Tag Archives: Whisper of the Heart

Shizuku Tsukishima in WHISPER OF THE HEART (Portrayals of Writers)

The animated film WHISPER OF THE HEART (Mimi wo Sumaseba, Studio Ghibli, 1995, Rated G) follows the struggles of fourteen-year-old Shizuku Tsukishima to discover herself as a writer.  The screenplay is by Hayao Miyazaki, based on a manga of the same name written by Aio Hiiragi.  For those who don’t know, Miyazaki is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli in Japan, and one of the premier directors/producers/screenwriters of animated feature films in the world.

And this film has a lot to say about the creative process and the struggle to become an artist.

I don’t want to spoil the movie, so I’m not going to provide a plot summary.   But I will mention that my favorite scene is between Shizuku and a wise old artist, Shirou Nishi.  Nishi-san has just read the first draft of her first attempt at writing a novel, and comforts her in her despair that the novel is no good and so therefore she is no good.  He points out that a rough draft is like quarried stone–through polishing the gem inside the story can be found and brought to the surface.   He’s right.

I also love how in this film Shizuku’s deep involvement with her work-in-progress results in her having waking daydreams about her story.  I’ve actually had that happen, so it was fun to see it happen to a writer character.

There is also a wonderful romance subplot, but I’ll leave that to you to discover if you see the film.