Monday, May 17, 2010

Fan-Boy Icon #13

Like I said, I don't care for a whole lot of anime, but I just barely consider the work of Haiyao Miyazaki to be anime. Sure, stylistically, it is anime, but it is deeper than most. Things are big and breathtaking, but not the eye pollution of explosions, cleavage, and camel-toe that is standard anime fare.

I have a hard time deciding on my favorite film. I have not seen all of Miyazaki's work. I have seen My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and a few others. Probably my favorite is the first I saw: Nausicaa, Valley of the Wind.

Like most of Miyazaki's films, this one deals with man's lust for war, and our disengagement with nature. Their world is polluted with spores that kill. The Valley of the Wind is protected by the ocean breezes that keep the spores away. Because of this natural boon, their land is desired by others. As often happens with Miyazaki, things are not as they appear.

All of his films are fantastical stories with heartwarming protagonists, and an understanding that evil is not always as it appears, and good is not either. You should check his films out. Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Ponyo are likely the most accessible through normal renting channels.


Nathan said...

It does seem like Miyazaki's work is popular even among people who usually don't like anime. I've only seen Spirited Away, but I liked it a lot. My wife didn't care for it at all, though.

Darius Whiteplume said...

He is in the Disney camp now, so he's more accessible to non-anime audiences. I also think his stories are more... understandable, perhaps? I remember seeing Akira, and wondering WTF was going on. "Oh, you have to read the manga." I don't want to read the manga, that's why I rented the movie.

Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa are easily my favorites.

Nathan said...

Well, I've already read the book of Howl's Moving Castle, but I hear that the movie is quite different.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

We all love Miyazaki's work in my family. We have nearly all his movies, but we have seen all of them and each one is very good.

Our faves are Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service.

I can't recommend him enough.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I have not seen Howl's yet.

@TB - I need to catch up on some of the older films, as well as Ponyo. I just got Castles in the Sky as a gift for someone. Unfortunately it is a web friend, so no birthday viewing with me :-)

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Miyazaki is great. I would love to see him work with the Pixar boys to create something epic. The fact that he can make animation that is so vary Japanese in tone and have it still be relateable to western audiences is his true gift. I find alot of anime to be too strange and distant for me but his stuff never lets me down.

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