Otaku USA Magazine
Miyazaki’s new film causes stir in Japan

Miyazaki’s latest film, The Wind Rises, has been playing in Japanese theaters for about a month now, and opinion has been… mixed, let’s say. Some of it is directed at the film itself. Is the story, focused on the life and struggle of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the legendary Zero fighter plane during World War II, nothing more than self-indulgence on the part of Miyazaki? And what’s up with casting Evangelion director Hideaki Anno in the role of Horikoshi? Doesn’t he sound totally out of place among the rest of the voice cast?

Some of these points were touched upon in our review of the film from a month ago, but what’s caused a minor political controversy is an essay Miyazaki published in Neppu, a monthly periodical published by Studio Ghibli and available on their website.

This month’s edition is focused on essays written in response to current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to amend Japan’s constitution to allow for the development of armed forces beyond the self-defense forces put in place after WWII (particularly in light of recent aggression from China), and Miyazaki’s piece, titled “Amending the Constitution is Unthinkable,” comes out strongly against the proposal.

While it doesn’t take a lot of looking to find a blog accusing Miyazaki of being a “senile old coot” or a “traitor” in response to the essay, all the negative internet comments in the world mean little in the face of the film’s stunning performance at the Japanese box office so far: $56 million in ticket sales over the past month, rivaling some of Ghibli’s most successful films.

Source: LA Times

This story originally ran in the 8/23/13 issue of the Otaku USA e-News
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