Fan shows us a reason to hang onto your old VHS anime even after you’ve upgraded to newer media versions.
Stay an anime fan long enough, and eventually you’re likely to end up upgrading your copy of a beloved title to a newer version. Maybe you replace a grainy, fifth-generation fansub with a legitimate commercial release, or you double-dip and buy the fancy HD remaster of something you already own in some older media format.
That’s the sort of situation Japanese Twitter user @Ed_Woood found himself in for Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the breakout feature film from director Hayao Miyazaki. Since @Ed_Woood now owns the movie on DVD, he figured he could toss his old, taped-off-TV VHS copy, but before he tossed the tape in the trash he decided to give it one last watch, and he was very glad he did, as you can see in the clip he shared below.
Even though Studio Ghibli anime are regularly aired on Japanese TV, their broadcast is still considered event television. So when @Ed_Woood’s tape was originally recorded (on September 28, 1990, according to the time stamp that appears at the start), the broadcaster decided to send respected film critic Haruo Mizuno to Studio Ghibli’s offices for a brief interview with Miyazaki himself, which played before the start of the film and isn’t available on any home video releases.
Miyazaki would have been 49 in 1990, but without his iconic beard and snowy white hair, he appears remarkably young. Particularly for Western anime fans, many of whom only became aware of Miyazaki once the director was in his 60s, it’s almost surreal to see him like this.
During their chat, Mizuno asks Miyazaki about how the film came to be. “I was actually opposed to making this into a movie,” Miyazaki says of the 1984 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. “I had no intention of turning it into an anime. The serialization isn’t finished yet,” Miyazaki says, alluding to the Nausicaä of the Valley of the Windmanga which ran from 1982 to 1994. “Even I don’t really know how long it will go on…It was difficult to make it a movie. I mean, the story isn’t finished yet. I wanted to show the ending.”
But Miyazaki eventually did bow to pressure from those pressing him to adapt Nausicaäinto a feature length anime, and one which enjoyed immense critical, popular, and commercial success. So when he wistfully expresses his regrets over not being able to tell the complete story in animated form, Mizuno offers “But then that means you can make a sequel, right?” Miyazaki quickly shoots the idea down, though, saying “No, I think that would be even more difficult. I don’t think I could do it.”
When Mizuno goes on to ask Miyazaki if his dreams and values mirror those of Nausicaä’s titular heroine, the director shows that while he may have looked different in the past, he’s always been comfortable with making films that let the audience think for themselves. “I was always thinking about [if Nausicaä and I have the same dreams]. It was something I kept coming back to, and I didn’t know how it would turn out, and so I created a world even I don’t understand entirely.”
@Ed_Woood’s time capsule has captured the attention of anime fans, who’ve left comments like:
“Whoa, Miyazaki isn’t as salty as he usually is!”
“Really takes me back. I had a copy of the same broadcast I used to watch all the time as a kid.”
“Things like this are why I can’t bring myself to just toss my old VHS tapes.”
“I’ve been waiting so long for a Nausicaä sequel. Startling to hear Miyazaki just give it a flat-out ‘No.’”
While we can sympathize with that last commenter, there’s still a chance of a Nausicaä sequel being made, just with a different director. And as for @Ed_Woood, anime fans everywhere are grateful for the reminder that it’s not just digital media that includes cool bonus features that make old versions of anime worth hanging onto.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s trying to decide whether he himself was more or less salty in the ’90s than he is now.