This will be old news to a lot of you, but Hayao Miyazaki the director of such films as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Castle in the Sky, has recently announced that after his next film he will be retiring. this news surprised me much more than it actually should have. after all he had only written most of the most recent films in Gihibli’s output leaving the directing to his son. However it still affected me quite a lot. the truth is i don’t know if i’d be the same person without Miyazaki and his films. I first started watching his films in my early teens and although I certainly appreciated both anime and animation in general I doubt i’d appreciate them nearly as much as i do now. In a Miyazaki film anything can happen in a way that I’ve never seen duplicated in a live action film. it really made me appreciate the potential that animation had. Furthermore he was one of the first film writers to really amaze me. Certainly there were other films that were well written but i was at just the right age just then to recognize Miyazaki for it. For example i really noticed how almost all his villains weren’t pure evil and often had very good reasons for doing what they did. I loved how unique the worlds he created were and I loved how subtle the character development was to the point were you only really realized the character had changed after the fact despite it being very clear how they had gotten this far. I might not have become a writer if it wasn’t for him and i almost certainly wouldn’t be as good. so i guess what i’m saying with this overly long and disorganized post is……thank you Miyazaki I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for you.