Studio Ghibli

Ghibli top dog calls Evangelion director “driving force of anime,” raises hopes for more Nausicaa

As veteran anime producer Toshio Suzuki continues to dance back and forth over the vague linguistic line of whether or not Studio Ghibli is getting out of the movie-making business, some distraught admirers can already see the vultures circling overhead. If this is the end of the line for Japan’s most revered animation house, it’s a sad day, but at least the format of Ghibli’s releases means there aren’t many loose narrative threads left dangling.

With the exception of 1993’s Ocean Waves, Ghibli’s commercial releases have all been theatrical features, most of which have a definite beginning, middle, and end. For the most part, the studio doesn’t really do sequels, since their films’ endings are just conclusive enough to satisfy fans while still leaving enough unanswered for them to comfortably mull over.

There is one big exception to this pattern, though, which is Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. For decades fans have been hoping for a continuation, and recent remarks by Suzuki are adding more credibility to rumors that such a project could be directed by Evangelion’s Hideaki Anno.

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Hayao Miyazaki to receive honorary lifetime achievement Oscar

It’s been over a year since the Japanese release of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises. A highly personal film which serves as a powerful closing statement to his storied career, many had hoped it would win Miyazaki his second Oscar, only for the nod in the Best Animated Feature category go to Disney’s juggernaut (and endorser of traditional Japanese cuisine) Frozen.

That doesn’t mean the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has no love for Miyazaki, though, as it’ll soon be bestowing an honorary lifetime achievement award upon him.

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Toronto Film Festival to host North American premiere of Princess Kaguya, Ghibli documentary

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will host the North American premiere Isao Takahata‘s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and director Mami Sunada’s The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness documentary about Studio Ghibli next month. Princess Kaguya will premiere with English subtitles on September 5 with Takahata present for the screening. The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness will premiere on Monday, September 8.

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Amazing papercraft Totoro house has 1,800 roof tiles, immeasurable love for Ghibli

While the house is definitely a bit of a fixer-upper, I think most anime fans who’ve watched My Neighbor Totoro have occasional daydreams about living in the quiet, peaceful country house into which main characters Mei and Satsuki move during the movie. Of course most of us have school, work or family responsibilities that keep us from packing up our things and moving to the Japanese countryside, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could have your own little version of the Totoro house?

That’s apparently what one papercraft master thought, and after years of folding, he’s finished his remarkably accurate recreation of Studio Ghibli’s most iconic residence.

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Ghibli’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya gets a North American release date and new trailer 【Video】

With Hayao Miyazaki being the most recognized face of Studio Ghibli, and producer Toshio Suzuki the most currently active, there’s usually not a lot of room left in the spotlight for director Isao Takahata. One of Ghibli’s founding members, Takahata served as producer for the company’s first official release, Castle in the Sky, and his written and directed five films for Japan’s most respected animation house including the critically acclaimed Grave of the Fireflies.

Fans of Takahata’s work have learned to be patient, though, as his most recent film, 2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, came 14 years after his previous feature, 1999’s largely forgotten My Neighbors the Yamadas. Foreign fans have had to wait even longer, but Princess Kaguya is almost ready to head overseas, as distributor GKids has announced a release date and put out a teaser trailer to whet North America’s appetite.

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11 Miyazaki films in 9 minutes – Fan’s incredible compilation is a love letter to Ghibli【Video】

Even though anime legend Hayao Miyazaki has been a household name in Japan for decades, his films are still a recent discovery for many foreign viewers. A common question from an enthusiastic newly formed Ghibli fan is to ask, “Which Miyazaki film should I show my friends and family to make them understand how amazing they are?”

It’s a tricky question to answer. For example, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke are both incredible films that can evoke emotional responses far beyond what many adults expect from animation. The feelings the films stir, and the ways in which they do so, are extremely different though. It’s hard enough to pick one from just those two, let alone the 11 feature films for which Miyazaki served as director.

So perhaps the best plan isn’t to show the person you’re trying to convert one Miyazaki movie, but all of them, and thanks to one fan’s compilation video, it’ll only take nine minutes.

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Pencils, watermelons, and talks with anime legends – All part of the hiring process at Ghibli

They do things a little differently at Studio Ghibli. Given the feast or famine realities of life in the anime industry, many production houses take on as many projects as they can, but part of the philosophy behind Ghibli’s founding was that if the staff felt like making something, they would, and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t. That’s not to say Ghibli’s animators don’t give maximum effort though, which the higher-ups recognize and reward with weekly massages on Saturdays.

Ghibli’s uniqueness isn’t limited to its artistic ideologies and rub-down policies, though. Its interview process for new animators is pretty unorthodox, too, with applicants being asked to complete such tasks as sharpening pencils and slicing up watermelons.

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Producer clarifies Studio Ghibli’s future, mentions that Miyazaki “would like to make an anime”

In a recent discussion about the future of the Studio Ghibli’s production division, veteran producer Toshio Suzuki recently shocked and confused anime fans worldwide. But hey, what do you expect when you’re talking about the most respected studio in the history of anime, and you bandy about talk of “dismantling,” “restructuring,” and “taking a temporary hiatus,” despite the very different implications each of those entails.

With so many people looking for clarification, Suzuki recently appeared on Japanese television to talk a little more about where Studio Ghibli is going from here, plus to tease and entice the audience with talk of legendary director Hayao Miyazaki’s potential next anime project.

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Calm down, Studio Ghibli isn’t being bought by media company Dwango

Fans of anime house Studio Ghibli have been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster for the past few weeks. First came the dizzying high that always accompanies a new Ghibli release, in this case director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s When Marnie Was There. Then came the vague yet nevertheless alarming comments from long-time producer Toshio Suzuki, who reflected on the merits of Ghibli “dismantling,” “restructuring,” or “reconstructing” its anime production department.

This was followed almost immediately by reports that Japanese online media company Dwango was set to purchase and absorb Studio Ghibli into its corporate body. Those rumors have now been quashed, though, and by what seems to be a fairly reliable source: Dwango’s chairman himself.

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The awesome costumed fans of Nagoya’s World Cosplay Summit 【Photos】

With schools in both Japan and abroad on summer vacation, we’re right in the prime seasons for pop culture events like San Diego Comic-Con and Chiba Prefecture’s Wonder Festival. We recently attended both, snapping pictures of all the cool cosplay costumes, but the hobby’s most prestigious gathering was yet to come.

Last weekend the 2014 World Cosplay Summit was held in the city of Nagoya. Our own cosplay efforts aren’t quite competition-level, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy all the awesome costumes that were, so we grabbed our camera and hopped on the Shinkansen.

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No Miyazaki, no magic? Studio Ghibli co-founder considering closing production division

Just a few weeks ago, When Marnie Was There, the newest anime movie from Studio Ghibli, hit Japanese theatres. Marnie is actually the second Ghibli release since legendary director Hayao Miyazaki retired from the company, but the first with a general, mainstream target market, as 2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya was a much more experimental, avant-garde film in visual style and tone.

Just as Miyazaki has stepped away from feature films, Ghibli producer and co-founder Toshio Suzuki is easing into retirement, and so many anime fans have been watching Marnie while looking for clues as to where Ghibli’s films would be going from here. Judging from statements made by Suzuki, though, the better question isn’t what kind of movies Ghibli will be making in the future, but whether the studio will be making any at all, as he feels that maybe it’s time for the Ghibli production team to close up shop.

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Artist paints Totoro, classic Japanese artwork, and more, all on pregnant women’s stomachs

In Japan, there’s a long, proud tradition of drunken men drawing faces on their bellies, then contorting in order to make them appear to talk or sing. Wait, did we say proud? We mean embarrassing.

This doesn’t mean all abdominal art is automatically silly and repulsive however, as one artist is helping enhance the radiance of pregnancy by painting beautiful works of art on the stomachs of mothers-to-be.

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Tokyo museum offers beautiful exhibit showcasing the architecture of Studio Ghibli

Though there are obviously numerous anime studios in Japan, there is no doubt that Studio Ghibli is among–if not the most–legendary of them all. With tons of famed, beloved, and critically acclaimed films, there’s no doubt that the influence Ghibli has had on the world is massive. Even if you’re not a particularly big fan of their stories, who could deny that the worlds they create are simply stunning? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see those buildings brought to life and given physical form? We certainly wish we could at least get a ride inside the cat bus.

Though this new exhibition at the Edo-Tokyo Tatemono-en, or called the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in English, does not quite provide full-size replicas of Ghibli architecture, it does give us an excellent concept of what some of our favorite buildings would like in the real world.

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Those awesome voice-activated Laputa pendants that just hit stores? They’re already sold out

The principal characters of Studio Ghibli’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky are all seeking something. Protagonists Sheeta and Pazu, as well as the villainous Muska, are looking for the titular floating castle, but what they’re really after is a peaceful resolution to a dark heritage, adventure and purpose, and the power to rule the world, respectively.

These days, fans of the 1986 anime film have a search of their own, as the voice-activated Laputa pendant that just went on sale this month is already sold out nationwide.

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Preview for Ghibli TV anime Ronia the Robber’s Daughter shows heroine in (jerky) movement

The works of Studio Ghibli are almost universally loved and respected, but there is one interesting criticism detractors lob against Japan’s premier anime production house. Barring the occasional music video or video game art design project, Ghibli’s body of work consists of feature films, all of which have been financial successes (even the widely panned Tales from Earthsea earned more than triple its budget).

Ghibli obviously can’t be blamed for building on its success by putting in the time, money, and, of course, effort to produce movies of such high quality. At the same time, some have wondered how the studio would fare operating under the notoriously tight time and budget constraints of television anime.

Judging from the recently released preview for Ghibli’s first TV series, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, the transition, not to mention the lead character’s movements, might not be so smooth.

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Hayao Miyazaki spends retirement from anime by…spending every day at his animation studio

Some people have a hard time adjusting to life after retirement. Whether it’s the stockbroker who can’t stop checking the market reports or the English teacher who feels the need to correct his grandchildren’s grammar, sometimes old habits die hard.

Maybe that’s why even after announcing his retirement from making feature films, anime legend Hayao Miyazaki has been making frequent visits to Studio Ghibli, the production house where he served as director for so many years.

And by frequent visits, we mean that the guy is there every single day.

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The magic of Ghibli comes to life in these amazing moving movie posters!【GIFs】

If you’ve seen or read Harry Potter, you’ll probably be familiar with how things such as newspapers and paintings move in that magical world. Wouldn’t it be awesome if those were for real? Imagine having a glimpse of a movie trailer packed within a movie poster!

We’re not here to discuss Harry Potter today though. A hardcore Studio Ghibli fan recently cast their own magic on the world-famous Studio Ghibli productions, creating some amazing animated “movie posters” that took our breath away! See them after the break!

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Cat takes a trip on a train, just like in a Studio Ghibli movie!

Ever felt the sudden urge to go on a solo journey to some place unknown, or just to wander around aimlessly to take a break from the sights and sounds you’re accustomed to? This cat in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, seems to have caught the wanderlust bug too, and hopped on to a local train for a ride!

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Anime fans pick which Ghibli heroine they’d like to have as a girlfriend

Totoro may be the most instantly recognizable Studio Ghibl character, but the exalted animation house has produced a far larger number of memorable heroines than cute critters. From warrior princesses to ordinary schoolgirls who defy anime conventions by actually being ordinary, almost every Ghibli film has had a woman as either its central or most important figure.

Each has her own claim to fame. Spirited Away’s Chihiro remains the studio’s highest-grossing leading lady, Arrietty its shortest, and Princess Mononoke’s San the most violent. Now, a recent poll has bestowed yet another title by asking fans which Ghibli character they’d like to have as a girlfriend.

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Special exhibits on Studio Ghibli’s art and architecture coming soon to two Tokyo museums

For any serious anime fan making a trip to Tokyo, a visit to the Ghibli Museum should be at the top of their list. Not only is the design of the building bursting with subtle references to the works of esteemed director Hayao Miyazaki and his compatriots, the on-site theater also screens Ghibli shorts you can’t see anywhere else, such as the heart-warming follow-up to My Neighbor Totoro.

This summer, though, two more Tokyo museums are getting in on the act with special exhibits focusing on the architecture of Studio Ghibli plus artwork for the animation house’s newest film.

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