Thursday, January 12, 2006


At least that is what I think when I watch any movie by Hayao Miyazaki. I get caught up his wonderful stories filled with adventure, excitement, wonder, and danger.

TMC is just starting a showing of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind followed by Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Minor gripe, the Disney release was not the first time Nausicaa made it to the United States. My first exposure was a child watching on cable TV the American adaptaion of Nausicaa called of Warriors of the Wind. They cut about thirty minutes from the original to make the American version, among anime fans it is the equivalent of the burning of the Library of Alexandria. Disney can not even claim the first sub-title job on Nausicaa since Miyazaki's own Studio Ghibli had done one at the time Nausicaa was originally released in 1984 and in 2000 when Disney/Miramax financed an anime film festival at the Freer Gallery Smithsonian we fans saw the Studio Ghibli sub-titled versions of Nausicaa and My Neighbor Totoro before being treated to a free showing of the dubbed Mononoke Hime called Princess Mononoke. Talk about anime heaven.

As is evident, am something of a Miyazaki fan. It was exposure to Warriors of the Wind that planted the seed in me that lead to my liking of anime with a special spot for Miyazaki Hayao. One time when I was in Germany I found a comic shop that had anime posters and I faced a dilemma, to buy either a Kia Asamiya poster of Leen from Dark Angel or a watercolor poster of Nausicaa. I bought the Nausicaa poster, had it framed when I got home, and it now hangs on my wall; in fact it is the first picture anyone sees walking into living room from the front door.

Oh wow, this time TMC is showing the sub-titled version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, sugoi ne? Kirei!

With Miyazaki it is hard to say one of his movies stands out above the rest, they are all so wonderful. Though some would argue when it comes to Whisper of the Heart or Only Yesterday that they pale in comparison to such as Nausicaa, My Neighbor Totoro, Porco Rosso or the more modern movies like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. These two movies and the sequel to Whisper of the Heart do pale in the action department in comparison to the other movies but that is due to their greater focus on the central character like Haru in The Cat Returns who has to deal with a lack of self-confidence or the young girl in Whisper of the Heart who stands at the crossroads of her future, does she study hard to pass the exams for high school or perhaps try her hand at being a writer? Whereas the other movies add more adventure and action along with a dollop of thought while still letting the characters act like real human beings.

But after the week I have been having, I really needed a mini-Miyazaki film festival to bring me back to humanity. About the only thing to top this would be to put the laserdisc of On Your Mark in and watch it. What is On Your Mark you ask? Well Miyazaki and some his staff really liked this song On Your Mark so they created an animated music video set to the music. Pity it has not been released in the US since you really do not need to understand the Japanese lyrics, just let the images tell you a wonderful story while enjoying the tune. It is something to easily relax to.

Anyway I think I will go watch Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind again. And I wish I could afford a Nausicaa cel like the one at the top, but when cels run $3k each I really have to say no since I like eating and having a roof over my head.


Anonymous said...

Anna, it may be because I'm 9 years older than dirt, but I haven't got a clue of what this and your last article are about. I'm still in the Flash Gordon with Buster Crabb mode.

Anna said...

Oh AndyJ-san, Flash Gordon really? Oh Ming you fiend! :) Just a generational thing I guess, blame TV on my departure from societal norms starting with Sunday morning monster movies from Japan. And BOC's Godzilla.

How did I write TMC? That should be TCM [Turner Classic Movies]. Must be dyslexia of the keyboard.

Myrtus said...

haha don't feel bad Andy, I'm still stuck on ninja turtles and transformers, but thank God we have Anna to keeps us going with the times. (:

Anna said...

Me, keep y'all up with the times. If that was true I would be talking about Samurai Champloo or Inu-Yasha alot more or Naruto or Scryd. ^_^ I wonder if Nat watches any of this? :)

'Transformers, robots in disguise.' and Tennage Mutant Ninja Turtles, oh my. This is your reporter April O'Neil... :)