BloodBoal

The Hayao Miyazaki Retrospective Thread

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The upcoming The Collected Works Of Miyazaki Blu-Ray box set made me want to (re)watch all of his films in chronological order, and I thought it'd be interesting to share our thoughts on each one of them, one at a time. I'll probably go through his filmography very slowly, so don't expect this thread to be bumped regularly!

 

For the sake of having an easy-to-follow conversation, please do try to talk only about the film being currently discussed in the thread.

 

 

EDIT: Below are links to all the reviews in this thread:

 

BloodBoal's Reviews:

The Castle Of Cagliostro (1979)

Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind (1984)

Laputa: Castle In The Sky (1986)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

Porco Rosso (1992)

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Spirited Away (2001)

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea (2008)

The Wind Rises (2013)

 

LeBlanc's Reviews:

The Castle Of Cagliostro (1979)

Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind (1984)

Laputa: Castle In The Sky (1986)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

Porco Rosso (1992)

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Spirited Away (2001)

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea (2008)

The Wind Rises (2013)

 

nightscape94's Reviews:

The Castle Of Cagliostro (1979)

Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind (1984)

Laputa: Castle In The Sky (1986)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

Porco Rosso (1992)

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Spirited Away (2001)

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea (2008)

The Wind Rises (2013)

 

 

Anyway, let's start right away with...

 

 

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ルパン三世 カリオストロの城 a.k.a Lupin III: The Castle Of Cagliostro - Hayao Miyazaki (1979)

 

Quote

A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.

 

First time watching this one.

 

This film technically isn't pure Miyazaki, so to speak, as it is basically just one of the many theatrical films based on the (at the time ongoing) TV series Lupin The Third (itself an adaptation of the manga of the same name), so that means the director had to use characters he didn't create, he had to adapt to the visual style of the series, and for the music, he had to work with the series' composer Yuji Ohno (so Hisaishi wasn't in the game yet). Some of the themes that will be found in his later films were not there yet, too (our relationship with nature, fantasy elements, etc.). That being said, you can still find a few of his trademarks already here and there (the whole flying/planes aspect found in movies like Porco Rosso and The Wind Rises is already there, Clarisse feels like a rough draft of the main female characters of his later films, and visually the film is halfway between the Lupin III series look and Miyazaki's own visual style).

 

The movie is a fun adventure, with many cool sequences (the car chase, the attack at the inn, the church sequence...), a lot of humor (Zenigata will give you many laughs) and likable characters (I was a bit afraid that, not being familiar with the show, it would be a bit hard to care about them, but that wasn't a problem at all). It is highly reminiscent of Tintin in many ways, though it is definitely goofier. The main problem of the film, for me, lies in its pace: it starts off pretty strong, with exciting sequences and mysteries, but then, 40 minutes into the film, it slows down and loses its momentum. It picks up again around the 1-hour mark, then slows down again, then picks up again for the finale (loved the gothic atmosphere here), which, while neat, feels a tad too long. So basically, the middle section felt unsteady to me, and the second half of the film dragged on a bit too long to my liking.

 

Visually, the film looks really good, with some superb backgrounds and shots, though the animation is a bit stiff from time to time. It aged pretty well nonetheless.

 

Ohno's music is competently written but doesn't have much to offer. Clarisse's theme (Fire Treasure) is the clear highlight, Lupin's theme is pretty fun and there a few other nice cues to be found (Wedding, The Plot Of The Earl, Mystery Zone), but overall, it's not really a noteworthy score. After having watched the film, I didn't remember much from it.

 

All in all, this was a pretty solid first feature-length film for Miyazaki, which suffers from a few mishaps here and there (the uneven pace, an unremarkable score...), but still remains an enjoyable romp with colorful characters, some neat visuals and entertaining action sequences. Not bad.

 

7/10

 

 

Fire Treasure

 

Wedding

 

The Plot Of The Earl

 

Mystery Zone

 

Lone Wolf

 

 

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P.S.: Whenever I watch a movie, I like to use the search function to see what has been said about it on JWFAN, and I stumbled upon this which made me grin:

 

On 10/04/2009 at 5:04 PM, Jay said:

Here's some dvds I have lying around I no longer want:

[...]

 

Single movies: (widescreen only, where applicable)
The Castle of Cagliostro

On 03/09/2009 at 7:19 PM, Jay said:

Treated myself to some early birthday presents:

[...]

DVDs:
The Castle Of Cagliostro

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I recently received the blu Ray of this ; I'm looking forward to seeing it for the first time. Though I bought the DVD a long time ago, I never got around to even taking off the shrinkwrap! It remains the only Miyazaki movie I've never seen, besides The Wind Rises. I just missed getting that blu (and Porco Rosso) when they dropped under $20 on Amazon unfortunately.

Anyways you misquoted me in that first quote; please look again and you'll see that it was on my want list, not my sell list.

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Ah, my bad! :P

I've only seen 4 (well, now 5) of Miyazaki's 11 films: My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle (and the first 15 minutes or so of Ponyo), but I liked them all, so I look forward to watching the others.

Will be waiting for your thoughts on The Castle Of Cagliostro!

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Cagliostro is a movie that's great fun. Lupin's a solid, clever character. It honestly felt more like a "real" movie to me than a lot of Miyazaki's later works, probably because it involves less sorcery and magic and more straightforward action and invention.

Interestingly, I can remember seeing a laserdisc arcade video game based on this film. Made in the style of Dragon's Lair and Space Ace (the Don Bluth laserdisc games), you essentially played through a story similar to the events of the movie as Lupin—but when you made a wrong move, animation was added that showed the consequences (crashing, drowning, dying, etc.). I only saw it once or twice when I was younger, but it was brought back to me some years later when I spotted Chunk playing it during a quick cut in the movie The Goonies.

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Cagliostro is a movie that's great fun. Lupin's a solid, clever character. It honestly felt more like a "real" movie to me than a lot of Miyazaki's later works, probably because it involves less sorcery and magic and more straightforward action and invention.

Interestingly, I can remember seeing a laserdisc arcade video game based on this film. Made in the style of Dragon's Lair and Space Ace (the Don Bluth laserdisc games), you essentially played through a story similar to the events of the movie as Lupin—but when you made a wrong move, animation was added that showed the consequences (crashing, drowning, dying, etc.). I only saw it once or twice when I was younger, but it was brought back to me some years later when I spotted Chunk playing it during a quick cut in the movie The Goonies.

Thanks for the post. Much appreciated! :thumbup:

And yeah, The Castle Of Cagliostro feels quite different compared to Miyazaki's other films (well, based on the ones I've seen, and what I know about the others), but it's still as well directed as the others, and particularly good for a first film. And to go back to the Tintin resemblance I mentioned in the original post, I'd even say it's better than Spielberg's Tintin! ;)

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And to go back to the Tintin resemblance I mentioned in the original post, I'd even say it's better than Spielberg's Tintin! ;)

Y'know, I'd have to say I agree with that assessment 100%. In fact, Tintin felt like it was trying to emulate movies like Castle Cagliostro—and that's not to say it did a bad job of it, just that it felt more imitative of this sort of thing.

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風の谷のナウシカ a.k.a Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind - Hayao Miyazaki (1984)

 

Quote

Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

 

First time watching this one.

 

Well, I was not totally won over by it. I expected to love it, but in the end, I thought it was just OK. There are many reasons for that. For starters, while I really liked the universe presented here, to me, the story was lacking. By the time the end credits rolled, I didn't feel satisfied. I found out why I felt that way after checking Wikipedia to learn more about the film. It turns out that Miyazaki was far from having finished his manga before he decided to adapt it on the big screen: he basically had written only 2 volumes out of 7 the manga ended up having (Miyazaki didn't finish it until 1994, 10 years after the film!), so what we got in the film is only about a fourth of the full story (and even then, the story is quite different from the manga)! I guess that's the reason why the story didn't feel fully fleshed-out to me. There's also the fact the story is very similar to Princess Mononoke (which feels like a remake of that film, really) and Nausicaä just pales in comparison. Everything is better handled in Princess Mononoke, from the pace, to the score, the character development, etc.

 

Another thing that didn't quite sit right with me was the use of the score in the film: the film is sometimes oddly spotted. You have lengthy action sequences with no music at all, and suddenly, at the end of them, you have like a short 10-second cue showing up out of nowhere and disappearing just as quickly. There are many moments where it felt odd to me. For example, the scene when Asbel is attacking the Torumekian ships is completely unscored, and right after it, you've got that weird short techno cue playing as Nausicaä is trying to find the ship with her friends which started falling. It felt completely out of place. As a result of this weird use of the music, the pace feels off in many scenes: there is a lack of excitement, danger, momentum building, etc. in these because of that. That's not to say the lack of music never works: sometimes it does, but more often than not, it didn't for me, and affected the pace in a bad way. The second half of the movie did make a better use of the music than the first half, though.

 

And while we're on the topic of the score: I found the music to be rather underwhelming. The score is all over the place: you have traditional orchestral music, techno/pop-infused cues that feel quite dated, some short jazzy moments, some weird Indian-sounding music for the Ohmus... It's a mess that doesn't form a cohesive whole. That, plus the fact that a lot of parts of some cues seem to be dialed out makes for a rather average score as heard in the film. That being said, after having listened to the OST on its own, the score has some nice material to offer, but it's still overall a run-of-the-mill start for the Miyazaki/Hisaishi collaboration.

 

Now, on the good side: as I said above, I really liked the universe of the film, the creatures, the ships, the characters, etc. And I especially liked the visuals of that universe: the Fukaï looks fantastic on screen, and I loved seeing the sea of red eyes during the charge of the Ohmus (there's a great ominous quality to that visual). Yep, visually, the movie is top notch (the animation may be a bit stiff from time to time, but it's no biggie).

 

Then, the score, even if quite a mess, does have some noteworthy material: the lyrical opening cue, the martial melody for the Torumekian army in the second half of Kushana's Invasion, the action music in Battle, the atmospheric In The Sea Of Corruption, the short but exciting A Battle Between Mehve and Corvette, the dreamy first half and sinister second half of The Resurrection of the God Warrior, the gorgeous Nausicaä Requiem with the rendition of Nausicaä's theme in its second half (while the la-la-la's sound a bit goofy, the melody itself is lovely) and the uplifting Bird Person, with the great flying music reprised from The Princess Who Loves Insects.

 

The film has some impressive sequences, too: Asbel's attack on the Torumekian ships, the dogfight between the Pejite ship and the Torumenkian ship, the climax with the God Warrior, etc. The environmental message is also handled elegantly (as is generally the case with Miyazaki movies) and well-integrated into the story.

 

So, while the movie was not a huge disappointment, it did fail to live up to my expectations (which were a bit high, given that so many people have praised it). Hisaishi's score was particularly disappointing and for the most part sounds quite dated. What saved the movie for me really are the visuals and the universe, as well as some specific sequences. Unfortunately, overall, the film feels too much like a rough draft of Princess Mononoke to me to be completely satisfying.

 

6/10

 

 

Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind (Opening)

 

Battle

 

In The Sea Of Corruption

 

A Battle Between Mehve and Corvette

 

Nausicaä · Requiem

 

Bird Person (Ending)

 

 

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P.S.: This little bit on Wikipedia made me laugh: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nausica%C3%A4_of_the_Valley_of_the_Wind_%28film%29

 

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New World Pictures produced a 95-minute English-dubbed version of the film, titled Warriors of the Wind, and it was released theatrically in the United States in June 1985, with the VHS video release in December 1985. In the late 1980s, Vestron Video would release the film and First Independent Video would re-release it in 1993 with another minute cut from the film. The voice actors and actresses were not informed of the film's plotline and the film was heavily edited to market it to children. Consequently, part of the film's narrative meaning was lost: some of the environmentalist themes were diluted as was the main subplot of the Ohmu, altered to turn them into aggressive enemies. Most of the characters were renamed, including Nausicaä who became Princess Zandra. The United States cover for the VHS release featured a cadre of male characters who are not in the film, riding the resurrected God Warrior—including a still-living Warrior shown briefly in a flashback. A total of 21 minutes and 50 seconds was cut from the original production for the release of Warriors of the Wind.Dissatisfied with Warriors of the Wind, Miyazaki decided to adopt a strict "no-edits" clause for future foreign releases of Studio Ghibli's films. On hearing Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein would try to cut Princess Mononoke to make it more marketable, one of Studio Ghibli's producers sent an authentic katana with a simple message: "No cuts".

 

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Would be about time! ;)

I also found Nausicca strangely disappointing. It all felt very dry (especially the score) in comparison to Ghibli's better works.

Yep.

I think I would have liked it more, had I seen it before other Miyazaki films, and had I not heard so many people praising it.

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The Castle of Cagliostro

My first time ever seeing this film. Well, I liked it alot! I was surprised by how little it really resembles the Miyazaki I know and love; There were no environmental themes, it wasn't grand and epic in scope, and more that all that - it was pretty adult! Besides the fact that it was about thieves, there was actually bad language and some adult jokes! I should mentioned I watched the 2000 English dub, so I don't know how accurately it translated the original Japanese audio, but I was still surprised by all the "hell"s, "bastard"s, "damn"s, and I believe I even heard a "shit" in there!

Another thing that sets it apart is that its not a self-contained story like all his other films. It's one part of a long running franchise, and it shows. Now, I certainly had no trouble following the storyline at any point or anything, but it was clear your viewing would be much more enriched if you watched the show before seeing this, so when characters like Inspector Koichi Zenigata, Fujiko Mine, and Goemon Ishikawa XIII show up, you already know all about them and their history with Lupin. But this ended up not really being a big problem, apart from some clunky-ish exposition to explain their connection.

A lot of Miyazki's signature stuff does show up, like his flying machines, great scenery shots, and the end when the lost city is revealed was very Miyazaki-esque.
I was afraid that this would be a throw-away movie, that whenever I felt like revisited his films I'd watch all the others and not bother with this one, but it isn't the case. I enjoyed it quite a bit and would happily watch it again. Lupin himself was a great character; Charming, funny, and cocky but in a good way. I enjoyed all the gadgets he had, and didn't mind that as the film when on, physics got more and more thrown out the window (like when he jumps from one tower to another and grabs onto the smooth walls with his hands and climbs up... at that point, you're fine with it).
The blu ray looked great, with a really nice round of bonus features, showcasing how the opening and ending had been re-jiggered over the years for different releases, some notes about the translation of Japanese-specific terms and sayings, a commentary track, and the whole film in storyboard form. Well worth the purchase I made!

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Yeah, I too was afraid I wouldn't like it much, but was pleasantly surprised by it.

It is interesting what you say about how watching the show to know more about the characters' relationships and personalities before watching the film would enrich the viewing, because apparently, the characters' personalities are quite different in the film compared to the show, which made a lot of fans unhappy. :P

The changes made to the portrayal of the cast, depicting a heroic and selfless Lupin, a friendly Jigen, funny Goemon, and un-sexualized Fujiko, were initially not well received by fans. Otaku USA's Surat described compared this shift to "a James Bond movie where [James Bond] stayed at Motel 6 and his “Bond mobile” was a Toyota Camry!"[5]

Some fans maintain that it is not a "true" Lupin title, due to Miyazaki's altering of the titular character into a bumbling hero, rather than his original ruthless criminal self.[33]Monkey Punch, creator of Lupin III, called Castle of Cagliostro an "excellent" movie, but agreed Miyazaki's vision of Lupin differs from his own. He said, “I wouldn’t have had him rescue the girl, I would have had him rape her!”[17]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Castle_of_Cagliostro#Reception

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The blu ray looked great, with a really nice round of bonus features, showcasing how the opening and ending had been re-jiggered over the years for different releases, some notes about the translation of Japanese-specific terms and sayings, a commentary track, and the whole film in storyboard form. Well worth the purchase I made!

What Bluray did you get?

The Diskotek release?

I'd say this new restoration (which is also in the Japanese silhouette series) is a bit of a disappointment.

DNR has been appiled and it looks a bit blurry, comparing to the other Japanese Blurays of the old Ghibli films which had fine grain.

here's how it should look:

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison.php?id=87036

From what I know, the restoration wasn't done by Ghibli themselves (like the other Blurays), so maybe that's the reason this Bluray has the lowest quality than all the others.

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@ BB Wow, that Monkey Punch guy sounds like a prick!

@ filmmusic, I got this one:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UN7FHCG/


It had like 6 audio tracks - 1979 Japanese mono, 1979 Japanese 5.1, 1992 Stereo english dub, 2000 Stereo english dub (completely new cast), 2000 Stereo english dub "family friendly" version, i think one other one, and then the commentary track.

And like 5 subtitle choices - English, English for hearing impaired, Songs and Signs only (what I used), and like 2 others

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@ BB Wow, that Monkey Punch guy sounds like a prick!

Well, turns out the Wiki article is a bit inaccurate: the difference in personality is between the manga version of the character and the show/film(s) version (and not between the show version and the film version): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsène_Lupin_III

Personality

In Monkey Punch's original manga, Lupin is cocky, quite crude, and for the most part remorseless. He is very much the ladies' man, often using them for his own gains, but is not beyond forcing himself upon women who resist him. This is in stark contrast to his better-known anime self, who despite being a skilled thief, comes off as a goofball and will go to great lengths to right injustice, who also shows a chivalrous streak that compels him to help those less fortunate than he. Furthermore, Lupin often takes it upon himself and his gang to stop criminals engaged in more violent crimes and leave them for Zenigata to arrest. In the anime, while he fancies himself a ladies' man, his actual success with women is erratic, appearing to fluctuate with the writer.

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Well, that makes more sense.

Anyways, I just read your main post again and you bring up good points - that Miyazaki was working within limitations on this film, having to maintain the visual style of the show, as well as use its composer, etc.

I didn't really think the middle section dragged as much as you did I don't think, but admittedly I was a bit distracted while watching. That shouldn't be the case as I delved into the rest of his filmography, hopefully starting today!

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I know it's early in the thread, but my 2 favourite Ghibli films are Only Yesterday and Whisper of the Heart.

Looking forward Bloodboal to read what you say about them.

Those aren't Miyazaki films!!!!!

EDIT: Ninjad :(

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Unfortunately the dubtitling on a few of the films is a deal breaker for me. I really, really, wanted this thing too. But I want good literal translation subtitling. I want a good dub too, I just don't want that script to bastardize the original Japanese audio if I decide to watch it with that track.

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I'm only doing Miyazaki films at the moment, not all the Studio Ghibli films. ;)

Though I'll probably review them once I'm done with the Miyazaki ones.

Oh, I see.

I thought this would be a complete Ghibli thread.

(well, i should notice the title. ;) )

Anyway then, i haven't decided which is my favourite Miyazaki directed film.

Unfortunately the dubtitling on a few of the films is a deal breaker for me. I really, really, wanted this thing too. But I want good literal translation subtitling. I want a good dub too, I just don't want that script to bastardize the original Japanese audio if I decide to watch it with that track.

From what I know, the Japanese Silhouette series Blurays, don't have dubtitles.

These are the Blurays I'm slowly purchasing (still have 7 to buy to complete the collection)

Though they are very expensive.

http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=224551

But they're worth it.

They are the jewel in my collection.

The cases are exceptional too!

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You should watch Grave of the Fireflies. Devastating.

Although I'm very easily moved by films, the first time I saw this (in 2006) i wasn't so moved.

But I appreciated it aesthetically.

I watched it again recently, and it was better ( I mean it did something to me...), but I was much more devastated by this:

http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=anime&aid=838

(although someone could say that the sentimentality was too obvious in this one).

Check it out if you'd like! ;)

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nausicaa-of-the-valley-of-the-wind_592x2

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

My second time seeing this film. Well, I love it! Immediately, you know you're in for a different movie that Cagliostro, with an opening scene featuring a sparse natural setting, and fantasy creatures made up for the film. The film is structured incredibly well, where you spend the first act learning about the world, the second act introducing the conflict, and the third act resolving the conflict in a very satisfying way.

Basically we have a world where a thousand years ago, an event called "The Seven Days of Fire" effectively destroyed most of humanity leaving only an enormous toxic jungle filled with giant mutated insects, with what's left of mankind living outside the jungle in smaller and smaller settlements as the jungle spreads. Nausicaä is the princess of The Valley Of The Wind, one such place where humanity lives, and has figured out how to travel threw the jungle safely, and interact with some of the creatures there. The conflict arises when two other settlements get involved, as one of them has discovered an embryo of a Giant Warrior, one of the Seven who caused the Seven Days of Fire. They think using it to burn away the jungle is the answer while others think that will make it worse. Soon there is many chases and battles between the various settlements and ultimately the jungle inhabitants.

It doesn't take too long at all for any thinking adult to see where the story is going (that it was man's fault for destroying the earth, and nature is trying to help not make it worse, and only by working with nature can the planet be fixed), but that doesn't matter because the story is told well and the characters are all well defined and interesting. Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, Edward James Olmos, Shia Labeouf, Mark Hamill, Tress MacNeille, and Chris Sarandon (Humperdink from Princess Bride!) are all fantastic in Disney's English dub.

The animation and settings is top notch, but if I had to take any points off it would be that it lacks variety. What I mean is that throughout the first act, you're introduced to all the different locations - the jungle, the valley, Pejite, the flying ships, some ruins. But then there is no grand unveiling of other stuff later in the film, like how the end of Cagliostro reveals the sunken city. Even the ohm stampede is foreshadowed by an early flashback. And since its a kind of low tech dystopian world, there isn't a whole lot of variety in what we do see. Still, this is just a minor quibble.

One interesting thing I thought of is this: It's essentially a post-apocalyptic world, with people having low technology for things like their houses, the cities, etc. But then there are these machine guns and tanks and flying machines - what is powering them? I don't think there are any crude oil refineries or bullet factories in this world! But again, this doesn't really matter, just something I thought of.

So this film is ultimately a great introduction to what a "typical" Miyazaki film is like - environmental themes, flying machines, great landscapes, great tech (the tanks reminded me of Metal Slug at times), strong female characters, original fantasy creatures, grey area bad guys, hidden realms, etc. So far Miyazaki is 2 for 2, I'd watch both these films regularly.

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I liked what I heard of the score, though wasn't focusing on it TOO much, since I hadn't seen the film in so long, I was mostly focusing on taking the story and world in again. Yea there was some synthy stuff, but no matter. In fact, I'd say the score was completely fine for the film, from what I can recall. Reading through your review of the film now, I didn't notice any of those things you talk about - there being no music for long battles, then stingers at the end, etc. Didn't pick up on that. Seems to me like you may have watched with too much of an "analytical" brain engaged, rather than just a "let me sit back and enjoy this movie" type of brain.

In fact, a lot of your complaints about the film seem to be note related directly to the merits of the film itself! You compare it to Princess Mononoke, which I don't think is really fair; If we're going to watch through his 11 films in order, why not judge each one only on its own merits and what he did before, rather than looking to the future? And you talk about the manga and all that stuff; I didn't know about any of that until after I saw the film. I think if I had known that before watching, it would have just been a distraction!

Personally, I felt the film did a great job of telling a COMPLETE story! You have the setup where you learn the history, you have Nausicaa discovering the soil and water under the jungle is fine and its the plants using the scorched earth's soil and water that's the problem, through realizing that nature is adapting to the scorched earth by cleaning it and creaturing pure water and new soil, alongside all the battles that happy from the militaristic nation wanting to use the last Giant Warrior as a weapon. It all comes to a satisfying conclusion where the Warrior is destroyed, the insects stop their destruction, and humanity knows how to coinhabitate with the jungle now. In fact, I wonder how much more story the manga even needed to tell for 10 years after that! It's somewhat of an abrupt ending in the film, maybe, but I like the way it ends on the shot of hte new plant growing in the new soil. It's all you need to know about the hopeful future Nausicaa has helped created for everyone.

And there you have it!

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I liked what I heard of the score, though wasn't focusing on it TOO much, since I hadn't seen the film in so long, I was mostly focusing on taking the story and world in again. Yea there was some synthy stuff, but no matter. In fact, I'd say the score was completely fine for the film, from what I can recall. Reading through your review of the film now, I didn't notice any of those things you talk about - there being no music for long battles, then stingers at the end, etc. Didn't pick up on that. Seems to me like you may have watched with too much of an "analytical" brain engaged, rather than just a "let me sit back and enjoy this movie" type of brain.

Well, to be honest, I was going into the film with a "let me sit back and enjoy this movie" mind, but then when the first few synthy cues showed up, they stuck out like a sore thumb too much for me not to notice them. And maybe after that, yes, I probably did pay too much attention to the score.

In fact, a lot of your complaints about the film seem to be note related directly to the merits of the film itself! You compare it to Princess Mononoke, which I don't think is really fair; If we're going to watch through his 11 films in order, why not judge each one only on its own merits and what he did before, rather than looking to the future?

Well, as I said above, I'm convinced that if I had seen the film before other Miyazaki productions, I would have liked it more. But as it is, I couldn't help but compare it to Princess Mononoke, given the strong similarities between the two films. But even that was more meant as a sidenote in my review. Even without comparing the two films, I still think Nausicaä falls short on some aspects (the ending for example (more on that below), the use of the score (as was already mentioned), the lack of development of some characters (Asbel, for example)...).

And you talk about the manga and all that stuff; I didn't know about any of that until after I saw the film. I think if I had known that before watching, it would have just been a distraction!

Well, as I said in my review, I learned that AFTER having seen the film. Prior to that, I only knew the film was based on the manga of the same name by Miyazaki. That's all. Then, AFTER having seen the film and feeling the story left me unsatisfied overall, I found out that the film represented only a fourth of the whole story Miyazaki had in mind. So it wasn't a distraction during the film. ;)

Personally, I felt the film did a great job of telling a COMPLETE story! You have the setup where you learn the history, you have Nausicaa discovering the soil and water under the jungle is fine and its the plants using the scorched earth's soil and water that's the problem, through realizing that nature is adapting to the scorched earth by cleaning it and creaturing pure water and new soil, alongside all the battles that happy from the militaristic nation wanting to use the last Giant Warrior as a weapon. It all comes to a satisfying conclusion where the Warrior is destroyed, the insects stop their destruction, and humanity knows how to coinhabitate with the jungle now. In fact, I wonder how much more story the manga even needed to tell for 10 years after that! It's somewhat of an abrupt ending in the film, maybe, but I like the way it ends on the shot of hte new plant growing in the new soil. It's all you need to know about the hopeful future Nausicaa has helped created for everyone.

Well, yes, the structure of the story itself is fine, but I thought the development was a bit lacking. As you said, the ending is a bit abrupt. Just because Nausicaä stopped the Ohmus, suddenly the characters are going to be OK to live in harmony with nature? And what of the war between Torumekia and Dorok? Is this suddenly going to stop because Nausicaä stopped the Ohmus? Then, there's the lack of development of characters like Asbel: he suddenly shows up halfway through the film, Nausicaä and him exchange a few words when they are in the underground forest, and... That's it. After that, we don't learn much about him, nor about any of the Doroks, which I find to be a bit of shame.

Of course, these are not major flaws, rather minor flaws. But to me, there was quite a few of them, and that prevented me from completely enjoying the film. Don't get me wrong: I don't find it to be a bad film, far from it! Just an OK film that could have done with some finetuning.

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In retrospect, I agree with you that Asbel was a bit underdeveloped; He does kind of show up late, seem important, and then, in the end, not do a whole lot. In fact for me, watching the English dub, I believe Shia Lebouf was credited second or so, so when he finally turned up, I expected him to be a major character. However, I was so absorbed in the story, I suppose I didn't even notice that he had a relatively minor role in the end, until you brought it up just now :)

And yes, now that you mention it, there is more to the story to tell; As you said, the war between Tolmekia and Pejite isn't resolved, nor the specifics of how humanity can rebuild their civilization based on what Nausicaa learned. But for me, that doesn't take away from the film; No, in fact I find it a good quality for a film to have, that when its over, you have a sense of resolution and fulfillment, but also wonder what could happen to the characters in the future.

So yea, the more I think about this film, the more I like it ! :)

BTW, when are you watching Castle In The Sky? I watched it yesterday.

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Jay, now I saw you said you watched the English dub of Cagliostro.

Are you watching all these Miyazaki films with the English dub?

I really think this is wrong and these films should be seen in the original language.

about Castle in the Sky:

the English dub has a new orchestral soundtrack (the original one was synth) and added dialogue lines..

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Yup I'll be watching them all with Disney's English dub. I'll watch them in Japanese for my next run through.

I read about that Castle In The Sky rescore after I watched the movie ; only the DVD had the new music, the blu ray returns to the original music.

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I knew if I included that, you'd reply to that part of my post and not any other part :P

Alright, alright!

In retrospect, I agree with you that Asbel was a bit underdeveloped; He does kind of show up late, seem important, and then, in the end, not do a whole lot. In fact for me, watching the English dub, I believe Shia Lebouf was credited second or so, so when he finally turned up, I expected him to be a major character. However, I was so absorbed in the story, I suppose I didn't even notice that he had a relatively minor role in the end, until you brought it up just now :)

Ha!

And yes, now that you mention it, there is more to the story to tell; As you said, the war between Tolmekia and Pejite isn't resolved, nor the specifics of how humanity can rebuild their civilization based on what Nausicaa learned. But for me, that doesn't take away from the film; No, in fact I find it a good quality for a film to have, that when its over, you have a sense of resolution and fulfillment, but also wonder what could happen to the characters in the future.

That's the problem: I didn't really feel that sense of resolution. I didn't feel much was achieved at the end of the film, apart from the Ohmus being stopped. Nothing led me to believe the humans were going to change their mind on their relation with nature after what happened.

So yea, the more I think about this film, the more I like it ! :)

Well, I have to admit, after due consideration, I'd say maybe I was a bit harsh on the film. I'm sure I'll like it (at least a bit) more with a second viewing.

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Yup I'll be watching them all with Disney's English dub. I'll watch them in Japanese for my next run through.

I read about that Castle In The Sky reacore after I watched the movie ; only the DVD had the new music, the blu ray returns to the original music.

I see.

Well, in my Japanese Bluray the English dub has the new music.

Of course I never ever watch a dub on anything.

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I would never watch a dub on any live action movie, ever. Original language all the way!

But for animation, I don't mind as much, and in particular for these Disney dubs, I'm curious to hear the work of actors I like - Gillian Anderson, Patrick Stewart, Michael Keaton, Phil Hartman, Anna Paquin, etc etc. If they were a bunch of no-names I'd never heard of, I might have gone right for the Japanese dubs.

Again, I want to state again that for live action, I think dubbing sucks and I ALWAYS prefer the original untouched audio.

BTW, filmmusic, why don't you have an avatar?

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Again, I want to state again that for live action, I think dubbing sucks and I ALWAYS prefer the original untouched audio.

BTW, filmmusic, why don't you have an avatar?

well, I still think you shouldn't discriminate between animation and live-action.

I don't care much for avatars.. :P

and even if I did, I can't decide what to use.

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