Whisper of the Heart shows off cat Moon to honor International Cat Day 2022

Meet Moon/Muta, the cat from the train, who is soon to debut in the upcoming Whisper of the Heart live-action movie. Pic credit: The Whisper of the Heart live-action movie official website

Happy International Cat Day! To commemorate the occasion, the staff behind the Whisper of the Heart live-action movie shared today a couple of photos of the cat Moon on the set.

Moon is also going by the name Muta, depending on the sub, as befits his quirky character!

If your memory needs a refresher, Moon is the cat from the train, as depicted in Studio Ghibli’s famous anime film adaptation.

Shizuku and Moon, as depicted in Studio Ghibli’s Whisper of the Heart anime film. Pic credit: eBay

A brief history of Moon’s casting was also revealed. Apparently, the talent cat was the only one to have performed perfectly during the audition — out of some ten ‘colleague’ cats.

Thanks to International Cat Day, we’ve got hold of some sneak peeks of the upcoming movie. Take a look at Moon accompanying actress Nana Seino, who portrays Shizuku:

The Whisper of the Heart live-action versions of Shizuku and Moon. Pic credit: The Whisper of the Heart live-action movie official website

The movie is just around the corner (so to speak), since it’s scheduled to debut on October 14, 2022, after much trouble.

The Whisper of the Heart live-action movie in a nutshell

The ‘trouble’ refers to the COVID 19 pandemic onset, which managed to push the premiere date from September 18, 2020, to October 14, 2022. After more than two years, Whisper of the Heart is finally set to make its long-expected debut.  

As regards the staff and the cast, Yuuichirou Hirakawa (The Promised Neverland and Erased live-action adaptations) is directing the film. Nana Seino and Tori Matsuzaka are portraying the present-day Shizuku Tsukishima and Seiji Amasawa, respectively. Runa Yasuhara and Tsubasa Nakagawa are portraying the middle school versions of the two titular characters. Yoko Honna, who voiced Shizuku in Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of the manga, is narrating the film.

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The theme song “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” (“Please Give Me Wings”) is performed by Anne. It’s a popular Japanese folk song originally composed by Kunihiko Murai and Michio Yamagami for the Nemu Popular Festival ’70.

The movie’s plotline is divided into two parts: “Ano koro” (past), which follows the original manga plot, 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. Thankfully, Seiji is still pursuing his dream.

On top of Moon, the Baron is also making an appearance (hopefully as grand as in the Ghibli’s anime adaptation and the manga).

Happy International Cat Day! Moon knows how to enjoy life to the fullest in another sneak peek from the set. Pic credit: The Whisper of the Heart live-action movie official website

About the 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 series by Aoi Hiiragi. It debuted in Shueisha’s shoujo manga magazine Ribon in 1989.

Studio Ghibli adapted the manga into an anime film in 1995, applying certain plot alterations. The film was written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Yoshifumi Kondō, who passed away shortly thereafter. That is to say, Whisper of the Heart was Kondō’s only film as a director.

Seven years later (2002), Studio Ghibli released a spin-off anime film, titled The Cat Returns. Rather than a sequel, The Cat Returns is inspired by another Hiiragi’s manga (Baron: The Cat Returns (バロン 猫の男爵, Baron: Neko no Danshaku)) and focuses on the cat Baron and his adventures.

The Whisper of the Heart live-action movie is, hence, the latest addition to the franchise. God willing, it won’t let the fans down!

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