Whisper of the Heart (耳をすませば, Mimi o Sumaseba; lit. "If you listen closely") is a Japanese manga created by Aoi Hiiragi. The manga was serialized in Shueisha's shōjo manga magazine Ribon between August and November 1989, and a single tankōbon volume was released in February 1990. The volume was reprinted on July 15, 2005. A second manga by the same author titled Mimi o Sumaseba: Shiawase na Jikan was serialized in Shueisha's Ribon Original in 1995. A spiritual sequel to this film adaption, The Cat Returns, was turned back into a manga by Aoi Hiiragi, under the name Baron: Neko no Danshaku.
A 1995 Japanese anime fantasy drama film was produced, directed by Yoshifumi Kondō and written by Hayao Miyazaki. It was the first theatrical Studio Ghibli film to be directed by someone other than Miyazaki or Isao Takahata.
Shizuku Tsukishima is a free-spirited and cheerful 14-year-old girl who is currently enjoying her summer vacation. She loves spending her free time at the local library where she notices that the books she reads are often checked out by a boy named Seiji Amasawa.
One day while riding the local train, Shizuku notices a strange cat sitting near her. Why would an ordinary cat ride a train? Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it can also seriously harm a young girl. Shizuku decides to follow the mysterious cat to see where it goes and soon stumbles upon an antique shop run by a violin maker named Nishi and his grandson, Seiji, who shares her taste in literature. Seiji and Shizuku soon become friends and while Seiji is sure of his dreams and how to follow them, Shizuku is still unsure of her own talents. However, when she sees a strange cat statuette in the shop, it seems as if a silent voice from the statuette starts enlightening her with the inspiration she so desperately needed. One voice pushes Shizuku further than she could have ever imagined, changing her life forever.