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Publisher's Summary

The story of filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki's life and work, including his significant impact on Japan and the world

A thirtieth-century toxic jungle, a bathhouse for tired gods, a red haired fish girl, and a furry woodland spirit - what do these have in common? They all spring from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki, one of the greatest living animators, known worldwide for films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Wind Rises.

Japanese culture and animation scholar Susan Napier explores the life and art of this extraordinary Japanese filmmaker to provide a definitive account of his oeuvre. Napier insightfully illuminates the multiple themes crisscrossing his work, from empowered women to environmental nightmares to utopian dreams, creating an unforgettable portrait of a man whose art challenged Hollywood dominance and ushered in a new chapter of global popular culture.

©2018 Susan Napier (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Miyazakiworld

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An amazing life

As a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, I had to give this book a listen. The author obviously did their homework and even spoke with Miyazaki directly. If you are going to pick only one book to learn about his life and movies, I’d say this is it.

My only criticism of the text is that I feel Susan Napier goes a little too far in psychoanalysis of Miyazaki, perhaps stating opinions as fact when it comes to what’s going on inside the filmmaker’s mind. Additionally, her reading in the audio version gets a little mushy at times, especially on article words; it kept taking me out of the flow. Nonetheless, she nails Japanese pronunciations (as far as this English-speaker can tell).

I also picked up the Kindle version. There are a few movie stills and other pictures, but not many, and you won’t miss out on too much of you only get the audio version.

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I love Miyazaki's work

...and I thought this description and analysis of his work was very interesting although I may not have agreed with everything! It gave me more insight into Miyazaki's life and his thought process during the making of his very famous and amazing movies. It's a quite nice listening if you are interested in them and love Studio Ghibli.

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Pretty Alright

Fans of Miyazaki will enjoy this book but you might roll your eyes at all the arm chair psychology.

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Summaries and the same themes repeated

I feel it was about 4 hours too long. The same themes were repeated and lots of summaries of his movies. I learned what I wanted but had to wade through what felt like redundancy.

The director did a poor job with helping the voice over artist to have different intonation. Her pauses were big enough to drive a train through. And very monotone - was hoping for someone a bit more lively especially for such a whimsical topic. Just a bit drab

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Interesting Miyazaki bio

Loved it! Was a great listen and very interesting in depth review of the man and his work.

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Bravo

Couldn’t have asked for more. Simply a good book. Interesting perspectives, lots of new discoveries. Dedicated author who knows their subject. 👍

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For Cinophiles & Miyazaki Megafans Only

I am not a cinophile nor a Miyazaki megafan so I didn't love this book. I've seen four or five of his films and enjoyed how incredibly imaginative his work is. I personally do not find great joy in exhaustively analyzing films but if you do, this book is for you.

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Insightful and enchanting

Such a kind way of looking at the Studio Ghibli word and history of its creator.

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Fascinating background to beloved classical anime

I am a Japanese American, born in Japan, and worked there 5 years. My Japanese mother in Nagoya, was a high school student, and was drafted into working in the Mitsubishi Aircraft factory where Zeros were made. When a group of planes was finished, they would block traffic on a half mile long 6 lane street in Nagoya and have the planes fly out. I love Miyazaki's work, and so do our kids and 16 grandkids.

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If you love his movies, please listen to this book

A marvelous historical and cultural context for his work, jargon-free, one chapter per film. If you have ever wondered about the contrast between the gorgeous visuals and the complicated and often contradictory elements of his plots you'll find much illumination here. I own all of his films, rewatched many times and I thought I knew them, but the experience of watching them yet again will be much the richer for Napier's insights.

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  • L. Taylor
  • 05-08-19

Excellent

I was so excited to find this audiobook release, it was unexpected. I expected the book to be of a good standard, and my expectations were surpassed. I find it hard to imagine a more thorough and accurate analysis of Miyazaki and his films. I felt in agreement with the author on many questions, and she highlighted all the tropes and moments I found most interesting myself.

I am now keen to discover more about the author, I would have a great deal of faith in her tastes and opinions. I would like to learn more about her favourite books, films, music etc. for inspiration.

The author narrating the title was ideal as well.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-06-21

Excellent

An informative and thought provoking book, a great listen for fans of Ghibli and/or Miyazaki himself, along with good narration too

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-15-21

fascinating and complex creative

enjoyed this deep and careful analysis .Clearly read and written.It has given me insight into the films and the mind of Miyazaki.

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  • Andre de Wet
  • 05-29-20

A true legend story on art and truth

For many years I have been watching films produced by Miyazaki. An artist myself I could sense that tgere was a level of truth in all his productions. After listening to this audio, it has opened a whole new perspective on what I've been watching.
Pure brilliance. 5 starts.