What I’ve Watched Recently

I haven’t posted in a while and I guess that’s cause I’m super busy with the 3rd year of my degree, but I really just wanna write down my thoughts about some movies and TV shows I’ve watched recently. These are all anime based, two studio ghibli films and two anime’s that I’ve watched all the way through. WARNING: there will be spoilers in this post, so if you want to watch these at some point either don’t read this post or only read the very beginning and very end of each paragraph.

Whisper of the Heart:

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Whisper of the Heart is the first ghibli film I’ll be discussing. This is one of those ghibli films that I recommend to those people who like anime but don’t like some of the weird or non-logical aspects of anime and the ghibli films. If you’ve watched other ghibli films, like Spirited Away, then you’ll know what I mean about the weird sort of aspect of anime and the ghibli films, but this film is just a simple film for escapism. It’s about this girl called Shizuku who loves to read and write, but lacks confidence to achieve her ambitions and this is becoming more of a concern as she is currently taking her exams to get into high school. One day she meets a boy named Seiji and at first he teases her a lot consequently making her dislike him, but then they bond over his grandfathers antique shop. It is through this that she finds out that he wants to become a master violin craftsman, and is planning on going to Italy to study with the best craftsmen in the world. Inspired by his determination to achieve his dream, Shizuku decides to write a book before he comes back from Italy. She names this book ‘Whisper of the Heart’ (hence the title of the film) and it features the cat that she saw inside Seiji’s grandfathers shop. Once finished, though the book isn’t perfect, she is encouraged to continue writing as everyone can see her potential and they know it is what she loves to do. When Seiji get back from Italy, he tells Shizuku that although he was good enough to continue studying in Italy he has decided to stay in Japan and go to high school with Shizuku. Naturally over time they have fallen in love with each other and the audience is left with the couple going forward towards their dreams together into high school, all living happily ever after. It’s so wholesome and cute, and it’s just about normal problems and situations that everyone goes through and that’s why I recommend it to those who just want to immerse themselves in some typical school drama and love.

Howl’s Moving Castle

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Howl’s Moving Castle is one of those ghibli films that I don’t recommend to people who don’t like the weird aspect of anime and studio ghibli. Basically it is the opposite of Whisper of the Heart, if you liked watching Spirited Away then you’ll like Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s about this girl called Sophie who works in her father’s old hat shop and she always concerns herself with others before herself, and she has never seen herself as beautiful. One day after work she runs into Howl who is a wizard and is known for eating the hearts of beautiful women. At first she didn’t know it was Howl and plus he seemed like the last person to eat a girls heart, as he was so charming and sweet. A witch finds out that they had interacted and she gets jealous as she is in love with Howl, and therefore curses Sophie to make her an old women. Unable to talk about her curse to anyone and no longer able to be seen by her friends and family, she goes off into the hills to find Howl and to break the curse. She finds Howls Moving Castle and meets a series of other characters, who soon become her new family as she learns who Howl really is. She finds out that Howl is under his own curse and together they both work to break their curses and to stop the war that is currently ragging on between two kingdoms. It ends with them both breaking their curses, the war coming to an end, and Howl and Sophie falling deeply in love as they continue to live in the moving castle with their newly found family. This film is full of action, its tense at times, its humorous, and Sophie is a strong female lead who we all aspire to be. With How; being a wizard their are a lot of weird aspects with magic and such, but he is a sweet character who learns to find himself along with Sophie and they both find a purpose for living, which is each other ❤ its cute I loved it.

Your Lie In April

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Your Lie in April is the first of the two anime’s I’ll be talking about, and like most anime’s I got so emotionally invested in the story and characters that I was so sad when it was over. This is an anime that again I would recommend to people who just enjoy watching anime for some cute, teenage drama and love. Its about this boy named Kōsei who is an incredible pianist but vowed never to play piano again after his childhood trauma. This is until he meets Kaori who is an amazing violinist who wants Kōsei to be her accompanist. He chooses not to play piano anymore due to his mothers pressuring him to play perfectly and beating him when he didn’t. Eventually, she died of a terminal illness when he was younger and after that he choose not to play again, yet everyone he meets remembers him for being the best pianist that inspired so many people. Eventually Kaori persuades him to accompany her on stage, and although her methods are unconventional she is by far the best in the competition. They end up practising together and continuing to play their instruments, but Kaori is hiding a secret. She is extremely ill herself and she is trying to hide it from Kōsei, but eventually it becomes too much. As well as coming to terms with his mothers death in the past and learning to let go of her overbearing shadow that still lurked around him, Kōsei is now having to confront the fact that he is now losing another person that means so much to him. Eventually, Kaori dies too and in her final letter to Kōsei she confesses her love for him and he was the one to inspire her to become a violinist in the first place so that one day they could play on the same stage as each other, and in the end her dreams were fulfilled. It is so emotional, but it has a lot of real life issues that we all go through in our lives and all the characters together create a truly beautiful but realist picture of the reality that teenagers go through. It’s an amazing anime, not too long which is good, and the message of pursing your dreams and living life to the fullest remains with you long after the anime is over.

Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club 

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I have been wanting to watch this anime for so long, and now I’ve finished the whole thing within like two days and I absolutely love it! So I would recommend this to my female friends who are into high school anime’s and you’ll soon see why. Free is about a high school swimming team so naturally there are a lot of toned anime bodies in swimming trunks all the time. Not gunna lie, was very aesthetically pleasing but the story is great too. It is about these 4 guys: Haruka (main character black hair centre), Makoto (brown hair behind Haru), Nagisa (blonde hair looking forward), and Rei (blue hair at the back with glasses), who are all part of Iwatobi high school’s swimming club. Haru, Makoto and Nagisa start the club together and have been swimming for years and used to compete competitively. They used to swim with their friend Rin (black training suit with purple hair) who now goes to a different school and has seemed to be more bitter than he used to be when e was younger. They all used to compete in the relay with each other and they were an amazing team but Rin went to a different school to the others in Australia to become a better swimming, when he changed attitude towards swimming and the guys but no one knows why. In order to compete and to swim again, Haru, Makoto and Nagisa have to create a swim club at their school, but for it to be official they need a fourth member. Nagisa decides that the best person would be Rei, a high intelligent athlete who only participates in athletics because that is the only sport he deems as beautiful. However, he is eventually persuaded to join them but in order to compete in competitions again and to gain the club some prestige they need to work hard together on their individual events, and to persuade Haru to participate in rely as he claims he’ll only swim “free”. Haru doesn’t care about times or improvement, he just wants to swim, but he is the best and the other admire him so much that participating in relay with Haru is their dream. They also have their work cut out with Rei who despite joining the club in the end doesn’t know how to swim. This anime is all about these guys working hard at something that they love, rekindling their passion for swimming, and achieving their dreams together. It’s also about friendship and the bond that they all share with each other through swimming, even their bond with Rin who they were such good friends with when they were younger. It’s funny, it adventurous, its tense, and exciting, and being a person who loved sport so much when they were younger it really connects with me on that level as I remember what it was like to train, work as a team and eventually win. I loved Free and it has a second season too called Free! – Eternal Summer, which get slightly more serious as Haru, Makoto and Rin approach graduation and have to start considering their future. It relatable and it’s just fun to watch to see, again, characters working together and encouraging each other in their passions and dreams.

 

That’s it, these are the most recent films and TV shows in the world of anime that I have watched and I will be re-watching all of these at some point I am sure. Hope this was a fun read for you all and if you’ve watched these, or are planning on watching them then let me know what you think in the comments. Hope you’re all having a fabulous day and I’ll see you next time 🙂

Alice xxx

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