Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises…Kaze Tachinu (風立ちぬ)

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It is a 2013 Japanese animated historical fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.The film is based on the manga of the same name, which is in turn based on a short story by Tatsuo Hori, a writer, poet and translator from mid-20th century (Showa period) Japan. Kaze Tachinu is a fictionalised biography of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter aircraft which served in World War II.

Kaze Tachinu is directed by Hayao Miyazaki, whose previous works include notable films like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away.It is the first film that Miyazaki has directed in five years; his last work was the 2008 film Ponyo.This film is based on a manga by Hayao Miyazaki, which was serialized on a monthly magazine Model Graphix in 2009.The story in the manga is in turn loosely based on Tatsuo Hori‘s short novel “The Wind Has Risen“, which was written in 1936-1937.  Although the story in the film follows the historical account of Horikoshi’s aircraft development chronologically, the rendition of his private life is entirely fictional. Kaze Tachinu was released in Japan on July 20, 2013 and went on to become number 1 in the box-office.

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SYNOPSIS

Jiro Horikoshi, a young boy living in a provincial town, has a dream about climbing up onto his roof and flying away in a bird-like airplane, while wearing aviator goggles. After a while, a large, monstrous ship emerges from the clouds, and drops some anthropomorphic bombs on him. His plane is destroyed, and he plummets to the ground, then wakes up. Borrowing an English-language aviation magazine, he diligently studies it with an English dictionary, then has another dream where he meets Caproni, an Italian plane designer. Caproni is surprised that a Japanese boy has intruded in what he thought was his own dream, then realizes that airplanes are a shared dream they both have. Caproni tells Jiro that he can’t fly a plane with glasses, but that building planes is better than flying them. Jiro wakes up and decides he will build planes.

Years later, Jiro is traveling to Tokyo to study engineering, and runs into a young girl named Naoko, who is traveling with her maid. At the same time, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 hits, derailing the train, and causing Naoko’s maid to break her leg. Jiro delivers Naoko and her maid to their family, then walks away without giving his name. He arrives at his university and fights to save engineering books as Caproni’s voice cheers him on.

Jiro gets a job working for an airplane company. In his dreams he joins the inventors of the world in making better and safer planes. His inventions propel the company to success, and he visits Germany where his pure-hearted interest in airplanes wins over the head of a company. Later, he runs into Naoko again at a summer resort and quickly wins her hand in marriage. However, Naoko is infected with tuberculosis and will not marry until she recovers. After some months in an Alpine hospital (Sanatorium), Naoko cannot bear being apart from Jiro and comes to company housing to meet him. Jiro’s boss performs a traditional wedding.

Jiro’s sister complains that his marriage to Naoko will end badly as, having become a doctor she is well aware of the incurable nature of tuberculosis. Jiro counters with the argument that every day is precious to Naoko and that what he does, he does for her.

Even though Naoko’s health continues to decline, she and Jiro enjoy their life together, the one lending strength to the other, right up to the day of the testing of the Prototype of what would become his aircraft. On that day, after Jiro has left for the factory, Naoko informs the company housing manager that she feels strong enough to take a walk and her departure is witnessed by jiro’s sister, who fears that this represents a desire on Naoko’s part to spare Jiro the horror of her final dissolution in the coils of the disease; a fear which is born out in three letters which Naoko has left for her husband, family and friends.

At the test site, Jiro is interrupted by a burst of wind; seemingly an intuition that his wife has died.

The film ends in a dream sequence with Jiro emerging from the horror of war, feeling regret for his inventions and the deaths they caused. Caproni tells him his dreams were nonetheless realized. Naoko appears, in dream one last time, exhorting her husband to live on in the trust she has in him. After she fades away, Jiro thanks Caproni for his guidance and they go their separate ways.

VOICE CAST

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