a.k.a. Kaze wo Mita Shounen
Amon is a descendant of the Wind Folk, a tribe of people who have not been seen for many years. He alone has the power to see and ride the wind, talk to animals and create light. His powers are discovered by the leader of the tyrannical Gold Snake Brigade, who wants to harness Amon’s abilities into the creation of an ultimate weapon. Amon is thrown in the middle of an uprising against the Gold Snakes. Will he and the people win against the oppressors?
summary by Madoka
Highs: Flawless visuals; noteworthy background music
Lows: Hollow characters; weak plot
Much like the Anime Academy, Miyazaki Hayao is often imitated but never duplicated. Although the film is almost perfect visually, The Boy Who Saw the Wind tries too hard to be in the same league as the works of Studio Ghibli and fails due to empty characters and a flimsy plot.
The world of The Boy Who Saw the Wind is presented beautifully with crisp animation and a soaring soundtrack that captures the emotions of the film. Flashbacks are denoted with an original texture overlay in front of the action, which gives the scenes a sense of age without being too overpowering. The music includes moving orchestral pieces, and occasionally characters break into songs that give the viewer a sense of their cultural identity.
Other than that, there’s not much else viewers are given about the characters of the film. Each shows little personality, and it is hard to emotionally connect with any of them. Although the story was based on a novel, it contains a weak plot with several holes that prevent it from having the impact the creators seem to have hoped for. For example, why does Amon use his power in some instances, yet not use it in similar situations where it would actually impact the story? Hastily added plot points at the end of the film try hard to garner sympathy for both the main character and the villain but fall short of stirring up any strong feelings.
The Boy Who Saw the Wind is ultimately a film that is a pleasure to the senses but evokes next to nothing from the emotions. An obvious imitator of Studio Ghibli films, this movie tries to hammer the viewers over the head with the same themes that many of those works include. Let this be a lesson to all Miyazaki wannabes: just because your film title has the word “wind” in it, that won’t automatically make it as good as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
The Boy Who Saw the Wind can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.