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Whisper of the Heart

Mimi wo sumaseba
[Whisper Of The Heart]

Yoshifumi Kondô

Animated teen romantic drama with fantasy elements that sadly imo fails to fully realise its potential.

Both the artwork and animation are decent, if a little rustic at times, and although personally the story wasn't that engaging to begin with it did gradually become of more interest and even though by the time the closing credits ran I was still somewhat lukewarm about it I can definitely see the potential appeal to others.

The central character is for the most part quite nicely presented and the tale when rooted in reality is fairly decent, albeit a little simplistic and more interested in being 'cute' at times than developing the plot, but for me the brief forays into the fantasy side were some of the weaker and least interesting parts of proceedings and the whole would probably have benefitted from them either being given more of a role in proceedings or dropped completely.

Sadly the film's 'theme' tune, John Denver's country classic Take Me Home Country Roads, was a tad overused, featuring over not only both the opening and closing credits but in different guises at various points between the two. And what's with the almost total lack of road safety awareness portrayed throughout a tale clearly designed to appeal to teens?

Whisper Of The Heart certainly has a level of charm with its depiction of teenage life and self discovery but unfortunately it took far too long for me to begin to warm to it and as such I can't really award it more than a