Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Miyazaki's Ponyo and other big anime releases

Miyazaki's Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea will be released in American theaters on August 14. In Japan, the movie was released on July 19, 2008. For more details, including the American voice cast, click here.

In other news, Tezuka's Astro Boy has been remade digitally and will be released on October 23. You can catch a trailer on Hulu (with the tantalizing description of "A powerful robotic child becomes a superhero").

I hope to have more in-depth articles and reviews soon. Sorry for the haitus.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Collection of Miyazaki essays and notes

Per animenewsnetwork, Viz publishing will put out a collection of essays and notes by the acclaimed Japanese director, Miyazaki Hayao. The book will be called Shuppatsu Ten (Starting Point) and will come out in July. According to, this book will include "about 90 essays, talks, lectures, movie plans and texts that were contributed to various newspapers, magazines and other publications from 1979 to 1996." You can also find an extensive interview with the editor at the ghibliworld link. Happily, anime scholar pioneer, Frederik L. Schodt, will be working on the translation along with Beth Cary. Schodt's work should be meticulous and, given the seminal work he has done in scholarship (Dreamland Japan; Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics) and his close relationship with the "godfather" of manga, Tezuka Osamu (see his work in The Astro Boy Essays).

This collection, while probably compiled for Miyazaki fans, will also be helpful to scholars who can examine how the essays "self-represents" over these years. Would have been nice if the information extended past 1996 because the works for which the director received world-wide attention came later -- Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke, 1997) and Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away, 2001). Although the book probably contains notes for the former, one wonders why the publishers stopped at that point.