- Title: Next generation Japanese anime director hopes to surpass Hayao Miyazaki
- Date: 27th September 2016
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 26, 2016) (REUTERS) JAPANESE ANIME DIRECTOR, MAMORU HOSODA, SEATED AMONG POSTERS OF HIS MOVIES (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE ANIME DIRECTOR, MAMORU HOSODA, SAYING: "Don't look for (Hayao) Miyazaki in my works, that won't happen. It is only right that different directors create totally different works. I think there are movies that only I can create and movies that only I know how to make people enjoy them." HOSODA'S EYES (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE ANIME DIRECTOR, MAMORU HOSODA, SAYING: "He has stopped being a hero to me as my works now get compared to his. No matter how far high up above me he is now, I approach his work with the aim to compete and make something better."
- Embargoed: 12th October 2016 08:14
- Keywords: Hayao Miyazaki anime Mamor Hosoda director anime movies
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN / GRAPHICS
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN / GRAPHICS
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Film
- Reuters ID: LVA00251CBFPP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mamoru Hosoda, often named as one of the handful of young anime directors to lead the industry in the wake of the retirement of Japan's legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, admits he hopes to surpass his boyhood hero - but don't go looking for Miyazaki in his movies.
"Don't look for (Hayao) Miyazaki in my works, that won't happen. It is only right that different directors create totally different works. I think there are movies that only I can create and movies that only I know how to make people enjoy them," Hosoda told Reuters in an interview ahead of the Tokyo International Film Festival where a retrospective of his works was to be shown.
"He (Miyazaki) has stopped being a hero to me as my works now get compared to his. No matter how far high up above me he is now, I approach his work with the aim to compete and make something better," the 49 year old director said, candidly admitting that his brief time at his hero's Studio Ghibli earlier in his career was a disappointment that helped motivate him to find his own voice.
Hosoda's rise to fame at home over the last seven years culminated in his 2015 box office hit 'The Boy and the Beast' which grossed over 5.8 billion yen (57 million USD) to become the second most watched movie in theatres across Japan that year.
His movies, such as 'The Boy and the Beast' are usually colourful and vibrant and seem to follow in Oscar-winning Miyazaki's footsteps, but Hosoda regularly chooses themes related to family and identity, which disappoint some who seek a more immersive fantasy provided by works out of Studio Ghibli.
'The Boy and the Beast, for example, delves in the relationship between a paternal beast-father figure and a run-away kid. While his previous film 'Wolf Children' centres on a single mother raising children fathered by a werewolf.
But even in Japan, some of his deeper introspections into the meaning of self-identity are often lost on his viewers, Hosoda said.
"This film is about identity.. and actually 'The Boy and the Beast' is also about identity. But I think there are possibly people in the audience here who were not able to understand that. And that in a way is representative of Japan today," he said explaining how much harder it was for many Japanese, who self-identify as a homogenous nation, to relate to some of the characters who often deal with an identity crisis.
Hosoda is hopeful for the future of the Japanese animation industry even after Miyazaki announced his retirement from full-length features and despite the fact that more and more animators rely on computer graphics to polish their work.
"There are, or should be, multiple correct ways to express oneself in animation. If you start saying that only Disney or Pixar animations are the right kind of animations, that just becomes very boring. If everything needs to have computer graphics then you lose a lot of the richness in expression available in animations," he said.
Hosoda is confident the place of animation in Japanese culture is also secure, even as it gains ground overseas as well.
"The Japanese culture, in a way, is very accepting of arts and we don't put animations or manga (comics) in to the category of what is only for children. We pursue greedily manga and animation as a form of expression that brings to life completely different worlds, and a way to tell stories in a very different ways," he said.
'The World Of Mamoru Hosoda ' retrospective kicks off on October 25 through November 3 at the Tokyo International Film Festival and will also include movies such as the critically acclaimed 'Summer Wars'.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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