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The Best (And Worst) Of Studio Ghibli


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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 694
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:50 am Reply with quote
I wonder if Princess Mononoke would still be everyone's favorite if you could separate it from the nostalgia. I know for a lot of people it was either their first Ghibli film or their first "not for little kids" animated movie, and I can understand why it would make such an impression. But as a person who had seen lots of anime and lots of Ghibli by the time I saw it, it left very little impression on me. But I'll have to give it another watch sometime.
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Jayhosh



Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 828
Location: Millmont, Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:33 am Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
I wonder if Princess Mononoke would still be everyone's favorite if you could separate it from the nostalgia. I know for a lot of people it was either their first Ghibli film or their first "not for little kids" animated movie, and I can understand why it would make such an impression. But as a person who had seen lots of anime and lots of Ghibli by the time I saw it, it left very little impression on me. But I'll have to give it another watch sometime.


It has a lot of nostalgia for me, to be sure, but that doesn't mean my judgement is poor enough that I let that solely control my opinions of things. I've seen the film around a dozen or more times at this point (most recently this January in theaters) and I still love it just as much as when I first saw it. To be frank, you could use this excuse for anyone's first Ghibli film. The thing is that most of them are beloved for a reason, even if you can't personally dig some of them due to heightened expectations or what have you. But claiming that it's only nostalgia that drives their critical acclaim is pretty reaching.

EricJ2 wrote:
As for the divided opinion on The Tale of Princess Kaguya, I didn't think it was the greatest ever, but didn't have the polarized opinion others had.


What are you talking about man? Most people on here have been giving the film nothing but high praise. Except for that guy that actually hated it so much that you could practically see him frothing at the mouth. I mean, what even? And critically it has been considered one of the studio's greatest achievements. Certainly in an artistic sense.

I think Takahata overall is being extremely underrated on these boards, which frusterates me immensely as such a huge fan of the guy's work. And to the people who think all his works are uber-depressing a la Grave, try checking out the majority of his pre-Ghibli works. Even stuff like Only Yesterday and Yamadas are way more heartwarming and happy than depressing. The guy's just an expert at capturing the essence of life, and sometimes life simply includes things that are really depressing.


Last edited by Jayhosh on Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:35 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Shadowrun20XX



Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 1871
Location: Just Monika
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:33 am Reply with quote
Great choices on here. My favorite to this day is Laputa castle in the sky. Its the skies , the vastness of the green, the atmosphere. It all brings me back to why I enjoy anime most. The sense of wonder and exploration is such a joy in these early works inspired by greats from the past.

Little Nemo would be my runner up Miyazaki touched movie. After Terminator 2, I got to see Little Nemo in theaters. It was like crack at that age, coupled with the arcade game and NES game. I was the target audience.

I've enjoyed all of his work up until The Wind Rises. I just couldn't get into it. It repelled me when nearly all his work usually pulls me in.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 3326
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:07 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
I wonder if Princess Mononoke would still be everyone's favorite if you could separate it from the nostalgia. I know for a lot of people it was either their first Ghibli film or their first "not for little kids" animated movie, and I can understand why it would make such an impression. But as a person who had seen lots of anime and lots of Ghibli by the time I saw it, it left very little impression on me. But I'll have to give it another watch sometime.


Not so much JUST the nostalgia, as the fact that it was the first new Ghibli to hit the US with an Important Reputation, in the wake of most people's first discoveries of Totoro in kiddy matinees and Kiki on video, the big news of Disney's mega-deal, and the headlines that Japan was having an "unexplained" around-the-block obsession with the movie.
The unexperienced who wanted to give Ghibli a chance went to it with new fervor, the headline-aware went having never seen much Ghibli, and the Ever-Faithful were there to proclaim it the biggest, most important hit in the US ever, so that Disney wouldn't get cold feet and drop the deal, and maybe we'd got Porco Rosso on DVD after all, like France did.

And as noted...it wasn't the first Ghibli you'd show any first-timer.
Like the few "Howl's Moving Castle is the most wonderful ever!" bits of nostalgia, it's more the colored feeling of discovering Ghibli for the first time in a cold theater-watch, or being told how important the nature-wars story was, from Japanese interviews, and nodding their own heads in reverent agreement and awe.
Me, I was a college-club faithful who already had bootleg VHS's of whatever Ghibli fansubs, Streamlines and JAL dubs fans were guarding with their lives, and, eh. Seen it, and "Depressing" just doesn't suit Miyazaki. Someone's just trying WAYYYY too hard.
The Mononoke Debate began to rage between the experienced underground who knew what they were talking about, and a new core of first-time faithful fans, who....didn't. Confused

Shadowrun20XX wrote:
Little Nemo would be my runner up Miyazaki touched movie. After Terminator 2, I got to see Little Nemo in theaters. It was like crack at that age, coupled with the arcade game and NES game. I was the target audience.


Miyazaki touched Little Nemo, but ultimately left it alone. It sure wasn't what we got, when TMS tried to make American Movies.
This is the movie Miyazaki tried to make, but ultimately gave up from the "bad experience"--Yeah, it's nice, but it's a demo reel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIS2JhWli_A
(And now we go back to Sven Viking's joke about "Sixth Sense where Bruce Willis flies a biplane"... Laughing )

It was the pre-Renaissance 80's, and Care Bears marketing to merchandising and parents won out in the end.
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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Location: Northern Virginia
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:19 pm Reply with quote
Jayhosh wrote:

EricJ2 wrote:
As for the divided opinion on The Tale of Princess Kaguya, I didn't think it was the greatest ever, but didn't have the polarized opinion others had.


What are you talking about man? Most people on here have been giving the film nothing but high praise. And critically it has been considered one of the studio's greatest achievements. Certainly in an artistic sense


Well, there is that one guy who called it the worst thing he's ever seen. Which sounds a little ridiculous to me, but I guess some people aren't going to resonate with it. That being said, yeah, I wouldn't say opinion is overly divided, it's just one dude who clearly was not in the right mood for a thoughtful movie like Kaguya.

Jayhosh wrote:
Any other Ponyo lovers in here? I'm feeling kind of lonely.


I won't call myself a Ponyo "lover", but I do enjoy the film. I've seen it 3 times now, which is on the low side for me among Ghibli films, but it's a beautiful film, and as a fan of animation, I can't not appreciate that aspect of it. It's also cute, and my nieces like it, so I'll sit down and watch it with them whenever.

rizuchan wrote:
I wonder if Princess Mononoke would still be everyone's favorite if you could separate it from the nostalgia. I know for a lot of people it was either their first Ghibli film or their first "not for little kids" animated movie, and I can understand why it would make such an impression. But as a person who had seen lots of anime and lots of Ghibli by the time I saw it, it left very little impression on me. But I'll have to give it another watch sometime.



Maybe this is the case for some people, but it only rose to the top 3 of my list after my most recent rewatch just a couple of years ago. I found the thematic balancing act that it pulled worked brilliantly and there was a lot of nuance that I just entirely missed when I was 14-15 during my first watch. As I said, I'm sure it holds a lot of nostalgia for some people, but I definitely think it holds up for far more than that alone. It's just a damn good movie in my eyes.
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Codeanime93



Joined: 28 Jul 2017
Posts: 419
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:31 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
I wonder if Princess Mononoke would still be everyone's favorite if you could separate it from the nostalgia. I know for a lot of people it was either their first Ghibli film or their first "not for little kids" animated movie, and I can understand why it would make such an impression. But as a person who had seen lots of anime and lots of Ghibli by the time I saw it, it left very little impression on me. But I'll have to give it another watch sometime.

Actually Akira was my first "not for little kids" anime movie.
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Lord Starfish



Joined: 25 Nov 2014
Posts: 118
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:04 am Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
I wonder if Princess Mononoke would still be everyone's favorite if you could separate it from the nostalgia. I know for a lot of people it was either their first Ghibli film or their first "not for little kids" animated movie, and I can understand why it would make such an impression. But as a person who had seen lots of anime and lots of Ghibli by the time I saw it, it left very little impression on me. But I'll have to give it another watch sometime.

I first saw the movie when I was, like, twelve. At the time, I was really not old enough to properly appreciate what the movie was going for, and the main thing that stuck with me was how violent it was at points, and the climax for being pure Nightmare Fuel. I would not see it again until I was in college, at which point I had seen a few other Ghibli movies in the meantime... That was the first time I was able to truly appreciate it, and while it has since been dethroned as my favorite Ghibli film by Princess Kaguya, I still think it's a pretty fantastic movie that takes the age-old "Man VS Nature" story and portrays it in such a way where neither side is presented as being purely right or wrong.

Incidentally, I feel like maybe if I hadn't seen Mononoke first, Nausicäa might have left more of an impact on me. When I eventually saw that movie, it really felt more like a less polished version of Mononoke than anything else.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:00 am Reply with quote
Lord Starfish wrote:
Incidentally, I feel like maybe if I hadn't seen Mononoke first, Nausicäa might have left more of an impact on me. When I eventually saw that movie, it really felt more like a less polished version of Mononoke than anything else.


Most had the reverse reaction (leading to the wide dismissal that those newer-generation Ghibli fans who worship Mononoke were either hypnotized by the '99 release hype or "just didn't know any better" from inexperience):
The plots were fairly identical, but those who grew up with the classic Nausicaa fansubs first thought Mononoke's characters were just flat one-dimensional ciphers for Miyazaki's Message--Nausicaa at least displays the emotions of a real girl her age, she has friends in the village, she's dedicated to her "mission", and even seems to have fun when she's pursuing her eco-explorations on her own. San, OTOH, is like every single other character in her movie: Perpetually p***ed off.
Every single Mononoke character is angry at somebody else--the wolves hate the humans, the apes hate the wolves, the boars hate everybody, and the humans are fighting each other, until they decide to get together fight the gods, and then the trees decide to fight the humans, I think?--and while it's Miyazaki's message of "Why can't we just get along?", after two and a half hours of it, you just want to declare a plague on all their houses, knock heads together, and be done with it.

If you asked most browbeaten first-time fans what they liked most about PM (can someone put an S-word on the end of the title, so we can have an accurate acronym? Razz ), most said they liked Lady Eboshi.
Who is pretty much the identical analog of Nausicaa's Queen Kushana--the complex villain who's going too far in doing the "right thing" for misguided reasons--because she's the only one allowed to have more than one aspect to her personality...Which, by that point in the movie, was a refreshing dose of realism.
Nausicaa, and its early-fantasy designs, was Miyazaki experimenting with a universe, Mononoke was a depressed old Socialist getting on his soapbox about the Kids These Days.
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CrownKlown



Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 1545
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:12 pm Reply with quote
Look there is no one who can have Howl's as the worst legitimately. Every single comment I saw why people didn't like it apply far more to other works.

"its not as good as the book its adapted from" - Earthsea was outright ripped by the original author, and Ponyo is supposed to be an adaption of Little Mermaid

"its messy and goes all over the place, and the ending was rushed or a mess" - see the above to choices again, they do the same thing as Earthsea but imo to a more severe degree

"Its Miyazaki throwing his environmental and heavy handed messages into something unnecessarily" - uh ponyo is supposed to be about the love between the mermaid and the human, and it becomes a message about humans affecting the ocean

I feel honestly anyone who has Howl's as there worse just hasn't seen all the ghibli movies, and honestly that's kind of head scratching for a group of people paid to work in anime considering Ghibli is considered the Disney high water standard and that is your profession. Its like someone one working in the American industry and saying they had never seen Lion King, Aladdin, Toy Story, and the Nightmare Before Christmas.

And I think the other half put Howls because of how successful it was, other than Spirited its probably one of the more successful Ghibli movies and one that brought a lot of people in, and it somehow offends them so they knock it down because of its success rather than actually judging it against the other films.
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:51 pm Reply with quote
EricJ2 wrote:
Lord Starfish wrote:
Incidentally, I feel like maybe if I hadn't seen Mononoke first, Nausicäa might have left more of an impact on me. When I eventually saw that movie, it really felt more like a less polished version of Mononoke than anything else.


Most had the reverse reaction


Maybe that was the early reaction, but if you ask people now, most will say they like Mononoke better because it seems like a more polished/balanced version of Nausicaa. Indeed, you are the first person I've ever seen argue that way. While, just in the last few weeks I've seen quite a few people make that exact statement about Mononoke being slightly better in their opinion.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:54 am Reply with quote
EricJ2 wrote:
Nausicaa, and its early-fantasy designs, was Miyazaki experimenting with a universe, Mononoke was a depressed old Socialist getting on his soapbox about the Kids These Days.

While I won't disagree with the first part of this statement, I will with the second. I saw PM first and was pretty much blown away by it. When I saw Nausicaa years later, I was a little underwhelmed by it partly because, as others have said, it seemed like a rougher version of what PM became. (And let's not forget that Nausicaa has a widely-criticized ending, which PM doesn't have.) Yes, Nausicaa is a more fleshed-out character, but she also comes across as a little too perfect, which San definitely doesn't. Besides, Nausicaa was the singular protagonist of her movie, whereas San was at best a co-protagonist. (And really, I'd more argue that she's just one of the main supporting characters to protagonist Ashitaka, as Eboshi probably gets as much screen time as her.)

CrownKlown wrote:
Look there is no one who can have Howl's as the worst legitimately.

Too bad, because you're wrong.

Now, I'm not saying that it's actually a bad movie, because I don't think that. It's just the least of the Ghibli films that I've seen, with the understanding that I haven't seen the Earthsea movie.

And no, I don't think it's reasonable to automatically expect anyone who comments on anime to have seen all Ghibli films. I would agree that it's inexcusable to have not seen at least some of them, but all? Give me a break.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 10514
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:57 am Reply with quote
Since someone mentioned "Little Nemo", here's another mention relating to his creator, Winsor McKay. William Fuchs was the namesake for the various "Fox" named companies or networks, like 20th Century Fox and Fox News. This Hungarian immigrant got permission from McKay to market the other most famous McKay work, Gertie the Dinosaur (original debut: 2/8/1914; Fox's version debut: 11/2014), to various American movie theatres. This famous dinosaur inspired the works of Walt Disney who inspired Osamu Tezuka who inspired so many creators. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if Miyazaki was greatly influenced by Tezuka.
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