WhatIfGaming Interview: Hayao Miyazaki – Legendary Anime Director, Writer, Producer

Let me start off by saying that it was an absolute pleasure for WhatIfGaming to fly to Japan to meet Hayao Miyazaki. Seeing  and lightly greeting Mr. Miyazaki from Comic Con to Cannes can be a bit impersonal, and this is just what we needed. Thanks to our friends Studio Ghibli. Note: Mr. Miyazaki’s responses are all translated and should be taken in context.

WhatIfGaming: Mr. Miyazaki, I just wanted to start off by telling you I personally am a big fan of your work for the longest time since Toei Animation. One of the long awaited questions I had for a long time was the inspiration that led to you doing these concepts to begin with – what started it all?

Hiyao Miyazaki: This was not something I planned for. My father worked with his company to create parts for airplanes and I remember he would come home at late night and I would always have a picture to show him of the work I did. I wanted to make him proud of something I just started back then. There were no video-games and there was only the light camaraderie between me and my brothers that was not always so strong. We each served to do what we loved, I found the pencil and started to scribble. It is good that I liked my airplanes otherwise we would not be here.

WhatIfGaming: One thing to best describe the level of energy and emotions in the films, described as early European-influenced artistry has been the dialogue and the strong motif symbols with each film. The joy in some, the loss of innocence and the cathartic introduction into the mind of nature itself. Why these specific themes? Why are the films so creatively crafted with a vibrant array of colors, a centrifugal force that is the anticlimax to the protagonist’s plot, the happiness and joy with each film that is symbolic of one of your distributors? Disney in specific.

HM: I can say for sure I have always been a happy man. I have a son and a company that is doing well and I have people that care for me and the work that everyone at our studios does. But, with this happiness, there is equal negativity and grief. I have suffered at times trying to get my ideas onto the paper. I have struggled in seeing the bad in this world and hoping to make something good out of my time on this planet. I feel that there is this constant negativity that I cannot control and that is all around me everywhere I go. There is nothing more I can do to explain this or cure it if it even needs a cure, but I do feel my films are that cure little by little or help to take away from that.

WhatIfGaming: I know we are running out of time but I want to get the truly asked questions we have been pondering for a long time out of the way quickly. The inspiration for Spirited Away?

HM:  A daughter’s friend I knew was kind of shy and timid to move her toys around and never wanted to change because she was afraid they would not like her if she did. I took this innocence and created Spirited Away. It represents that no matter what you do and where you or your items go, the nature of the places you love will always follow you.

WhatIfGaming: Lastly, what do you feel the future holds?

HM: This is a very tough question for anyone I feel. I just want to say that I do think about this everyday, and I am not sure about you personally but to me I just want nothing. I truly want nothing and can see nothing that the future chooses to hold for me. I have always valued what I have and have never taken my struggles and negativity for mistake. I just want my company to continue what it does and remain strong until nature runs the course it has planned. I feel we all can use strength of not just our hearts, but about our ideas of what is to come.

WhatIfGaming: Mr. Miyazaki, a pleasure as always.

HM: Thank you very much. We will, I hope, talk again when the time comes.

Note: this interview was conducted two months ago. It just took some time verifying what Mr. Miyazaki had said.
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