Friday, January 30, 2015

The Art of Hayao Miyazaki by Dani Cavallaro (review)

The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki 
The Art of Hayao Miyazaki
by Dani Cavallaro
Genre:  Artbooks
Pages: 204
Publisher: McFarland & Co
Published: Jan 2006
Summary: A critical study of Miyazaki's work, this book begins with an analysis of the visual conventions of manga, Japanese comic books, anime, an overview of Japanese animated films, and a consideration of the techniques deployed by both traditional cell and computer animation and details his foray into comic books and animation.

Review:   A Very interesting and educational read. I have always enjoyed Miyazaki's films (even before I knew what anime was), so getting a new perspective on the man behind it all made for a fascinating read.

While I knew a lot about the films and their meaning I was able to gain further insight into the why behind everything. Each of his films holds more depth than I thought! So many extra tidbits of knowledge, such as aspects of my Neighbor Totoro was based on his childhood or how Nausicaa was one of his earliest films (I thought it was late 90's or early 2000's!). This covers his work starting with Lupin III, to Studio Ghibli and his Disney contracts and more.

After reading this I have an even greater admiration for Hayao Miyazaki. Not only is his work amazing but his thoughts, drives and purrpose bring everything he does to a higher level! I am very grateful to the author for pulling all this together. This book is filled with interview bits, quotes, ideals and more! About the films, directors, co-workers, etc.

My only qualm with this is there are NO pictures! Not one except the cover. I mean, how can this be the ART of Hayao Miyazaki and not show anything. While I loved all the facts a few (not a lot) pictures stills to illustrate points would have been appreciated. Describing how he shows character emotion is not the same as seeing it and while a picture is nothing compared to the films it is still worth the image to show some basics.


  1. This sounds like a really interesting book to read. I love Spirited Away and Howls Moving Castle. I'll have to find a copy of this book!

  2. I absolutely love Hayao Miyazaki and his anime works. Especially my all time favorite, his character Totoro. I think he's the one that inspired me to start learning Japanese as a language that I want to major in, and I'm honestly serious about pursuing it! I'm taking Japanese 1 at my school and for some reason I feel closer to him bec now I can understand his original stories that are in Japanese.

    Awesome post :D

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  3. I honest to goodness have never read or seen anime, but I have been bombarded lately with people telling me to just give it a shot. And I admit to being curious. It definitely makes some intensely passionate followers. There has to be a reason for that!

  4. Jaime, you definitely should give it a try - and Spirited Away is a great place to start.

    Thanks for the review, by the way!

  5. I actually would probably have been pretty mad about there being no art haha! I mean. The title. COME ON. Also I just want pretty Miyazaki pictures to stare at all day haha. (Particularly anything created for Spirited Away)

  6. I have a friend who was born in Japan and loves this kind of art. I will tell him to check this one out.

  7. OMG I didn't even know this book existed. His movies are amazing and now I must read this book. Thanks


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