Review: Whispers of the Heart, by Aoi Hiiragi
<i>Whispers of the Heart</i> is the prequel, in some ways to <i>Baron: The Cat Returns</i>, even though there is not a lot of character bleed-through (although we do see the Baron and Muta — well-worth the price of admission).
Again, this is a YA coming-of-age/rom-com kind of graphic novel. The story is lovely – without spoiling it, I can say that it’s about two junior high students with dreams, who learn about the prep work for those dreams, and how it will affect their lives at the same time they are falling for each other.
Again, in addition to the graphic novel, I watched the English-language version of the 1995 film, so I would not miss any nuances. Although not as “star-studded” as <i>Baron: The Cat Returns</i>, it does feature Brittany Snow as Shizuko, with Jean Smart and James Sikking voicing Shizuku’s parents. Again, it tells its love stories (Shizuko and Seiji, Seiya and Asako, the Baronn and Louise, and Nishi and Louise) clearly, with each couple representing different aspects of relationships. This works out very well, storywise, since no one couple has to do all the heavy lifting.
Again, both graphic novels are definitely worth pursuing, and not only because they will be entertaining, but will not take big chunks out of your day.
Further, I cannot really wait to see what other treasures from Studio Ghibli will manage to surprise me along my path. As always, if you have any suggestions along these lines, I’d be happy to hear them.