The celebrated Japanese animator and head of Studio Ghibli announced his retirement last week saying, “I feel that my days in feature film are done.” He reasoned that old age had made him slower and that he had other things he wanted to do. Being the obsessive-compulsive workaholic that he is, he simply did not have the time for another feature film. In fact, a recent documentary on the man revealed, amongst several other fascinating nuggets, that Miyazaki eats the exact same meal every single day for fear of adverse consequences on his health, which in turn would wreak havoc on the production of whatever project he was working on.
To this day one of my most proudest achievements while growing up in Tokyo was sneaking into the actual Studio Ghibli with a friend. It was only a 10 minute bike-ride away from my house.
Anyway, to honor him and his legacy I’d like to show a series of wonderful fan art created by an illustrator that simply goes by the name yunbymunch. The very first in the series was created in 2012 and is titled “Ghibli Drinking.” In his notes the author reveals that the illustration was inspired by a thread on 2ch in which people imagined various hypothetical situations that might arise during such a party. (If you can read Japanese here is a cheat sheet)
And while it was clear that children, who typically lead major roles in Miyazaki’s film, would not be able to attend due to age restrictions, a strong response for a kids version prompted yunbymunch to then go and create “Ghibli Kids.” (cheat sheet)
The third and most recent creation in the series is an epic one. “I just wanted to draw a summer festival,” explains the author, “but I ended up squeezing a lot in.” A lot is right. The illustration features 66 characters/props from 11 different Miyazaki films. Can you identify all of them? (cheat sheet)
Head over to the author’s site where you can download hi-res versions of all of these prints. Kudos to my facebook fans who helped me track down the artist when I posted an image to our Facebook page earlier this week.