August 05, 2014

Random Anime Picture #87: Say Hi, Jiro!

I just finished watching The Wind Rises, Ghibli's fictionalized account of the life of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of both the A5M "Claude" and A6M "Zero" fighters.  I have mixed reactions.  As far as Ghibli films go, it's far and away my favorite of all of them.  Its no coincidence that it's also the least preachy of all of Miyazaki's films: the two go hand-in-hand. 

IJN Nagato in background
It should come as absolutely no surprise that it's a gorgeous film.  Again, it's a Ghibli.  That's to be expected.  There's just something about The Wind Rises that doesn't sit right with me, and I think it's the main character.  Jiro Horikoshi in this movie comes across as a completely dispassionate, yet heroic, leading man.  Brilliant, relatively athletic, a leader of men, and he does it all with the same nearly blank expression on his face.  Only when he's discussing airplanes does he begin to show some emotion... not much, but some.  His wife is dying of tuberculosis?  Blank look.  Tokyo destroyed by an earthquake?  Blank look.  In Germany?  Blank.  The voice acting of Hideaki Anno, who sounds like he has a stuffed nose, doesn't help a whole lot, either.

Still, it's got the Hosho in it.  Which is always nice.

All in all, it's certainly worth watching.  I'll give it 3.5 stars.  It just could have been so much more.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:02 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 236 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I recall some famous movie reviewer being really pissed at this movie because it didn't make him out to be some kind of monster.

Posted by: Mauser at August 06, 2014 02:27 AM (TJ7ih)

2 I can believe it.  This review here basically says just that.  I don't agree with everything he says, but there are parts... the dispassionate nature, for example.

I can't rate it lower than I did, but I can understand why someone else would.  I just don't agree with it.

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 06, 2014 07:18 AM (bAT/z)

3 The voice is provided by Hideaki Anno?  *The* Hideaki Anno?

Posted by: Ben at August 06, 2014 08:48 AM (S4UJw)

4 None other, in his first major role. He's as good at this job as he is as a director of *Eva*, which is to say, not all that great.

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 06, 2014 11:13 AM (bAT/z)

5 I'm glad you finally got to see this movie.  I think the portrayal of Jiro Horikoshi makes him out to be sort of like Wernher von Braun — a single-minded visionary with selective awareness of just what sort of people he's working for.  The love story had its moments, but ultimately it ended up just demonstrating that nothing really mattered to Jiro except his airplanes.

Posted by: flatdarkmars at August 06, 2014 05:34 PM (0h1CL)

6 Well, the dispassionate thing is pretty accurate to the desired well-to-do or educated manly Japanese attitude between the wars. A man (and often, a woman of good breeding or noble training) never showed his true feelings on his face or in his conversation, and particularly if things were going badly. At the same time, people of sensibility were supposed to just suss out what these stonefaced people around them were feeling. And there was a lot more elliptical conversation consisting of significant uses of "Ah," by all accounts.

I mean, even the English thought the Japanese took it too far.

Posted by: at August 07, 2014 07:07 AM (iXS2r)

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