Journal Entry: Fri Oct 21, 2016, 6:55 PM
Usually you guys come to my page expecting me to rip something cringeworthy to shreds or rip on a bad movie or fanfic. I'm not doing this today. I'm going to praise something(nuclear explosion goes off). Yes, I'm going to give a positive critique, I know, totally unlike me to praise things. But that's exactly what I'm doing. First off, I'm in an F-ing great mood because I got a B on a project I worked my ass off on and the teacher is the most F-ing tough grader, so that was the cherry on top of my day. But enough about my stupid school drama, although this is a school related story.
So I watched The Wind Rises for Japanese History class and as I was watching it, I was reminded of the other ghibli WW2 movie I had not watched in years. I remember I had first thought of the movie last year when I saw a still of Zuko carrying his 5 year old half sister on his shoulders to her room and thought "wow, this is like that scene in what's it called...oh yeah". So whenever I see pictures of Zuko being all sweet and playful with his baby sister, I can't help but think...It could have been so much better for those other siblings had the older brother been more humble and responsible. I can't help but feel guilty myself whenever I watch that movie. I was never a good sibling and I never looked out for my sister and brother. I was going through a lot of emotional turmoil in my childhood and took a lot of my anger out on my siblings, something I regret very much. I like to think that I'm a much better sister now than I was then as I would go to the moon and back for my siblings.
So what's the story?
I'm sure most of you know it, if you don't, spoiler warning, read at your own risk.
During an air raid on Kobe in 1945, two siblings lose their mother at the hands of the Americans and after an attempt to stay with a distant aunt and eventually fighting with her over food, the two go out to fend for themselves and end up dying from lack of food and stay together in the afterlife.
So you know the scene where Bambi's mom gets shot by MAN! That is nothing compared to this movie.
The opening scene once you understand it will make you cry. We open at a Kobe train station with our main character lying on the floor and about to die. He actually dies right in front of you. After he passes away, a train station guard looks through his pockets and finds a fruit drop tin, tossing it outside and as it lands, the ashes of the boy's younger sister fall out of the tin, causing her ghost to rise out of the tin. her brother's ghost soon joins him and they board a ghost train and prepare to look back on their lives, thus starting the movie.
And this is the first 5 minutes.
Throughout the film, we see theses characters bond and fight to survive, and it's all the more heart wrenching when you realize that you know they will die in the end. The younger sister starts out as a shy and sweet little girl but eventually becomes delusional and mentally insane due to her lack of food. The deaths of the two siblings are the fault of the brother as it was his idea to leave the safe haven that was his aunt's house in order to survive on his own all over an argument about who gets what food. Yet you still root for these two to survive even though you know they won't.
The way this thing is written is absolutely brilliant. This film has some of the best writing and visuals that would put Mike and Bryan to shame(sorry Avatar, you are not perfect). This film is thought provoking, heart wrenching, and truly moving that like most ghibli stories dare I say it, are perfect. I don't give out the perfect card to just anything, not even Korra, but what the writers of this film did with it is astounding. I highly recommend you check it out(watch the Japanese dub though) if you can handle the sadness of it. I hate to bash my own fandom but ghibli puts anything and everything, even disney, to shame(except for Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, those movies were F-ing brilliant).
So if you want, go see the film or any ghibli film for yourself and see what I'm talking about.