Kazetachinu ticket & flyer 1

“The wind is rising! … We must attempt to live! (Le vent se lève ! … Il faut tenter de vivre!” — Paul Valéry, Le Cimetière marin

Fans of Japanese anime will know by now that the release of a new Studio Ghibli movie is surrounded by a fair amount of hype. Their newest film, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), scheduled for release in Japan on July 20, is certainly no exception, especially since it’s the first Ghibli movie in five years to be directed by the studio’s co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki. Now that preview screenings of the movie have started, we were anxious to get our hands on a ticket. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we were able to do, so we thought we’d share our experience with you.

When we arrived at the theater with the coveted ticket in hand, there weren’t any displays or signs to indicate that the preview screening was taking place, which we guess was to be expected, since this screening was going to be conducted like the showing of any regular movie except for the fact that it was being shown before the release date. They did, however, check our bags at the theater entrance to make sure we didn’t bring in any camcorders or cameras, again an indication of the attention Ghibli movies inevitably receive.

▼The coveted ticket for the preview screening (front)

Kazetachinu ticket front

▼And the back

Kazetachinu ticket back

▼The theater where the screening was held

Kazetachinu theater

▼Although there were no special displays, they did have three large banners promoting the movie

Kazetachinu Theater poster 2Kazetachinu Theater poster 1

▼The actual entry ticket we received at the ticket booth with the movie title and show time

Kazetachinu theater ticket 2

The movie itself is based on a manga of the same title written by Miyazaki, and the story can be described as historical fiction that combines the life and times of Jiro Horikoshi, a 20th century engineer who actually lived in Japan and is known for designing the famous Zero fighter planes, with a romantic short story also of the same title written by Tatsuo Hori. Hori took the title of his short story from Paul Valéry’s quote above, which also appears as a recurring theme in Miyazaki’s movie.

Since the story is loosely based on actual historical events, it may not be as full of thrilling action or pure fantasy as past Ghibli works like Castle in the Sky or Princess Mononoke, but the stunning artwork most definitely doesn’t disappoint — of course, we wouldn’t expect anything less from the folks at Ghibli, would we? The magnificent scenery of the Japanese countryside with its lush green rice paddies and the rambling chaos of the city in 1920s and 30s Japan are beautifully contrasted. And oh, the planes! The planes are breathtakingly gorgeous! Miyazaki, who is known for his life-long fascination with aviation (said to have stemmed from his uncle owning a company that made airplane parts), is obviously in his element here with the flying machines. If you have a love of planes, the winged beauties in this movie are sure to captivate and delight you thoroughly.

The poverty in Japan during this time period and the devastation of the Great Kanto Earthquake that hit the area surrounding Tokyo in 1923 portrayed in this film are both very real and part of actual history. This was also a time when Japan was heading toward a catastrophic war. However, such hardships are not described in great detail in the film. Ultimately, this movie is not about poverty or war, but about one man’s determination to stay true to his dream and create something truly beautiful, in this case a plane.

The movie is also a heart-achingly pure love story that’s bound to remind you of how sweet romance can be. But just how the romance ends, you’ll have to see for yourself.

All in all, The Wind Rises craftily merges historical fiction with elements of fantasy, the boundary between the two sometimes becoming blurred, and the resulting effect is not unlike that of an impressionist painting in soft pastel colors. In fact, the whole experience of seeing the movie felt oddly like being in someone else’s dream.

So, while not action-packed and a little light on high-drama, we thought the movie was a quietly beautiful work of art. We’ll find out what the rest of the Japanese public thinks in a few weeks.

▼Some pictures of the ticket and movie flyers for your enjoyment

Kazetachinu ticket & 2 flyers 2

Kazetachinu ticket & flyer 1

Kazetachinu ticket and 2 flyers

Kazetachinu ticket and flyer 1

▼A small article on The Wind Rises in the movie information magazine distributed at the theater

Kazetachinu mag

Photos: RocketNews24