Hot off the press and taking the otaku world by storm, fans of anime and Studio Ghibli have a pair of new definitive books to enjoy.
Michael Leader, host of the podcast of the same name, opens a new window , is a huge fan of Studio Ghibli and all their films. Alongside Jake Cunningham and Steph Watts, the three sat through and analyzed the entire collection of films by Studio Ghibli. They began their podcast in 2018, and though they have since turned to other topics, it remains ongoing.
The Ghibliotheque is an educational piece, non-fiction, and dedicated to their movie collection as a whole. While certainly not the first book about the company or their films, it is so far the most comprehensive, at least about the films themselves, as a collection. The book is an exquisite work of art, filled with breathtaking art from all your favorite Studio Ghibli films. As readers might expect, the book is separated into chapters, each about a specific film, in chronological order. Each chapter is further divided into two parts: a history of the movie's production and the film-makers involved and the happenings of Studio Ghibli at the time, followed by a review of the movie, usually no more than two pages. As such, despite the relative heft of these very well-made books, the reader never spends too much time on any one film (which may be a blessing in the case of Grave of the Fireflies).
Reading the book is an experience all on its own, and every bit as magical as watching any of the films. Readers will not be disappointed, and even those with particular favorites probably will find themselves curious to revisit one of the other films they previously overlooked, with new appreciation.
And of course, if you want to read while watching said movies, we can help readers there too:
Leader, Cunningham, and Watts were not content to rest on their laurels, however. As a continuation of their blog, the three released a follow-up book, covering all anime movies. After exhausting the collection of films by Studio Ghibli, the trio expanded the scope of their blog, covering anime movies as a whole (including films based on anime, such as the Transformers film Bumblebee). And so, barely a year after the publication of their first book, they released The Ghibliotheque Anime Movie Guide.
The Anime Movie Guide is structured identically to the Ghibliotheque, but with a larger scope. The Guide covers nearly 30 movies, spread over more than sixty years of Japanese film history, in chronological order. The authors also did their best to highlight movies by different production teams, so while certain influential people like Hayao Miyazaki pop up every now and then, there are many more names for film buffs to familiarize themselves with. There is also a conspicuous lack of Studio Ghibli films, though perhaps this is understandable, considering the writers already have an entire book dedicated to Ghibli.
The included movie list is as follows:
- Panda and the Magic Serpent
- The Little Norse Prince
- Belladona of Sadness
- Rupan sansei
- Night on the Galactic Railroad
- Roujin Z
- Ninja Scroll
- Ghost in the shell
- Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
- Millennium Actress
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
- Interstellar 5555
- The Animatrix
- Mind Game
- Evangelion 1.0
- Giovanni's Island
- Kimi no na wa
- A Silent Voice
- In the Corner of the World
- Modest Heroes
- Children of the sea
- On-gaku: Our Sound
Unlike the largely family-friendly (or at least, family conscious) Ghibli collection, The Anime Movie Guide holds no punches back; it is a collection of the best, most influential films in anime, with a large and varied audience. While all of these films are groundbreaking and hugely influential, parental discretion is advised for those under 17.
And while the St. Tammany Parish Library does own some of the highlighted films, the majority are only available through Inter-Library Loan, opens a new window. If you feel like some of these movies deserve a place in our collection, you can also Suggest a Purchase, opens a new window for a particular item.
And if you want a chance to peek in on some of these movies, stay tuned for the upcoming Studio Ghibli Saturday, opens a new window !
The St. Tammany Parish Library has a license to show certain Studio Ghibli films for events! In March they watched Kiki's Delivery Service, and coming up in April is Castle in the Sky!
Also stay tuned for even more Studio Ghibli movie viewings during Summer Reading.