The Wind Rises (2013)

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Hayao Miyazaki is always great

Prefer Miyazaki's fantasies to true drama

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Wind Rises

Studio:  Studio Ghibli

Genre(s):  Animated/Drama

Release Date(s):  July 20, 2013 (Japan)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Suck it, Nemo! My dream plane beats your fantasy bed!

Jiro Horikoshi dreams of flying but knows his eyes will keep him from ever being a pilot.  Instead, Jiro turns to engineering and works to design the ultimate plane.  With war approaching, the need for planes increases and Jiro finds himself working on important planes that could change the course of the war.  As Jiro tries to perfect flight, he finds himself falling in love with a woman named Nahoko Satomi who is in a battle herself.

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ or Kaze Tachinu) is a fictionalized account of the life of inventor of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter that the Japanese used in World War II.  It is based on Miyazaki’s manga which combines the life of Jiro Horikoshi with the 1937 story The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori.  The movie follows Miyazaki’s Ponyo in 2008 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (losing to Frozen).


We’re like Romeo & Juliet..if Juliet had TB and Romeo was an airplane designer…

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the only reasons I like anime.  His pictures helped open the genre to me which had been tainted by years of bad and cheap anime.  Miyazaki’s animation is rich and very real feeling with his attention to detail.  Unfortunately, I enjoy Miyazaki’s fantasizes more than his more real stories, but The Wind Rises still is a very good film.

The story for The Wind Rises received some controversy.  The movie’s focus on what essentially became a war machine didn’t sit well with everyone.  I found it a halfway interesting story and the love story was touching, but I felt like I had seen a lot of this movie in other films.


Maybe I shouldn’t use a giant umbrella on a windy day…

The animation (like always was top notch) and the English version spared no expense with Joseph Gordon-Levit, Martin Short, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, William H. Macy, Mandy Patinkin, Jennifer Grey, Stanley Tucci, Elijah Wood, Mae Whitman, and even Werner Herzog providing voice work.  It is clean looks beautiful.  Miyazaki didn’t want audio distracting from the visuals and had the film recorded in monaural recording.

As a fan of Miyazaki’s fantasy films, I found my liking the dream sequences more than the story portions.  The visuals of Jiro’s dreams do have a quality to them like Miyazaki’s fantasy works, but the whole movie does possess a dreamlike quality.  I’m rather happy that they didn’t go into the war and how the Zero was used…it is more about the exploration.


Bandits–12 O’Clock!!!

With the release of The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement.  With such a wealth of work, it is sad to see such a visual director retire.  I can’t be critical of The Wind Rises, but I wish that Miyazaki had left on a fantasy instead of a drama.  I hope that with the training and visuals left by Miyazaki that the next generation of animators will build on him, but it will be a tough act to follow.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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