The Wind Rises is due to officially open in Japan this weekend, and in anticipation of the film, around 10,000 people have been able to snag a pre-showing over the past week. As expected, the viewers have taken to the internet and social media to let everyone know their thoughts on the most recent Studio Ghibli film.
According to Kotaku (via MSN Japan) many parents, as expected, took their children to watch the film, and the children's reaction was less than enthusiastic. Many parents took to Twitter explaining that, for the children at least, the film was "difficult to follow," or that they "didn't understand the film" and/or "got sleepy with boredom".
While this is concerning at first glance, looking deeper into reactions of the film, show that parents very much loved it, calling it "moving," "beautiful," and "Ghibli for adults", with even one fan stating that it was the "most deeply heart-wrenching Ghibli film in recent years."
So what does this mean exactly? This means that Studio Ghibli is either growing up, or that this film in particular has harder themes than usual (keeping in mind all of their films have hard themes, but Ghibli typically disguises them with magic and wonder). Take for example their most recent film to hit English audiences, From Up on Poppy Hill: though beautiful and thematically wonderful, it was still a little difficult to swallow, as you can see in our review of the film.
We should also take a look at the source material for clues as to why it wouldn't be a film for children in the first place. The plot centres around the engineer Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the WWII fighter plane, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. I don't know about you, but I can't think of too many stories with a plot during WWII that would thrill children of any age. I guess we'll just have to wait and see... but we have no idea how long we will have to wait as we have yet to hear about English/American release dates.