Studio Ghibli and the last masterpiece of Hayao Miyazaki
Whether you are an anime fan or not, you have probably come across some illustrations from Studio Ghibli - one of the most famous animation film studios in Japan that has released many excellent works, at least once.
Together with Tashio Suzuki and Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki is one of the co-founders of Ghibli Studio. The very first film their studio produced, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, is one of the works written and directed by Miyazaki.
Throughout his life, Miyazaki has made a significant contribution to the creation of the classic animated films of Ghibli Studio in particular, and Japan in general.
From My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001) to Ponyo (2008), all of them were scripted by Hayao Miyazaki.
His works are stunningly artistic in both contents and visuals, hence have broken multiple records and generated huge profits for Ghibli.
In 2013, after accomplishing The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyawaki officially declared resignation, much to the regret of his global fans.
Studio Ghibli also had to suspend its activities for a short while to restructure the business after Miyawaki's declaration to leave. Fortunately, on second thought, Miyawaki has changed his mind to continue with his film making career.
His latest project: How Do You Live? - Kimitachi wa Dō Ikiru ka
Old age has slowed down his drawing speed, so it took roughly three years and a half for this project to reach 15% completion. This is probably the final film of an artist who will soon pass the age of 80.
There are rumours that Miyazaki's come-back project How Do You Live? was inspired and adapted from a novel of the same title that was published in 1937 by Genzaburo Yoshino.
This book tells the life story of Junichi Honda, a 15-year-old boy raised by his uncle. Throughout the novel, humanistic values and life lessons were taught and delivered through the notes that Junichi's uncle wrote to him.
We might have to wait for a long while to be able to enjoy "How Do You Live?". But I believe, it's worth our waiting.
Back then when I was in secondary school, there were evenings when I hurriedly had my dinner then tried to finish my homework as quickly as possible so as not to miss those Ghibli films aired on Disney Channel.
I can't remember how many times my mom scolded me for my neglecting my study, but I can recall clearly that I almost burst into tears when Chihiro had to say goodbye to Haru in the ending scene of Spirited Away, that I used to dream of travelling on the flying castle in Howl's Moving Castle.
Miyazaki has created such lovely and at the same time, distinctly personalized characters just with his simple drawings. The very eye-catching scenes in those films have never failed to make me admire so much.
How Do You Live? was originally a novel for children. I think the humanistic contents of this book combined with the drawings of Miyazaki will definitely create a masterpiece.
In his old years, Hayao Miyazaki is still persistently keeping up his creation. This is what I really admire and respect about him. His contributions to the heritage of art are absolutely invaluable, and I sincerely thank him for creating parts of my childhood.
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