Published on February 1st, 2014 | by Tanuki0
Are Otaku Ruining The Anime Industry? Miyazaki Chimes In!
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Hayao Miyazaki in the news; last time being the announcement of his retirement from the world of animation. A few days ago, a story popped up on Golden Times (via RocketNews24) where Miyazaki-san shared some sharp criticism about the anime industry of today. According to the 73-year-old director, it is fraught with problems—the biggest of which is—due to being “full of otaku”. Aye caramba! Did he just say what I think he said?
One would think that having more and more otaku in the anime industry would empower it, not cause it to suffer. Miyazaki goes onto explain that it basically boils down to them lacking the depth and profundity that comes from observing real-life human beings and applying it to their craft:
“Almost all Japanese animation is produced with hardly any basis taken from observing real people, you know. It’s produced by humans who can’t stand looking at other humans.”
Although Miazaki-san’s comments may conjure up the image of an irritated old fogy, shaking his fists at the smart aleck up-and-comers of the Japanime realm, there’s important advice in his message. If you’ve ever taken art lessons, read a book on how to draw/paint, or even watched a documentary about your favorite artist, you will invariably come across the subject of sketching from life and how crucial a role it plays in development of one’s skills.
When I attended life drawing classes in college, I admit to often feeling anxious, wanting to just get it over with and tackle more fun stuff (like 3D animation in MAYA, for example). As I would later discover, my negative feelings about that class arose due to nothing else other than my crappy inability to draw the human form. Therefore, I didn’t pour much effort into improving. By mid-semester I’d lost count of how many times I’d heard advice similar to that of Miyazaki’s echoed by my senpai. My stubbornness finally began to give way… and with it, my appreciation of the whole study of life drawing grew.
The bottom line: Miazaki-san’s acerbic remarks about anime artists of today should be viewed as not only a reality check for those he’s addressing, but also considered as fatherly advice. Call it tough love, if you will. I can’t speak for any of those animators in question—many (if not all) who likely do draw from life—but I’d warmly welcome any constructive criticism from a legend like Miyazaki-san.
Source: Golden Times (Japanese)