Hayao Miyazaki, 72 years old, is a Japanese film director, animator, manga artist, producer and screenwriter. His career spanned over 50 years, and never stopped to amaze the world with his creations. This year, he released on 20th July, one of the best Japanese movies of the year 2013, entitled Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises).
We all recall the classics created by this man, from 1979’s Lupin Sansei: Cagliosro no Shiro ( Lupin the Third: Castle of Cagliostro) to 2001’s Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away). This movie is said to wear the crown in his list of creations.
The story starts with Jiro Horikoshi, a young boy from a provincial town that dreams about climbing onto the roof of his house and flying away in an airplane resembling a bird. Suddenly, a huge ship starts bombarding him and thus, he wakes up. Reading an English aviation magazine, he finds out about an Italian plane designer named Caproni, who later appears in Jiro’s dream. Caproni is surprised that a Japanese boy shares the same dream as him, and he tells Jiro that building planes is a lot more fun than flying them.
Years later, Jiro joins a university where he studies engineering, and while traveling back from his holyday in Tokyo he meets a girl named Naoko, traveling with her maid. This is when the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 takes place, and during this incident, Naoko’s maid breaks her leg. Jiro helps the two girls by taking them home, and then he quickly returns to the university to save some engineering books, while being cheered on by Caproni’s voice.
Jiro is disappointed due to his failure to design aircraft. He visits a summer resort where he is reunited with Naoko. He wins her hand in marriage but she refuses to marry until her tuberculosis is healed.
Months later, Jiro is assigned as a chief designer for the Navy’s competition, for the second time. Naoko being in the Alpine Hospital can’t stand being apart from him so she decides to visit him. They are united in holy matrimony by Jiro’s boss, but his sister doesn’t agree with it, because, being a doctor, she could see the incurable nature of Naoko’s tuberculosis.
Even though Naoko’s health gets worse, she enjoys the rest of her life with him until the day of testing the prototype of his future aircraft. On that day, while Jiro was at the factory, Naoko asks to take a walk. Jiro’s sister realizes that this walk would be her last, and that the purpose of it is so that Jiro won’t have to face the horrible death his wife was about to experience. During the test of the prototype our protagonist’s attention is disrupted by a burst of wind, sensing that his beloved has departed from this world.
The movie ends with a dream in which Jiro experiences the horrors of the war, where he feels regret that his dreams caused so many deaths. Caproni reassures him that, even though the circumstances are unfortunate, his dreams were nonetheless realized.
This movie is, as you have probably noticed, aimed at the adult audience, because of the taste of tragedy it leaves after watching it. Unfortunately it is currently released only in Japan, but here are the other release dates for other countries:
Italy – 1st September 2013 (Venice Film Festival)
USA – 28th September 2013 (New York Film Festival)
Hong Kong – 19th December 2013
So, until this promising masterpiece gets into our reach, let’s hope for the best and maintain our state of curiosity until the moment it will be satisfied.