Whisper of the Heart Movie (1995)
耳をすませば (Mimi o Sumaseba)


Mimi o Sumaseba, which literally means If You Listen Closely, tells the story of Tsukishima Shizuku, a junior-high-school student who is struggling to find out who she is. The movie takes you on a journey through her imagination and daily life as she makes decisions that will ultimately decide her future.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by

TV Rating




  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


Character design
Character development
World building





Whisper of the Heart was animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network and Hakuhodo, and distributed by Toho. It was the first theatrical Studio Ghibli film to be directed by someone other than Miyazaki or Isao Takahata.

Whisper of the Heart was Kondō’s only film as director before his death in 1998. Studio Ghibli had hoped that Kondō would become the successor to Miyazaki and Takahata.

It was the only theatrical Ghibli film not directed by Miyazaki or Takahata for seven years until The Cat Returns was released in 2002, which focused on a minor character of the film, Baron.

Alternative titles

– Mimi o Sumaseba
– Whisper of the Heart
– 耳をすませば
– I sospiri del mio cuore
– Si tu tends l`oreille
– Stimme des Herzens – Whisper of the Heart
– Sussurro do Coração
– Sydämen kuiskaus
– Szept serca
– Südame sosin
– Yüreğinin Sesi
– Širdies Šnabždezys
– Шёпот сердца
– הלחישה שבלב
– A könyvek hercege
– Om du lyssnar noga
– Susurros del Corazón
– Susurros del corazón
– Şoapta Inimii
– Ο Ψίθυρος της Καρδιάς
– Шепотът На Сърцето
– 夢幻街少女
– I sussurri del cuore
– If You Listen Closely
– Mimi wo Sumaseba
– Шепот сердца
– Шепіт серця
– Якщо прислухатись
– همس القلوب
– 귀를 기울이면

TL;DR Review

Whisper of the Heart (Japanese: 耳をすませば Hepburn: Mimi o Sumaseba, literally “If you listen closely”) is a 1995 Japanese animated romantic coming of age drama film directed by Yoshifumi Kondō and written by Hayao Miyazaki based on the 1989 manga of the same name by Aoi Hiiragi.

The animation and art are as impressive as ever for Studio Ghibli. This time, the setting is less fantastical and more grounded in real life. Well as close to real life as possible with a talking cat doll and the scene of the floating island. Though reserved, you still have that sense of sentimentality and curiosity in this world. This movie has a pleasant and relaxed ambiance.

Shizuku is a relatable and endearing main character. She isn’t some perfect heroin, but a flawed and lost individual like most of us when we were young. Though I do like Shizuku slow development into learning more about herself, the romance sub-plot seem a bit too sudden. She goes from frustration on their first meeting to being absolutely in love within such a short period.

I usually love the music from Studio Ghibli, but the selection of music in Whisper of the Heart is a bit limited. I feel like there is 30 various versions of the “Country Road” song in this film. I do like the song but after hearing it over and over, the appeal slowly fade.

The story may be simple, but it is packed with beauty and attention to details. I recommend it to those wanting a light romance with a touch of self-discovery story. Whisper of the Heart is intended for everyone.

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Opening Theme

– “Country Road” by Olivia Newton-John

Closing Theme

– “Country Road” by Honna Youko

Insert/Image Theme

– “Country Road” by Honna Youko, Takahashi Issei, 佳山麻衣子
– “Country Road” by Honna Youko, Iizuka Mayumi, 佳山麻衣子, 千葉舞



All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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