All About Japan

Mamoru Oshii Reveals His Top Miyazaki Film

Anime Ghibli Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Oshii are two of the most successful and influential anime directors in the history of the medium, but their films couldn’t be more different in tone and appearance. The soft-edged natural environments of Miyazaki’s anime are bathed in a nostalgic glow, while Oshii’s animation, such as Ghost in the Shell and The Sky Crawlers, is filled with shadowy ruinscapes and turns its sharpest focus inwards to the human mind and consciousness.

But that’s not to say that one can’t find things to admire in the works of the other, as Oshii has shared his favorite film and even scene in a Miyazaki anime.

While Oshii has never been involved in a Studio Ghibli project, the director periodically sits down with Toshio Suzuki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli and producer for most of Miyazaki’s theatrical hits, to discuss anime.

When asked what his favorite Ghibli movie was, Oshii first gave his pick as Laputa: Castle in the Sky before changing his answer to Howl’s Moving Castle.

Suzuki seemed a little surprised at Oshii’s choice. In Japan, Nausicaa, Totoro, and Spirited Away are all treated like national treasures, and Princess Mononoke’s somber mood is closest to Oshii’s own creations. “You like Howl?” Suzuki asked.

“I love it,” Oshii stated, adding that he picked up a copy of the film at the supermarket, making it the only Ghibli film he’s ever purchased. Still, “love” seems like it might be a bit strong of a word, considering what Oshii next had to say about Miyazaki’s 2004 adaptation of original author Diana Wynne Jones’ novel. “The reviews for it were pretty bad, and the way the movie is put together is pretty messy.”

So what makes Howl Oshii’s favorite?

“The scenes with the dial are great. For the first time, I thought ‘Ah, Miyazaki really made a good point.’”

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