Back to Back Ghibli : The Wind Rises & The Cat Returns

Studio Ghibli

During my internet hiatus (due to some malfunction in the WiFi connection) I watched quite a lot of movies…well, not really that many but more than my usual viewing when internet was normal. I was in the mood to watch animation, I have shared my review of How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Stand By Me Doraemon> here. And now, I will share another 2 animation from the best animation studio, Studio Ghibli.

I do believe I have shared so many times how I love Ghibli, while everyone else I know seems to cheer for Pixar or Disney or other animation studios, my heart still belongs to Ghibli, they still create amazing animated movies.

風立ちぬ – Kaze Tachinu – The Wind Rises (2013)


Director: Miyazaki Hayao
Voice Actors: Anno Hideaki, Takimoto Miori, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Nishimura Masahiko, Steve Alpert, Kazama Morio, Takeshita Keiko, Shida Mirai, Kunimura Jun, Otake Shinobu, Mansai Nomura
Rating: 3 stars


The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, used by the Empire of Japan during World War II.

Jiro had been fascinated with airplane since childhood. He wanted to be a pilot but his eyes prevented him (even till this day, one has to have good eyes to be accepted as pilot). He read about Giovanni Battista Caproni,a famous Italian aircraft designer, and dreamt of meeting him. From that dream he learnt that making an airplane is better than flying it.

In his journey to become an aircraft designer, he met a girl whom later became his wife.

Not much to tell about the story which was basically about Jiro and his way of designing aircraft and his love life with Nahoko Satomi

My Thought:

The Wind Rises gains so much praise from media and critics, however I am not a critic nor a media therefore my thought is purely mine. For me, in term of story; The Wind Rises is the most boring Ghibli animation I have ever seen. Somewhere in the middle I felt like turning it off and watched something else but fortunately the animation itself was still as stunning as ever so I could continue watching it.

Again it is purely me, I always enjoy animated movies when the imagination is beyond live action movies (in other word movies with human actors). What the Wind Rises offers is something that can easily be made into a live action movies. I think I would enjoy it more if it’s a live action (like the way I enjoy The Eternal Zero) but seeing it as an animation just bored me. I remember watching Grave of The Fireflies and enjoyed it a lot despite the fact that the story is more into a live action kind a movie but Grave has power that The Wind Rises lacks of.

I am not going to say that the Wind Rises is a bad animated movie but I am going to clearly say that it’s not my kind of animated movie and I most likely will not watch it again (unlike Spirited Away which I have seen countless times).

I still give it 3 stars because of it’s stunning visual…something that Ghibli can be proud of, they always make animation with breathtaking visual.

猫の恩返しNeko no Ongaeshi – The Cat Returns (2002)

the-cat-returns-movie-poster-2002-1020477175Director: Morita Hiroyuki
Voice actors: Ikewaki Chizuru, Hakamada Yoshihiko, Watanabe Tetsu, Saito Yosuke, Maeda Aki, Tamba Tetsurō
Rating: 4 stars


Haru saved a cat from being hit by a truck. Her act of kindness led her to a life full of talking cats and living statues.

The cat that was saved by Haru was a Prince of Cat Kingdom. The King wanted to repay her by giving her anything she wanted and offered the Prince’s hand in marriage.

Out of confusion, Haru asked for help from the Cat Bureau where she met the fat cat Muta, the living cat figurine, Baron and a living stone raven, Toto.

My thought:

I really like this animated movie! It was fun and entertaining. It’s a fairy tale with an ending unlike typical fairy tale. I like the irony of helping someone leads to one problem to another. I like every cats in the Cat Kingdom. There’s even Cats in Black, so cool!


This is the kind of animated movie that I like; the kind where I can’t predict what’ll happen next, where I laugh in so many little things and where everything feels real even though it’s a complete fantasy.

Story wise, I really enjoy it even though it a bit too fast in some part, however visually it’s not in the same level as most Ghibli animated movies. Compared to The Wind Rises, The Cat Returns failed big time BUT since I am used to seeing Japanese Anime I have no problem with the type of drawing for this one.

As you can see, out these two Ghibli animated movies, the one I will watch again is certainly The Cat Returns. The story is more to my liking that the Wind Rises, however don’t make my review become your only recommendation as for many people The Wind Rises is better than The Cat Returns.

Have you seen both animated movies? Please share what you think of them.

10 thoughts on “Back to Back Ghibli : The Wind Rises & The Cat Returns

  1. My dd is with you on the love of Ghibli. Of course that might be partly because we have made disparaging remarks about Disney.

    I haven’t seen either of these yet. I’ll have to be sure I do.

    1. Yeaaa…always nice to know that there are other Ghibli fans 🙂
      In my opinion, Disney needs to be more creative in term of story. The visual is already okay but the story is often too predictable.

      Hope you can watch it soon 🙂

  2. Hi, Nov. 🙂
    Cat Returns is FUN all the way.
    Btw, bisa-bisanya, ya, karakter Prince dibuat sedemikian rupa sampe2 kalo gue kucing, Prince itu pasti kucing terkewren sedunia. 😀 😀

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