EPISODE 430: artist profile of HAYAO MIYAZAKI

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4 Responses

  1. Josh G. says:

    Hey guys! Long-time listener, first-time commenting. Felt the need to comment for two reasons. And the second is that I’m a big Studio Ghibli fan and Hayao Miyazaki in particular is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. “Princess Mononoke” was my first and remains my favorite, not only of his oeuvre but one of my favorite films period. I’ve never found it overly heavy-handed because, as Aaron points out, the characters all have well-defined motives; they’re all acting towards the survival of their respective species. There’s no clear cut villain which is something you find in almost all of his films (“Castle in the Sky” being the lone exception). That being said, I will conceded that “Spirited Away” is his best all-around film.

    Which (finally) brings me to my primary reason for commenting. “Spirited Away” finally dropped on Blu-ray in the States yesterday. So naturally as soon as I could, I picked up the disc and after viewing it in all its glory, decided to go online. Eventually made my way to the site when surprise, surprise, surprise! Too big of a coincidence for me not to leave a comment on your voodoo magic. Well done, intentional or not.

    So yeah, seek out all of Miyazaki’s films as they’re all worthy (even “Howl” which is indeed his weakest but it’s grown on me these last 10 years). “Castle of Cagliostro” comes out on Blu-ray next week and that will make all of his features available in high-def in the US. And with Ghibli, it’s HD or bust.

  2. Stefan Robak says:

    Just a clarification of what “counts” as anime. Basically, as mentioned, it is a cartoon made (produced, created) in Japan.

    Now, I won’t say it’s always as simple as that for this reason: the word “anime” is a Japanese term that JUST means cartoon. So, to a Japanese person, Mickey Mouse, the Simpsons and South Park are all anime. But to us westerners, we took the Japanese term and applied it to anime made in Japan. It can get a bit tricky for some people since there are a lot of Western cartoons that intentionally take visual and storytelling inspiration from anime (I’m using the term here in the western way), including Avatar: The Last Airbender and Teen Titans. Some people started referring to them as anime, but I think most people wouldn’t consider them anime, despite being anime inspired, but some also argue if enough of it is done in Japan, even if it’s for a western audience, then it is an anime. These are the things that don’t always get pigeonholed so well.

    Interestingly, this is similar to otaku: in the west, it is a term that basically means Japanese culture nerd, while in Japan, it just means nerd (you can be a military otaku, a tech otaku, etc.)

    And I know Tyler didn’t mean it this way, but thinking of anime is simply action series is a bit reductive, even when talking about stuff that appeals to fan boys and girls. There’s tons of romance series, sports series (which are often as dynamic as the sports series), comedies, slice of life stories, and basically any genre you can think of, and with a wider range of styles than most American animated TV series (though yes, the action stuff often floats to the top of popularity). It’s not all big robots.

    Personally, I highly recommend the thriller series Monster, about a doctor in Germany who discovers that a boy who’s life he saved years earlier has grown into a serial killer who seems to attract and use other criminals and serial killers. The mystery stuff is good, but it also contains a lot of strong characters.

    Future Boy Conan is pretty good. Well, worth checking out, though I think now you can only see it on the streaming website Crunchyroll or by extra legal means (fansubs).

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