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Studio Ghibli Movie Anniversary Rewatch
Castle in the Sky Castle in the Sky 50%[1 Vote]
Only Yesterday Only Yesterday 0%[0 Votes]
Spirited Away Spirited Away 50%[1 Vote]
Tales from Earthsea Tales from Earthsea 0%[0 Votes]
From Up on Poppy Hill From Up on Poppy Hill 0%[0 Votes]
Total Votes : 2
 Print Thread
Idea - Studio Ghibli Movie Anniversary Rewatch
sweevo
Hey, guys.

I've been on a Studio Ghibli semi-binge lately in an effort to keep my Japanese up to date. It recently occurred to me that this year marks a key anniversary in quite a few movies of their catalogue. Included is my synopses and reviews of each movie, in order to facilitate voting. The one with the most votes obviously gets the prime slot, and depending on how things roll, this could be another rewatch tradition. I posted this in the Other Rewatches forum initially before moving to Xenon Base, before finally bringing it here, realising it probably wasn't quite the best place, so here it is.


Laputa: The Castle in the Sky (1986)
A young boy named Pazu inadvertently gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse when he rescues a girl named Sheeta, who possesses a magic crystal sought after by a group of pirates led by the matriarchal Captain Dola and a mysterious government official named Colonel Muska. With the government AND military on their heels, Pazu and Sheeta decide to work with the pirates in order to find Laputa, a floating island which is believed to have technology so advanced it could determine the ultimate fate of the world. It's a race against time - who will get there first; Pazu and Sheeta with the pirates to plunder the treasure, or will Colonel Muska arrive first and bring about Hell on Earth?

This is the first film to be officially released under the Studio Ghibli title and is considered to be THE definitive Hayao Miyazaki film of the 1980s, and is often the first one a lot of people usually see. There have been rumours of an extended cut running at 3 hours, but these were dispelled. The story is unique, the characters are fun to watch and intriguing, and the musical score just accentuates the atmosphere. This film was also shown on the British TV channel ITV in the late 1980s/early 1990s in an edited form under the title "Laputa: The Flying Island". If you don't know where to begin with Studio Ghibli or anime in general... then this one's a good place to start.

Trailer: https://www.youtu..._oi8Xlo1mA


Only Yesterday (1991)
The story focuses on an office worker named Taeko Okajima who goes on holiday to the countryside to take some time off from city life. During her temporary exodus, she reflects on her life as a child, growing up in Tokyo under the rule of her belligerent older sister, iron-willed mother and calm and almost frighteningly logical (and possibly autocratic) father. Taeko eventually reaches a crossroads in her life where she must choose what's best for her.

This is one of Ghibli's more controversial efforts in the sense that it's a realistic drama set in the real world, and it is targeted at a niche audience - in this case, an adult female audience - it is directed by Isao Takahata, who showcases his talent for realism and authenticity here. The film in itself is one of his better efforts (even if it risks alienating all but the most die-hard of Ghibli and anime fans), but the ending sequence will leave you with a sense of peace and tranquillity if you can make it to the final credits.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKBYcV1FVtM

Spirited Away (2001)
Preteen girl Chihiro Ogino, on her way to a new house and new life, ventures into what appears to be a theme park of sorts with her curious parents. Upon seeing that the theme park is a gateway to a parallel universe - a spirit world - Chihiro is trapped and must find her way home, seeking employment from a witch named Yubaba, who renames her "Sen" (meaning "1000" in Japanese). With the help of a kindly wizard named Haku and the ambiguous personality of a spirit known as No-Face, Chihiro must grow up and summon all her courage and confidence if she is to find her parents and escape alive.

This is the film that made Hayao Miyazaki super-famous Worldwide. It is considered to be his magnum opus and can appeal to a wide range of audiences and age groups - a cross between "Pan's Labyrinth" with some elements of "Hellraiser" and parts of Japanese folklore, it is not necessarily scary, but there are some moments which will seem disquieting, especially to younger viewers.

Trailer: https://www.youtu...cv5p1XNuDw

Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Based on the original Earthsea Trilogy of novels by Ursula K Le Guin, this film is primarily an adaptation of the third and final chapter, "The Farthest Shore". A young man named Arren befriends a wizard named Sparrowhawk as the two of them try to restore the Balance of the World for the sake of all men... and dragons, who once coexisted with men in peace and harmony. With the help of a mysterious young girl named Therru and her carer Tenar, Sparrowhawk must face his old enemy, Lord Cob, and help Arren overcome his greatest fear and worst enemy - himself.

This is the first film directed by Goro Miyazaki, eldest son of Hayao Miyazaki. This film had such a troubled production that neither father nor son were on friendly terms during development, although they eventually reconciled at the film's ill-fated Japanese prémiere (Japanese society considers honesty and sincerity more important than success). Despite its lackluster reception, it is a decent (but not perfect) adaptation of the Earthsea fantasy series.

Trailer: https://www.youtu...hxYx3Jq3kI

From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
It is the 1960s and Tokyo is preparing to host the Olympic Games. High school girl Umi Matsuzaki lives in and operates a boarding house in Yokohama, raising flags every morning to help the incoming and outgoing ships out of the harbour. Upon learning that the boys' clubhouse at her academy - the Latin Quarter - is to be demolished to make way for a venue for the Olympics, she meets with the clubhouse's most prominent member, a boy named Shun Kazama. A mass restoration is organised in an attempt to save the clubhouse from demolition takes place, with the help of the entire student body. At the same time, Umi receives news that Shun is actually adopted - news which may or may not make them siblings.

Based on the 1980 graphic novel of the same name and written by Hayao Miyazaki, this is the second film directed by Goro Miyazaki and is a huge, HUGE improvement over the lacklustre and lackadaisical "Tales from Earthsea". It is a down-to-earth drama depicting post-WW2 Japan in a real and genuine way. It has a touching story and two main characters who can easily represent almost any of us as adolescents. This film takes all the strongest points of "Only Yesterday", "Ocean Waves" and "Whisper of the Heart" and fuses them together into a single perfect narrative, proof that Studio Ghibli can do realism as well as fantasy, and evidence that the younger Miyazaki is more than capable of succeeding his famous father.

Trailer: https://www.youtu...nzpk_Br6yo

Keep in mind that the winning film will be viewed in Japanese with English subtitles and would be viewed on its respective anniversary (or closest possible date, such as a weekend) - here are the dates of each film's original theatrical release:

Castle in the Sky - 2 August
Only Yesterday - 1 July (could be switched out for either Porco Rosso or Princess Mononoke, since this is not one of my favourite Ghibli movies due to its extreme realism and melodrama, but it is its anniversary)
Spirited Away - 20 July
Tales from Earthsea - 29 July (could be switched out for Kiki's Delivery Service, since both movies share the same date albeit 17 years apart)
From Up on Poppy Hill - 16 July

I will delete this thread on 20 June (the Summer/Winter Solstice, depending on where you live) to prepare for the date of the watch proper.

Happy voting! Smile
S.
 
Lurena
Thank you for putting this thread up Sweevo!
But I'm not sure if many of our forum friends are familiar enough with the Gibli movies and their philosophy.
All Gibli's movies are very interesting, but one needs a bit of study to get to know about the culture of the society they originate from.
Enjoy your command of Japanese! Tanoshinde kudasai!
Lara&Sue's Blake's 7 stories and *my PD as Kerr Avon Tribute*
*No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going.*
 
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