Though not as well-known as My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, or Spirited Away, Whisper of the Heart is one of my favorite Studio Ghibli movies. A gentle coming of age melodrama, it’s also a thoughtful exploration of what it means to be an artist and the cost that comes with following one’s dreams. While it does feature one brilliantly animated “magical” sequence, it’s much more “mundane” and down to Earth than most Ghibli films — which does nothing to diminish its beauty or poignancy.
Studio Ghibli’s film was inspired Aoi Hiiragi’s original manga, and Animé News Network has announced that the Whisper of the Heart manga is getting a live-action sequel. The sequel will be set 10 years after the manga’s events, and follows the main characters — a young novelist and an aspiring violin maker — as they continue to chase their dreams:
Now 24, Shizuku has given up her dream of being a novelist, but works hard every day to sell books as a children’s book editor at a publishing company. Meanwhile, Seiji is still following his dream abroad, even as the distance between him and Shizuku grows ever larger.
The Whisper of the Heart sequel will be directed by Yūichirō Hirakawa, who previously directed live-action versions of The Promised Neverland and Erased, and stars Nana Seino and Tori Matsuzaka as Shizuku and Seiji. It arrives in Japanese theaters on September 18.