other authors to compare to DWJ

Paul Barnier villawood at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 31 05:15:15 EDT 1999

I don't know if this counts as an "author" but I can recommend the Japanese 
animator Hayao Miyazaki. A good deal of his works is now available or will 
be available in English and as far as I am aware is even available in 
supermarket chains as well as "anime" specialty stores.

What makes him good is the individuality of his imagination, something he 
shares with DWJ. He doesn't "set" himself in any one period or series, but 
just imagines stories that seem to cross between fantasy and science fiction 
and history. He is also a creator of "Children's" animation whose work 
appeals to adults because of its quality and the seriousness of the themes 
he deals with. He touches on themes of the environment, the futility of war, 
and personal responsibility and freedom. Interestingly (compared to DWJ) his 
main characters are almost always girls. When asked why he said that female 
heroes where more interesting and multifaceted than if a predictable male 
hero was in the same role.

Works of his I know are available in English:

Tenkuu Shiro no Rapyuta (English: Castle in the Sky)Two children with a 
mysterious stone search for a legendary fortress in the sky while pursued by 
a gang of sky pirates and the military forces of a sinister government 
official, both of whom want the stone for themselves.

Tonari no Totoro (English: My Neighbour Totoro) Two sisters in rural Japan 
discover that they can see the forest spirits- Totoros that live there.

Majou no Takkyuubin (English: Kiki's delivery service)A young witch leaves 
home and travels to a far away city. To support herself she starts a 
business delivering packages by broomstick. This gets her into more trouble 
than she expects.

Paul Barnier

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