Who needs an Oscar Anyway?!
The Wind Rises Wins Japan Academy Prizes for Animation and Music
Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises film won the animation category in the 37th Annual Japan Academy Prizes on Friday. Miyazaki’s final feature film was competing against The Tale of Princess Kaguya (another Ghibli film by Miyazaki’s colleague and mentor Isao Takahata), Captain Harlock, Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part 3: Rebellion, and Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Movie.
Composer Joe Hisaishi’s work on The Wind Rises also won the award for Best Soundtrack. The academy actually nominated Hisaishi for no less than three films: The Tale of Princess Kaguya, The Wind Rises, and Tokyo Family. In his acceptance speech, Hisaishi obliquely referenced the recent controversy over whether fellow composer Mamoru Samuragochi wrote his own music.
Former Ghibli president and producer Toshio Suzuki accepted the award for animation. While he thanked the academy for the award, he drily observed that he learned his lesson — his studio should not make two films in the same year.
The Best Picture of the Year honor went to the live-action film Fune o Amu (The Great Passage). Director Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Band of Ninja) and actor Isao Natsuyagi were among the five individuals who received posthumous Chairperson’s Special Awards for lifetime achievement. Actor Ken Takakura (live-action Golgo 13) received an Association’s Special Award for lifetime achievement as well.
The Animation of the Year category was only created seven years ago. Last year, Mamoru Hosoda’s Wolf Children won the award. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Tekkonkinkreet, Ponyo, Summer Wars, The Secret World of Arrietty, and From Up On Poppy Hill were the previous winners. Before that, Studio Ghibli won the overall Picture of the Year Award for Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.
The Wind Rises also competed for the Best Animated Feature Film in the Academy Awards in the United States, but lost to Disney’s Frozen by directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. The Wind Rises did win the Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Feature Production, many critics’ choice awards, and Tsutaya Film Fan Award.
In the photo above: Joe Hisaishi, can be seen top row, third from the right. And Toshio Suzuki, top row, fourth from the right.