On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby YTPrenewed » Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:34 am

Let me start off by saying I'm well aware he never called anime, as a medium, "a mistake," as his remarks have so often been mischaracterized online.

Nonetheless, if you take a look at his actual ideas, there's still a few glaring problems with them:

https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/news/vi ... l-of-Otaku

Miyazaki approaches animation by observing others. In the interview, as Miyazaki sketches, he explains he's able to create art because he spends time watching others.

How could one even prove that?

Firstly, unless said experiences are on tape, or are otherwise held to a lot of scrutiny, we cannot prove the truthfulness of someone else's claimed life experiences, let alone the claim to incorporate them into one's movies. I know it seems uncomfortable to always have to consider the possibility that someone who provides us such entertainment could also be lying to us, but other people involved in entertainment have lied through entertainment to a far greater number of people. Not that I would consider Titanic as wholesome a form of entertainment as Studio Ghibli movies, but we can't afford to conflate catering to consumer demand for wholesome entertainment with honesty.

Secondly, the people he "watches" in real life might differ from the people anime viewers "watch" in real life. Countries differ. Towns differ. Circumstances in which one encounters people to "watch" differ. Hell, interpretations of what one sees when "watching" people also may differ. Whatever real-life observations he claims inspired his shows, they may or may not come across that way to his viewers who've come to different conclusions.

Thirdly, people believe; or at least claim to believe; things that are often at odds with their personal experiences. How often have you seen the same online profiles touting one's fondness for GTA or Mortal Kombat fearmonger about the effects of violent media on other people? How often have you seen people put immense amounts of effort into content posted, for free, that argues that the profit motive is the only thing that can drive hard work? They can't prove they mean it... but in light of the above, that point is moot.

Last but not least, on the aformentioned Titanic example, there really are two main categories of ways to interpret its success, especially compared to other "non-fantasy" movies. The first is that moviegoers aren't really discerning on the "realism" of movies, even when they're spreading easily-debunked falsehoods... in which case, why expect moviegoers to be that much more discerning on the honesty of fantasy metaphors for real life? The second is that they never really wanted realism in the first place... in which case, why expect moviegoers to care how honest said fantasy metaphors are?

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby Justacrazyguy » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:05 am

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:
Miyazaki approaches animation by observing others. In the interview, as Miyazaki sketches, he explains he's able to create art because he spends time watching others.

How could one even prove that?



Why would he even need too? If you're an animator you're going to look at people for references and to help you draw always, without fail. You would be making it incredibly hard for yourself if you didn't. To me the problem isn't weather he actually does that, it's that he says it like it's some unique thing and that other animators and directors live in some black hole where they don't interact with people.

Really, he's a grumpy old man, and an hypocrite old man, seeing as he's also an otaku.
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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby Blockio » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:21 am

Quite frankly I find the whole debate rather... pointless
Why don't you save the Princess next time instead of being such a baby? She would love it and maybe you could get a sweet kiss. ~ Joseki
Your point of view is horny, and biased. ~ glitz2hard
What about titty-ten? ~ Reichu
The movies function on their own terms. If people can't accept them on those terms, and keep expecting them to be NGE, then they probably should have realized a while ago that they weren't going to have a good time. ~ Words of wisdom courtesy of Reichu

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby Justacrazyguy » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:58 pm

I should clarify I quite like the work Miyazaki does, and generally I take his statements more has an old guy complaining and venting instead of serious criticism, but like Blockio I'm not even sure what the debate here is even supposed to be?
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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby YTPrenewed » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:51 pm

View Original PostJustacrazyguy wrote:Why would he even need too? If you're an animator you're going to look at people for references and to help you draw always, without fail.

I'm no animator, but I think I would imitate whichever art style gets ratings; or whichever art style I have reason to believe will get ratings; rather than whichever one I thought looked more "real." Not necessarily because I'd have to be money-hungry to be an animator (though I would presume that'd be as much of a competitive advantage in that business as in any other business) but because even if I wasn't, I would hope I had the sense to prioritize "getting my ideas out there" over "shoving visual realism down the throats of customers who don't want it."

Really, he seems to feel too strongly about this to be referring just to the visual style. I get the impression that although he used visual examples, there was an implied relevance of this to story elements as well. Theoretically, for the visuals, videos of other people interacting would do. It's storytelling in particular that would (supposedly) benefit from being involved in it oneself.

The debate here is supposed to be over whether "experience-inspired" storytelling is a good thing, and whether it's realistic to expect customers to both go for it and discern how authentically "experience-inspired" it is. Those debates are distinct, but also related, since if customers don't go for it, "experience-inspired" storytellers were wasting their time, and if they can't discern its authenticity, then the only "experience-inspired" stories that sell are going to be the ones that pander to the public's biases in what they're willing to believe about other people's experiences.

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby Blockio » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:08 pm

In the words of one of my favorite book series - "You talk like a drunk man walks, in every direction but where he be headed".
I have absolutely not clue what the hell you're trying to get at here
Why don't you save the Princess next time instead of being such a baby? She would love it and maybe you could get a sweet kiss. ~ Joseki
Your point of view is horny, and biased. ~ glitz2hard
What about titty-ten? ~ Reichu
The movies function on their own terms. If people can't accept them on those terms, and keep expecting them to be NGE, then they probably should have realized a while ago that they weren't going to have a good time. ~ Words of wisdom courtesy of Reichu

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby YTPrenewed » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:19 pm

...might I ask where I lost you, then? Or at least, how many paragraphs into the OP you were when any uncertainty where I was going with this crept in?

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby The Killer of Heroes » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:36 pm

Is your criticism that Miyazaki isn't actually going for realism in his works, but merely rather what general audiences presume to be realism?

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby Blockio » Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:58 pm

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:...might I ask where I lost you, then? Or at least, how many paragraphs into the OP you were when any uncertainty where I was going with this crept in?

Pretty much from the top, there's no real coherence to your paragraphs, no red thread connecting the thoughts
Why don't you save the Princess next time instead of being such a baby? She would love it and maybe you could get a sweet kiss. ~ Joseki
Your point of view is horny, and biased. ~ glitz2hard
What about titty-ten? ~ Reichu
The movies function on their own terms. If people can't accept them on those terms, and keep expecting them to be NGE, then they probably should have realized a while ago that they weren't going to have a good time. ~ Words of wisdom courtesy of Reichu

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby YTPrenewed » Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:14 pm

View Original PostThe Killer of Heroes wrote:Is your criticism that Miyazaki isn't actually going for realism in his works, but merely rather what general audiences presume to be realism?

More so that the audience has no way of knowing whether Miyazaki's works; or indeed anyone's; are authentically inspired by life experiences or not.

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby Zusuchan » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:03 am

I'm not sure how that's supposed to be an actual valid criticism of Miyazaki's works.

Edit: If you mean his sayings about the necessity of observing people, then you'll just have to trust Miyazaki, there's literally nothing else you can do.

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:26 pm

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:
View Original PostThe Killer of Heroes#905265 wrote:Is your criticism that Miyazaki isn't actually going for realism in his works, but merely rather what general audiences presume to be realism?

More so that the audience has no way of knowing whether Miyazaki's works; or indeed anyone's; are authentically inspired by life experiences or not.


1. His works are not autobiographies. Of course parts of them will be inauthentic. But that does not mean they cannot be inspired by real events.
2. I think your reading too much into his words and/or are taking them too literally. Almost all people working in a creative profession will make these kind of comments.
3. It's basically impossible that human art is not somehow inspired by life experiences; we are all shaped by our experiences. People who claim otherwise probably belong in a psychiatric asylum.
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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:06 pm

Happy 80th Birthday, Miyazaki!

Frankly I don't care what his attitude is towards anime. The man has put more joy into the world through his art than almost anyone else in history.

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Re: On Miyazaki's remarks about otaku

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Postby YTPrenewed » Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:43 pm

However I might come across, I wish him a happy birthday as well. (Gah, forgot it was his birthday... thanks for the reminder, Gendo'sPapa.)

But if people are so shaped by their experiences, why do they so often assume things that are, as I pointed out in the 2nd-last paragraph of the OP, so plainly the polar opposite of their own? Clearly there are things people prioritize over experience in forming one's worldview.


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