Hayao Miyazaki's new film Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) is the first in his long career to move him to tears, the director said. The film is his first based on a historical figure, Horikoshi Jiro. Horikoshi is best known for designing the Mitsubishi A6M Zero aircraft used in the bombing of Pearl Harbor and kamikaze missions during World War II.

Despite the wartime setting, Japanese history professor Matthew Penney says Kaze Tachinu is "not a war film," but a "layered look at how Horikoshi’s passion for flight was captured by capital and militarism."

Miyazaki himself has been attacked for the film by netizens who call the pacifist message "anti-Japanese," and the director a "traitor." He got the attention of some when he criticized Prime Minister Abe's policies in an editorial from Ghibli's magazine, especially when he recommended a "proper apology" be made to Korean comfort women abused during World War II, and suggesting the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands be either "split in half" with China or controlled jointly.

Criticism aside, Kaze Tachinu is doing very well at the Japanese box office, taking in 960 million yen in its first two days. Older audiences are finding the story especially meaningful, and Miyazaki, whose father worked on aircraft during World War II, has said it's the first of his films to move him to tears. Kaze Tachinu will have its North American premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, but you can watch the English trailer here: