Gainax Co-Founder Thinks Miyazaki's Return to Feature Filmmaking Will Fail
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki reportedly said at the end of February that Hayao Miyazaki is starting preparations to work on a new feature film. While most fans are rejoicing at the news, some critics believe the director's possible new project will see lackluster results. Gainax co-founder Toshio Okada (pictured at right), also known as "Otaking," said on his Okada Toshio Zemi streaming program on February 26 that he believes the effort will result in failure.
Okada said, "This is Toshio Okada's February 2017 prediction, but I honestly think this could be a failure." He believes that Miyazaki's current work cannot compare to his work at his prime.
Miyazaki's new film project may be a feature-length version of "Kemushi no Boro" (Boro the Caterpillar), a planned CG short for the Ghibli Museum. During the Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki) television special on NHK that aired in November, Miyazaki reported that he wanted to return to making an anime feature film.
The preview of "Kemushi no Boro" on the program failed to impress Okada. He also noted that while Miyazaki used to be able to work for 12 or 14 hours, the director can now only continue for two or three hours. Okada said that is due to Miyazaki needing to visit a chiropractor for his back after only working for a short time.
Okada went on to describe Miyazaki as "essentially an athlete" who is fundamentally different from anime creators such as Yoshiyuki Tomino, Mamoru Oshii, and Hideaki Anno. He said that Miyazaki gave the impression on the NHK special that his personal power is faltering. Okada said, "This is an unpleasant prediction, but even if he has a come-back, I predict it will unfortunately be like Akira Kurosawa's final period with the so-called Kagemusha and later works."
The Gainax co-founder believes that Miyazaki's more recent works demonstrate that his "image power" is failing. Okada acknowledged that he wanted Miyazaki to return after he announced his retirement. He said, "It would be OK for Hayao Miyazaki to also be like Osamu Tezuka and die while grasping a pen." Tezuka was a prolific manga creator known as the "God of Manga." Some people believe that his tireless work ethic contributed to his unexpected death in 1989.
Okada remarked that dying while doing what one loves is the dream of many creators, himself included. He thinks Miyazaki also follows that way of life.
Okada and Livedoor founder and former president Takafumi Horie held a successful crowdfunding campaign for a tentatively titled "Rocket-Dan" (Rocket Man) anime short last year.