Monday, July 19, 2010


I discover so many things by accident here. Last week, I was in Shibuya, visiting the Mandarake used bookshop there in the hopes of finding some Garo back issues missing from the Akihabara location. Turned out that the Shibuya Mandarake had almost no Garo issues, so I had to leave empty-handed. Not having anything to read on the 40-minute train ride back home, I decided to stop at the Parco department store nearby to see if they had anything going exhibit-wise in their Logos gallery (they didn't) and to see if I could pick up a book or something from the Libro store in the basement. That's when I happened across the August issue of Brutus.

(Image from the Brutus site, used for review purposes only.)

Brutus is a fashion and trend magazine aimed at young Japanese men. They also have something they call "book in book", which is where they dedicate fully half of the issue to one topic. And the August topic is Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli, and the latest movie directed by one of the Ghibli staff, Hiromasa Yonebayashi - "Karigurashi no Arrietty" ("Arriety the Borrower"). ("Arriety" is an anime version of "The Borrowers" novels by Mary Norton.)

Even if you can't read Japanese, the Brutus articles are worth getting for the pictures (600 yen in Japan). There's an overview of the various Ghibli movies, a description of the studio (with it's in-house theater and cafe), example artwork from Karigurashi, longer examinations of the Miyazaki movies, trading cards of the major characters from the Ghibli movies (pictures on the front, descriptions and stats on the back), profiles of the major staff on Karigurashi and some of the key actors, mentions of the music from the different movies, and finally a long interview with Miyazaki himself.

(Image of the trading card sheet from Brutus, used for review purposes only.)

If you go to the Brutus site, click on the lower left corner of the magazine image to turn the page and view some samples of the stories.

Mark Schilling has a review of Karigurashi on the Japan Times site. He's not exactly the best reviewer on the market, so feel free to read or ignore him as you like.

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