When: Mon., Sept. 15, 4 p.m. 2014
Anime may never be as big here as it is in Japan, but there’s something about the whimsical tales in the films of Japanese cinematic visionary Hayao Miyazaki that have won over the hearts of mainstream America. Movies such as 1999’s Princess Mononoke and 2002’s Spirited Away have made Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli an internationally recognized producer of anime classics. But few people realize that the idolized director and animator has also published a series of interviews and essays (many illustrated) that total more than nine hundred pages. These include Miyazaki’s musings regarding his own work and essays on philosophy and religion. In August 2009 and April 2014, San Francisco’s Viz Media published English translations of these texts in two volumes: Starting Point: 1997-1996 and Turning Point: 1997-2008, respectively. The two large books provide a literary retrospective of the auteur’s career — and with appropriate timing, as Miyazaki announced his retirement in December 2013. Beth Cary and Frederik Schodt, the translators of the volumes, will be at UC Berkeley (180 Doe Library, Berkeley) on Monday to share their in-depth knowledge of Miyazaki’s work, and speculate on how it manages to appeal to wide-reaching, cross-cultural audiences. Books will also be available for sale at the event.