On the Retirement of Hayao Miyazaki – Ben Clark

I’m a lover of anime and I think all those who love, don’t love, and are indifferent to it should read this wonderful essay on why you should watch Studio Ghibli films.


It is a misunderstood culture. You will never find a more wretched hive of body odor and social awkwardness than at the conventions. The clubs are the toddler-fenced play space for would-be autocrats. Every fan seems to be wearing a garish costume and haphazardly tossing foreign words into his speech (fitting the pronoun, the fans are predominately male). America has embraced Comic-Con; that is, sexy people like Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron can go there without having to fear anything more than adoring fans, let alone social disgrace. But will we embrace anime? And why should we?

Hayao Miyazaki recently retired from making feature films. The goal here is to persuade you to care, if you don’t already, but first to try to determine why you might not care at the moment.

Miyazaki-san is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, which is, in essence, the Pixar of East Asia (so Pixar-like…

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4 thoughts on “On the Retirement of Hayao Miyazaki – Ben Clark

    1. I’d love another Studio Ghibli film to win an Oscar so Ghibli films wouldn’t have to put stickers on all their DVDs saying “from the makers of Spirited Away,” – which is essentially saying “from that one film we won an Oscar for”. But I haven’t seen so I don’t know how good it is. I don’t think Despicable Me 2 or The Croods have a chance. The only one I have seen (Despicable Me 2 aside) is Ernest & Celestine in its original French version, although there is an English dub but my DVD of it doesn’t have that option. It’s really, really good for what it is, with beautiful animation and a sweet (if perhaps all too familiar) plot. Frozen probably will win the award from all the buzz I’ve heard about it. You’ve also got to remember that Spirited Away won in a year with no real blockbuster success (sort of). It competed against Ice Age, Lilo and Stitch, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Treasure Planet. Not to say they are bad films, but not as good as Spirited Away. The Wind Rises has stiff competition this time, so I probably see Frozen winning. Such a shame though.


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