A Period of Idealistic Innocence: Howl’s Moving Castle

I could listen to this music for the rest of my life and never tire of it.

As an Asian, many people would probably assume that I watch anime or read manga.

anime: a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes

manga: a Japanese comic book or graphic novel

In fact, I had never watched anime until about two years ago (I am almost seventeen right now) when one of my white friends suggested it to me. Manga? I’ve read one manga (Death Note) and I never even finished it. It was extremely interesting, however. 

In regards to anime, I found Studio Ghibli films to be the most popular ones out there, so I started watching some of the originals:

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

My Neighbor Totoro

totoro

Castle in the Sky

Whisper of the Heart

Spirited Away

Perhaps you have heard of some of these?

These films are comparable to Disney films, except that the method of magic incorporation is extremely different. They’re still, however, delightful.

It’s pretty strange to acknowledge that I technically did not watch these in my actual childhood. I watched them in my adolescence, over the course of a month or so. Needless to say, this month was very happy and light for me.

My favorite anime film is Howl’s Moving Castle. When I heard that Josh Hutcherson had voiced one character in the Disney remake, I decided to watch the “Americanized” version instead.

While the story line was magical, the portion that I am choosing to write about is the music.

In one scene, Sophie (the main character, a girl that has been cursed into being an old woman) and Howl (rebellious wizard) start flying over the ruckus of the town square. Sophie is terrified and overwhelmed by the whole sensation. During the whole scene, a beautiful theme that is playing swells and eventually reaches an apex.

It’s not necessarily my favorite scene.

But the theme? Oh yes, in fact, my favorite lyric-less piece ever. It has made its way onto the list of my “All Time Favorites”.

When I listen to it, I am transported to that time two years ago when I saw life through a very optimistic and childlike lens, each day filled with naive hope.

This is not to suggest that idealistic innocence is the best mentality to embrace a time like this (with college finally becoming relevant to my life), but it’s a wonderful distraction – nay, a fantastic pastime – that I long for.

Just listen to it.

Howls_Moving_Castle_06Inspired by the Daily Prompt

10 comments

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  6. Al

    Thousand likes! I love ghilbi productions! And Joe Hisaishi’s music that go along with them:) beautiful, really!

    You’re asian? Where are you from! I’m from Singapore :)

    Like

      • Al

        That’s cool! I’m a Singaporean Chinese :) So can you speak Mandarin? I haven’t watched Nausica yet! I love Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Totoro, and definitely Howl’s Moving Castle :) Tried to play them on the piano as well but can’t match the awesomeness of Hisaishi!

        Like

        • catdiggedydog

          Well I’ve taken 10 years of Mandarin class, and I speak Chinese at home. I suppose you could CHARACTERIZE me as almost fluent but eh, not sure if that is necessarily the truth. I’m getting there though :) Piano? How cool! I used to play piano but I haven’t touched one in years. As for you, doesn’t matter if you’re not pro, it’s still super fun, right?

          Like

          • Al

            I see I see! Then I’m sure you can’t be that bad :) Yup, it is really enjoyable :) Maybe you should pick it up again :) Try from playing Hisaishi’s songs maybe? It’ll be fun!

            Like

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