Anime Vice News

Miyazaki's Secrets Revealed in STARTING POINT

Miyazaki HATED Astro Boy?! Probably not, but this is a must-read for anime fans.

Only known photo of Miyazaki not smoking.
Only known photo of Miyazaki not smoking.

Hayao Miyazaki is a man we think we understand through his work. With the release of his most recent film, THE WIND RISES, I posited on the VICE PIT that this was his most personal film yet (or ever), drawing a comparison between its engineer dreamer and Miyazaki's own struggles in animation. Anime has had its share of so-called gods (Tezuka), madmen (Anno) and new blood (Urobuchi), but everyone seems to agree that it’s Miyazaki who has done more for anime in our generation than any other.

And yet... what do we really know about Miyazaki, the man?

STARTING POINT(1979-1996) - - now in paperback - - is the first volume of a three-part series that delves into the translated writings of Miyazaki himself. Whether he's writing for a magazine, sending an internal memo to his animation company, or being interviewed about his directorial style, Miyazaki's own words provide a critical insight into the beginnings of a legendary career.

This first volume contains over 70 excerpts of Miyazaki’s writings and musings about himself and others, and it marks the first time an English-speaking audience would get to peer into a little bit more of what makes the venerable director tick. The massive translation duties were handled by Beth Cary and Frederik L. Schodt, the latter name familiar to longtime anime fans as the man who translated ASTRO BOY into English and has written multiple books on manga and anime.

Needless to say, if you are a fan of his work, of history, or just want to know what it was like animating back-in-the-day, this book should satiate your curiosity. It's also incredibly readable, as the entries never go longer than a dozen pages and can really be read in any order according to your interest.

So if you ever wondered what Miyazaki REALLY thought of Osamu Tezuka, how he somehow remains married or raises children, or what his thought process and proposal documents look like, this is a fantastic volume to pick up. Vol 2 was just released in hardback, and I'll have coverage of that volume as well. So join me next time for THE TURNING POINT!

"STARTING POINT (1979 - 1996) HAYAO MIYAZAKI" can be found on the VIZ website and any reputable retailer like Amazon or local bookstore... yes, I said a BOOK-store not "that-place-where-manga-is-next-to-Hot-Dog-on-a-Stick"

Kino88on April 21, 2014 at 4:21 p.m.
OMG!, that's short for "only Myazaki's God" Lol,
Destinyheroknighton April 21, 2014 at 6:43 p.m.

I should really pick that up

zaldaron April 21, 2014 at 8:53 p.m.

Oh wow...what a wonderfully provacative picture to use heh - but yeah as one who has never been a fan of Astro Boy OMG. Though I would say Anno is more God than madman.

Donwunon April 22, 2014 at 7:15 a.m.

Awesome stuff Sam

hitsusatsu11on April 22, 2014 at 2:50 p.m.

Im not saying miyazaki is bad or anything, though I prefer Anno, Tomino and ven Tezuka, but I cant fathom how he is so ungodly successful. Hes the only anime director to win an Oscar (I think hes won more than 1) and his 10 or so films have grossed more than the films of dragonball, naruto, one piece and bleach combined.

takashichea moderator on April 23, 2014 at 3:21 p.m.

@hitsusatsu11:

Sometimes, success isn't measured by the number of awards or sales made. His films has touched many fans. Sometimes, these films are gateway into anime for audiences of all ages. Sometimes, some folks are more memorable than others. You should do a blog on those individuals. The newer generation are pretty in touch with Miyazaki than the other famous anime pioneers.

hitsusatsu11on April 23, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

@takashichea: I think a good part of miyazakis success comes from the relationship studio Ghibli has with Disney. They get exposure in American theatres (complete with Hollywood voice acting dubs) that not even the most popular franchise's can equal. (Pokemon and dbz for example) I also think they (thanks to disney) have influence on American critics unprecedented for anime makers. Hence the Oscar success no other anime creator has come close to

takashichea moderator on April 23, 2014 at 10:47 p.m.

@hitsusatsu11:

Good point there, better than what I said. I misread your comment earlier.

Dig Deeper into Osamu Tezuka

Known as the "godfather of manga," Osamu Tezuka is Japan's most prolific manga creator to date with over 700 original series to his name. Tezuka is widely credited for pushing the medium to its mainstream popularity after World War II.

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