‘Whisper of the Heart’ is a wonderfully-made animation, with a beautiful soundtrack and interesting characters. First time director Yoshifumi Kondō does a fantastic job adapting the manga of the same name and this is another great addition to the Studio Ghibli filmography. As expected, the animation itself is a visual delight with the delicately painted backgrounds of Japan, as well as the characters themselves. The characters themselves are quite intriguing and complex, particularly the main character of Shizuku. This, of course, makes you interested in them and what will happen to them. However, it’s in the plot itself that can get tedious at some parts. The plot spends too much time in the first half of the film focusing on aspects that are not part of the main narrative (for example, the love triangle between Shizuku, Yuko, and Sugimura, which I found to be quite predictable and mundane). Fortunately, the film draws its focus Shizuku in the second half and that’s the real delight of the film. Her romance with violin-player Seiji and her own personal dilemma on choosing her future are captivating, particularly when matched with the beautiful soundtrack. While this may not be as compelling and well-structured as other Studio Ghibli films, ‘Whisper of the Heart’ is still a beautiful film full of emotion and heart.