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Thread: Mamoru Hosoda and Makoto Shinkai- The not quite Ghibli thread

  1. #1

    Default Mamoru Hosoda and Makoto Shinkai- The not quite Ghibli thread

    After the discussion on the Studio Ghibli thread, I felt it would be good to have a thread dedicated to discussing the works of Mamoru Hosoda.

    For those who don't know, Mamoru Hosoda is a Japanese film director who has become increasingly prolific over the last few years with his highly acclaimed animated films that include The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, and most recently Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki. Before working on the aforementioned independent films, he worked as key animator and director on a few episodes of a number of anime, as well as director of the two Digimon films Digimon Adventure and Our War Game and the 6th One Piece film.

    To be honest, I haven't seen all of directorial works (I've only seen Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and, regrettably, the Americanized Digimon films), but the general consensus is that he hasn't really made a bad film to date, and his movies just keep getting better and better. His most recent film, Wolf Children, in particular seems to be more than a little inspired by Ghibli's works with its themes and emotional core. Now, personally, I don't think either Wolf Children or Summer Wars quite reach the masterpiece levels of, say, My Neighbor Totoro or Princess Mononoke, but it took Ghibli and Miyazaki a little while to get that level as well. Frankly, I'm very much looking forward to what the continuing career of this very talented artist may have in store and I eagerly await his next film whilst also trying to catch up on his old ones (if he continues at his current pace, we can expect a new film in 2015).

    So, what do you think?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    That one recurring vocal track in Ame & Yuki is so good, the soundtrack really beat the crap out of me as I watched it. It's gorgeous and heart eating.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Well, I wasn't going to make a new thread about it since I figured it wouldn't get any traffic, but...

    I thought Girl Who Leapt Through Time was cute. Very well animated, superb backgrounds, but the story didn't do much for me and I had no great desire to rewatch it. (Though its now been six or so years so I'm about due to give it another shot...) Unfortunatley its now out of print and SUPER expensive to get.

    Summer Wars I kept hearing about and hearing about so I decided to check it out through an internet thing... and was really impressed by all the colors, visual flair and imagination on display. They had a cast of a whole mess of characters and still made most of them distinct and interesting, and it was overall pretty neat. The main story of their super internet made no sense, but it was fun and over the top, the way anime used to feel like. I later bought the dvd.

    Wolf Children when it was announced a year? ago, I immediatley had hopes for, it looked right up my alley, and boy was it. Super charming and sweet, with just a couple characters this time, all fun and interesting, set in super gorgeous backgrounds of open fields and well, it was totally a visual feast. Its still too fresh in my mind (though I watched it twice) to really have an informed opinion on, but it was almost Bambi-like in its displays of nature and of growing up... and finding your place. (And as we all know I have a thing for wolves.) The kids were super cute, the old men were great, and the mother was adorable with her never-stop-smiling attitude. REALLY looking forward to it hitting blu ray at some point and seeing it on a proper screen isntead of just my computer monitor. This one may climb to my to favorite films list in time, but I dunno.

    I also feel like pulling out OP movie 6 again and giving that a rewatch... as well as Dragon Ball movie 8 (the first Broli one) and the Path to Power (the recap) and see if I can spot any of his animation flourishes, since he was apparently key animator on those.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread



    This fucking song ;_;

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Summer Wars: Hosoda's so-called "true vision" of Our War Game. The funny thing is, I've never actually sat down and watched it from beginning. I mean, I've seen every part of the movie, just not in the correct sequence. The thing is, I happened upon the movie by chance when they were airing it on Funimation and I frequently caught bits of it in the reruns. So technically, I have seen the "whole" movie.

    Anyway, yeah, it's a lot of fun. The family hijinx are funny and the animation is a blast to look at, even if the story, when you get right down to it, is pretty absurd. I dunno, I can't help but think the over-the-top fantasy should have been left in an over-the-top fantasy story, and the slice-of-life left in a slice-of-life story. Not to say this is a bad movie by any means. It's definitely a fun energetic romp, but it's also hard to take it too seriously. Overall, glad I watched and I'm sure I'll see it again (hopefully all in one sitting).

    Wolf Children: I guess the consensus is that Girl Who Leapt Through Time, while good, was flawed and kind of ordinary, whereas Summer Wars was fun, but perhaps a bit too ridiculous (and then of course there was Greg who outright despised it). But this movie? I think this is the movie where you could make a case for Hosoda being the next Miyazaki. I mean, this movie is pretty much flawless for the first hour or so. A great concept, great characters, the same stellar animation as usual, and an extremely heart-warming and emotional story with a soundtrack to match. And yes, those kids are adorable to look at.

    Now, remember how I said it was flawless for only the first hour or so? Well, after mulling it over a bit, I've realized something that kinda bugged me about the film.
    Spoiler:
    In the Ghibli thread I mentioned that it kinda stunk that Nirasaki kinda just dropped out of the movie, and while it's true I would've liked to see a little more of him, I think more importantly is the way Ame was handled. The transition Ame makes towards the end of the movie, honestly, seems kind of rushed and arbitrary. And yes, I know they were making a parallel between him and Yuki in that they flip-flop from childhood to adulthood in the lifestyle they choose to follow. But whereas Yuki' transition made sense and took its time to show how she made that change, Ame's change just sort of happened. He starts out as a shy kid, then he just decides to wander into the woods one day and *BOOM* he wants to follow the way of nature. Also, he was kind of a jerk to just leave his mother without saying anything. Really, I think it's that one lapse in character development that keeps this from being a truly magnificent movie. Oh, and I guess I'm not sure how I feel abou the implied message of "You must choose between nature and civilization," but I can mostly forgive that since it was more about Hana learning to let go of her children.


    Now, having said all that, I can't recommend this movie enough. It's a beautiful film that I'm sure will ring true to anyone with children and tug at the heartstrings of even those of us who don't (I know it did mine). I'm very much looking forward to the American release.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Yeah on Wolf Children I agree,
    Spoiler:
    Ame's change was kind of abrupt. Time was spent on it and him picking up a teacher, and after it was obvious that was his path it was fine... but the actual transition was really sudden... and you'd think the scene that led up to it where he nearly drowns would actually have had the opposite effect and made him MORE reserved. I guess maybe if there had first been a scene where he catches a bird and enjoys it... and THEN a scene where he falls into the water as a seperate event would have flowed a little better... and yes, VERY jerky for not telling his mom he was leaving... that entire final sequence was a bit aggravating as a result.


    As for Summer Wars... I do think it would have been better as two different movies. Crazy over the top weird Digimon internet story.... and slice of life romantic comedy of meeting the big family. They were two very different stories that really didn't have much in common... though the crazy internet visuals did mix up the the otherwise normal stuff in a neat way.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Oops. Yeah, sorry, I guess should have spoilered that.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The Beast View Post
    This fucking song ;_;
    Look on the upside, after we all watch Nausicaa, the entire forum is going to have the la-la-lalala song stuck in their heads.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Yeah the only real flaw with Wolf Children is just...

    Spoiler:
    It didn't have to end in all-or-nothing way. It wrenched out my guts. Ame just leaving like that and implicitly going away forever?

    Like fuck you're half human man, come visit sometimes. You live next door to that forest after all.


    Like I can't say it's a big flaw in the narrative (as we all acknowledge, it's built up... ) much as it's uh... It hits fast and when it does it's just really emotionally draining and it didn't have to be that hard on the viewer? It would've been an overall better experience if it had that balance.

    More sensible and stuff.

    But yeah it's an incredible movie and he's getting better and better... Ahhh fuck. It just has so much richness and patience as it has them grow up that when it's finally time for them to be "adults" it just seems too soon.

    I almost wonder if this could've been better with even more length, which would've been approaching indulgent auteur territory...
    Last edited by Pochipochi; March 5th, 2013 at 10:05 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    I think Hosono is one of the best animated film directors in Japan.

    That being said, he's not Miyazaki. His films are too.... mundane, for both better or worse.
    He doesn't have the charisma nor the unique vision apparant in Miyzaki's films.
    That's not to say he's any less of a film maker though.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Just finished Summer Wars this very instant. That is one bloody delightful movie.

    Agree with Holy. The stories aren't really super complex or anything, but the man just manages to hit you right in the emotions. And I loved every bit of it.

    Wolf Children, you are officially on notice.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbyBevard View Post
    As for Summer Wars... I do think it would have been better as two different movies. Crazy over the top weird Digimon internet story.... and slice of life romantic comedy of meeting the big family. They were two very different stories that really didn't have much in common... though the crazy internet visuals did mix up the the otherwise normal stuff in a neat way.
    I had this opinion about halfway through the movie, but by the end, I really liked the combination. OZ is wacky and all, but the film emphasizes early on that it's intended to be about connecting people and communication, which ties in really nicely with the movie's main theme of family. It makes that moment at the end where everyone donates their avatars to the cause and asks Natsuki to protect their "family" all the more poignant, especially since she's doing so through the family tradition of a game of Koi Koi. Add in that it's all getting brought together by Kenji, who had never really gotten the experience of being together with a large group before, and it works for me.

    Have a suspicion that this is going to be one of those movies that I'll love more than the average bear. Nothing wrong with that.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Aohige_AP View Post
    I think Hosono is one of the best animated film directors in Japan.

    That being said, he's not Miyazaki. His films are too.... mundane, for both better or worse.
    He doesn't have the charisma nor the unique vision apparant in Miyzaki's films.
    That's not to say he's any less of a film maker though.
    Wanted to say this but you beat me to it. I think Hosoda´s movies are exceptional, both in storytelling and animation, but in my opinion, they do not have the substance Miyazaki´s movies have.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbyBevard View Post
    Look on the upside, after we all watch Nausicaa, the entire forum is going to have the la-la-lalala song stuck in their heads.
    It´s even worse, it has been a while since i have watched the movie but Hisaishi´s OST, especially the intro, just sticks with you

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MiyamotoMusashi View Post
    Wanted to say this but you beat me to it. I think Hosoda´s movies are exceptional, both in storytelling and animation, but in my opinion, they do not have the substance Miyazaki´s movies have.
    Miyazaki had a TON of television writing and directorial work for a decade or two before he got to doing theatrical films. Hisoda was a key animator for a long time, but he's still finding his voice as a director, and getting better and better.

    Visually at least, he brings the same level of production values as a ghibli film, the way the grass looks, the clouds in the sky, buildings in the city...

    No one else is ever going to be exactly Miyazaki, the same way nobody else is ever going to be exactly Walt Disney. (Or Tezuka, Hitchcock, or Speilberg, or Kurosawa) Even the other guys at Ghibli and Disney that have been trained for years can't bring his voice to their movies... but they can bring the heart, basic tone and the visuals and ideals and aspiration to bear.

    I think its fair to say that after Pixar's run and his leading, John Lasseter can be said to be the modern Disney in america. He can't create the way Disney could, andhe isn't ever going to be a household name the same way or create LasseterWorld, but he brings the right ethic and brings in the right people to create stories proper and true, for the same audience with the same passion. In the same vein, Hisoda could be much the same to Ghibli. He can't break the original ground or be the exact same voice, but he can be the successor. (Miyazaki is 72. While he hopefully has years and years of film-making left in him, he retires after every movie now, so...)

    What'll be really telling is when Hisoda finally gets to whole cloth world building, a straight up fantasy setting, rather than "the real world with something odd in it." (And I think the crazy internet world in Summer Wars showed a lot of imagination and creativity.)

    Heck, even Miyzakai can't make something more iconic than Totoro, and he hit that note early on.

    (Odd exception... Oda is the next Toriyama, and has possibly surpassed him by most standards someone can judge by... but he's still not Toriyama.)

  15. #15

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbyBevard View Post
    Miyazaki had a TON of television writing and directorial work for a decade or two before he got to doing theatrical films. Hisoda was a key animator for a long time, but he's still finding his voice as a director, and getting better and better.

    Visually at least, he brings the same level of production values as a ghibli film, the way the grass looks, the clouds in the sky, buildings in the city...

    No one else is ever going to be exactly Miyazaki, the same way nobody else is ever going to be exactly Walt Disney. (Or Tezuka, Hitchcock, or Speilberg, or Kurosawa) Even the other guys at Ghibli and Disney that have been trained for years can't bring his voice to their movies... but they can bring the heart, basic tone and the visuals and ideals and aspiration to bear.

    I think its fair to say that after Pixar's run and his leading, John Lasseter can be said to be the modern Disney in america. He can't create the way Disney could, andhe isn't ever going to be a household name the same way or create LasseterWorld, but he brings the right ethic and brings in the right people to create stories proper and true, for the same audience with the same passion. In the same vein, Hisoda could be much the same to Ghibli. He can't break the original ground or be the exact same voice, but he can be the successor. (Miyazaki is 72. While he hopefully has years and years of film-making left in him, he retires after every movie now, so...)

    What'll be really telling is when Hisoda finally gets to whole cloth world building, a straight up fantasy setting, rather than "the real world with something odd in it." (And I think the crazy internet world in Summer Wars showed a lot of imagination and creativity.)

    Heck, even Miyzakai can't make something more iconic than Totoro, and he hit that note early on.

    (Odd exception... Oda is the next Toriyama, and has possibly surpassed him by most standards someone can judge by... but he's still not Toriyama.)


    You are of course not wrong but i can hardly judge and theorize about his future projects when we are trying to discern whether Hosoda can take the reins from Miyazaki. I am not saying that there were no hints of Hosoda´s creativity (you already mentioned the cyber world in Summer Wars) but it is still far away from Miyazaki. How Hosoda will fare with a world completely created by himself, like you mentioned, would be an interesting thing to see of course.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    I think Robby pretty much hit the nail on the world. I'll admit, I do wonder if I jumped the gun a little comparing Hosoda to Miyazaki, but you have to admit they have a lot of striking similarities. Like, first they started doing some television work, then they directed movies based on an established franchise, and now they make (remarkably good) movies on their own (to be fair, I'm sure they're not the only ones to follow this particular path). And no, I didn't to imply that Hosoda was going to "become" Miyazaki or that even that he would bring the same imagination and voice, but he could potentially be the next great animated-film maker of Japan. And as Robby said, any movie Miyazaki makes from now on could foreseeably be his last one, whereas Hosoda is a relatively spry 45.

    Now as far as him creating a fantasy world from the ground up...well, we obviously can't know for sure if he'll do that or not, but it would interesting to see what kind of world he would create (and yes, we did sort of see that in Summer Wars). Maybe he will just continue to create films that are set in the real world, but have some fantasy element thrown in, which again doesn't necessarily make him less of a filmmaker. I just hope he continues to create movies that take advantage of the medium he's chosen.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    To be fair, "the next Miyazaki" is a label thats getting thrown at him a lot in pretty much any review you see, for obvious reasons. Mostly the comparisons stem from his movies already having a lot of genuine heart in them, happy characters and stories about ordinary lives with a little bit of the fantastic in them, and visuals that are on par with Ghibli's.

    I'm not sure what the specific exact spark people are looking for or at exactly what point Miyzaki became the event he is (how many films in a row does it take to reach that status? At what point did Pixar become Pixar?) .

    Also, since its out of print and 200-300$ for the bluray on ebay...

    Girl Who Leapt Through Time
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HLfLNsOPr8

    Hidden:

  18. #18

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    I really liked Summer Wars, a ton of fun, with really good visuals and aesthetic flair. I passed on a King Kazma figma a few weeks ago for 60 bucks, when you usually see it for $150-$200, and I'm still pissed at myself.

    I also have fond memories of the Digimon movie, but I'm not sure if it was actually any good or just really intense for me as an 8-year old.

    as for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, while it was an interesting premise and good characters, the story just kinda poops itself in the last half hour or so. Nothing gets explained, and the explanations that are given only give rise to more questions. The ending is also too frustratingly vague for my tastes.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Mamoru Oshii looking down on people:
    "On Mamoru Hosoda (Wolf Children, Summer Wars): “When it comes to copying other people, he’s a genius. But like (Evangelion director) Hideaki Anno, there’s nothing driving him, no theme, no substance.”
    http://www.otakuusamagazine.com/Sear...nime_4973.aspx

  20. #20

    Default Re: Mamoru Hosoda, the next Miyazaki? thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sander View Post
    Mamoru Oshii looking down on people:
    The Angel's Egg/Ghost in the Shell guy? With the obtuse overly dense symbolism that sounds like it means something super philosophical and thoughtful but is mostly just sort of pretending it has something deep to say?

    The second Lum movie was good, but... had nothing to do with Lum.
    Last edited by Robby; March 6th, 2013 at 08:15 PM.

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