, September 28, 2013

Anime Evening

A leisurely day indoors doing 'stuff', finishing with a Studio Ghibli film we'd never seen before - Whisper of the Heart, from the mid-90s. It was directed by Kondo Yoshifumo, not Miyazaki, but it's otherwise typical of the Studio. 
A young, bookish teenage girl befriends a boy who has a passion for making violins. He chooses to drop out of school to take up an apprenticeship in Italy, she yearns to do the same with her writing. It's quite slight, with a cheesy ending, and nothing like the full-blown fantasy epics of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away which followed soon after, but we liked it. 
The animation is actually quite basic but what I love about the Ghibli films is the banal detail of the sets: untidy, cramped apartments in ordinary neighbourhoods with combini stores, pre-stressed concrete and mess of telegraph wires. And the innocence, yet feistiness, of the young - and seemingly always - female lead characters. Made us homesick for Tokyo. See also Arietty

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