Hayao Miyazaki

25 Novels That Will Turn You Into an Environmentalist

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Earth Day is upon us, and you know what that means: time to pick up the trash in your neighborhood, or hug a tree, or at least think a little bit about your carbon footprint. Not exactly your cup of tea? Then how about reading one of these novels (er, and two short story collections and one children’s book), each guaranteed to turn you into some kind of environmentalist, whether by scare tactics (post-apocalyptic climate nightmare!) or straight wooing (look at all these pretty plants and things!). And, we promise, none of these is as boring as Walden. Celebrate Earth Day from the comfort of your couch this year, and next year… well, who knows?
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10 Badass Princesses You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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Everyone knows that princesses are really lame. That is, the typical pop culture princess — all baubles and fancy dresses and complete lack of agency — is really lame. But luckily, some princesses break the mold (or even break the bones of their enemies). This week, we’ve been hearing a lot about The Princess Who Saved Herself, a book that “reinvents the princess myth” for the modern girl, so it seemed like a good time to take a look at a few other badass princesses you might not have heard of (yet). Sound the royal trumpets and make way: here come ten princesses who are the opposite of lame — some fictional, some historical, all …Read More

Why Does Miyazaki’s Final Film Have Such Terrible Female Characters?

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With the exception of a limited New York/Los Angeles run in November, Hayao Miyazaki’s latest — and final — movie won’t go into wide release in the United States until February 2014. This weekend, however, I was lucky enough to catch a screening of The Wind Rises at the New York Film Festival. As one would expect from the filmmaker who brought us Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, the fictionalized story of Japanese engineer Jiro Horikoshi is stunningly beautiful and deeply moving, although unlike most other Miyazaki films, the universe it depicts is largely historical reality rather than fantasy. There’s another major difference between The Wind Rises and Miyazaki’s other work, however: it’s completely missing three-dimensional, complex women — precisely the type of character the animator, director, and screenwriter has focused on in the past. [Warning: spoilers abound after the jump.]
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