My favourite movie of all time is Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli. If you haven’t seen it, you should. If you haven’t read it’s inspiration, also entitled Howl’s Moving Castle, by English author Diana Wynne Jones then you should do that too though I must confess, what Miyazaki has done to the story is truly magical and I prefer it to the book (which I generally never say ever).
There’s something truly enchanting about Miyazaki’s work. I’ve watched all his films and have enjoyed every single one (I highly recommend Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind as well). Each is imaginatively rich and stunningly depicted, the music is whimsical and the creatures that inhabit these beautiful worlds are bizarre and nonsensical and just so awesome!
So when I came across this video again, a music video of Japanese rock band Chage and Aska’s single “On Your Mark,” imagined by Miyazaki, I had to write about how amazing this storyteller is. Below is the video and the main article is on the Verge. It’s a fantastic taste of his work if you’ve never come across him before.
I love a lot of anime (and my partner loves it even more so) as there is something about Japanese story-telling that is so refreshing and unique. Often I am left with the feeling it is decades ahead of Western storytelling especially compared to Disney and I was shocked when many of my favourite Miyazaki’s works were produced before I was born!
If you get a chance to visit Japan, and I really do recommend it as the people ARE as friendly as everyone says, go check out the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. It’s like stepping into one of Miyazaki’s films. We spent hours climbing spiral staircases, exploring roof top gardens and tip-toeing through rooms devoted to the creative genius behind the films.