A timely picture of Yukari and Miho from Girls und Panzer having fun during Tanabata. Yukari seems very interested in Miho’s wish.
A little bit of cross-promotion… I draw as a hobby, and I just finished something I’m really proud of. This is a screenshot redraw of one of my favorite scenes in Spirited Away. Yes, I omitted the car.
When Chihiro gets creeped out by the statue in front of the abandoned theme park entrance, the look on her face is priceless, so I decided I needed to try and capture it in my own way.
The Cat Returns is a bit of a curiosity in the Ghibli catalogue. It’s probably the most lighthearted film in their library, the character designs don’t have that distinctive Ghibli “look”, and it’s the most “cartoonish”, for lack of a better term. But it’s still the kind of quality one expects from a Ghibli film.
I like to think of The Cat Returns as a story which Shizuku from Whisper of the Heart has written about the Baron. The two films are connected, after all. There is another returning character which I somehow overlooked until now as well: Muta, the big white cat. In Whisper of the Heart, Shizuku met him on the train, so it would make sense that he appears in her story as well. (Keeping in mind that The Cat Returns being a story Shizuku wrote is just my headcanon and not actual canon, as far as I know…)
And in Ghibli tradition, there is another likeable lead character in Haru. She’s a high school girl just trying to find out where she belongs, and her adventures in the Cat Kingdom, with some help from the Baron, help her to discover her path.
Below you’ll find some screenshots I took of some of my favorite scenes with Haru and the Baron and some of the other characters. Haru is a rather ordinary girl, but for me that only adds to her charm.
MIRAI is the latest film from Mamoru Hosoda, director of the acclaimed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which is one of my all-time favorite anime films. While Hosoda does have some other works that I still have not had a chance to see yet (I should probably put Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and The Boy and the Beast on my list of films to see post haste!), I didn’t want to miss out on MIRAI, and as expected, it didn’t disappoint.
While MIRAI didn’t have quite the same gravity to me as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time did, it did amaze me in different ways, as it’s a very different film. It uses some interesting cinematic and narrative devices to explore some very human themes. To say too much would be giving the game away; MIRAI is a film best experienced for the first time with no prior knowledge. Let the characters and story slowly reveal themselves, and enjoy the ride. Studio Chizu’s production values, animation quality, and attention to detail are no less impressive than Japan’s most famous animation studio.
One of my favorite scenes from Spirited Away, and there are many of those! Small Chihiro standing in a wide, empty street of the apparently abandoned theme park makes good use of contrast, and shows just how big a world she finds herself in, especially once night falls.
When it comes to favorite Ghibli leads, San from Princess Mononoke has to be near the top of my list. She absolutely commands the screen whenever she appears. As fearless as San is though, she still has a softer side, revealed only to those she is closest to and trusts.
I also have a fabric wall scroll with this exact image on it, and it’s one of my most treasured anime related items.
Now that Anime A to Z is over, I can share one of my favorite pieces of Yukari Akiyama fanart. (She began that list, of course, so I wanted to avoid repeating while that feature was still running.)
This scene is completely in character, and the added touch of one of her reconnaissance videos playing in the background gives it that extra bit of realism. Yukari probably spends most of her free time building tank kits. Or reading about tanks. Or watching historical films with tanks in them. You get the idea.