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Hayao Miyazaki writes and directs this latest Studio Ghibli feature that tells the tale of a young boy, Jiro Horikoshi (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who’s love of planes leads him to become an aircraft designer. On September 1st 1923 Jiro is caught in the Great Kanto earthquake and assists fellow passenger Naoko (Emily Bkunt) and her maid who suffers an injury.

When Jiro meets Naoko again many years later the two fall for each other and become engaged but Naoko is suffering from tuberculosis and the couple struggle to spend time together due to Jiro’s design commitments. While they try to enjoy the time they have together Jiro continues to work on designing his first successful plane.

 Wind Rises, The
Simply put, The Wind Rises is a beautiful film. It deals with dreams and passion and love and kindness and all of those things that Studio Ghibli excel at, especially when under the control of Miyazaki himself. Jiro is one of the nicest characters the studio has ever brought to us, his thoughtful nature and his dreams of beautiful planes are spellbinding and when he finds love with Naoko the struggle the pair have to be together is heartbreaking.

The film's dreamlike quality as the line between reality and Jiro's dream world become more and more intertwined is masterfully played and you utterly give in to Jiro’s love of the beauty of air travel and the design of a plane. Same can be said for the Earthquake sequences that feel incredibly real and human and some of the visuals made me feel the horror of the situation much more than many live action films have mustered. The work of Studio Ghibli here is quite frankly astonishing and the sheer beauty within the artwork and how stunningly it's played with is the Studio at it’s best (when is it not at its best on those fronts?).

This epic, almost Doctor Zhivago-esq tale was a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours. It’s maybe not be a total child friendly affair, as it deals with many adult emotions, dilemmas and feelings but that doesn't make it any less magical and stands up as yet another Studio Ghibli masterpiece.

 Wind Rises, The


Well I could end this section of the review by just saying ‘Perfect’ but I guess I should go into more detail than that.

The beautifully crisp hand drawn (and computer assisted) animation here is astonishing. The water colour backgrounds, the subtly animated movements, the larger more dramatic wind brushed grass plains and of course the character studies all look absolutely incredible. Colours are vivid and leap off of the screen, especially when the film is set across bright green fields and bright blue cloud filled skies and the use of light and reflections just add another fine layer to it all. The depth of the image can be quite distracting in its greatness at times and the detail in the destruction caused by the earthquake really quite overwhelming with its layers of animated elements. The Wind Rises is an absolutely stunning looking film and this HD presentation shows that off perfectly.

 Wind Rises, The


The audio track while only Stereo 2.0 is not held back at all. The sounds of the planes (which seem generated by human voices and sounds) have multiple layers and have a real weight to them at times. Dynamic jet sounds fly across the speakers and there’s usually a lot more going on than that as well. The earthquake sequence (again seemingly generated from human sounds) feels almost abstract in it’s design but it works as a natural disaster and gives the sequence a deeper sense of unease as it ravages the city. Dialogue is always clean and central and the beautiful score brings everything to life. This is a pretty quiet film (outside of the big earthquake and plane sequences) and the stereo track presents that all to us extremely well, giving it a small, yet personal feel.

 Wind Rises, The


As with most Studio Ghibli releases the film comes with the ‘Feature Storyboards’ that run along side the film if desired.

There’s a pretty long ‘Press Conference For The Announcement of The Completion Of The Film’ (87 mins) that isn't the most engaging of watches but is full of great stories and detail about the film.

Last up there are Trailers and TV Spots as well as a DVD copy.

 Wind Rises, The


The Wind Rises is a magical epic animation that deals in more adult dreams than that of a child. There’s such passion for the subject of engineering in here it’s quite intoxicating. There’s a love for ones country and a love of art and a real sense of personal achievement when it comes to the film’s lead character. In the later half of the film, when the romantic elements are introduced, it’s the cherry on top in terms of feeling emotionally attached to Jiro. There is such a sweetness to this young couple’s relationship and the added elements of Naoko’s illness really does tug at every heart string you may have.

The Wind Rises is an absolutely beautiful piece of work and the Blu-ray presentation here celebrates that entirely with great A?V and a batch of extras than enrich the film further (those storyboards man, wonderful).

 Wind Rises, The
* Note: The images Below are taken from the Blu-ray and have been resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking the individual images, but due to .jpg compression, they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.