Hideaki Anno recalls working on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind with the Studio Ghibli legend.

While audio commentary tracks are pretty much a given on home video releases for Hollywood movies, they’re few and far between for anime releases in Japan. Maybe it has something to do with Japanese society seeing humility as a virtue, which makes many people reluctant to criticize, aggrandize, or otherwise offer strong opinions. Or maybe it’s because anime is such a visual medium that creators are more comfortable expressing themselves through visual art than spoken words.

However, one big exception is Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the breakout 1984 film from director Hayao Miyazaki, which was such a success that it led to the formation of Studio Ghibli. Aside from Miyazaki himself, another talented member of the crew was Hideaki Anno, who worked on Nausicaä as a key animator before going on to direct his own anime mega-hit, Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Anno pairs up with Kazuyoshi Katayama (assistant direction on Nausicaä) to provide audio commentary on Nausicaä’s Japanese Blu-ray release. Though it’s been available for quite some time, it’s only now that many are learning, thanks to Twitter user @dennou319, that Anno’s comments towards Miyazaki (or Miya-san, as he often calls him) are less reverent than how most in the Japanese media sphere speak about the legendary filmmaker.

@dennou319 tweet reads:

“The commentary for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is amazing. The whole time the movie is playing, Anno keeps referring to Miyazaki as ‘that old geezer,’ asking ‘Why the heck would Miya-san make this directorial choice here?’ But he takes a break from ripping on the movie whenever [Nausicaä’s squirrel-like animal companion] Teto shows up to say ‘Teto is cute’ over and over.”

▼ In all fairness, Teto is pretty adorable…at least when he’s not biting people.

Other Twitter users offered their own favorite sections from Anno’s commentary.

“Hideaki Anno: ‘When we were making Nausicaä, Miya-san, on his own, decided to borrow my cassette tape player, and he kept playing the same exact music on it every single day. Then, when the tape got stretched out and tangled up so that you couldn’t open the player’s cover anymore, he said “It’s broken, so I’ll give it back to you.” He’s really a mean old guy!’”

“When Anno sees the boy who’s stopped still while holding the glass from the Ohm’s eye, he’s all ‘Hahahaha he’s not moving at all.’ It’s the sort of thing that would really bug an animator.”

However, it’s important to note that despite Anno’s acerbic grumbling, he and Miyazaki have a well-known, long-standing friendship. Miyazaki, who rarely has a kind word to say about Japanese animators other than himself, has openly praised Anno in the past, and also personally picked Anno to voice the lead character in 2013’s The Wind Rises, which was supposed to be Miyazaki’s last film (though, in typical style, he didn’t stick to his retirement plans). As such, Anno’s being so comfortable in openly ribbing Miyazaki is likely more a sign of genuine affection and respect than earnest criticism.

Source: Twitter/@dennou319 via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/Madman