“The wind is rising! We must try to live.”
When I heard that Hayao Miyazaki was retiring, I was genuinely sad. He is one of the most amazing artists ever exists in the universe and he is making art no more. He has made Studio Ghibli a haven of dreams, happiness, and beautiful things: “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”, “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” (the first official Studio Ghibli film), “My Neighbor Totoro” (which Ghibli’s logo comes from), “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, “Porco Rosso”, “Princess Mononoke”, the Academy Award winner “Spirited Away”, “Howl’s Moving Castle”, and “Ponyo”. All those graceful animation features finally have to end with “The Wind Rises”/”Kaze Tachinu” as Miyazaki-sensei’s last work of art.
Just like many previous Ghibli’s animated features, this film is created in the most perfect and most beautiful way. The animation is beautifully drawn and the graphic quality is perfect. But what caught my attention the most are: 1) the motion of every single object in the film (humans, things, animals, natures). I notice that Miyazaki-sensei has a tendency at making motions in the most bizarrely gorgeous and expressive way so that they’d give deep impression to the watchers, and they indeed do. For instance how Jiro shared his dream with Caproni, how the earth eerily quaked, how the wind blew in the hard way, how the weather became a downpour all of sudden, how Naoko was spurting massive blood, how the characters cried at their sincerest ways, and countless other unique details. Everything; every detail is graceful. And 2) the dialogs were delivered beautifully. This is one of Studio Ghibli’s (especially Miyazaki-sensei’s) characteristic that the characters always speak words in simplicity; very subtle, yet if we listen carefully, they have every deep meaning. This uniqueness makes all of Ghibli’s features are simple enough for children to enjoy the films whole-heartedly and at the same time deep enough for older audiences to get the hidden morals, to understand the metaphors, and to feel the implicit meaning of the films.
“The Wind Rises” marked Miyazaki-sensei’s second animated feature to be nominated in the Academy Awards, the first being “Spirited Away” and it won the Award in 2002. I personally think that “The Wind Rises” deserved to win the Award but sadly it lost to Disney’s 2013 animated feature, “Frozen”. But to me, Hayao Miyazaki is always the winner and Studio Ghibli is the best animation studio ever exists in the whole universe. Thank you sensei for all your graceful creations. Thank you for bringing happiness and precious lessons to millions of people. Thank you for encouraging children to, 1) be thankful of being alive despite the world sometimes can be very disappointing, and 2) keep on living even though their hearts may once break. All hail Hayao Miyazaki. All hail Studio Ghibli.