Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki is a book written by Dani Cavallaro that was published in 2006. The book contains an introduction, 18 chapters, a postscript, an epilogue, a filmography, two appendixes, chapter notes, a bibliography, and an index.
Even though the book may be titled The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki, there are absolutely no pictures included in it. As I read through the book, I wished there were screenshots from the films that are discussed to help illustrate some of the author's points.
While I have seen quite a few of the films discussed in the book, there are some of the films that are looked at which I have never seen. For those films, it's hard for me as a reader to truly understand what it is the author is talking about. I honestly believe this book would have been stronger if there had been some images included in it.
The tone of the book is very dry in nature; in fact, it reads much like the textbooks I had to read while I was in college. There were times when I thought the author was trying too hard to write long sentences with a lot of big words. I have to admit that there were times when I nearly fell asleep while I tried to read the book. Also, it should be noted that while the book is titled The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki, some of the topics included for discussion in the book are Studio Ghibli films that Miyazaki himself had no direct involvement in.
During the course of the book, the author takes a look at: Miyazaki's early years, the history of Studio Ghibli, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Kiki's Delivery Service, Studio Ghibli's projects in 1990 and 1991, Porco Rosso, Studio Ghibli's projects between 1992 and 1994, "On Your Mark," Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke, Studio Ghibli's projects between 1999 and 2001, Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli's projects between 2002 and 2003, and Howl's Moving Castle. The postscript talks about an exhibition in France that featured work by both Hayao Miyazaki and Moebius.
If you want to learn more about Hayao Miyazaki and his work, and don't mind reading a book that's scholarly in tone, then The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki is for you. However, if you want to learn more about Miyazaki but would prefer something lighter to read, then this book isn't what you're looking for.
In order to write this review, I checked out a copy of the book through the King County Library System.