Posts Tagged ‘ghibli’

Studio Ghibli

For a beginner, I recommend the anime from Studio Ghibli especially the ones made by Hayao Miyazaki. In 2003, we happened to be visiting the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo  when Seto was interviewed for an International Herald Tribune article.

Here is the list of movies from Studio Ghibli that I had watched: Princess Mononoke, Totoro, Nausicaa, Grave (Tombstone) of the Fireflies, Laputa, Kiki Delivery Service, Porcoros, Panpoco, Whisper of the Heart, Only Yesterday, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns.

The first anime I watched was “Princess Mononoke” by Yoji Matsuda from the famous Ghibli Studio in Japan. It was a great introduction to the world of anime. Blended into the cartoon were issues about man’s co-existence with nature, the spirit and importance of nature, the good and bad sides of human beings etc. To introduce such serious ideas into a cartoon and to be able to carry it off is amazing.

Learn more about Studio Ghibli from wikipedia. There are also several good fan sites including nausicaa.net and onlineghibli.


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Why I Love Anime

The power of the appeal of Japanese animation is incredible. What draws me to it is that the artist or animator uses the medium of animation (which is usually used to produce funny cartoons) to portray life’s serious issues. For example, the anime “Grave of the Fireflies” used two kids to portray the hardships of the Japanese during the allies attack on Japan during World War II.

Another reason why anime is so addictive and fun to watch is that it is able to introduce humorous elements to lighten the mood even when serious issues are involved. For example: in the anime “Marmalade Boy” (Kodomo no Omocha), the way they draw the characters in the animation conveys the intensity of the situation. One has to admire the way they draw beautiful girls and handsome guys especially in a love story animation. Then they draw them in a cartoony form with out of proportions measurements (eg: big eyes, small nose, big mouth, extremely round face, half the size of the usual drawings) to portray certain emotions that automatically lightens the mood. This contrast of serious beautiful animation of characters with the funny drawings of the same characters is the power of Japanese anime. This power can be seen also in the Japanese comics called manga. Usually Japanese animation draws their stories and art form from the manga comics. Sometimes the drawings of the comic characters are better than the animation. To draw beautiful characters in Japanese comics is an art.

The most important is the development of the characters and the growing up or maturity of the people involved especially the hero and heroine. If this is done well, then the anime is a good one, an excellent one. We are able to identify with the protagonists and feel for them as we go through adventures with them.

With anime, one can never tell how the ending will turn out. What twists awaits around the corner will always stump the viewers. That’s one of the beauties of anime. It will leave you wondering and talking about the plot for sometime to come even after you finish watching the movie.

Another element of Japanese anime that contributes to its’ magnetic powers is the inclusion of beautiful songs especially as it’s opening and ending theme songs. The songs are catchy, uplifting, moving, fun.

A good place to begin is the animation by Studio Ghibli.  I have also put together a guide on Japanese movies and dorama. Finally here are some resources if you want to find out more about anime.


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