Mourning my mother through anime

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There is no fact of life harder to face, or conceptualise, than its ending. Since I lost my mother last year, I’ve been struggling for ways to guard against the fact she will never be a phone call away, that strong, vital voice of reassurance. There’s the regret that I should have treasured her more […]

Our only hope: anime’s most inspiring princesses

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We were both left stunned and saddened by Carrie Fisher’s death in December. It seemed she was gone before we really had a chance to appreciate all the hope and joy she brought to the world. As you might know, we’re both huge fans of Star Wars and the Princess-General Leia, and so for a […]

Update: your name. earns 20 billion yen, surpassing Howl’s Moving Castle

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Makoto Shinkai’s your name. (Kimi no Na wa.) stayed #1 at the Japanese box office for its first nine consecutive weeks in cinemas. It had earned 9.1 billion yen in its fourth week, when Shinkai expressed concern over the pressures of breaking the 10 billion barrier. It’s already been marked Japan’s highest-grossing film in 2016, but now it’s […]

Ghibli’s chief colour designer of 30 years passes away

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Japanese news site Mainichi reported that Studio Ghibli colour designer Michiyo Yasuda passed away  from an undisclosed illness on October 5th. She was 77. Yasuda spent a long career with Ghibli as chief of the ink and paint division, joining for pre-Ghibli feature Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Before that she worked at Toei Doga, which became Toei Animation in 1998, […]

Spirited Away named one of BBC’s 100 greatest films of the century

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Having become the most successful film in Japanese history in 2001, as well as the highest grossing by overtaking Titanic at the box office, Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away has been marked up by the BBC as a modern movie destined to be considered a classic by generations to come. In their list of the 21st century’s 100 greatest films, as selected […]

The princess and the portrayal: feminism and self-love in Miyazaki’s movies

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The set-ups of certain of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films make you feel as though you’ve returned to Disney’s fairytales. In Howl’s Moving Castle, downtrodden hat maker Sophie has her Cinderella moment when she’s waltzed across the sky by Howl. And the enduring curse catalyst is flipped onto the male protagonist Ashitaka, who goes on […]

News: Studio Ghibli animator Makiko Futaki passes away

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Makiko Futaki, an accomplished animator who worked extensively for Studio Ghibli, has passed away aged 58. Word of her passing on May 13th, as she was being treated for illness, came from Trash Studio, run by Kugimiya Yoichiro who handles Ghibli’s movie production affairs coordination. A private funeral was held for her loved ones. Futaki started out in […]