Friday, March 18, 2005

In anime, a dispute simmers between giants

Here's a piece I forgot to link to when it originally appeared: The Seattle Times carries a Los Angeles Times article about the philosophical and stylistic gulf between anime giants Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Oshii, which may represent a great struggle within the artform.

"Animation studios are surviving, animators are getting better paid, but the quality of new works is not improving," Oshii, director of Ghost in the Shell, told the newspaper. "On the surface, it's thriving. But in reality, there's very little new happening."

Here's Oshii on Miyazaki: "From a directors' viewpoint, we cannot expect anything new from Miyazaki. He is like a very old man, almost retired now. ... I think inside his head Miyazaki wants to destroy Japan. But even though he knows his generation has created a nasty society, he has this hope that children will make a better world. So he makes movies that families and the children can enjoy."

And Miyazaki collaborator Toshio Suzuki on Steamboy director Katsuhiro Otomo: "There is only one theme in all his films: the conflict between adults and children. It's an old Japanese theme: The child fights against society, fights against evil. Otomo's thinking is rather old."