When news broke that Japanese film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki is coming out of retirement (again) to create his final film, otakus couldn’t contain their excitement. Who can blame them? When Miyazaki retired in 2013, Studio Ghibli went on a hiatus and we all missed the animated films he alone can create. You see, Miyazaki’s films has a way of making you fall in love with it.
Whether it’s Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, or Princess Mononoke, you won’t be disappointed that you watched it (as well as other Studio Ghibli films)! Want to know why? Read up!
1. It takes you to different kinds of imagined worlds
If you noticed, every film by Miyazaki is different from each other. But they all have something in common — imagined worlds. He never fails to lead his viewers to a world no one would have thought existed (even in one’s own imagination). His worlds are surreal yet detailed, fully formed, and captivating.
You cannot deny it, entering one of his worlds (like finding yourself in a floating island, Laputa, in Castle in the Sky), will make you yearn for more.
2. It has eccentric and unconventional characters
If you think the imagined worlds are surreal, Miyazaki’s out-of-this-world characters will make you want to scratch your head. There are tons of interesting characters like Ponyo, the goldfish-who-turned-into-a-girl (from Ponyo) who loves to eat ham, the Great Forest Spirit (from Princess Mononoke), or No-Face (from Spirited Away).
These characters may seem bizarre at first encounter, but Miyazaki gives them a little humanity that makes it easy for viewers to relate to.
3. The themes are very relatable and humanistic
Despite the fact that Miyazaki’s films are highly fictional, the themes are not far-fetched. The films tap into real-life struggles and experiences that cuts across all ages. For example, in Howl’s Moving Castle, Howl learned how to be selfless and ended up sacrificing himself to save others. While Sophie, on the other hand, was turned into an old woman in order for her to overcome her negative self-image.
4. The presence of strong women characters
Perhaps what sets Miyazaki’s films apart is this fact: it illustrates women as strong and competent. If you are unaware, Japan used to view women as second-class citizens. So to find Japanese animated films with strong women characters is already a cause for celebration especially since it was created by a male filmmaker. An example would be San (from Princess Mononoke), who’s a fierce warrior raised by giant wolves.
That alone suggests that Miyazaki’s film are not afraid to the cross the lines if it has to!
5. Superb animation
There’s no denying that each of Miyazaki’s films don’t just have a great storyline but also awesome animation! Miyazaki was, in fact, a manga artist before he turned to filmmaking. He was the animator for at least 28 major films.
So for fans of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, we all have something to look forward to. This might be Miyazaki’s last film and we bet it’s going to be great.