In what’s being called a “Farewell Masterpiece” from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, given the unclear status of the studio’s production in the future, The Wind Rises may indeed be a bit of a swan song, for now.
The home theater version of the animated film is getting special treatment in its packaging options, including a DVD with extras, a special “Double Play” edition, and a Digipack Collector’s Edition with DVD, Blu-ray, and many extras. While all versions include original trailers and TV spots from Japan, the Doubleplay and Collector’s Edition also includes a press conference held when the film’s completion was announced. These sets were released in the UK on September 29th, but arrive in the US in early November.
The sets include the original-language versions of the film, of course, but also the English-language edition featuring the voice-over work of Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Stanley Tucci.
If you’re unfamiliar with the historically-set aeronautical premise of The Wind Rises, the plot is described thus:
In THE WIND RISES Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted from a young age and thus unable to become a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished airplane designers.
The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events including The Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic, and Japan’s plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo.
Writer and director Hayao Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in this epic tale of love, perseverance and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.
Let’s hope it’s not the last Ghibli film, but it’s a worthy finale with epic themes and beautiful artwork, as always.