Tag Archives: Ghibli

Akihiko Yamashita (Studio Ghibli) Interview – AM2 Press Junket

And here is the last interview I’m posting from this summer’s conventions: a conversation with character designer and animator Akihiko Yamashita. He’s best known for serving as animation director on numerous Studio Ghibli projects, including Ponyo and The Cat Returns, as well as being one of the two character designers on Giant Robo. In this interview, we ask him about what being at Ghibli and working alongside Hayao Miyazaki is like, his outright worship of JJ Abrams, and why he likes middle-aged male characters so much!

Note: the woman sitting next to him in the video is another character designer, Miho Shimogasa, who’s done work on Cutey Honey FlashGravitation, and Powerpuff Girls Z. She is silent in this interview.

Transcript follows after the break.

Continue reading Akihiko Yamashita (Studio Ghibli) Interview – AM2 Press Junket

Review: Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan Review

Few years ago, when both Lupin the 3rd and Case Closed were airing on Adult Swim, someone over in the Cartoon Network offices had the brilliant idea to put both shows back to back in the program schedule.  Sheer genius.   This “Lupin and Conan Power Hour” as I had dubbed it, was my favorite hour of television each night.  I didn’t care if they were episodes I had already seen a few times before, each night my butt was rooted deeply into the couch, my eyes super-glued to the screen.  Two great things that went great together… like liquor and fireworks.   So when I heard the first Lupin TV special this year was going to be Lupin the 3rd Vs. Detective Conan, oh man was I stoked.   Now that I’ve seen it… well… it wasn’t bad. Continue reading Review: Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan Review

Hayao Miyazaki Interviewed by LA Weekly

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From the LA Weekly, via ANN:

At 68, Hayao Miyazaki sounds like he might be slowing down. The director of such animated classics as Princess Mononoke and the Academy Award–winning Spirited Away seems content to sit back and watch life around him go by, a pleasure he passes on to us through the colorful world bursting from every frame of his latest film, Ponyo….

“For me, it’s more a case of bringing my own experiences as a child into the film and also watching the small children who are currently around me,” he says. “I’ve come to the age when I can finally understand the instant-by-instant experience small children are having. When you’re being a parent yourself, you don’t pay attention to some of those things because you’re so busy being a parent. There’s so much going on.”

Mike’s take: this brief interview actually cleared up a couple of interesting questions I had. First, it looks like he’s publicly denying the story that Sousuke, the boy in Ponyo, is based on his own son Goro and that the depiction of the absentee father is meant as an apology of sorts for his own absentee parenting when Goro was young. Goro and Hayao have worked together recently on a commercial, however, so the overarching story of a possible rapprochement between father and son after the spat over Tales from Earthsea might still be true. In either case, he says it’s actually his experience of the empty nest that inspired his return to exploring early childhood. It reminds me of a favorite line from TS Eliot: “And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.”

I’d also heard conflicting reports about whether Miyazaki would be retiring–once again–after making Ponyo. Apparently, if this interview is accurate, he seems to be of two minds. I thought I heard somewhere that he felt he had “two more” films left in him after this one, but considering his age and his stubbornness–he draws much of the movies he makes himself, remember, and you should see how he comes down hard on his staff in the Spirited Away documentary–I get the feeling he’s the kind of man who will die with a pencil in his hand, slumped over the animation desk. That’s the way artists should go. :)

Allison and Lilia – the Ghibli Adventure begins.

Even with everything being so classic it seems like we have a likable adventure story on our hands.

This may be more up Mike’s alley, but this story seems to take place similar to Europe before or during WWI, except we see a WWII plane here as well.

Vil, an perhaps ordinary young boy, who’s the friend of Allison, a not so ordinary girl who’s a pilot, and their adventure begins.

The only thing I’d like to point out is that in the ages before this one, the boy would’ve been the one starting the adventure, but in this great age of Otakus, the girl begins the adventure.

I don’t want to talk much at all at the risk of having no one reading and no comments – oh wait, I’m well hated…AH! Anyway, I highly recommend a watch on your own, and then decide if this adventure is worth your time at all.

It’s no Ghibli, but it’s refreshing that they’re going back to a very classic device that anime used to use in ages past (read: 70s and 80s). And the inspirational and adventure soundtrack may draw some of you (MIke, give this one a shot) in.

What? Miyazaki is only #2?

From Anime News Network:

The survey firm Oricon marked Japan’s Culture Day on November 3 by reporting a questionnaire asking which cultural figure represents Japan….Studio Ghibli’s co-founder and anime director Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away) placed second with 56 votes.

Mike’s Take: admittedly, since the question was who “represents Japan,” Miyazaki is certainly the best choice out of most anime directors who have any name recognition. Miyazaki is a cultural conservative in the Japanese context: respectful of the nation’s religious and spiritual heritage, environmentally aware, and not above using his films to inculcate such values of working hard without complaining (Spirited Away), venerating the spirits (My Neighbor Totoro), and of course being anti-war and pro-enviroment in general (like…every one of his movies almost). He also thinks most anime sucks and that Japan is going down the tubes, and almost can’t wait for it to collapse if the New Yorker interview with him is any indication. In all this he really reminds me of what we know about JRR Tolkien, who also couldn’t stand his rabid fans, was a cheerful curmudgeon, devoutly religious, and had a strong loathing of technology in general. Both Tolkien and Miyazaki also created fantasy worlds that were quintessentially English and Japanese, respectively. So Miyazaki is an excellent choice if the criterion is Japaneseness, though I think I’d expand it slightly to include all of Studio Ghibli, especially Takahata’s works. How can one leave out the director of Grave of the Fireflies and Only Yesterday, which are some of the sharpest evocations of 20th century Japan anywhere?

I think the online, youth-oriented bias of the poll though is revealed in the winner: Takeshi “Beat” Kitano, the prolific director of many both artsy and schlocky movies, some of which have made it even over here. I haven’t seen any of his films, but he is certainly an exemplary figure of modern Japan–eclectic, incredibly talented in many fields, and having a taste for violence. :)

News for our Canadian readers – if they didn’t know already.

From ANN

Spirited Away’s Canadian Network Premiere on Sunday

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) public television network will broadcast the Academy-Award-winning Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away on Sunday, September 30 at 5:00 p.m. ET/PT. Not only will this be Canada’s network television premiere of director Hayao Miyazaki’s work, but it will apparently mark the film’s first over-the-air broadcast in North America.

Ray’s take: Canadians are cool…Canucks FTW! Americans, let’s bomb Bouchard!

Looking back at the last 10 years of anime in 2017

From The Diet 3 Daily (long ago known as believewhatyouhear.org news) in The Diet 3 –

Sept. 23, 2017, The Diet 3, Atlantis. As the Anime Diet web site is now literally a Cyber City with the address thediet3.atn that also has real physical infrastructure on the current continent of Atlantis (used to be known separately as California, China, India, Japan, and Taiwan) with the address atlantisempire.atn, the Diet 3 Daily will look back at the last 10 years in anime.

Lady Hirano Aya became the first “Haruhi (the rough equivalent of a high priest. Some have been calling her the Popette)” of the Religion of Haruhi. However, these days she’s looking to pass on her position to the current idol seiyuu, Tanaka “Tiffany” Sakura, because according to the Haruhi Apostles’ Creed, once “the Haruhi” becomes 30 years old, she has to give up her position to a younger woman.

We are expecting political intrigues, assassinations, poisoning and many more Otaku riots.

The Cyber Nation of Gainax has been fighting a bitter 2-front war with The Cyber Federation of I.G. Bones and the Cyber Ghibli Liberation Front. Anno Hideki lost his life in a cyber terrorism incident and lost all his capacity to be creative. These days he can be seen posing as Ultra-man in front of the physical infrastructure of Tokyo 30, the capital of the Cyber Nation of Gainax and muttering phrases like: “I mustn’t run away”, and “I alway bring trouble to everyone around me.”

Goro Miyazaki, the leader of Cyber Ghibli Liberation Front, has been churning out stick figure anime with exceptional quality music and gorgeous scenery; he insists on these being hand drawn without the use of any CG. Many critics hailed these as “facinating art pieces commenting the mockery of the truly classic of animation”.

Ishii Mamoru started a cult named Shirow Savior, which also happens to be the name of a mecha anime that features Ultranet-ready mecha that features only bishonen pilots and only moe girls that simply can’t be killed outright. The believers of “Shirow Savior” and the believers of “Haruhiism” have been in constant cyber paper fan battles since 2014.

The giant robot “Rahxephon” has been installed as the Guardian of I.G. Bones and it has been almost completely invincible in battles against The Cyber Nation of Gainax. In its last battle is slayed 15000 Eva Unit 13 mass-production types. Miraculously, a pilot only known as Ikari S., piloting Eva Unit X1, actually successfully defeated Rahxephon using the Lance of Longeness and what is now known to the Cyber domains as AT attack Field.

KyoAni remained an animation studio in Japan. However, it’s now also known as the “Underground Diet (Parliament)” of Japan. Because Cyber Gainax took over Tokyo and made it into Tokyo 30 and became separated from the rest of what once was Japan, Kyoto became the capital of what once was Japan once again. KyoAni’s AIR defense force series became one of the best sellers in anime all time. Rumor has it that KyoAni is actually run by Lady Hirano Aya, but our sources couldn’t confirm that.

the Otaku is now the 1st class citizens on the entire continent of Atlantis. Instead of the New Year’s Day, January 1st was change to “Otaku shopping Day”, on the day no anime-related stores would close and Otaku can shop 24 hours straight on that day and on January 2nd, which is now known as the Cosplayer’s Day, by law, everyone on the continent of Atlantis is required to cosplay as an anime character.

Common crimes include: whacking someone with a cyber paper fan and steal his or her memory while screaming: “nandeyanen!” Stealing priceless artifacts (figurines) of Kanon, Air, Haruhi, Akane (from Ranma) and others, Gigaslaving people up their asses and almost destroying the world in the process, disrespecting Lady Hirano Aya, dressing up as Zetsubo Sensei without screaming “I’m in despair” every 5 minutes, riding giant robots, mechas, Tachikomas and the like without a pilot’s license (a special license is required for piloting transformable robots). conducting mecha combat without applying for combat permits, carrying Claymores without symbols, using anti-Akuma weapons without registering with the Black Society of Jesus, dating yaoi vampires without drawing doujinshi of them, sexually harassing mecha musume (military mecha girls) and/or using them for prostitution purposes, hacking people’s cyber brains and play the OP song for Potemayo 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 or 366 days per year in their heads, disrespecting your mother and Inoue Kikuko-sama(Belldandy, Mizuho, Miria) in the same sentence, and many other crimes, all of which are punishable by death with “Full Cavity Synchronization Capacity” probes, in groups inside special death agencies.

We here at The Diet 3 Daily is now fearing for our lives.