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Friday, July 30, 2021 

One of Hayao Miyazaki's rivals indirectly criticizes his approach

Animation director Mamoru Hosoda, who almost got the job veteran Miyazaki did in directing one of Studio Ghibli's films, said in an interview with AFP/France 24 that Miyazaki's got a serious problem with how he depicts women and/or girls. Steven Spielberg was also cited for criticism:
Mamoru Hosoda has bones to pick with both Steven Spielberg and Hayao Miyazaki, the other great Japanese animator to whom he is often compared.

Hosoda -- whose brilliantly humane "Mirai" got an Oscar nod three years ago -- has had enough of the way Hollywood treats the digital world and Miyazaki depicts women.

The dystopian tropes about the net that run through so many movies, including Spielberg's "Ready Player One", are not doing anyone any favours, particularly women, Hosoda told AFP at the Cannes film festival, where his latest feature "Belle" is premiering.

Father of a young girl himself, the Japanese master wants to empower her generation to take control of their digital destinies rather than cower in fear.

[...] Without naming Miyazaki, Hosoda was unsparing about the Studio Ghibli founder.

"I will not name him, but there is a great master of animation who always takes a young woman as his heroine. And to be frank I think he does it because he does not have confidence in himself as a man.

"This veneration of young women really disturbs me and I do not want to be part of it," he insisted.

He wants to free his heroines from being paragons of virtue and innocence and "this oppression of having to be like everyone else."
I vaguely recall reading an interview with Miyazaki years ago where it sounded like he couldn't think of anything to offer for boys as role models, and all he could think of was supposedly to provide some for girls. Though his resume does have 4 or 5 items with male leads (Future Boy Conan, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Castle in the Sky, Porco Rosso and Princess Mononoke), the animation director who describes himself as a feminist certainly has overshadowed those considerably with stories that supposedly provide girls with role models, yet failure to provide examples boys could learn from that women could be impressed by ruins everything. He even mostly avoids sexualizing the lady characters in a lot of the tales he's helmed, and the big problem there is that it all reeks of virtue-signaling. Which could explain why he hasn't worked on TV shows since 1990, as the arthouse cinema scene must've proven too much of a temptation for him. Yeah, I get it. Appeal to all the western leftists in some way or other; that must've just so appealing to Miyazaki.

Another problem with Miyazaki, as he made clear several years ago after the horrifying jihadist bloodbath in Paris and the murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff in 2015, is that, for somebody who says he's anti-war, and has made cartoons with that kind of vision, he hasn't made clear whether he's anti-barbarism, let alone anti-totalitarian (he was against the Iraq war 2 decades ago as well). And, he supposedly takes a neutral position, but again, his stance on Charlie Hebdo conflicts with even that much.

Hosoda had a good idea to take issue with Miyazaki, and I can't say the former's ever made statements as divisive as the latter's. Polygon actually reported 2 years ago Hosoda felt getting fired from Studio Ghibli was the best thing that could happen to him (Hosoda was originally hired to direct Howl's Moving Castle), and I'd say he's right. According to him:
“I was really excited, but with Ghibli, there’s a certain ... tone, and rules they had to follow,” he explained.

Some ex-employees have alluded to what those may be in interviews about working at the studio. In 2016, former production coordinator Hirokatsu Kihara described Ghibli as a place with high turnover, where co-founder Hayao Miyazaki (the award-winning director of Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service and more) dominated all of his fellow creatives.

Hosoda wasn’t as harsh as Kihara, who said one person in charge “speaks like a Yakuza and rules [Ghibli] like a politician.” But Studio Ghibli’s core focus on Miyazaki was incompatible with his vision.

“I was told to make [the movie] to similar to how Miyazaki would have made it, but I wanted to make my own film the way I wanted to make it,” he said. “The difference between the film I wanted to do and ho they wanted to do it was too great, so I had to get off the project.”
And again, Hosoda was decidedly right to take off. The problem with men like Miyazaki is that it's all about Miyazaki. When somebody rules the studio with that heavy a hand, it's not healthy. I will say though, it sure is surprising somebody like Miyazaki actually cares that much about his productions he'd demand any foreign licensees avoid mass editing and remain as faithful as possible to the original script. I do get the feeling, however, that today, it's less likely Disney would license Miyazaki's movies if they thought the material wasn't PC enough for their current tastes. This Cartoon Brew report on a biography of the studio tells how the disgraced Harvey Weinstein was stunningly foul-mouthed when he couldn't get his way about his desire to edit Princess Mononoke to his whims, and now that he's been imprisoned for his sex crimes, it says quite a bit about Weinstein's mindset. However, the article also says, eyebrow-raisingly enough:
Ghibli violated labor laws on Miyazaki’s productions.

Staff would put in “an illegal number of hours” during crunch time. Alpert outlines the studio’s working conditions during his time there: a six-day week, unpaid overtime, a reluctance to take vacations. “And duties such as cleaning the office and serving tea or coffee were mandatory for all female employees (only).”
My my, is that a fact! And what does that tell about Miyazaki, if he's got any accountability there? Plenty, of course. Some "feminist" he must be then, eh? It also mentions that, although Mononoke wasn't edited, at least one other production released through Disney was at the time (it's unclear if they ever mended it), so who knows if Miyazaki really is that firm on his demands for faithfulness?

I'm sure there's better company executives who can, for better or worse, demand serious work and expectations from employees, but Miyazaki doesn't sound like one of them. And depending on one's POV, to watch his work would surely take a lot of salt, seeing what kind of political visions he's got, even if you can divide between art and artist. Again, I congratulate Hosoda for how he feels about Miyazaki, and also Hollywood's most pretentious filmmakers whose visions are much too PC to really have a good impact.

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Yeah, Miyazaki's a huge piece of work, especially when he may have tried to push Marxism in Princess Kononoke. And he also is just like Hideo Kojima in that he demands absolute adherence to his writing like legal documents, even when it is completely infeasible. Metroid: Other M suffered from similar problems as well, as did Love Hina's anime adaptation.

BTW, you might want to create an article on anime more. Don't get me wrong, anime and manga is ultimately preferable currently to the SJW ruining of comics, but even those have been negatively influenced by SJWs for a while now. As an example, Masamitsu Hidaka, one of the writers/scenario designers for Pokemon up to AG and possibly DP. He apparently got Misty axed in an unceremonious manner due to claiming that she was the weakest component to the story, and he also bragged around 2008 that the girls, at least starting with May, were deemed solely as "eyecandy" for the boys and dress them up in swimsuits, even though the girls were underage (and by underage, I mean they're canonically 10 year olds, not even in their teens yet, let alone the age of consent). Considering Nobuhiro Watsuki's arrest for child porn possession, having him actually brag about making 10 year old girls at the oldest eyecandy (which even by Japan's standards is underage) and imply that's the sole way they're going to be part of the story is just disgusting and a bit surprising that HE didn't get arrested for that. And a lot of the SJW creeps were huge child porn enthusiasts such as Gerard Jones.

You can find it here: https://href.li/?http://www.style.fm/as/05_column/05_shudo_bn.shtml

Of course, Shudo, while reluctant to remove Misty, wasn't too innocent of this mess either, since he did also advocate for keeping Team Rocket, the bad guys in other words, on (it was either her or them regarding who got the axe after Johto), but Hidaka was all gung ho on removing her due to viewing her as a weak addition (put another way, what Hidaka advocated with Misty was essentially the same thing as when Len Wein infamously gave the approval to "cripple the bitch [Barbara Gordon]" in The Killing Joke, especially in the manner in which she was removed where she was literally forced back into Cerulean Gym by her sisters instead of allowing her to pursue her own Water Pokemon Master goal or, heck, even have her pre-emptively choose to go back to Cerulean Gym of her own volition.).

Also here, where he makes the infamous remark: http://pokebeach.com/2008/07/second-pokemon-interview-with-masamitsu-hidaka-many-interesting-points Specifically: "What about the main cast on the show? Since he had talked about how they like to “switch them up,” I explained to him [Masamitsu Hidaka] that many fans want Ash, Misty, and Brock reunited again together. But, he reaffirmed what he said in the previous interview and said it wasn’t going to happen. I asked him what he meant in the previous interview about Pokemon Contests, and he said he just meant that characters like May have come back for a few episodes in Pokemon Contests, so Misty could come back too. He said, however, that Contests don’t appear to be her thing, so if she were to come back, it would probably be to join Ash in a battle or to just meet them somewhere. So then I said, “Why can’t you just ditch Brock, have Ash, have Misty, and then bring in a new boy? That would be switching up things instead of having a new girl.” His following answers made me laugh my head off I had to pick it up off the floor and reattach it. He stated that they like to switch up the girls because it gives the boys some new eye candy every once in a while. He also said girls are more customizable and you can change their outfits, like when they are in their bathing suits (yes, he specifically said that). He also said Ken Sugimori designs a new girl with each generation and that gives them another excuse to switch the girl, though I reminded him that there is also a new boy with each generation too, and it wouldn’t hurt to use them."

Here's some tumblr commentary that expanded on those translations:



I'll try to write about these topics in time. Thanks for the info.

Perhaps you should do more anime/manga articles, take a long hard look at what you like and don't like.

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