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Unread 10-19-2002, 11:53 AM   #1
Meiotika
 
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How Many Miyazaki Fans Do We Have Here...?

I just had the pleasure of seeing Spirited Away at a local theatre last night, and I must say that it lived up to my expectations. A lot of you have already seen it, I know, but I just had to make a few comments on this film, and the rest of Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli's productions.

I don't know how much can actually be attributed to Miyazaki himself, but I aboslutely am absorbed in every story that he creates. My two favorites are probably Nausicaš and Tonari no Totoro , but that by no means implies that I don't love his other works, as well. I find his stories are rich with meaning, and they're so enlightening and make me feel very good.

From a more analytical perspective, Miyazaki stories usually entail heavy spiritual and environmental themes, as well as an examination of the human condition (usually from a child's view), or examine the humans vs. nature concept (mainly, I suppose, Nausicaš and Mononoke). I really like these kinds of themes in a story. I am enchanted with his style of animation, and the beautiful trees and forests and elaborate backgrounds remind me of when I was a kid, when I would always walk through the forest in back of my house, and sit in the trees and watch the stars. We've moved to the suburbs since then, and I really miss those times. Miyazaki films make me feel so nostalgic!

Totoro was my first Miyazaki film. When I visited Japan, I rented the Japanese version from the local rental place and watched it with my host family. When I left Japan, some friends of mine had chipped in to buy me a big Totoro plush for a goodbye present. I cried so much! (My host mom made me Oni-Giri, or rice balls for the plane, and I cried when I ate those, because I was so sad to leave. When Chihiro, in Spirited Away, was eating Oni-Giri and was crying, I got a little tearry-eyed, too.)

What are your favorite Miyazaki stories? Do they make you feel nostalgic, too, and really feel warm about those days when you'd run through cat-tails or climb in the trees in a big forest down your road? I'd have to say that Miyazaki is my favorite Japanese artist/storyteller, because he just hits so close to home with so many things.


Last edited by Meiotika : 10-19-2002 at 11:57 AM.
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Unread 10-19-2002, 12:18 PM   #2
Babbit_Chan
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Me! *falls over* I love that he can make you feel in touch with the movie and that he makes the art and animation just right so it's all perfect. I like that he can produce stories that can range from genre to genre of anime and it still be fairly family oriented. Nausicaa, Tonari no Totoro (my first too!), and Mononoke Hime were also my favorites ^_^ I haven't seen anything else recently, but I hear Spirited Away is very good *grins*
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Unread 10-19-2002, 07:48 PM   #3
John Booty
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> I don't know how much can actually be
> attributed to Miyazaki himself, but I
> aboslutely am absorbed in every story
> that he creates.

Yes! I agree with your post 100%. I loved that movie soooo much. I'm hoping to see it for a fourth time in the next week or two!
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Unread 10-20-2002, 12:46 AM   #4
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It made you feel nostalgic too? When I was living in Taiwan, my apartment was at the foot of a forest-mountain. At the top was a buddhist temple that liked little kids and visitors. (I was cute back then. ) I didn't know why all of Miyazaki's stuff seemed so nostalgic until you mentioned it. When Chihiro's family got to the entrance to the city of the dead, when I watched "I can hear the Ocean Waves", it all seemed like Deja Vou and I didn't know why until you mentioned it. The place my childhood took place is a lot like those places. Oh yeah, my faves are "Mimi o Suwaseba" and "I can hear the Ocean Waves." Although Laputa, Nausicca, Sen To Chihiro all left me utterly speechless, I like those two better. Personal preference, purely. That's not to say Sen to Chihiro isn't good, it's magnificent! I had to watch it a second time right after I saw the credits the first time. Miyazaki contributed a lot. It was suppose to be his last film so he had a large part in it. Director and Producer, I think. I just have to say this, "Concrete Road"!!!
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Unread 10-20-2002, 07:25 AM   #5
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Me! I love Miyazaki's movies. They're just great. So far I've only seen Majo no Takkyubin, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, Castle of Cagliostro, and Mononoke Hime. They were all just great and had great replay values, for a movie. Miyazaki is a god. ^_^

I can't say much about Miyazaki movies because they leave me speechless and make me go and feel "wow."
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Unread 10-20-2002, 09:55 PM   #6
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well folks, thanks to this sstrange little movie i recently saw called sen to chihiro, miyazaki now has a new fan.

did miyazaki have something to do with grave/tomb of the fireflies?
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Unread 10-21-2002, 12:20 AM   #7
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To my understanding, Grave of the Fireflies was a film directed by Isao Takahata, from Studio Ghibli. According to Nausicaa.net, "Isao Takahata is a long-time colleague of Miyazaki and another leading head of Studio Ghibli." You can find a short biography at this link:

http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/takahata/

It is said that the movie was based on a book called Grave of the Fireflies, authored by Nosaka Akiyuki, which was partly autobiographical. This film was just shown yesterday at the University of Michigan's Anime Film Fest, actually!

Another interesting note is that while Miyazaki's films and stories are usually really elaborated with fantasy/mythical elements, this film is grotesquely realistic (so much to the point where it is almost like fantasy in a different way). It was a good film, albeit very tragic. Definitely one to add to your collection. A very humbling film.

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Unread 10-21-2002, 06:35 AM   #8
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Me me me!!! (Actually, everyone in my family, too!)

I've been a Miyazaki fan ever since I first saw Castle of Cagliostro in raw Japanese the year it was released.

I love everything of Miyazaki's that I've ever seen. I recently acquired Porco Rosso and Whisper of the Heart, but have not had the time to watch them yet...

My personal favorite is Mononoke Hime, with Nausicaa and Sen to Chihiro in a tie for second place. (Actually, Nausicaa as a manga saga is truly amazing, and a must-read.)

The first "entertainment" purchase I ever made for my kids was Totoro - which I had seen before they were even born. I knew that I HAD to have it for my then-future children. It is the best movie for young children that I have ever seen - and it is great watching for adults too. I love it.

My kids also really like Kiki's Delivery Service & Laputa.

I've got to say, though, that although I also have the "official" US releases, the fansub versions I have are much better. The subtitling is better done, they don't change "too much" such as names & titles, and most importantly, in a letterbox version, the subtitles are NOT on top of the picture!!!

Disney/Buena Vista really bothered me with that. I find their sub of Mononoke Hime unwatchable, even though my fansub picture quality is poorer. While it was a well done dub, I prefer NOT to watch dubs if I have a choice.

Well, I got Sen to Chihiro on Japanese DVD, and the subtitling on that is reasonable. Now that I have the all-region player, I should look into the Japaese versions, even though they cost more.
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Unread 10-21-2002, 08:26 AM   #9
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I haven't seen much Miyazaki stuff, but I like Kiki and Totoro. Mononoke is OK but it's not one of my favorites. I would like to see Spirited Away, but finding a babysitter can be a pain...so that is probably going to wait until DVD release.
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Unread 10-21-2002, 05:33 PM   #10
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I've seen Castle of Cagliostro, Totoro, Mononoke, and Spirited Away and loved them all!

I hardly know where to start about why I enjoyed those movies. The animation, the incredibly gorgeous backgrounds, the stories that are more complex than Disney's simple good guy vs. bad guy plots. The more I think about Totoro, the more I think it's one of the least conventionally-structured movies I've ever seen I have to watch that again.

I actually find it hard to image how people don't love his movies, although after viewing the other Miyazaki non-fan thread, I suppose they exist.

I could see how some people might say his movies are "slow", but I think it's the attention to subtle things that makes them so good, compared to a lot of movies these days that are shot like music videos for people with attention deficit disorder.
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Unread 10-21-2002, 05:52 PM   #11
Cassandra
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Well, if you consider the fact that just about all of his movies revolve around children in some way, shape or form....it's quite easy to see how some people wouldn't like them.

Granted, I want to get Kiki and Totoro for my kid....but I would definitely feel stupid giving it to an adult. (Unlike, say, Castle of Cagliostro....which is really a rarity when you look at the list of his work.)
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Unread 10-21-2002, 06:40 PM   #12
John Booty
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They feature children but I think they definitely have a much wider appeal. I wouldn't have a problem giving Totoro or Spirited Away to an adult who had a good open-minded appreciation of movies. Admittedly this does eliminate most of the population of planet Earth, but that's their loss. I haven't seen Kiki's so I can't say.

Anyway, if they're closed-minded enough to dismiss Totoro or SA as a kids' movie movie, I doubt they'd be into Cagliostro either... it IS a cartoon after all. :P
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Unread 10-21-2002, 06:57 PM   #13
Cassandra
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I'm not talking about dismissing it because it's a cartoon. I'm talking about the main characters.

Kiki = young witch (kid)
Totoro = the sisters (kids)
Nausicaa = princess (kid)
Laputa = more kids

Castle of Cagliostro = Lupin the thief (adult)


So most of his movies are falling into the "disney" category (except that his movies tend to have a more 'mature' theme or sub-theme in them) in that the main characters are kids....which kids tend to identify with better than adults. And considering there is usually a lack of adults in his movies, there aren't many characters that adults CAN identify with.
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Unread 10-21-2002, 07:15 PM   #14
John Booty
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That's a good point you're making. Haha, Cass, I know that YOU of all people wouldn't dislike something because it's a "cartoon"! You're running an anime convention for God's sake.... hahaha.

You mentioned how you'd maybe lend Cagliostro to an adult, but not Totoro since it's about kids. What I meant is that the type of people would diss Totoro because it's "about kids" would probably not be open-minded enough to watch Cagliostro either since it's "animated". For the most part!
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Unread 10-21-2002, 07:21 PM   #15
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-clings to her Kiki's Delivery Service tape- I like his work so far. I'd like to see more. I wish Spirited Away was in my area, but it isn't. ;_; I heard Totoro's really cute, and Princess Monanoke is okay too. ^^
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