Mamoru Oshii Asks Ghibli's Suzuki About Restructuring

posted on by Emma Hanashiro

At the Thursday screening of his work The Next Generation -Patlabor- Part 4 at Tokyo's Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater, Mamoru Oshii questioned Studio Ghibli co-founder Toshio Suzuki about the future of Ghibli. Suzuki admitted the need for the restructuring within the studio, stating that "it is difficult to find what we should produce, and who should produce."

Then, he suggested the possibility of using staffers from other Asian countries by adding, "It is getting difficult to produce animation by Japanese only. There seem to be many talented staffs in other Asian countries, like Thailand. There are some people who have experience working at Pixar, then come back to their homeland and establish their own studios. Looking at the animation around the world, we see other Asians who have won the Grand Prize awards [at film festivals]." 

Oshii pressed Suzuki about the state of Ghibli itself, particularly its existing animation staff. "I am asking what you will do with Ghibli […] Production IG won't take the animators […] Are you going to fire all [animators]?"

Suzuki responded, "I am not going to fire all of them."

Oshii continued, "So, you are going to fire half?" Suzuki did not answer Oshii's question.

Regarding Suzuki's statement at the Tokyo International Film Festival's August 26 press conference that Hideaki Anno will be Hayao Miyazaki's successor, Oshii wondered if this would "mean Anno will come to Ghibli and take Miyazaki's seat." Suzuki reaffirmed that "Anno himself publicly calls himself Miyazaki's disciple...[and that] Miyazaki and Anno view each other as master and pupil." Citing Anno's past involvement Ghibli, Oshii proposed that perhaps it would be appropriate if Anno directed a sequel to Nausicaa, though projecting that film will be "dark and grotesque." Suzuki said he thought that as well.

Earlier this month, Suzuki emphasized on TBS television program Jōnetsu Tairiku "that the studio is considering "housecleaning" or restructuring for now...[and] the end result would be "rebuilding" the studio and creating an environment for the next generation."

Last year, Miyazaki revealed that he is open to the possibility of a Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind film sequel. However, he would leave such a hypothetical project in the hands of Evangelion director Anno. A key animator on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Anno later drew inspiration from the film's Giant God Warriors to create Evangelion. Along with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Anno collaborated with collaborated with Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli on "Kyoshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru" (Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo), 2012 live-action tokusatsu (special-effects) short and voiced as the main protagonist in Miyazaki's final film, The Wind Rises.

Miyazaki retired from directing feature films last year.

Source: Nikkan Sports via Yaraon

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