Portal:Studio Ghibli

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Founded in June 1985, Studio Ghibli is headed by the directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and the producer Toshio Suzuki. Prior to the formation of the studio, Miyazaki and Takahata had already had long careers in Japanese film and television animation and had worked together on Hols: Prince of the Sun and Panda! Go, Panda!; and Suzuki was an editor at Tokuma Shoten's Animage magazine.

The studio was founded after the success of the 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, written and directed by Miyazaki for Topcraft and distributed by Toei Company. The origins of the film lie in the first two volumes of a serialized manga written by Miyazaki for publication in Animage as a way of generating interest in an anime version. Suzuki was part of the production team on the film and founded Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki, who also invited Takahata to join the new studio.

The studio has mainly produced films by Miyazaki, with the second most prolific director being Takahata (most notably with Grave of the Fireflies). Other directors who have worked with Studio Ghibli include Yoshifumi Kondo, Hiroyuki Morita, Gorō Miyazaki, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Composer Joe Hisaishi has provided the soundtracks for most of Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films. In their book Anime Classics Zettai!, Brian Camp and Julie Davis made note of Michiyo Yasuda as "a mainstay of Studio Ghibli’s extraordinary design and production team".

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Selected profile

Kazuo Oga (男鹿 和雄, Oga Kazuo, born 29 February 1952, in Akita Prefecture, Japan) is an art director and background artist for many Madhouse Studio and Studio Ghibli anime films, Oga worked with major directors Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Osamu Dezaki. He also published two artbooks and directed a short animated film.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, in Tokyo, Japan sponsored an exhibition called Kazuo Oga – The Man Who Drew Totoro's Forest from July 21, 2007 through September 30, 2007. A documentary about this exhibition Oga Kazuo Exhibition: Ghibli No Eshokunin - The One Who Painted Totoro's Forest (ジブリの絵職人 男鹿和雄展 トトロの森を描いた人) was released on DVD and Blu-ray.

Selected work

Title of film in Japanese
My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ, Tonari no Totoro) is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film–which stars the voice actors Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, and Hitoshi Takagi–tells the story of the two young daughters (Satsuki and Mei) of a professor and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan. The film won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize and the Mainichi Film Award for Best Film in 1988.

In 1988, Streamline Pictures produced an exclusive dub for use on transpacific flights by Japan Airlines and its Oneworld partners. Troma Films, under their 50th St. Films banner, distributed the dub of the film co-produced by Jerry Beck. It was released on VHS and DVD by Fox Video. The film was released on VHS and laserdisc in the United States by Tokuma Japan Communications' US subsidiary in 1993 under the title My Friend Totoro. Troma's and Fox's rights to this version expired in 2004.

The film was re-released by Walt Disney Pictures on March 7, 2006 and by Madman on March 15, 2006, with a new dub cast. This DVD release is the first version of the film in the United States to include both Japanese and English language tracks, as Fox did not have the rights to the Japanese audio track for their version.

Selected related article

Jade Cocoon 2 (玉繭物語2, Tamamayu Monogatari Tsū, literally "The Story of the Jade Cocoon 2") is a 2001 role-playing video game for the PlayStation 2 and sequel to Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu by Genki. The game features a full 3D polygonal world, 200 cutscenes, and full voice-overs. The character designs for the game were done by Katsuya Kondō, character designer for the first game as well as the Studio Ghibli films Kiki's Delivery Service and I Can Hear the Sea.

Jade Cocoon 2's plot occurs 100 years after the events in the original Jade Cocoon. The time of the Nagi people and "cocoon masters" has passed. New "cocoon masters" are now called "beasthunters" and are the prominent force of monster raising, with the protagonist named Kahu who visits the Temple of Kemuel in the hopes of becoming a beasthunter and having adventures like the old cocoon masters he's idolized. However, Kahu encounters trouble during his license exam required to become a full-fledged beast-hunter. He encounters a young fairy named Nico, who leaves Kahu cursed, and he's given a very short time to live before his body is consumed by evil. Fortunately, Kemuel Temple's resident guardian and founder, Levant - the hero of the original Jade Cocoon - offers Kahu a chance to heal himself.

Selected media

Catbus cosplay (next to San taking a picture) at FanimeCon in 2010.
Credit: BrokenSphere

Catbus cosplay (next to San taking a picture) at FanimeCon in 2010.

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