Why do people sympathize with Ghibli’s works? Hayao Miyazaki’s “Dora’s Law”.

Ghibli is the work of Studio Ghibli, which almost every Japanese person has seen in some form.
And in most cases, everyone likes Ghibli. Even if you don’t like it, I’m sure you’ve had a lot of experiences where your heart was somehow touched by it.

Anyway, I wonder why people are so attracted to Ghibli?
After the birth of my two children, I rewatched many of the Ghibli films over and over again, and eventually I realized that there is one rule that applies to Hayao Miyazaki’s films, especially his early works.
This is what I call “Dora’s Law”.
Dora is the female boss of the pirate crew in “Castle in the Sky,” as Ghibli fans will immediately recognize.
So, what is the law that bears the name of this female pirate? In short, it is the way a story is structured.
I thought that this unique way of composition might be one of the secrets that attracts people to Miyazaki’s anime.

To give you a concrete example of Laputa: Castle in the Sky, the main characters of the story are Pazoo and Sita. These two children, a man and a woman, drive the story.
However, if you look closely at the way these two children are portrayed, you will notice that there is not much “growth” in them, as is often the case with protagonists.
If you go to a scenario school, you will be asked, “How do you portray the growth of the main characters? That’s what drama is all about.
This is not necessarily wrong. It is true that in most movies, dramas, and animations, the immaturity of the protagonist is first highlighted, and then the gap between the protagonist’s growth and the story’s growth creates catharsis and shakes people’s emotions.
However, although the two characters, Pazoo and Sita, still retain their childishness, the basic core of their hearts is dignified and unshakeable. For a moment, there is a scene in which Pazoo is talked down by Musca, who gives him a gold coin and runs away, but even that is quickly recovered.
It doesn’t show the “growth” of the protagonist. So what exactly is the catharsis in this story? What is it that makes people feel so moved?
This is where Miyazaki’s skill lies. Instead of following the emotions of the protagonist, he makes us feel the protagonist’s movements from the perspective of other people.
In other words, people who are different from the protagonist see the unshakeable image of the protagonist and grow up, and by portraying the growth of people in this way, it shakes the heart.
And in “Castle in the Sky”, the role is played by the female pirate Dora.
Dora appears as a villain at first. As you watch Pazoo and Sita running away from these pirates, you will recognize her as a complete jerk.
But when it comes to Muska, who is even more of a jerk, he is replaced by Pazoo and Sita, who become friends with Dora and the others.
At this point, many people are wondering, “Is this lady really okay? But as Pazoo and Sita come into contact with the pirate crew, they are moved to wonder, “Could it be that these people are good people? But as Pazoo and Sita come into contact with the pirate crew, they are shaken by the thought that maybe they are good people.
In the process, the audience is made aware of a slight change in Dora.
When she sees the purity and determination in Pazoo’s and Sita’s lines, she remembers that she too has a conscience.
Subconsciously, people are surprised by this change in Dora’s mind and become emotionally involved.
It can’t be denied that there is a logic to it that when a so-called delinquent does something good, you might think that he is actually a very good person, but anyway, Dora is no longer an enemy to the viewers, and before you know it, you are watching Pasoo and Sita from Dora’s point of view. That’s right.
Later, when Dora arrives at Laputa, she learns that Pazoo and Sita were brave enough to cast a spell of destruction against the selfish behavior of the adults.
And when Pazoo and Sita come back alive, Dora is ……
You all remember that, don’t you? The dignity of a female pirate is no longer there, and she hugs Sita like a mother.
At this point, the viewer is completely at one with Dora, hugging Sita.
Probably most people, without consciously thinking about it, follow Dora’s line of emotions and get into the story from the middle of it, and feel the catharsis with Dora’s point of view.

The example I gave is “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” but many of Miyazaki’s works use this pattern of “Dora’s Law.
The most obvious example is Kushana in “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
Unlike Dora, Kushana is calm and collected, but as the story progresses, she becomes more attracted to and interested in Nausicaa, who is different from her, and this becomes apparent in her actions.
Another example is Eboshi Gozen in Princess Mononoke. In “Princess Mononoke,” Eboshi Gozen, too, eventually changes her mind after watching Ashitaka’s actions.
The same goes for the little boy in “Spirited Away. He’s the big baby of Yubaba’s child.
In this film, Chihiro becomes independent and changes, but as he works with the independent Chihiro, he himself, who was just a rampaging baby, grows up completely at the end of the story.
In this story, Chihiro can’t actually change the bathhouse, and the only person who has the potential to change the bathhouse into something better after Chihiro is gone is Boh. In that sense, by secretly depicting Boh’s growth, it makes us imagine even the future of the story itself, doesn’t it?

Well, Dora’s Law. I can’t underestimate it.
It’s true that in this way, you can see the story itself from a bird’s eye view rather than getting completely emotionally involved with the main character, and being able to see the story from a bird’s eye view makes it easier to feel the theme itself, and on the other hand, the non-main character brings catharsis almost unconsciously. On the other hand, the catharsis is brought about almost unconsciously by the characters who are not the protagonist, so you don’t feel any weird preachiness. Moreover, this rule has the advantage of making the main character seem more attractive.
Of course, this rule is not the only reason why Miyazaki’s anime is so unique, and I think it’s because there are other profound aspects that make it a work that has been passed down through the generations.
However, creators, whether consciously or unconsciously, have their own habits and ways of doing things, and perhaps one way of looking at a film is to search for such things in the masters as you watch it over and over again.

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