Day 4 of #100DaysOfWriting
Japanese fantasy fiction has always amused me. The characters, the plots and the relatable instances in the stories makes it special and stand out in all fiction works.
My recent experience with Japanese fantasy fiction was through the book Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I was astouned by the fearless imagination of the writer, even more as I came from the flat, grouded non-fiction work. Be it cats talking, or some out-worldly incidents disturbing the course of life on earth, it reminded me of my childhood when I'd finish off Hardy Boys and Famous Five. Murakami reminds me of the carefree writing, but is much more mature in many ways. As someone has rightly said, Murakami is a genre in himself.
One thing that strikes as a common theme is this reminder of known fantasies. I'm not sure if I'm wording it correctly, but Kafka on the Shore has a character, Nakata, who can talk to cats. And cats can talk among themselves! I have always found cats mysterious, and this story taps on this and keeps me hooked in its universe.
Yet another incredible source of fantasy work is Studio Ghibli. It is a Japanese animation film studio that has created several amazing animes. One of my friends recommended Spirited Away to me, and damn it's a wonderful movie.
The film has out-worldly characters, a unique universe and a yound girl going through it. What I realised is that this film beautifully taps into the child in us, but gives away intense messages that the adult version of us resonates with. And that's a great skill as an artist, no wonder it won the Oscar!
Another film that I watched was Whisper of the Heart, a beautifully simple story put out in an anime. It has a story where a girl sets out to write a book out of certain circumstances around her, but also because she always wanted to. It can be considered a reflection of a Ghibli writer, trying to write a perfect story that will be loved.
Most importantly, these works break barriers of imagination, and I find it interesting because most of my other experiences with fantasy have been intense, thrilling fiction. But to be able to inter-weave emotions and love into fantasy without making it too corny is what Ghibli is the best at.
Even with great work, Studio Ghibli struggles to keep up with today's media, and is closing down soon, unfortunately. Isn't it similar to an artist? How long can one keep producing quality work? One has to retire some day. I hope Studi Ghibli receives the well-deserved farewell.
The world has good art in abundance, and I feel happy when I come across such content.