Geeking Out – Anime (Well, really Miyazaki movies)

Dear Erin,

Thanks for the last post. I know what you mean about reading what your students are reading – that’s how I came to read Twilight. I don’t know if it made me relate to them more; it certainly made me worry about them more, and it made me very aware of my book snobbery. I could see why it was popular, but I could also see why it was dismissed by so many people as well. (And I didn’t think those people were wrong.)

Let me tell you a little story about my Tuesday. A good friend came over to give me a break from the boys, and I decided to go to the library. I had just finished this book:

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and it felt so good to be reading I wanted to keep that feeling going. (By the way, have you read this one? It’s probably for an audience of about 9 or 10. Fun, though.) But I wasn’t sure what to do with my time at the library. I wandered here and there, tried to remember authors I had been thinking of reading (couldn’t); checked the lists I’ve been keeping on my phone for just this time (nothing looked good). And finally, I said to myself, “What were the YA books I know Erin’s read and enjoyed? Because I don’t want anything much more complicated than that, and I trust her judgment.” And after a little googling and a little wracking my brain, I remembered a couple of series.

But the library didn’t have either of them, so I ended up getting kind of a random assortment and left. Went to get lunch, sat down and read the first chapter of Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana. And then I read your post.

Talk about timing. But at least I now have the list for the next time I get to the library!

Anyway, you mentioned on Tuesday that a lot of the books on that list have “strong female leads.” Did you know that that’s one of the identifiers Netflix has assigned to our taste in movies? And the suggestions they gave to build on that identifier used to include the movies of Hayao Miyazaki.

Ok, so I know I’ve written about my love for Miyazaki on this blog before here and here*, and more broadly about similar anime here, but it’s been awhile, and there’s no denying that this is something I really do geek out about. Not all anime, of course: As I experience it, it’s really more of a stylistic choice than a genre, and plenty of stories are included under this umbrella that have no relevance to my interests. But for those that do, the style often adds a layer I enjoy – usually a layer of the fantastical or whimsical.

Looking back over this series, it seems I’m a fan of the non-naturalistic. I like a train driving through an ocean (Spirited Away)

chihiro-train

and little forest spirits whose heads click around like clocks (Princess Mononoke)

kodamas

and gangly steampunk gardening robots (Castle in the Sky).

10-laputa

You know, things that would be difficult to do well in a live action movie but that fit right in to an animated movie and have personality in spades because they’ve been created and hand drawn.

I suspect next week’s entry won’t disprove this trend.

*Those posts go into significantly more detail about this topic.

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One thought on “Geeking Out – Anime (Well, really Miyazaki movies)

  1. Pingback: Geeking Out – Community | crackersisters

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