Posted by Larry Gleeson
By Olivier Fabre
Mamoru Hosoda, one of Japan’s young anime directors hoping to lead the industry after the retirement of legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, says he hopes to surpass his boyhood hero one day, but don’t look for Miyazaki in his movies.
“That won’t happen. It is only right that different directors create totally different works,” Hosoda, 49, told Reuters TV ahead of the Tokyo International Film Festival next month where a retrospective of his work will be shown.
“I think there are movies that only I can create and movies that only I know how to make people enjoy them,” he said.
Hosoda’s rise to fame culminated with his 2015 box office hit “Boy and the Beast”, which grossed over 5.8 billion yen ($57 million) to become the second most watched movie in Japanese theatres that year.
His movies are colorful and vibrant and appear to follow in Oscar-winning Miyazaki’s footsteps. However, Hosoda regularly chooses themes related to family and identity, which disappoint some fans who seek the more immersive fantasy provided by works out of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli.
“The Boy and the Beast” explores the relationship between a paternal beast-father figure and a run-away child. His previous film, “Wolf Children”, centered on a single mother raising children fathered by a werewolf.
Hosoda said his deeper exploration of the meaning of self-identity in an extremely homogeneous nation are often lost on viewers.
“I think there are possibly people in the audience here who were not able to understand that. And that, in a way, is representative of Japan today,” he said.
Hosoda is hopeful for the future of Japan’s animation industry despite the fact that more and more animators rely on computer graphics to polish their work.
“There are, or should be, multiple correct ways to express oneself in animation,” he said.
“If you start saying that only Disney or Pixar animations are the right kind of animations, that just becomes very boring. If everything needs to have computer graphics,then you lose a lot of the richness in expression available in animations,” he added.
“The World Of Mamoru Hosoda” retrospective runs from October 25 to November 3 at the Tokyo International Film Festival and will include movies such as the critically acclaimed “Summer Wars”.
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.