J.TEST Philippines

March 12, 2024

Animation Bids to Two Legends: A Celebration of Legacy and New Horizons

Hayao Miyazaki, the visionary director behind Studio Ghibli’s enchanting films, received a well-deserved Oscar win for “The Boy and the Heron,” . Meanwhile, the animation industry mourned the loss of Akira Toriyama, creator of the globally influential manga series “Dragon Ball.”

Miyazaki, known for weaving fantastical creatures like Totoro’s iconic Catbus into his narratives, has blurred the lines between human and animal, nature and industry, in masterpieces like “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro.” “The Boy and the Heron” continues this legacy, offering a gentler exploration of life and death, infused with Miyazaki’s signature charm. While the story may not break new ground, the film feels like a comforting embrace from a beloved maestro, a final bow filled with familiar elements that resonate deeply.

On the other hand, Akira Toriyama’s passing leaves a void. His high-octane adventure series “Dragon Ball,” following Goku’s quest for the Dragon Balls, shaped countless childhoods. Toriyama’s influence extends far beyond the pages of his manga, with successful anime and film adaptations solidifying “Dragon Ball” as a cultural phenomenon. Though unfinished works remain, his “unique world of creation” continues to inspire and entertain audiences worldwide.

These two events, though vastly different, highlight the dynamism of animation. Miyazaki, a titan of the industry, pushes the boundaries of storytelling within his beloved style, while Toriyama’s work continues to inspire future creators. A legend like Toriyama leaves behind an enduring mark. The future of animation isn’t just about groundbreaking innovation, but also about the stories that resonate across generations and the creators who leave an indelible mark on the art form.