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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Animeman Extraordinaire : Miyazaki-Sensei...

...children's souls are the inheritors of historical memory from previous generations.

For those who claim themselves as anime lovers MUST have known HAYAO MIYAZAKI! If you are unaware of him and his works must, at once, rip the title as 'anime lover'! He is a sheer genius and a magnificent story-teller! He is the ultimate animators and anime director, the one and only. In fact, so far, he is the only Japanese animator that has won the Academiy Award for his superb masterpiece, Spirited Away. He was raduated from Gakushuin University with a degree in political science & economics (1963). And for that reason, he usually deals with themes of politic, environmentalism, anti-war and most importantly good and evil.

He also believes that there is always good in evil or vice versa. For example in Mononoke-hime, Lady Eboshi knowingly exploits the forests for raw materials at the expense of animal life, while simultaneously sheltering lepers and former prostitutes in her city. The same is true for Spirited Away, where, according to Miyazaki, "the heroine [is] thrown into a place where the good and bad dwell together ... She manages not because she has destroyed the “evil,” but because she has acquired the ability to survive."

When it comes to theme of enviromentailsm, in Spirited Away, this theme is made concrete through the "stink spirit", and consequently he himself, has been polluted and is cleansed by the protagonist, Chihiro.

The reason why his work is accepted world-wide is because his work has European flavor, excellent visual and audio quality as well as unique themes. Eventhough, most of the settings are based in Japan, the European influence can be seen in the setting.

His most prominent trademark in his work is flying. He frequently includes scenes or sequences in which the characters fly. Another trait of his work is, he likes to pay homage to working-class people. This can be seen in Spirited Away, Mononoke-hime and also Howl's Moving Castle. He is truly a director that appreciates children and youngster and that is the reason why most of his protagonists are children or teenagers.

In the final anlysis, I believe Miyazaki's work has transcended time and space. And it will be appreciated and enjoyed by all!

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