"Miyazaki Madness" Starts TODAY!! First Round – The Sweet 16 [POLLS CLOSED]

These are the match-ups for the first round Sweet 16 Bracket in the “Miyazaki Madness“. Voting will stay open for 1 week. Cast your votes and don’t forget to comment at the bottom…

Click the image above for a hi-rez version of the bracket and start voting after the jump…

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[1] Spirited Away (2001) [16] Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki Directed by: Goro Miyazaki
Summary:  In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, Chihiro, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a magical world where a witch rules — and those who disobey her are turned into animals. When Chihiro’s parents become pigs, she must find a way to help them return to their human form. Summary:  This animated adventure tells the magical tale of Arren, a teenage prince who must solve the riddle of his realm’s decay. Arren runs away from home after killing his father, and during his journey, meets powerful wizard, a young sorceress and deadly warlock Lord.
Scenes to watch for:

– Sen tending to the stink spirit

– The paper birds following Haku

Scenes to watch for:

– Arrival at the Port of Havnor

– Battling Cob and rescuing Therru

IMDb score: 8.6/10 G-S-T score: 4.0/4.0 IMDb score: 6.5/10 G-S-T score: 2.5/4.0

 

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[8] Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) [9] Princess Mononoke (1997)
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Summary:  Faced with almost certain destruction of her planet’s natural resources, warrior princess Nausicaa rallies her people against an evil queen’s rampaging army in an effort to give her homeland a new lease on its future. Hayao Miyazaki directs this environmentally conscious anime that transports viewers to a magical place — the Valley of the Wind — where the ultimate showdown between good and evil will play out. Summary:  In this anime epic from director Hayao Miyazaki, Prince Ashitaka is infected with a lethal curse, and must travel to find a cure. On his journey, he discovers himself caught in a battle between a mining town and the animals of the surrounding forest. A girl raised by wolves leads the animals, but the forest harbors deadly supernatural powers.
Scenes to watch for:

– Landing the gunship in the Ohmu nest

– The Warrior firing on the Ohmu

Scenes to watch for:

– San attacks Lady Eboshi

– Rescuing the Spirit of the Forest

IMDb score: 8.1/10 G-S-T score: 3.0/4.0 IMDb score: 8.4/10 G-S-T score: 3.25/4.0

 

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[5] Pom Poko (1994) [12] My Neignbor Totoro (1988)
Directed by: Isao Takahata Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Summary:  A community of magical shapeshifting raccoons desperately struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development. Summary:  When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby.
Scenes to watch for:

– Raccoon “battle scene” in the beginning/practicing shape-shifiting

– Arrival of the raccoon elders

Scenes to watch for:

– Finding Totoro for the first time

– The cat bus helping Mei and Satsuki to the hospital

IMDb score: 7.4/10 G-S-T score: 3.5/4.0 IMDb score: 8.2/10 G-S-T score: 2.5/4.0

 

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[4] Castle in the Sky (1986) [13] Porco Rosso (1992)
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Summary:  A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle. Summary:  The adventures of a 1920’s bush pilot who just happens to look like a humanoid pig. Saving the day and his friends, Porco Rosso is a selfish pilot with a heart of gold.
Scenes to watch for:

– Rescuing Sheeta from the general’s fortress

– Arrival at Laputa/unlocking the secrets of the castle

Scenes to watch for:

– Testing the engine/escaping the Italian police

– Porco’s boxing match with Curtis

IMDb score: 8.1/10 G-S-T score: 3.75/4.0 IMDb score: 7.8/10 G-S-T score: 3.5/4.0

 

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[6] The Cat Returns (2002) [11] Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
Directed by: Hiroyuki Morita Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Summary:  After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life. Summary:  A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count’s clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.
Scenes to watch for:

– Parade of the cats

– The court/dinner scene

Scenes to watch for:

– Lupin & Jigen sneaking in the castle through the aqueduct

– Lupin foiling the wedding

IMDb score: 7.2/10 G-S-T score: 3.25/4.0 IMDb score: 7.7/10 G-S-T score: 3.0/4.0

 

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[3] Ponyo (2008) [14] My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki Directed by: Isao Takahata
Summary:  An adventure of a 5-year-old boy and his relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to become human. Summary:  Based on the popular “Nono-chan” comic strips, The Yamadas tells the life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan.
Scenes to watch for:

– Ponyo and Sosuke traveling on the toy boat

– Ponyo becomes human and every underwater scene

Scenes to watch for:

– Marriage advice at the Yamada’s wedding

– Tetsuo’s first phone call/family brings the umbrella/the TV remote battle

IMDb score: 7.8/10 G-S-T score: 3.5/4.0 IMDb score: 7.5/10 G-S-T score: 2.75/4.0

 

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[7] Whisper of the Heart (1995) [10] Kiki’s Delivery Service(1989)
Directed by: Yoshifumi Kondou Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Summary: Shizuku Tsukishima,who has a passion for reading and hopes of becoming a writer, discovers that all the books she checks out of the library have been borrowed before by someone called Seiji Amasawa. Shizuku sets out to meet the person who shares her literary taste. Summary: A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.
Scenes to watch for:

– Backstory on the grandfather clock/Seiji playing “Country Road” with the band

– Pretty much every walking or travelling scene

 

Scenes to watch for:

– Baking the fish cake for her customer

– Kiki’s clocktower rescue

IMDb score: 8.0/10 G-S-T score: 3.75/4.0 IMDb score: 7.9/10 G-S-T score: 3.25/4.0

 

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[2] Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) [15] Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Directed by:  Hayao Miyazaki Directed by: Isao Takahata
Summary: When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home. Summary:  A tragic film covering a young boy and his little sister’s struggle to survive in Japan during World War II. After bombings ravage their country the two set on their own making the best of poverty conditions in this heartbreaking tale.
Scenes to watch for:

– Sophie going to meet Suliman

– Howl and Calcifer moving/changing the castle

 

Scenes to watch for:

– Saito giving the last of the fruit drops to Sukiko

– Lighting the cave with fireflies

IMDb score: 8.1/10 G-S-T score: 3.25/4.0 IMDb score: 8.3/10 G-S-T score: 3.0/4.0

 

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Vote for your favorites, feel free to drop a comment and remember to come back and check the results all this week. Next bracket goes up on March 14th!!

Comments

  1. Alright, man. Got my votes in. Still need to watch some of these, but let me reiterate: this is fucking awesome. Well done.

    • MarcC says:

      With a compliment like that it made all the effort worth it:) Thanks Aiden!

  2. I’ve seen almost all of these. Kind of annoyed my two favourites, Howls Moving Castle and Grave of the Fireflies came up against each other in the first round. Looking forward to seeing how things come out…I hope Spirited Away doesn’t win, I find it a bit over-rated

    • MarcC says:

      With so many great films it’s hard to chose one fav over another. But someone’s gotta win:P

  3. Brett says:

    I’m with Tom, but instead of Howls and Firefly, it’s Nausicaa and Mononoke. You can’t do this to me >:
    I voted Mononoke, but I’m still pretty sad to Nausicaa with so few votes.

    • MarcC says:

      Yeah, hearts are gonna break all month long:( I feel you on the Nausicaa/Mononoke; it’s tough one for me too!

  4. This post just reminded me how much I still need to catch up on. Yes Castor, I also voted for Spirited Away.

    • MarcC says:

      You’ve got all month Ruth…but the longer you wait the less choices you’ll have to vote on:P

  5. Japan Cinema says:

    Its a shame, people who don’t know much about Studio Ghibli films automatically gravitate towards Spirited Away. A great film yes, but it only mirrored by its mainstream popularity, there are much better magical films in the catalogue. I voted for Nausicaa, I hope it wins.

    • MarcC says:

      You said it. While Spirited Away is the most well known, it doesn’t define the work of Ghibli. There are a lot of other films that have a more cohesive and fantastic story. Still damed pretty and one that is just a fun ride the whole way through.

  6. MarcC says:

    Hurry up and see as many as you can Castor. The more you see the more fun it is to vote:) Like G.I. Joe says, “knowing is half the battle”

  7. Wow, this is great, lol.

    I’m also someone who has Nausicaä and Mononoke as my top two! And of course the better of the two is losing now, haha.

    Sigh, Whisper of the Heart is completely underseen. Such a lovely lovely lovely film.

    It’s not overrated, but I do feel that Spirited Away is sometimes overblown solely by its success, not by it being the best film. Though, in the face of something like Tales of Earthsea? …yeah.

    • Thanks for the comments J.D. and doubly so for calling attention to Whispers:) Really simple but what an uplifting story topped off with it being gorgeously drawn.

      Really great observation on Spirited though. Oh and welcome to G-S-T!

  8. Howl’s and Grave was a tough pick!

    • MarcC says:

      I know I know, that’s the one I was most torn between. Howl is one of my top 3 favs and it looks like it won’t make to the next round. Le sigh:(

  9. Can’t believe you made me choose between Nausicaa and Mononoke.

  10. I’m going to be pulling for Grave of the Fireflies and Totoro the entire time.

  11. Sorry I’m so late to the party on this one – a bit Miyazaki fan and haven’t had the time as of late to give my blog reader the combing over it probably deserves. I really think Grave of the Fireflies, a heavy contender in my book for the title of all time greatest anime film, is way underseeded it. But it will likely play to its advantage.

    Great to see some non-Miyazaki, but Ghibli based, anime films getting some votes as well – I was worried when I first glanced over the matches.

    • Well it’s really Miyazaki/Takahata/Studio Ghibli but that didn’t roll off the tounge as easy;P

  12. Arrrgh…I miss the voting time 🙁
    Will keep myself updated for the next pole. all the winning movies are what I will vote anyway 🙂 so i am glad with the result