A friend of mine once told me that she played video games for the social interaction with other people. She didn't play 1 player games because if she was going to do something for the story, then she might as well read a book and have the same experience.
I know this sounds random, but I have a point to it. You say "The Wind Rises" could have been told as a live-action film. You're right, it could have been. But so can almost every story. With that kind of argument, why are films even made in the first place? I might as well just experience life. This film is not about the medium, it is about story. It just happens to be animated.
I think the story in The Wind Rises is amazing and I think you misunderstood many aspects of it. Miyazaki is not glorifying the war, but quite the opposite. What he talks about is Jiro's pure dream of making a beautiful aircraft, something that the other designers and engineers also wish to do. The film takes place in Japan, so of course things like the relationship between the Japanese and the Germans are going to be shown as "everything is sunshine and daisies, yay". But, did you not feel the tension every time the German character was on screen? The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end…. Maybe it’s just because he was kind of creepy…?
This film has so many sweet moments that "distract" from the main point. I think this is done on purpose. This film is about war, but you don't see any fighting. This makes it relate-able to the average person who, like me, has lived through war but never experienced it. When the war in Iraq was going on, I was going to school, having fun with friends, not thinking that across the sea thousands of people were dying.
The film's end is so incredibly sad. The thing that makes it sadder is that it is something that anyone, no matter what country, can understand. Jiro wanted to make beautiful planes, but now they are going to be used to kill and bring terror to people. This is exactly how the creators of the atomic bomb felt. This is exactly how scientists working at NASA felt. They knew they were creating this technology that eventually was going to be used to kill people, but what they really wanted to do was to learn more.
I think the film couldn't have come out at a better time, when war seems to be at the doorstep of every home. I think people, especially those in power, need to think more about the ethical and moral implications of what they are doing and I think this film tries to touch on that.
I'm sorry you found this film so boring, but I have to disagree with your review. I think this film has a deeper meaning that goes beyond the visual and I think that shows amazing storytelling.