Miyazaki's latest farewell to his directorial role is a love letter to early aviation, the sort of thing that has appeared in many of his other films -- Porco Rosso, Laputa or even Howl's Moving Castle -- now given free rein in the story of the designer of the Zero fighter, admittedly one that elides the war years entirely. It manages to both retain the usual Ghibli quirkiness, while yet being a sober and mature work. Simply the best movie I've seen in years.
It also co-opted his most notorious protégé, Hideaki Anno, as both key animator (getting to draw the Zeros), and in the speaking role of the lead character, in a part which involved a small amount both French (the poem of the title) and German (sung) at times. Hence the little shout-out to Anno's major work in the telling of how the casting must have gone.