Miyazaki’s usual stories of witches, gods and monsters are replaced by the true story about Jiro Horikoshi, a WWII Japanese fighter plane engineer who sees planes as more than just weapons of destruction.
Despite the story being grounded in reality there’s still plenty of the fantastical imagery and flights of fancy that Miyazaki’s direction is renowned for as Horikoshi dreams of his planes, guided spiritually by Giovanni Battista Caproni, an Italian aircraft manufacturer.
Forgetting the visuals though, The Wind Rises stands out in terms of its engrossing plot. Steering away from politics for the most part, moments where we’re reminded of Nazi Germany and the impending War add gravitas and tension to proceedings.
Add to this a love story that genuinely moved me and this is far more interesting and touching than most films coming out of Hollywood today.
Whilst Miyazaki’s final film (although he has claimed retirement before..) will be sure to leave a bitter-sweet taste in your mouth, it’s an epic piece of film-making to end on. The Wind Rises is compelling, romantic, spiritual and beautiful; a rare masterpiece of animation.