Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises’ Gets English-Language Voice Cast

Published 8 months ago by

wind rises us voice cast Hayao Miyazakis The Wind Rises Gets English Language Voice Cast

The Wind Rises is the latest (and, until further notice, the last) 2D animated offering from Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki – the Oscar-winning Japanese filmmaker, whose credits include My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. His latest project is a semi-fictionalized memoir about Jiro Horikoshi, the inventor of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter and other Japanese fighter plane designs that were used in WWII.

Miyazaki’s historical drama will release in the U.S. next year (watch the trailer), shortly before the 86th Annual Academy Awards ceremony takes place. Wind Rises is sure to be a strong contender in the Best Animated Feature Oscar category this year, along with the computer-animated musical Frozen (produced by Disney, which is distributing Miyazaki’s film domestically). No surprise, Wind Rises‘ artistic merits have proven more than enough to secure an impressive voice acting lineup for the english-dubbed version that will screen in the States.

According to USA Today, the Wind Rises U.S. voice cast includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon) as protagonist Jiro, with Emily Blunt (Into the Woods) voicing Jiro’s sickly object of affection, Nahoko, and Blunt’s husband/actor John Krasinski (The Office) lending his vocals to Honjo, Jiro’s college friend and fellow aviation enthusiast.

Other noteworthy voice cast members for Wind Rises include Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), William H. Macy (Shameless),  Mae Whitman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Elijah Wood (Maniac), filmmaker/actor Werner Herzog (Jack Reacher) and 1980s/90s actress icon Jennifer Grey (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dirty Dancing).

Hayao Mayazakis The Wind Rises Studio Ghibli banner Hayao Miyazakis The Wind Rises Gets English Language Voice Cast

When interviewed, both Levitt and Blunt showered Wind Rises with nothing but praise, with regard to how it blends Miyazakian Impressionism – through dream sequences where Jiro wrestles with his innermost feelings, be they love for Nahoko, passion for his career or guilt over the destruction of life wrought by his inventions – with a more grounded storyline that deals with very recognizable (and accessible) human themes (the effects of war, relationships, aspirations vs. reality, and so forth).

Blunt, in particular, emphasized that if Wind Rises does prove to be Miyazaki’s swan song, then its message is a fitting capstone to his career:

“‘We must live’ is a line audiences will hear in the movie, and it’s through our losses and our accomplishments, as if we’re emboldened by our dreams, that we must live. That’s a really deep message for a lot of people.”

On the less encouraging side of things: Wind Rises has been criticized for presenting certain aspects of Japan’s past as more palatable and/or gliding over select events altogether (a.k.a. white-washing history). Additionally, there’s generally a split between audience preferences for the different versions of Miyazaki’s films, as some moviegoers tend to vastly favor the original cut (with english subtitles) – not the english dub – and that will affect the feature’s box office turnout, even in a limited U.S. release.

Those issues aside – seeing how this may well be Miyazaki’s final bow – there’s still more than reason enough for the filmmaker’s North American fans to turnout and see Wind Rises in theaters.

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The Wind Rises opens in U.S. theaters on February 21st, 2014.

Source: USA Today

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  1. Looks to be a pretty great film.

    Yes, there is probably a SIGNIFICANT whitewashing of Japan’s history in the film, but I guess that’s to be expected.

    Also, I really can’t bear some of the English voice casts on Miyazaki releases. Casting a voice actor is NOT the same thing as casting an actor, and the people making casting decisions for Studio Ghibli’s English releases don’t always seem to understand that…

    • if youre worried about whitewashing and crappy dub you should just watch a sub version. you get used to it pretty quick. i thought i would hate subbs when i watched the new dragonball movie but it was fine

      • Attack On Titan was my first experience with subbed anime, and I have to say, it was glorious.

        I also think American dubs have gotten better, especially those with Funimation attached, but the choices for Miyazaki dubs still seem pretty uneven to me.

    • For what its worth I think Disney has done an admirable job dubbing Miyazaki’s films.

      The worst dub by far is Mononoke which wasn’t done by Disney. Billy Bob Thorton is laughably bad in that one.

      The other dubs imho are fine, with the exception of James Van Der Beek in Castle in the Sky. I can still hear his nasally voice yelling “Sheeta!! Sheeta!!” *shudder*

      • James wasn’t perfect, but I honestly preferred him to Barbara Goodson in the hideous original dub. Besides, “Castle in the Sky”‘s dub IMO is still worthwhile beacuse of Hamill and Leachman. Those two really make the Disney dub worthwhile. And for the record, I actually liked “Princess Mononoke”‘s dub.

  2. I am unaware of this World Wide Web II you mention at the beginning of the article.

    • Hollywood’s reboot obsession has begun to spread.

      WWWII is just like the original World Wide Web, only darker and grittier.

      • The Nolan version then.

  3. His retirement probably depends on whether Disney buy Studio Ghibli. Whatever the case, if he does retire I hope Granpapa Miyazaki enjoys his retirement. Presumably in a house made of cheese that rests on a cloud as he attends to his pet dragon.

    For whatever it is worth, I always prefer the original language versions. Can never quite get rid of the idea the dubbing is always a little phoned in.

  4. Though Disney tends to have a better record at casting voice actors than the vast majority of American anime importers, subbed will always beat dubbed, so that’ll be the version I watch.

  5. Dubs are hard. Having watched most of Miyazaki’s stuff dubbed, I always got the impression that the actors were trying to hard to make the english dialogue sync up with the animation, leading to a lot of awkwardness.

    That said, I prefer my animation dubbed. Subtitles over that gorgeous animation is too distracting.

    Strangely, I cannot abide dubbing of live action.

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