Whisper of the Heart vs. Linda Linda Linda

Noburiho Yamashita’s film, Linda Linda Linda, and Yoshifumi Kondō’s film, Whisper of the Heart are both deep, comedic, and romantic dramas that center around the lives of Japanese school girls. In Linda Linda Linda, the story centers around four Japanese teenage girls who are trying to form a band to perform at their high school cultural festival. Their names are Kei, Kyoko, Nozomi, and Son. On the other hand, in the Whisper of the Heart, the story centers around Shizuku Tsukishima who is a 14-year girl that falls in love, but also discovers her identity and passion for writing.

Both films give a different perception on teenage youth life through character development and visual appeal. One focuses on forming bonds to describe Japanese youth while the other dives deep into romance. Though they are different in many areas such as the successes in the celebration of youth and art style, both films are: realistic, dedicated to pursuing one’s goals, and the use of music.

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Japanese youth life is perceived similarly and differently in both films. In the Whisper of the Heart, romance plays a big role in developing and characterizing the story. Shizuku is getting ready to take her high school entrance exam when she begins to realize that someone is checking out all the same books as her from the library. Her curiosity increases, as she tries to figure out who it is. Her investigation leads her off on a tangent where she follows a cat to an antique shop where she sees a statue of a cat wearing a hat named “the Baron.

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” Coincidently or by fate, the owner’s grandson turns out to be the person that has been checking out the books and his name is Seiji Amasawa. At first their relationship starts off rocky as he frustrates and angers Shizuku by teasing her, but they begin to fall in love with each other. As the film draws on, both characters love deepens as they begin to spend more time with each other, leading them to share their personal testimonies and dreams. For example, when Seiji shares that he wants to become a violin maker this inspires Shizuku to write a fantasy book about the Baron. So, for two months, driven by love and affection even to the detriment of her schoolwork, she writes. From this we can see the perception of a romantic youthful life. Discovering love and building a connection is something to celebrate. Teenage love can be confusing, naïve, gentle, difficult, and exciting. Relationships can be difficult to handle depending on the situation and location. It can also be inspiring as the romance influenced Shizuku to discover her passion and dream for writing. One could say that romance changed her for the better. Thus, the movie uses romance to not only celebrate teenage youth life, but how it can lead to discovering one’s passion and drive in the world.

In contrast, Linda Linda Linda does have a romantic subplot, but the films focus is on deep friendships and connections. There difference stems from the general focus of each film. In the animated film, the director primarily focuses on Shizuku and her lover while in the other movie, the director focuses on the members of the band. Much of the film follows the band of four girls practicing songs for their final performance. One of the characters, Son is extremely funny which entertains and inspires the rest of the band. The other band members include Kyoko, who is always cheerful and excited, Nozomi, who is wise and calm, and Kei, who has a short-temper. It is this colorful and dynamic group of characters that carry the film. Without a strong cast the movie would have failed, because it depended on the chemistry and interaction between the characters. For example, there is a scene where the girls are eating snacks at night in a park where they start teasing each other. The giggles and smiles that are seen from this moment shows how close and friendly they have become since the beginning of the film. The film builds the relationship between the characters as they continually practice for the show, gossip, and hang out. We see how their growing friendship builds banter, trust, and love for each other. These values reflect upon how Japanese youth culture should be. The youth today are so heavily invested in screens and technology. One extreme example discussed by Steve Choe on gaming deaths states, “The LoL player had a preexisting heart condition, and the combination of fatigue and lack of physical movement led to blood clots and finally cardiac arrest. He “never stopped playing”—at least, until his physical body gave out” (114). This leads to the lack of personal contact, friendships, and relationships. Sometimes it would lead to addiction and death. Thus, building and cultivating good relationships is essential for Japanese teenage youths.

Both movies are similar in terms of delivering a realistic story. Linda Linda Linda has one of the most believable depictions of school life in a Japanese school. It portrays the reality of the school life well by including Japanese cultural things such as the clothing. There are also no antagonists and no Hollywood-like overdramatized problems. The girl who quit in the beginning of the film does not join a rival gang to spite them. There is also no evil teacher that tries to cancel the performance on them. Instead life goes on normally in the film as there is no clear “good,” or “evil,” side. This makes the film more relatable and understandable for Japanese youths because they can relate with the main characters on a school level without any distractions.

In the Whisper of the Heart, we also see how relatable the characters are. As Yamaguchi points out, “this is not realism at the level of daily life but rather the expression of an independent imaginative unverise” (Hayao 122). Even though it contains fantasy elements as well as romantic cliché moments, the interactions between characters are realistic. For example, when Shizuki confronts her friend about if he likes her best friend, he admits that he likes Shizuki instead. This love triangle scenario shows that this happened in real-life that can ruin friendships. We also see how the junior high school kids tease Shizuki and her lover when they meet up at school. This is typical adolescent behavior because the children are not mature enough yet. Shizukis actions to pursue her dreams and to set goals is also very realistic. She is motivated to not only impress her lover but to prove to herself that she can do something. Thus, many of these thematic ideas are relatable such as pursuing one’s dream.

The main characters also celebrate their youth throughout the story by behaving like “children.” For instance, when a girl questions the group on the purpose of the concert, the girl’s answers that “there is no purpose.” This is an answer that many children would say to adults that question their actions. But we can see their underlining desire to hold on to their fleeting childhoods. As adulthood approaches, they want to utilize and spend as much time as they can as “young adults” before they take on responsibilities. For the animated movie this is the opposite. The main character and her lover want to grow up so they can be together and so they can fulfill their respected dreams. At the end of the movie the lover even asks her to “marry me.” There is a difference between the high schoolers and the junior high kids. Though it may have to do with the individual personalities, the high schoolers in the movie are faced with the looming task of going to college and getting a job. This process is not only stressful but worrisome, on the other hand, the junior kids still have time to adjust and are not burdened with that problem.

Music is also impactful in both films. In Linda Linda Linda, the whole plot rests on the band’s performance in the concert. The bands performance combines the characters and listeners into a single huge entity/mosh pit fueled by youthful energy and spirit. The music expresses the film’s themes and is the key to understanding the characters. Music to the band members is like writing stories for Shizuki. Since music is their form of expression, all their pain, stress, and joy are poured in the final scenes of the film. This is a dynamic moment in the film. Most of the time, the band players are not lively and are quiet, but music brings out the best in them. The song choices also signify their emotions and feelings of worry, happiness, and anger. It is the same in the animated film. Songs are sung throughout the movie for fun and to show emotion. It was not as loud or outspoken as the band was, but it was there. Thus, music impacted the youth of both films.

The most noticeable contrast between the films is the visual and filmographic style. Obviously, Linda Linda Linda, is filmed through a camera lens while Whisper of the Heart is animated. The art style of the animated film is breathtaking. Even though it was created in the late 20th century, the landscape, the characters, and the setting drawn is beautiful. The characters look alive and vibrant. The animations of the drawings are also excellent as it captures the correct nuances and emotions from the faces of characters during conversations. The one fantasy scene where she goes off running with the Baron is amazing. Ghbli delivers again in drawing and creating unique and interesting art. Other films that have been made by them also have the same artistic style. In one scene, Shizuku begins to cry as her friend tells her that the story, she has written is wonderful. From her reactions and tears, we can see that her tears are of joy and satisfaction because she had worked so hard on the story. Moments like these are breathlessly executed making the film enjoyable to watch. Credit goes to Ghibli films as they have perfected the visual side to their animated films. On the other hand, Linda Linda Linda, is filmed through a lens. The director frames everything in clean and wide shots. He often observes his leads from a distance, analyzing their movements and behaviors. The camera remains motionless when it’s possible, delivering uninterrupted shots to show as much scenery as possible and to showcase the band as much as possible. The film is not about dramatic gestures and action, it is about the empty spaces. It is not particularly special but is utilized effectively for the movie.

Noburiho Yamashita’s film, Linda Linda Linda, and Yoshifumi Kondō’s film, Whisper of the Heart are both deep and dramatic films. They are both extremely well-crafted movies. The animated film focus was on the romantic relationship between two specific characters while the rock band members grew and cultivated a relationship between each other. The animated film was more personal as it touched upon many important themes such as identity, career, perseverance, and love. On the other hand, the rock band film was more light-hearted but enjoyed the dynamism between the characters as their interactions and dialogues were amazing. Overall, both movies were fantastic as they touched upon many thematic ideas that are essential for teenagers. Though both films are fundamentally different with different artistic styles, plot lines, and characters, both movies promoted the idea of pursuing one’s dreams and passions no matter the cost.

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Whisper of the Heart vs. Linda Linda Linda. (2022, Apr 07). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/whisper-of-the-heart-vs-linda-linda-linda-essay

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