Why You Should Watch Hayao Miyazaki’s “Farewell” Anime The Wind Rises

On June 15, the anime The Wind Rises will be re-released. The film, which Miyazaki himself called farewell in 2013, covers the twenty years before the outbreak of World War II. It is a story of one dream and a touching love story with an anti-war message. In this article, an essay writer from https://www.paperhelp.org/ will tell how Miyazaki created the anime and why it is the director’s personal story.

What Is the Anime the Wind Rises About?

This story is about a guy named Jiro Horikoshi. He has been in love with aviation since childhood and dreams of becoming a pilot. But his dream is not destined to come true because of his bad eyesight. One day, impressed by the book about airplane design, Jiro dreams that he meets the famous Italian aircraft designer Caproni. Since then, Jiro has had a new dream: to design the perfect airplane.

Jiro’s prototype is a natural person – the famous Japanese aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi. He created the airplane “Dzero,” the pride of Japanese engineering. In the anime, the viewer is shown how Jiro came up with his primary invention, which is as beautiful as destructive. In parallel, the young engineer travels, meets new people, falls in love with a girl named Naoko, and talks to Caproni in his dreams.

Interesting References to Other Works

Miyazaki “copied” the love story of Jiro and Naoko from one of his favorite writers, Tatsuo Hori. His novel is called: “The Wind Rises.” And tells the love story of a young man and a girl with tuberculosis.

In the anime “The Wind Rises,” there are references to the novel by the writer Thomas Mann “Magic Mountain. The book’s events occur in a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in the Swiss Alps. In the anime plot, Jiro spends some time in a resort town in the mountains. One of the characters bluntly refers to the place as “The Magic Mountain.” And the man Jiro meets there is named Castorp – after Mann’s character.

And speaking of tributes to iconic works in Miyazaki’s life, researcher Susan Napier believes that the anime The Wind Rises has a reverence for the animated film The Legend of the White Snake. It inspired Miyazaki to do animation.

Distinguishing the Anime From the Director’s Other Works

Until 2016, the anime The Wind Rises was considered the farewell work of Hayao Miyazaki. He declared it at the Venice Film Festival and cried for the first time at the premiere. Although the director did later announce that he has returned to animation again and is working on a new picture, “How do you do?”.

But for 2013, “The Wind Rises” was supposed to be the final work of the master. The anime embodied all the best things for which Miyazaki’s paintings are so beloved: detailed animation, a thoughtful plot with a pacifist message, a touching love story, and references to the problems and pains of the inhabitants of Japan. But on the other hand, “The Wind Rises” stands out from other works.

Miyazaki’s story is not fantastic but quite natural for the first time. No ghosts, forest spirits, dystopian world, witches, or curses. Just a few years in the life of one dreamer, who sometimes escapes reality in his dreams.

A Completely Different Heroine

If you’re an avid fan of Miyazaki’s work, you’ve probably noticed that Naoko is different from the director’s other female protagonists. She’s not a perky girl who stands up for nature, looks for her place in the big city or tries to save her parents from a curse. Naoko is gentle, charming, and touching. She stares the disease in the face with desperate courage yet hardly fights it. Her image is that of a shoujo (vanishing woman). Among the main characters of Miyazaki’s feature films, this image appeared only once in her debut feature Cagliostro Castle.

Naoko is sick with tuberculosis, just like the heroine of the story Tatsuo Hori, with whom Miyazaki copied the image. But there is also something personal about her. When Hayao was young, his mother was ill with tuberculosis and was practically bedridden for eight years. She recovered, but memories of that time are pretty painful for Miyazaki. He had already touched on this subject in My Neighbor Totoro.

Miyazaki’s Personal Story

Above all, the anime The Wind Rises is about aviation. Miyazaki has been obsessed with it since his teenage years. He often drew airships and airplanes, which symbolized freedom for him. And around the same age, Miyazaki read Jiro Horikoshi’s biography. It impressed him, and at the age of 72, he decided to make Horikoshi the hero of his picture.

Although a natural person inspires the image of the main character in the anime, you can also see a reflection of the director in him. He has an awe-inspiring, almost obsessive love for a cause in which he is willing to put his whole soul and sacrifice time for loved ones.

Anime With an Anti-war Message and Hard Memories

“An airplane is neither a weapon for war nor a tool for commerce. An aircraft is a beautiful dream.

These are the words Caproni says to little Jiro when he first appears in his dreams.

The tragedy of the character is that the very “Jero” planes he will be rooting for throughout the cartoon are the destructive weapons of World War II. In The Wind Rises, Miyazaki admires the miracle of engineering. But this “miracle” is responsible for people’s death, the destruction of cities, the broken fates, and the triumph of violence.

This is the paradox of the anime “The Wind Rises” and the personality of Miyazaki in general. Hayao is one of the most famous pacifists. He hates war and violence and often raises these themes in his works, showing how destructive they are. At the same time, military technology, or instead what technology is used, has always interested the director.

Miyazaki knows about war firsthand. In the summer of 1945, the city where his family lived was bombed. Hayao was only four years old at the time, but, by his admission, he remembered that night for life.

But it’s not just a complex childhood memory. Miyazaki felt guilt all his life, something he often talked about in interviews. His family was indirectly connected to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Miyazaki’s father and uncle owned a factory that made airplane belts. The same ones that bombed the base. They were “Dzero” planes.

In his work, Miyazaki praised this invention’s power, which caused some critics displeasure. But in the anime, The Wind Rises. The anti-war message is palpable—the horror of impending disaster. The story doesn’t touch on the war effort itself, though. It shows the period from 1918 to 1937. But the characters already sense the growing tension and, although they do not speak of it aloud, prepare for the approach of the inevitable.

The scene in which Castorp looks directly into the camera and says, “Japan will blow up like Germany,” is frightening. The viewer realizes that everything he is now being shown–the picturesque scenery, the warm evening with friends of different nationalities, the touching first love, the euphoria of a dream come true–will be shattered.

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