Whisper of the Heart live-action movie releases main trailer, theme song

Whisper of the Heart live-action film’s second key visual. Pic credit: AV Watch.

The main trailer for the upcoming The Whisper of the Heart live-action film is finally here!

It provides a glimpse into Shizuku and Seiji’s adult life as well as a preview of the theme song “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” by Anne.

Take a look:

映画『耳をすませば』本予告【10.14 ROADSHOW】

What we know so far about The Whisper of the Heart movie

The Whisper of the Heart live-action film has gone through a number of trials and tribulations. Originally scheduled to premiere on September 18, 2020 (it was postponed due to the COVID 19 pandemic onset), it will finally see the light of day on October 14, 2022.

Yuuichirou Hirakawa (who previously worked on the live-action adaptations of The Promised Neverland and Erased) is directing the film. Nana Seino and Tori Matsuzaka are playing the present-day Shizuku Tsukishima and Seiji Amasawa, respectively. Runa Yasuhara and Tsubasa Nakagawa are playing the middle school versions of the two titular characters.

Whisper of the Heart live-action film’s first key visual. Pic credit: AV Watch.

In case you missed our previous announcement, the Whisper of the Heart live-action film’s plotline is set 10 years after the original manga/anime film story. More precisely, it is told in two parts: “Ano koro” (past), which draws on the original manga, and “Junen-go” (present) which is set ten years after the original story and follows Shizuku, now 24, who has grown distant from Seiji who lives abroad. Shizuku works as an editor for children’s novels, having given up her dream of becoming a novelist, whereas Seiji is still pursuing his dream.

Yoko Honna, who voiced Shizuku in Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of the manga, serves as a narrator. The fan’s favorite — the Baron (Baron Humbert von Gikkingen) will also make an appearance.

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Whisper of the Heart manga and spin-offs

Whisper of the Heart (耳をすませば, Mimi wo Sumaseba, lit. “If You Listen Closely”) is a manga by Aoi Hiiragi that debuted in Shueisha’s shoujo manga magazine Ribon in 1989. Studio Ghibli adapted the manga into an anime film in 1995, with some plotline alterations. The anime film was written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Yoshifumi Kondō, who died shortly thereafter. Whisper of the Heart was, hence, Kondō’s only film as a director.

In 2002, Studio Ghibli also made a spin-off anime film (The Cat Returns). It focuses on the cat Baron and is inspired by another Hiiragi’s manga (Baron: The Cat Returns (バロン 猫の男爵, Baron: Neko no Danshaku).

Whisper of the Heart live-action film’s theme song has a rich history

The song “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” (翼をください, lit. “Please Give Me Wings”) is a popular Japanese folk song that was originally composed by Kunihiko Murai (music) and Michio Yamagami (lyrics) for the Nemu Popular Festival ‘70. It first appeared on the folk group Akai Tori’s (The Red Birds) single record “Takeda no komoriuta” in 1971. Two years later, “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” was included in a choir textbook, whereupon it became popular across Japan.

Tsubasa Wo Kudasai
Akai Tori’s version of “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” (1971).

Anne’s The Whisper of the Heart version is just the latest cover; in fact, several anime series and films also feature the popular song (second end credits of Nichijou — a performance by Sayaka Sasaki, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance) — a performance by Megumi Hayashibara, BECK: Mongolian chop squad — a performance by Tanaka Yukio/Minami Maho, and Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School (EP 7) — a performance by Megumi Toyoguchi).

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