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Godzilla Resurgence photo
Godzilla Resurgence

Check out the Studio Ghibli Kaiju short that inspired the new Godzilla

Prelude to Resurgence!
Apr 14
// Josh Tolentino
If you've just seen the trailer for the new, Japan-originated Godzilla movie, Godzilla Resurgence, you might have been surprised to find that none other than Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi are collaborating on the film. Tha...
Miyazaki photo

Hayao Miyazaki receives honorary Oscar

Miss you
Nov 10
// Hiroko Yamamura
Legendary writer and director, Hayao Miyazaki accepted an honorary Oscar this weekend, highlighting his prolific career. While the road hasn't been smooth over the past few years for the Studio Ghibli head honcho, there's no...
Totoro photo

Someone needs to buy me this snoring Totoro

Like right now
Nov 10
// Hiroko Yamamura
I know you have all been staying up at night, thinking about what to get me for Christmas. Luckily, all your problems have been solved! I present to you, the snoring Totoro! I mean, how adorable is this little guy? I need it now!
Princess Kaguya photo
Princess Kaguya

Watch The Tale of Princess Kaguya's North American trailer

Ghibli's final film?
Aug 19
// Josh Tolentino
Studio Ghibli may be pondering its potentially bleak future right about now, but that doesn't mean it won't be delivering dreams to the screen for people in the meantime. Case in point: Distributor GKids has just released a ...

Studio Ghibli shutting down...sort of

Aug 03 // Josh Tolentino
Though this may come as a surprise to the average fan, especially considering Ghibli's latest film, When Marnie Was There is still in theaters in Japan, rumors that Ghibli was to close its doors have been moving through the channels among industry watchers. And even then, this isn't a death entire for the studio. According to Suzuki (and let's emphasize that none of this has actually happened yet), Ghibli will continue on, mainly to manage the studio's existing properties and trademarks. It'll also keep a small crew on hand to support founder Hayao Miyazaki's projects, as well as continue to support its "Momonoma" division. Momonoma is a special freelance group run by Yoshiyuki Momose to create music videos, commercials, and other small projects. What could be getting the axe is its Animation Production department, which is both the root of the problem and the core of Ghibli as it existed for many folks today. The issue is that without a big luminary like Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takehata to keep big movie projects flowing - and unlike most animation studios, Ghibli's output is almost entirely exclusive to feature films - its staff of long-term employees is too expensive to just keep around doing nothing. As such, Ghibli would restructure, reverting to a more freelance-centric system, not unlike it did things prior to producing Porco Rosso. Thus it's best to think of the move as more of a reboot for the studio, as it opts to wait for new projects to come in rather than scramble for work just to keep the lights on. Perhaps it's best to think of the restructuring as a short break rather than a true closure. Suzuki himself said: "On what to do with Studio Ghibli's future, it is by no means impossible to keep producing [movies] forever. However, we will take a pause to consider where to go from here." In the meantime, the optimist could look forward to a possible new flood of talented animators and producers formerly exclusive to Ghibli entering the more traditional anime industry (despite its mainstream recognition, Ghibli was always the exception rather than the rule) and lending their own creativity to other studios.  At this point it's really wait-and-see, though there's no doubt that if or when these changes take place it'd be the end of an era...for this particular iteration of Studio Ghibli. [Via Catsuka, IGN, ANN and others]
RIP Studio Ghibli photo
More of a reboot, really
It looks like a number of rumors swirling around the internet have just been confirmed: The legendary production house Studio Ghibli - they of a large proportion of anime films worth watching - might shutting down. The announ...

When Marnie was There photo
When Marnie was There

Feel the charm of Studio Ghibli's When Marnie was There

I can feel the waterworks coming on already
Jul 04
// Hiroko Yamamura
There's a lot of whispers going around about the upcoming animated film, When Marnie was There. The movie is the famed animation house Studio Ghibli's first film without any involvement from founders Isao Takahata and Hayao ...
Princess Kaguya photo
Princess Kaguya

Ghibli's 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya' gets U.S. distributor

Ghibli hands off its latest feature to a bunch of Guerrilla Kids.
Mar 12
// Dae Lee
I was visiting Japan in November of last year, when the advertising for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya was in full swing. Every time I turned on the television, walked into a music store, or bought a movie ticket, ...

Viz releasing Princess Mononoke: The First Story

Hayao Miyazaki's original story for the iconic film.
Mar 08
// Ben Huber
Just about everyone is a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki's output, especially Princess Mononoke. But I imagine not as many folks know about the original story (of the same name) that Miyazaki put together. The book was a collection...
Wind Rises Critique photo
Wind Rises Critique

The original Otaking and his 99 cents on The Wind Rises

Crowd-translated critique now on Amazon
Mar 04
// Jeff Chuang
The Wind Rises opened in theaters last Friday in the States, did you see it? Yes? Great. Because now you can pick up a copy of Toshio Okada's review and critique of this Hayao Miyazaki masterpiece on Amazon, in English. Toshi...
TV & Film photo
TV & Film

Kiki actress takes broom flight to promote upcoming film

Suspended 15 meters above the ground
Feb 22
// Tim Sheehy
They're really serious about promoting the upcoming Kiki's Delivery Service live-action film. So serious, that the studio had its star actress Fuka Koshiba suspended 15 meters in air from a crane while dressed in costume...
The Wind Rises photo
The Wind Rises

Here's two US TV spots for The Wind Rises

Watch them, I guess?
Feb 13
// Ben Huber
Here are the two latest TV spots from Touchstone Pictures, advertising The Wind Rises. They're definitely playing up the whole "Hayao Miyazaki's last film" angle, especially with awards just around the corner. While I'm not ...
Art shows photo
Art shows

Bruce Yan mixes logos and Ghibli in solo art show

Designer combines pop culture and marketing.
Feb 04
// Ben Huber
Some of you may know that in addition to panhandling and being managing editor of Japanator, I also am a freelance graphic designer, often creating prints for gallery shows and clients. As such, I like to pay attention to the...
Studio Ghibli photo
Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli, Goro Miyazaki to create fall TV series

Polygon will produce the animation
Feb 01
// LB Bryant
It's not often that Studio Ghibli delves into the world of TV anime but according to a new report the famed studio will be doing just that with the help of Polygon Pictures who will producing the animation. In the report, it ...
Hayao Miyazaki photo
Hayao Miyazaki

Does Miyazaki dislike anime fans?

"It's ruining the industry."
Jan 31
// Amber Hunt
There is so much going on for Hayao Miyzaki right now. It was recently his birthday, he's making his last film, and he's retiring. He's a mastermind, really. No one can argue with that after seeing his films and following alo...
Nerdy kitchen photo
Nerdy kitchen

Nerds in the kitchen alert: Totoro toaster pastries

Guaranteed not to bite back
Jan 22
// Kristina Pino
Totoro pastries: the Ghibli nerd's way of preparing food that makes everyone happy before they even take a bite. In fact, they might not want to take a bite at all because of how dang cute these things come out. But that'd b...
Hayao Miyazaki photo
Hayao Miyazaki

Get your Miyazaki figure soon

Pre-orders are starting in a few days
Jan 16
// Amber Hunt
A new figure is being released in honor of Hayao Miyzaki, and it's not Ghibli themed. Martin Hsu has designed a 6 inch tall figure of the man himself. That's right, we finally get a Miyazaki figure! How cool is that? Bigshot ...
Spirited Away photo
Spirited Away

Minecraft meets Studio Ghibli

Spirited Away is recreated.. through Minecraft?
Jan 16
// Amber Hunt
You may or may not have already seen these pictures floating around on Imgur the past couple of days. Yes, that's right. Someone has taken the time to recreate the memorable scenery of Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away. For someo...
iTunes photo

More Hisaishi, Ghibli soundtracks headed to iTunes

Ghibli promises more music on the way
Jan 11
// Tim Sheehy
According to a recent tweet, Studio Ghibli will be adding more soundtracks from their library to the Apple iTunes digital marketplace -- at least, more than there already were to begin with and that's not many. In fact, a sea...
The Wind Rises photo
The Wind Rises

English dub cast of The Wind Rises announced

Featuring all your favorite actors and... WERNER HERZOG?!
Dec 17
// Ben Huber
With only two months until The Wind Rises blows into US theaters, the dubbing process is well under way. Leading the movie will be Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiro Horikoshi, along with Emily Blunt as his love interest, Nahoko Sa...
When Marnie Was There photo
When Marnie Was There

Ghibli's 2014 film is revealed by TOHO

Hiromasa Yonebayashi returns as director
Dec 14
// Chris Walden
Sure, we may still be waiting for both The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya to venture out of Japan, but let's forget that for a minute and get excited for another new film! Film distributor TOHO has recently re...
Film photo

Live-action Kiki's Delivery Service seems cringe-worthy

Normally I'd be excited, but...
Dec 11
// Tim Sheehy
By now, you may have already happened upon this trailer for the upcoming live-action Kiki's Delivery Service, and if you're like me, you must have found it painful to watch. Although I loved the original animated featur...
Cancelled Ghibli Film photo
Cancelled Ghibli Film

Art revealed from Ghibli's cancelled Pippi Longstocking

With a large helping of Miyazaki magic.
Dec 03
// Chris Walden
Did you know that Ghibli legends Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata were once creating an animated adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking? This was back in 1971, and while the duo had been co-directing episodes of L...
Studio Ghibli photo
Studio Ghibli

Japanese film critic suggests censorship for Ghibli

Latest flick might not work for wide audiences
Dec 02
// Pedro Cortes
When the word "censorship" gets dropped, most anime fans have an immediate negative, knee-jerk reaction. There's a good reason why, as most censorship in anime is cheap-looking and degrading to the original work. But, what if...
Sale photo

Save up to 55% off select Studio Ghibli titles on Amazon

Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and more
Dec 01
// Tim Sheehy
It's still Black Friday weekend, and with Cyber Monday right around the corner, there's plenty of savings to go around. While most consumers have kept their eyes glued to Amazon's amazing lightning deals, I've been digging ar...
Ghibli photo

The Tale of Princess Kaguya tops Japanese box office

Isao Takahata is back!
Nov 25
// Ben Huber
This past weekend, the latest film from Studio Ghibli and Isao Takahata arrived in Japanese theaters. The Tale of Princess Kaguya was the director's long awaited return, as he had not had a film release in nearly 15 years. It...

Review: The Wind Rises

Nov 25 // Jeff Chuang
[embed]30540:3127:0[/embed] The Wind Rises is told from the point of view of Jiro Horikoshi, starting with his childhood during the Meiji era. Scientific and technological breakthroughs were happening at fast pace, and by the 1920s, the world was stepping through the final stages of the industrial era and into the modern age. It is in that context that we see Jiro dreams of flying in the sky with his homemade airplane, launching off the room of his childhood home. Powered by a two-cylinder engine, he would fly his plane through the town and along with the birds, until running into a parade of ominous blimps decorated with Nazi insignia. We see Jiro in many roles: as a dreamer, a pacifist, a husband, and also as a pawn in the global war. And to The Wind Rises's credit, this a film that lends itself to multiple interpretations-- with the caveat that what you bring with you as a viewer makes a huge difference. If you think Miyazaki's works are preachy, then The Wind Rises will do nothing but confirm that. If you think a Japanese point of view as victims of WWII is somehow inappropriate, The Wind Rises is not likely to change your mind. In this sense, I also feel that the film, tackling a very daring theme about war and peace with WWII as its backdrop, is perhaps Studio Ghibli's least preachy film of all. Granted, the film is thoroughly pacifist in its message--but it leaves everything as is, on the table, from Jiro's point of view, and in a way, Miyazaki's own views. Its themes and ideas come across as honest rather than argumentative. The trauma may sometimes be on display, but it is a far cry from the likes of Graves of the Fireflies. And it's easy to sum up Jiro's point of view: He lived through a difficult time in history. He had to fight to spend time with his ailing wife. He had to, in some ways, atone for the weapon of war he has created. Ultimately, his dream was still bottled by the reality of Japan's role in the war, in the same way how Jiro's Italian counterpart was never able to create the reality in his dreams; both of them dreamed to design planes that would carry people, not guns and bombs. Miyazaki's touch for the visually fantastic is as strong with The Wind Rises as with his prior films. It's with these visual cues and styles that we explore the Great Kanto earthquake along with the various attempts of flight that Jiro was tasked with during his tenure at Mitsubishi. As the story twists and turns with increasing seriousness and severity, both as the war advances towards its latter stages and how Jiro's relationship with his eventual wife develops, some of that magical vibrancy goes away to make way for more somber matters. It feels as if that The Wind Rises showcases something from each of Miyazaki's major films: from the earth-shaking, Ponyo-like visuals to the stern stares out of Princess Mononoke, and scenes of Jiro's college days that could  have come out of From Up on Poppy Hill. My favorite aspect has to be the indulgent flight scenes, torn straight out of Porco Rosso. And as the creator of Porco Rosso, Hayao Miyazaki couldn't squeeze out all the humor and romance out of this film despite its somber nature; The Wind Rises still maintains a whimsical touch throughout. My favorite moment is the shotgun wedding between Jiro and Naoko, a ceremony put together in a night using spare household items. At times a warm, organic whimsy manages to punch through the serious subject matter at hand. As this review is based on the subtitled version of the film, I was able to ascertain that Hideaki Anno (the famed director of Evangelion) was probably unharmed in the making of this movie. Having him voice the main character was definitely not a typical choice, and I'm honestly not sure even now what Anno brought to the film. Simply put, Anno's not an actor by trade, and it shows. On the flip side, the voice work of Anno might be a close mirror to what a real-life Jiro Horikoshi might have sounded like, since both are men who have the capacity to be completely consumed by their craft. Otherwise, the rest of the voice acting from the Japanese cast is on par with what you would expect. Typical of Ghibli's works, the production of the film is handled perfectly. Composer Joe Hisaishi handed in not just his usual brilliant work, but a superb soundtrack that tracks the wide mood swings within the film. In a similar manner, the visuals for the movie go through a wide spectrum of styles. Waves of earth shaking, merging men, women, stones and railroad tracks; air-pressed canvas rippling through the sky on the wings of WWI-era planes; and aluminum rivets have never been so coolly animated. The seriousness of a test flight is reduced to cartoony proportions when failed projects crash in mid air, all signaled with just a deployed parachute. The ideologies of war and peace come in the form of a salad-eating foreigner, enjoying some peace and quiet; pushy Gestapo officers are seen mobbing an unknown victim in the thick of the night, like gremlins working for Spirited Away's Yubaba. Both in Jiro's dreams and throughout his travels, The Wind Rises paces us not only through a flurry of landscapes, but of visual canvases, color themes, and moods. Ultimately, however, the story of Jiro Hirokoshi is still rooted in reality: this was the creator of one of the most deadly weapons in WWII, no matter how he is humanized. While this isn't a film about mushroom clouds or kamikaze bombers, the shadow of these things cast a cloud of doubt throughout the final segment of the film and arguably provoke deeper, subtler questions about Jiro's struggles. The film, to the dismay of some, is not the summer blockbuster-y type of adventure that many like out of Studio Ghibli. This contemplative movie has its share of light-hearted moments, but it's mature (if self-indulgently so) and is a much more complicated beast. That's not to say that kids won't enjoy it, but it's unlikely that this film was created with children in mind. Rather, rather than entertain children, it would seem the hope of this movie is to spare them the same sort of tribulations that world experienced in the 1930s and 1940s. At Japanator, we write to the otaku-minded. For those of us willing to take the next step with Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises will take you somewhere Studio Ghibli rarely goes: a place unquestionably for adults. Unfortunately, it also means leaving behind the mass audience appeal that has allowed Ghibli's films to cross cultural and generational gaps for the last several decades. It is a film unabashedly Japanese, but also perhaps one truest to Miyazaki's world: the world based on the life that he has experienced. It's amazing to see one of the greatest animators of all times do something like this, even if this may be the one Studio Ghibli movie that you probably should think twice about before recommending to parents with children. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of The Wind Rises is that for once, a Miyazaki film cannot be an automatic recommendation for audiences of all ages, despite its quality. The Wind Rises will hit American theaters in February 21st, 2014. 10.0 – Legendary. The Wind Rises is Hayao Miyazaki's most competent film. While it may also be his most indulging film and surely will not make everyone's favorite list, it is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys animation.
The Wind Rises photo
Let Miyazaki indulge in his greatest filmmaking moment
Hayao Miyazaki's latest movie, The Wind Rises, is a story about a historic person: the project lead on the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane. It's decidedly unlike the imaginative, family-friendly adventures that Studio Ghibl...

LINE stickers photo
LINE stickers

Ghibli, Hatsune Miku, and more among new LINE stickers

Can you resist?
Nov 23
// Kristina Pino
Oh hey, it's Kristina with another update on the amazing stickers LINE has updated their store with recently! You can see images of all the stickers I'm talking about in this post down in the gallery. First is a new set by Gh...
Ghibli photo

Ghibli passing out free Blu-rays in Japanese theaters

Want a free clip of The Tale of Princess Kaguya? Go to Japan!
Nov 19
// Ben Huber
Isao Takahata's first film in roughly 14 years is finally upon us! Well, it's upon Japan! This weekend The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguya-hime Monogatari) will open in Japanese theaters, but Ghibli appears to be doing heavy ...
Miyazaki photo

First official US trailer for The Wind Rises arrives

Miyazaki's final film?
Nov 18
// Ben Huber
Here's a quick look at The Wind Rises from Disney (and Touchstone Pictures)! This is the first official trailer for the film in the US, but it doesn't feature any dialogue at all. I imagine the dub is not anywhere near finis...
Cosplay photo

This year's Kawasaki Halloween Parade is a glorious treat

Kawasaki City's inhabitants know how to get into the holiday spirit
Oct 29
// Salvador G Rodiles
Halloween may be on the 31st of October, but that's not stopping the people of Kawasaki City from having their yearly parade before Hallow's Eve engulfs our lives. Overall, the attendees at the event continue to put on a grea...
VIZ Media: Totoro books photo
VIZ Media: Totoro books

Celebrate Totoro's 25th anniversary with books and art

VIZ Media announces Totoro: The Novel and a spruced-up picture book
Sep 26
// Kristina Pino
VIZ Media's Studio Ghibli Library imprint is celebrating 25 years of the beloved My Neighbor Totoro by releasing a new novel as well as a brand new edition of the My Neighbor Totoro Picture Book. Both titles will be available...
Hayao Mizayaki retires photo
Hayao Mizayaki retires

Hayao Miyazaki retires from the world of feature film

And then Miyazaki dropped the mic
Sep 02
// Elliot Gay
72 year old Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from making feature-length films at Italy's Venice Film Festival during a press conference.  To give you all an idea of how big this news was here in Japan, the announc...
Daily Japan Photo photo
Daily Japan Photo

Kristina's Summer Vacation: #28 - Ghibli

Aug 28
// Kristina Pino
I always make time to browse around Ghibli stores throughout Japan whenever I run in to them, even if I don't plan on spending any money. They're just magical, and always make me smile. [full image in the gallery!]
The Wind Rises  photo
The Wind Rises

Licensing GET: Disney grabs The Wind Rises

It finally happened.
Aug 27
// Salvador G Rodiles
Are you sad that you won't be able to see The Wind Rises in New York City next month? Well, the inevitable has happened, because Disney has revealed that they will release the movie in North America! While the release date re...
Nausica photo

Much to my dismay, Nausica sequel is not impossible!

However, not probable
Aug 23
// Hiroko Yamamura
Let's label this one as news I totally did not expect! On a recent television interview promoting The Wind Rises, Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyzaki revealed he would not be apposed Hideaki Anno taking the reigns of a sequel to t...
The Wind Rises at NYFF photo
The Wind Rises at NYFF

Congrats, New Yorkers: The Wind Rises to be shown at NYFF

New York City is in for great surprise.
Aug 19
// Salvador G Rodiles
The New York Film Festival is getting a nice addition, and a part of myself is upset that I'm going to have to miss out on the action. But anyways, it turns out that The Wind Rises will soar into the festival's lineup for thi...
Nausicc glider photo
Nausicc glider

Nausicc inspired glider takes flight

Now we just need a fox squirrel!
Aug 06
// Hiroko Yamamura
Fans of Hayao Miyazaki's classic, Nausiccä of the Valley of the Wind should take notice of this sweet video. Engineer Kazuhiko Hachiya has been working on the design for his OpenSky project for over 10 years at this poi...
Ghibli Curse photo
Ghibli Curse

Studio Ghibli holds a curse over the Nikkei

Japanese Stock Market turns down on Ghibli Fridays
Aug 05
// Brad Rice
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a curious trend: whenever Nippon TV Network airs a Ghibli movie in the Friday primetime slot, bad things happen in the market. Three quarters of the time that a Ghibli movie a...
Ghibli music photo
Ghibli music

Ghibli and J-Pop collide to make something awesome

Someone record this for me!
Jul 29
// Hiroko Yamamura
If you happen in Japan on August 14th, and have a moment to watch TV, you probably don't want to miss this. NHK will be hosting a pretty amazing musical event called, The Melody that Connects Everyone. The show will be featur...
Kaze Tachinu trailer photo
Kaze Tachinu trailer

Watch the trailer for Miyazaki's latest, Kaze Tachinu

Feels guaranteed
Jul 22
// Josh Tolentino
You could rightly call me ignorant for it, but I honestly had no idea that Hayao Miyazaki's latest film, Kaze Tachinu ("The Wind Rises") even existed. And now it's out, or soon to be out, and there's a sweet traile...

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