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Hauru no ugoku shiro (2004)
Look in an another view point
Since 1984, that 20 years ago, I have watch every movie Miyazaki make and mostly on cinema. Howl's is a long wait for me since the Spirit Away. After I seen this movie, it is still very enjoyable to me but there is something in my mind still questioning. Miyazaki want to tell us a love story, that we are sure but may be there is some more. After i read a local film review, the question is entirely clear now I seen this movie into another perspective.
Yea, Sofi is the main character and the story are spin around her adventure. However, Miyazaki seem want to look into the aspects of modern Japanese man through Sofi view point. Howl is a powerful wizard; however his life is not as happy as other thinks. Every success had a price. He was chased by 2 waring parties who want to own his power, he living in a mess inside a moving castle which was keep hiding from one place to another place. Only thing that keep him going is his great style of hair and the believe that he is looking handsome. That why Miyazaki choose Takuya Kimura as Howl casting, in fact, Kimura is a top idol star in Japan which is share a similar burden as Howl, he is handsome, he is popular but he is not free, all the decisions are subject to his manager company, he could not date a girl openly. Yet Kimura married Kudo Shizuka despite all the opposition from his manager company. That strike the similarity that love shall triumph all. Even the war could be stop and the teacher of Howl would not stop him at the end.
Ima, ai ni yukimasu (2004)
This six weeks miracle
I have seen this movie in cinema twice already, a thing I rarely do as most movie could be available in DVD very soon. But after I learned that the DVD only be available after 24/6 in Japan, I have no choice but to go see it again as the urge inside me is so strong. Every time when I think about the movie, I almost shed tears every time when I reasoning what a decision Mio had been made. It is such moving that I wish it will be happened in real life.
The second view was still amazing, despite that fact that I know the plot already. There are still a lot of subtle things which are hard to notice during the initial view but reveal to me now. Every single dialog of Mio talk to Takumi and Yuji during the latter half revealed a deeper meaning to me after I understand the rationale behind. But I wont give out the plot of Mio as I felt it is a shame or guilt to do so, people should watch it themselves, feel touched and moved and being heartwarmingly satisfied when the end credit rolls. Only thing I can reveal is that I have paid special attention of what Mio wear during her first appear I immediately search all the stores after first view and bought the sound track and the CD that contained "Hana" sung by the band Orange Range. I have watch the MV of Hana too that song is amazing and that the lyric meaning is so touching that I nearly cry when I watch the MV alone.
I recommend all who happen can come across with this movie to view it. It is not a movie to be missed. However the initial DVD produced in Japan have no other subtitle other than Japanese, which is bad as I want to sent a copy to my American friend. This film is indeed a miracle and should be seen by as many people as possible, not just Asian.
A touching movie
This movie is based on a novel written by Katayama Kyoichi. The first print only limited to 8,000 copies but after Shibasaki Kou (that cast Ritsuko) had read it in a occasion, she was deeply impressed and recommend it on a magazine. Hence the rest is history and it had sold over 3 million copies in Japan which beat the sales record of Norway's forest. Due to the heat of the book, the story had bring into the movie which include the top of the crew in Japan movie industry.
Ritsuko role are only add to the movie and not appear in the original novel and the original "Centre of the world" is not in Australia in the book too. However, this movie still touching my heart as I had a common feeling which as I have pass my youth in the same 80 age like Saku and Aki, where walkman is such a precious thing in that time.
The score is very well done and is emotional moving, the main theme by Hirai Ken is excellently with stirring melody.
I highly recommend this movie but sadly it is not easily available in western country except by internet selling like yes.Asia 9 / 10
Things in common
Well, I have read this board for months and I am pretty interest in how the westerner react to Miyazaki's film compare to the Asian. I think i am bless to be living in Hong Kong where Miyazaki's film is easily available in every format, both in original Japanese import or otherwise.
I still remember when I saw Princess Mononoke, I take my half day off and select a theatre (which only Japanse version is shown, other is Chinese dub) and watched it. Well when the end credit rolling on the screen, I am still sit there till the epic music end. There is certain people had the same experience with me that make me feel that it is really a memorable film of all ages.
I luckily own the imported Special edition soundtrack, which come with a special box and a graphic CD (with the kodamas) and a CD holder (like a cloak thing while holding the CD. This is my most treasured CD of my life.