Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book: Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art by Susan Napier
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Tags: Non-Fiction / Hayao Miyazak / Studio Ghibli / Anime / Animated Movies / Analyctic
When a friend pointed me out to this being a read now on Netgalley, I knew I had to give this ago. Unfortunately this book turned out not to be for me and I ended up dnf-ing it at about 30%. This problem lies in part with me and I don’t think this is a bad book at all. It just didn’t work for me.
I’m not sure what my expectations were but the analytical approach and dissection of Miyazaki’s background was not it. Susan Napier really has gone to dept with this book, drawing from all kinds of source materials like the original Miyazaki biography and various interviews by him and his peers. There has gone in a lot of work and research into this work and for that I can only applaud the author. But it didn’t make for a pleasant read for me. There was too much details in places and too much analyzing of a man’s life. Of someone who is still alive. It made me uncomfortable. There is also the underlying feeling of the situations depicted in this book that I might not like Miyazaki as a person. And I don’t think I’d like to take that way from this book. I’d rather watch his movies and not think about his person, instead appreciate his art and creativity.
I would not suggest reading this book if you haven’t seen all of his movies. There are chapters that go into his movies, that analyze them in their entirety which includes spoilers. But if you have watched them all or don’t mind spoilers and would like to go along for the ride with Susan Napier on where Miyazaki came from and how this shaped his films, this is going to be an interesting read for you.
Having read part of this book however did make me want to go back and see what I have seen of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli and I started rooting through my collection. There was a time where I was very into manga and anime. Instead of books I bought anime and manga. So I do have a small collection still of that. Including a few Studio Ghibli movies.
Ghibli Movies I Have Seen
Of course I have seen Spirited Away. Who hasn’t? For a special day they even showed this in the theatres for our high school. Chihiro is just a great character and there is so much to discover in this movie.
Howl’s Moving Castle
My favorite! This is one of the rare occasions where I don’t care the book was altered to fit with the movie. Both just work so well.
I was able to borrow this from a friend back in high school and it is such an interesting movie and I would love to rewatch this some day.
Ghibli Movies I Still Want to See
Castle in the Sky
I actually own this but never have gotten around to watching it. After reading the chapter in the book on this movie, parts of it captured my attention enough to dig it out of my closet.
Grave of the Fireflies
Another one I own but never gotten around to watching. I actually think, with the war elements, that this might be a better watch for my husband than for me.
My Neighbour Totoro
This movie has such a big following but I have never once watched it. I should be ashamed of myself, I know.
The Cat Returns
I mean, this has cats. How could this not be right up my alley?
Tales from Earthsea
This movie is an adaption from the Earthsea books and I would like to have read some of it not all of them before I head into this movie. I have heard it is very different from the actual books though…