Last week, we talked about the Pixar Theory as a precursor for addressing the Miyazaki Theory. But now, it’s finally time to delve into the Miyazaki Theory. Before we start, I would like to ask you to keep the Pixar Theory in mind.
The Beginning: Porco Rosso
Porco Rosso, set in the time period before World War II, introduces the scene by showing the relationship among spirits, animals, and humans. The film features a man named Marco Pagot who fought in the Italian air force in World War I. It is said that he was supposed to marry an Austrian woman named Gina, but once the World War started, he couldn’t bring himself to betray his country. However, when he was at war, the atrocious events that happened made him question his decision and his inner turmoil caused him to become cursed with a pig’s face. Because of this, he changed his name to Porco Rosso, which means the Crimson Pig.
Another World War: The Wind Rises
The Wind Rises features the designers of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter during World War II. Although the events that happen in this movie don’t really contribut
e much to the Miyazaki timeline, it does reinforce the idea of spirits and humans interacting with each other. This is due to the scene in which two of the main characters, Jiro and Caproni, share a dream together, which would be classified as a supernatural event.
Enter the Spirits: Spirited Away
Spirited Away was the first movie in which humans and spirits freely and openly interacted with each other. It features a girl named Chihiro who winds up getting lost in the spirit world. During her time there, she must work in a bath house to gain her freedom. She meets many spirits during her time there and their interactions exemplify the tension between humans and spirits. This conflict isn’t explained in the previous movies, but it is clear that the relationship between the two are pretty bad. In fact, when Chihiro first wanders into the spirit world, she is immediately taken by someone who was once in the same position as her, but had his memories erased. This boy, Haku, immediately tells her that her presence must not be noticed or else the spirits would try to eat her.
Friendly Spirits: My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro tells the story of two sisters who interact with friendly spirits who live in the forest. One of these spirits, Totoro, provides refuge for the younger sister, Mei, when she gets lost. Another spirit, the Cat Bus, brings the two sisters two their mother who is being hospitalized. The bond that the two create with the spirits is so strong that they eventually become inseparable.
The Apocalypse: Ponyo
Ponyo is about a man who is so convinced that his daughter has been kidnapped that he sends massive waves of destruction throughout the world. This gargantuan flood destroys thousands of cities, but it is said that it didn’t cause enough damage to eradicate life on earth. Instead, several sections of the Earth are completely wiped out and are forced to start civilization from the beginning again, particularly in areas near bodies of water. These events mark a turn in the history of the Ghibli timeline.
A New Beginning: Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke is said to have taken place on a small island that was completely devastated by the flood from Ponyo’s father. The people who survived were forced to build up civilization from scratch again. However, they wanted to tear down the forests in order to further their development. This created tension between the humans, the animals, and the forest spirits, which later led to a war.
The Redevelopment of Civilization: Castle in the Sky
Castle in the Sky features floating castles and cities which were said to have been developed after the flood destroyed everything. The people who survived decided it wouldn’t be efficient to stay on the ground where all of their resources were depleted, but instead thought it would be better to build sustainable, flying chunks of land that they would be able to restart on. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the technology that these people would have had access to by means of other cities that were not destroyed or by the advanced aircrafts that were also left relatively intact, unlike in Princess Mononoke in which they were completely isolated on a small island.
So What’s Next?
Unfortunately, unlike the Pixar Theory, the Miyazaki Theory will likely not have any more movies added onto it. This is due to the fact that Hayao Miyazaki retired a couple of years ago and would also not be able to confirm nor deny the validity of this theory. But that doesn’t stop the fans from speculating.
In my next blog post, I would like to finally delve into one of the top grossing movies in Japan, Spirited Away, and its own conspiracy theory.