A while back an article quoting a part of an interview with Hayao Miyazaki-san, that charming silver-haired gentleman over there to the right, stirred up some strong emotions in the anime-loving community. If you follow even an average number of bloggers, there is very low probability that you have missed the uproar. Nevertheless, to clarify I have pasted the excerpt in question and a translation below.
Japanese transcript (credit):
English transcript (credit goes to RocketNews24):
You see, whether you can draw like this or not, being able to think up this kind of design, it depends on whether or not you can say to yourself, ‘Oh, yeah, girls like this exist in real life.’ If you don’t spend time watching real people, you can’t do this, because you’ve never seen it.
Some people spend their lives interested only in themselves. Almost all Japanese animation is produced with hardly any basis taken from observing real people, you know. It’s produced by humans who can’t stand looking at other humans. And that’s why the industry is full of otaku!
Unfortunately I can’t find, nor figure out, what the interviewer is asking. Let me know, if you know!
Anyway, the point of this post is to share some of the bloggers’ responses that landed in my reader/on my tumblr dashboard:
- “Some thoughts on the Miyazaki interview“ by Yumeka – this post is pretty much why I didn’t even attempt writing my own response. I agree with most of what she says and I know she wrote it better than I ever could.
- “Why Miyazaki’s ‘Otaku’ Problem Is Everyone’s Problem“ by Serdar subtitled (in the former meaning of the word) “A creative industry shouldn’t be led by its own least common denominator of taste”
- Pterobat’s tumblr response – a short post building on Miyazaki’s opinion, extending the idea to all art forms
- “Why I Totally Agree with Miyazaki and Why You Shouldn’t Be Offended“ by Coraline Blue – yes, many people were offended by what Miyazaki said. And like Pterobat, Coraline also thinks these ideas apply to art in general.
A number of responses has been taken down since then. Supporting Miyazaki’s “controversial” speech oftentimes invited quite a backslash and in some cases, the authors just couldn’t take it. Miyazaki himself though is a man who always stands behind his words (unless it concerns his retirement) and is well-known for it.
- “Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki says the anime industry’s problem is that it’s full of anime fans” by Casey Baseel at RocketNews24
- “Miyazaki: The Problem With The Anime Industry Is It’s Full of Otaku” by Lynzee Lamb at AnimeNewsNetwork
- “Hayao Miyazaki: Anime Suffers Because the Industry is Full of “Otaku”” by Carly Smith at the escapist