I loved this movie! It was so calming to watch and I was so glad because finally a love story with teenagers! I was beginning to think Studio Ghibli didn’t do them.
This movie was done by Gorou Miyazaki and honestly this is one of my favourite Ghibli films. So far my top five are My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, this movie and Whisper of the Heart (which I will talk about next week).
It is based on a manga illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurou Sayama. It is set in 1964 and a lot of the plot and confusion comes from what happened with Umi’s and Shun’s fathers. Umi Matsuzaki is the main character and Shun Kazama is the love interest.
Now, I saw the incest storyline coming a mile away. The way he reacted to the picture of her father and the way he stopped talking to her after. I could just smell it! Then when it was confirmed it sent me, honestly it was so funny.
But I remember thinking that Umi was better than me. If my man, or love interest, had ignored me the way he did, I probably would have cut him off, especially at that age. Don’t be like me kids, do what Umi did, communicate. Communication, really is key!
So the plot revolves around figuring out if they’re really brother and sister and saving the clubhouse Quartier Latin. I hope since the girls helped save the clubhouse they’ll be allowed to join the clubs within. Although it is set in 1964 so it makes sense why there weren’t any girls in the clubs.
I really enjoyed the movie. I felt like the two mains actually did make a connection and it wasn’t forced. It got to develop naturally (before the incest stumbling block) and it really reminded me of being a teenager and falling for someone. I got that warm fuzzy feeling in my chest.
They managed to balance all the storylines together and keep me interested. Also the set design and location was great.
Now about the incest, they are not brother and sister. Umi’s father was killed during the Korean War and so he wasn’t able to clear the misunderstanding. Shun’s father had died before the War leaving Shun with no relatives and so Yuuichirou Sawamura (Umi’s father) registered him as his son but he couldn’t keep him as his wife was pregnant so he gave the baby to Akio Kazama and his wife as they’d just lost a baby and they were more than willing.
When I say I was on the edge of my seat! I had even lost hope thinking they were indeed related but they weren’t! But wow, they had me, they really had me!
Imagine if they hadn’t been able to find the third man in the picture? They would have been uncertain forever and their romance would have died as quickly as it started.
I love the fact that he noticed her flags all that time and was responding to them and then he became the reason she put up flags.
Goodness, movies like Ponyo and this one really have me wishing I could speak morse code or the language of flags. It’s so useful… when out at sea. You never know when you’ll need it!
So yeah it’s a movie bursting with life, it’s well written and well-paced and has secondary characters that are just as good and interesting as the main characters.
What did you think of the movie? Did you make it to the end or did you give up when you thought they might be related?
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I actually saw that movie a couple of years ago. It’s not my favorite Ghibli work, but it was still worth watching. Glad someone else covered this movie!
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