Mention Toshiyuki Inoue as a member of “The Boy and the Heron Staff” is almost like turning the main character into a mob character. Such was the difficulty of making Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film — that one of Japan’s most respected animators felt like he had a chip on his shoulder when he was asked to star in the film; where he doubted whether his extensive knowledge or highly logical and consistent art style would be appreciated by critics in works such as Ghost in the Shell and whether Akira would easily adapt could go into The Boy and the Heron and Miyazaki’s looser style.
Miyazaki’s loose style is no animation secret. Many industry legends have even taken notice of it, a style that does not tolerate anatomical consistency if its removal emphasizes “emotions and sensations as directly as possible.” Inoue revealed this, his experience with the film and more in an interview with animation blog Full Frontal. Many other anecdotes about other members of The Boy and The Heron staff came up during the 2-hour interview, including stories such as:
Takeshi HondaMasaaki EndoKoji MorimotoAhihiko YamashitaShinya Ohira
Be sure to check it out here.
[nội dung được nhúng]
Official trailer. You can find details about the contributions of The Boy and the Heron staff here.
“Of course, you need to have some degree of analytical ability to derive accurate perspectives and things like that,” Inoue warns, “but Miyazaki doesn’t want those perspectives to be too correct. Also, he expects everyone to know about all the other stuff, which is not the case with me. For example, Kiki’s setting looked European and back then I knew nothing about European architecture. Since I don’t pay special attention to this subject, I obviously can’t draw much. It might be an exaggeration to say that I felt it was a failure, but even though I could do a lot for Akira, I was suddenly faced with all the things I couldn’t do: impossible realized what Miyazaki wanted, not knowing about Europe, history or architecture… Meanwhile Miyazaki knew a lot about all of those things.“
Toshiyuki Inoue – Kiki’s delivery service, via sakugabooru
Miyazaki’s extensive knowledge of issues outside of Japan was highlighted earlier this year by Chainsaw Man’s Tatsuki Fujimoto, who in an interview with Shueisha said that Miyazaki was one of the last directors of his kind , is capable of bringing realism to other cultures while most can only produce the type of 19th century European copy pasta commonly seen in many Isekai anime. Even elite writer-directors like Makoto Shinkai tend to focus only on Japan. However, it’s more than just European insensitivity towards Inoue:
“People say that the ships I draw are no better than a child’s drawings and that I probably don’t even know how a ship is built. (Bitter laugh) Of course I don’t know anything about those things so I have nothing to answer: I just realized how much I’m lacking in being able to draw as many things as I want, and that it’s so painful.”
So the stories Inoue mentioned were actually from the 1989 Ghibli movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service, having worked with Miyazaki before, The Boy and the Heron was his comeback match, as Full Frontal said, and as Inoue agrees:
“I always wanted a comeback match or a way to redeem myself. But even as I say that, I know I can’t even pretend to be Miyazaki’s opponent. I can’t win. He is extremely intelligent and learned, and above all, as an animator, he always surpasses common sense: he is so talented that I know very well that there is nothing I can do against back to that. The more I learned about him, the more I realized I would never reach that level.“
Toshiyuki Inoue: A frame from The Boy and the Heron
It’s fair to say, however, that Inoue believes he won his grudge match. “I feel like I’ve gotten better since I had Kiki,” Inoue said. “That was over 30 years ago and I’ve seen all of Ghibli’s work during that time. Back then, I was stuck in the mindset I learned from Akira, but as time passed, my way of thinking changed: I think maybe I became a little better at creating that thing equals animated motion that isn’t quite logically condensed.” However, in another sense, perhaps because the animator known as the ‘pioneer of the realistic style’ possessed incredible awareness, when making The Boy and the Heron, he also emphasized emphasizes that he cannot compare to Miyazaki: a flaw he explores in great detail.. That is only part of the reason why he will remain a key animator.
0:27 to END is Toshiyuki Inoue, via sakugabooru
Inoue’s image of an almost God-like Miyazaki is balanced by many observations about a man whose death is catching up with him – a legend in Miyazaki who is also starting to lose himself. With his eyesight and ability to concentrate declining, Inoue claims that Miyazaki made allowances that he did not previously have and gave others more responsibility:
“And finally, Miyazaki was getting older and couldn’t draw as much as he did: when I joined, you could really feel that. His drawings aren’t as strong anymore, he’s not as fast, he can’t concentrate for long anymore. So I feel like maybe my contributions this time served the film better.”
“I believe in some interview, Toshio Suzuki said that Miyazaki only focused on the storyboards and didn’t review the animation, but that’s not necessarily what happened. Perhaps Miyazaki intends to review the entire film himself. But as he grew older, he couldn’t concentrate anymore, so he gave the hardest shots to Honda. He’s also not as strict as before: he’ll approve drawings that weren’t approved before just because he doesn’t have the strength to fix them.”
But Miyazaki isn’t done yet. As Inoue said in the interview, Miyazaki’s strength lies in applying different styles. He only works with people or styles he knows well and the box office success of The Boy and the Heron is a further sign (if one were needed) that the call from Miyazaki was worth taking. Shinya Ohira, who is famous for making Luffy’s Gear 5 animations alongside Akihiro Ota, was given a lot of freedom in his scenes and will soon be released in theaters worldwide. The interview goes on to highlight how Miyazaki is able to best position people’s talents even though his ability to oversee things is waning. Shortly after Nippon TV acquired Studio Ghibli, sources indicated that Miyazaki was quickly working on his next film.
Shinya Ohira, via sakugabooru
North American film distributor GKIDS offers this synopsis for The Boy and the Heron:
A boy named Mahito
longing for mother
Adventure into a world shared by the living and the dead.
There, death ends
and life finds a new beginning.
A semi-autobiographical fantasy story
about life, death and creativity, in memory of friendship,
from the thoughts of Hayao Miyazaki.
The English dub cast was previously announced along with a new poster and includes Christian Bale, who returns to Ghibli, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, etc.
The Boy and the Heron premieres in Japan this July. The film had its international premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. Fans in North America will have the opportunity to watch the film starting December 8. Previously announced staff includes:
Director, script, script: Hayao MiyazakiMusic: Joe HisashiCharacter designer, animation director: Takeshi HondaArt director: Youji TakeshigeSound director: Koji Kasamatsu
Source: Full Frontal
© 2023 Studio Ghibli ©2015-2023 GKIDS, INC.