Ghibli ga Ippai Liner Notes

Originated from keyframe.cjas.org via wiki.evageeks.org
Translated by Mark Neidengard

Ghibli ga Ippai (“Full of Ghibli”) is a boxset of all Studio Ghibli movies (TKLO-50180 Tokuma Japan Communications), that was released on August 1996) and contains a section about Hideaki Anno in the liner notes.

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Anno Hideaki. Director, producer. Born 1960, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Uto City. As an animator, participated in works including “Superdimensional Fortress Macross”, “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”. Afterwards, established the shared stock company Gainax for the production of “Royal Space Force – the Wings of Honneamise”. Also acted as Animation Director for that work. Later, as director he worked on “Aim for the Top!”, “Nadia of the Mysterious Seas”, “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, and others.

There are too many painful things for people to go on living in reality. Thus, humans run and hide in dreams. They watch films as entertainment. Animation, as a means to enjoy everything in a pure, fake world, is a realization of dreams and has become entrenched in film. In short, it is a thing where even coincidences are arranged and everything judged cinematically unnecessary can be excized. The negative feelings of the real world are no exception. If the director so desires, even malice toward others could be introduced straight into film. I guess that’s one of the attractive things about anime. Changing the tribulation of reality into dreams and conveying that to the people… is that what our work is? For the sake of people who forget reality until the bill comes due, who want to devote themselves to happy fallacies. I guess that’s our job in the entertainment and service sector.

One of the distinctive features of Studio Ghibli’s works is that, even if there are obsessive actions, there are things which appear to have not forfeited their goal. Forfeiting ones goal leads to despair, and is a sickness that can prove fatal. I wonder if Miya-san and his people are familiar with that feeling of despair. Perhaps they don’t want to show that anguish to other people. I think they specifically don’t want to display the negative things called self-loathing and complexes to others. That’s why Studio Ghibli’s works can’t show anything but superficial happiness and a reproduction of reality with all the dirty things omitted. A fiction that imitates reality, and nothing more than a single dream. I suppose that is the governance of entertainment. And I think that that is one of the reasons that Studio Ghibli’s works are safely watchable, brand name creations.

I have no intention of denying that. All of Studio Ghibli’s works are top level creations. But, I can’t help but feel that something is missing. This is because, although the technique is there, I can no longer feel “blood”, the “blood” that is surely flowing within everyone. I wonder when that happened? Studio Ghibli’s works have, for me, become things that doesn’t possess the image of “Anime”, but rather of the so-called Japanese cinema, in other words, the Japanese movies that have now lost all their energy. That may be the reason that I feel that something is missing.

By the way, Mr. Miyazaki Hayao and Mr. Itano Ichirou are those I consider my teachers. I brag and say that I’m probably the only one in the world with that combination. I was greatly influenced, not just in the technical points of the animation craft, but in the mental portion of filmmaking. My posture on filmmaking is nothing more than an attempt to hang on to the things I learned from the two of them. I have nothing but words of gratitude for both of them.

When I helped out as an animator for “Nausicaa”, there’s something that Miya-san often told me. It seems to have come from a Chinese sage, but “There are three conditions for accomplishing something. Those are:Being youngBeing poor, and Being unknown.” And, “No matter what, make friends.” So I was taught. This was more than 12 years ago. Yes, I’ve known Miya-san approximately 12 years. In that time, I think Miya-san has achieved various things. However, he also lost many things.

I think supporting a studio, that is, fighting to protect the organization against ruinis painful as it piles up. A staff that strongly depends on you is also a double-edged sword. The height of the brand-name image and weight of the pressure from the world which prevents you from announcing even a short film without hiding your head under the excuse of it being an “experiment”.

However, I feel that he is still trying to obtain something new. Is that trying to throw away the past? But could that be the fate of those who go on making films? In any case, ‘he is a person of deep craft regarding his desires.

Finally, I’m looking forward to “Mononoke Hime”, the latest in the series of seven works stretching from his masterpiece “Nausicaa” (the movie). No, I’m serious.

Postscript. Yesterday, when I was in a state of mental collapse after my latest work had ended, I was moved deep within my heart by an encouraging phone call I received. The words of concern proceeding from the receiver became joy on my end as, with a exaltant face, my whole body was buoyed. In secret, I rejoiced in receiving some recognition for myself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My master, the Lord Miyazaki Hayao-sama. From a (self-proclaimed) prodigal son, Anno Hideaki.

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