A Review of Ghibli's New Movie, Gedo Senki - What is Real Happiness? -


Yomiuri Online has posted a review of Studio Ghibli's newest movie, Gedo Senki. Below is a translation of the review.

Gedo Senki is the debut title of Hayao Miyazaki's eldest son, Goro Miyazaki. Inheriting the position of an anime director is something that has never been done before, so how is the ability of the son of the famous father? This has caught the public’s interest.

I'll give you my conclusion first: Gedo’s theme, the characters, the background art, and the music, the Ghibli's mark has been stamped in every single one of them. Goro had followed his father's methods; however, in Hayao Miyazaki’s case, sometimes he stops and tries to put joyful, cheerful, or amazing scenes into his movie, but Goro Miyazaki is "square," and concentrates on describing the theme of the movie, he goes straight to the conclusion without trying to get out of his way doing anything extra.

The theme of this movie is, "Nowadays what does it mean to live?"

Gedo , a great wise man and magician, and Arren, a prince, are traveling in a world where the farmers have lost their farms, craftsmen have lost their skills, the slave trading business is prospering, and junkies are hanging around on the street corners. Additionally, the reason Arren left his homeland was because while angry, he stabbed his own father without any reason. Arren is "a problem child". The stage of Gedo is set in a world very much like our own, and the characters resemble people we see in daily news, and the theme of the movie is shown through this setting.

Despite the appearance of wizards and dragons, this is not a spectacular movie like "Lord of the Ring" or "The Chronicles of Narnia." Like "Totoro" or "Spirited Away", the usual funny and cute characters did not appear; however, the story of Gedo was never such kind of tale to begin with. Goro asks its audiences the question: "What is real happiness?" and that "Life is limited, that is the reason life is priceless."

In the middle of the story, there is a scene where Gedo visits his old friend, Tenor, at his farm in the suburb. Arren is having dinner with Gedo and Teru after working hard during the say on his farm. Their dinner was simple, but warm. This silent scene could be what Goro most wanted to show to the audience.

Translated by T. Ohara