Hayao miyazaki research
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Critical Approaches task 6
Critical Approaches task 6Nicole Tunningley
The content of these pieces do indeed have many things in common, for one they all have clear fantasy elements to them. The first being a half human half bird character (Howl), the second is further back in the image like a ghost (no face) and the third is a forest god/animal creature (Totoro).The main characters frequently differ in both appearance and age given a different aspect on the story being told
He does not have characters belonging to one age group this does in fact reflect the target audience as there is no one set age at which one would more frequently watch these filmsHayao Miyazakis films are categorized as Family films this therefore gives them a wide target audience. It also depends on the content of each films narrative when determining which age group would be more appropriate.My Neighbor Totoro has a more childish audience as the theme explored is not incredibly complex and can be appreciated for its narrative by the younger audiences.Spirited Away is considered slightly scarier with more mythical elements as has therefore been gifted with a slightly older audience recommendation (Young teen).Howls Moving Castle fits into the farther end of the age group at a 15+ as this is considered the age at which one can fully appreciate the film for its thought-provoking nature.Age and representation of
These films vary from a U certificate (Suitable for everyone) to a PG (parental guidance recommended)
Hayao Miyazaki films are unisex are do not attempt to target one gender in particularBut Miyazaki is frequently praised for his feminist approach of telling a story.For example when he is discussing the time period of his piece Princess Mononoke, he chose the Muromachi period stating It was a more fluid period, when there were no distinctions between peasants and a samurai, when women were bolder and freer, he says. This shows that Miyazaki takes into consideration how to properly represent the female gender in his infamous genre.Gender
Blogs such as Popcorn Feminist discuss how the themes and protagonists expressed in Miyazakis film, far surpass those in the classic Disneys.Themes such as independence, anti-racial stereotyping, breaking gender roles, expressing ambition and anti-sexualisation are popular themes in Miyazakis franchise.Miyazaki VS. Disney (Gender: Part 2)
The female villains in Miyazakis films frequently tend to be women of the older generation.Whereas the male villains tend to be a little younger (and thinner).This can create a negative effect on this generation due to Miyazakis repetitive use of them in a harsh manner but in most cases concerning the female villains, by the end of the film they are frequently on the protagonists side.Negative Representation
Miyazakis female protagonists are complicated, flawed, and independent figures The Mary SueHayao Miyazakis Studio Ghibli productions are typically based on Japanese culture, history or myths. Therefore he has his main characters positively represent these aspects of Japan.
Hayao Miyazakis Studio Ghibli productions are typically based on Japanese culture, history or myths. Therefore he has his main characters positively represent these aspects of Japan.All of Miyazakis characters have varying characteristics both with their personalities and physical features.Miyazaki will frequently have links between his films for example the infamous egg, this is a signature piece on Miyazakis films that is a highlight to his audience and is also a signature in Japanese cuisine.Miyazakis films technically tend to have around 3-5 main characters including the antagonist.Miyazakis films can go for around 80 minutes to 120 minutes depending on the story.
Cultural and technical
Howls Moving Castle was released in 2004.Miyazaki, is a technically only half responsible for the making of Howls Moving Castle as a film. For one, he only half directed it and two it is based of the book Howls Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Which means he didnt direct it fully nor did he come up with the story, though it does of course have its own little Miyazaki quirkiness.In the English dubbed version Howl is voiced by Christian Bale who said he would happily voice any character in Miyazakis next film.Howls Moving Castle
Spirited Away is apparently Miyazakis most famous piece of work created in 2001.But there is a theory that proves this film to not be as appropriate for younger audiences as one might have initially thought.It all starts with an inscription above a bath house door in which the protagonist will later work. The inscription is a symbol that translates to yu meaning hot water, which makes sense. But when investigated further it transpired that during the Edo period (in which this was set) bath houses were basically brothels. The women are known as yuna or hot water women.Even more research shows that Brothel Madams in those times were called Yubaba which is exactly the name given to the old witch who runs the batch house in the film.The protagonist is also forced to sign over her name to Yubaba and become Sen. Which historically is customary for prostitutes to change their names and sign them over to their madamsThe character No Face interacts with the protagonist frequently by offering her tokens which is their currency. It is thought here that her is trying to buy her.But one might dismiss this theory with one shake of the head by its creator. But Miyazaki himself in interviews admitted that this was intentional, stating: I think the most appropriate way to symbolize the modern world is the sex industry. Hasnt Japanese society become like the sex industry?To conclude the childhood favorite Miyazki film is about prostitution and the corruption of children.
(Theory Source: MoviePilot)
My Neighbor Totoro is one of Miyazakis most classical family films enjoyed by people of all ages, since its release in 1988. But it is thought to not be as family friendly as initially thought.God of Death theory: The rumor says that the people who can see Totoro are actually close to death or already deadIn the ending scene, it is said that the two main protagonists dont have any shadows.There is also a famous murder case called The Sayama Incident (My Neighbor Totoro takes place in Sayama hills) in which two sister turn up dead.The Sayama Incident happened in May and both sisters in Totoro are technically named May (Satsuki means May in Japanese and Mei is the Japanese pronunciation of May).Though the studio dismissed the theory it is still one that will probably never die.(Theory source: Kotaku)My Neighbor Totoro