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1992 JPN interview with Shigeru Miyamoto & Hayao Miyazaki (untranslated)

GhostSeed

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Jan 13, 2006
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I found these scans today online and figured if there was anything interesting in the interview J-GAF might be kind enough to translate.

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

It may be from this issue of Digital Heroes.


EDIT: It's not from Digital Heroes
 
Sep 13, 2007
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GhostSeed said:
I found these scans today online and figured if there was anything interesting in the interview J-GAF might be kind enough to translate.
Miyamoto: (laughs)

Miyazaki: (laughs)

edit: Miyamoto looks so dapper in his dress shirt and tie.
 

USD

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The question in bold on the second page asks "Are anime-like games possible?" We got plenty of those nowadays. :lol Not many on a Miyazaki level though.
 

GCX

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Miyazaki somehow looks really young in those pics even though he already had gray hair and was in his 50s.
 

Cheerilee

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Reporter: So, do you think that one day it will be possible for videogames to look like anime?

Miyamoto: I believe so, but just because we can do something, it doesn't immediately follow that we must do that thing.

Miyazaki: I agree. Videogames rot children's minds. And we have a responsibility to turn down that kind of work whenever possible.

Reporter: Umm... Miyamoto-san here is a videogame producer, not an artist. Well, I mean, he used to be an artist, but then he got promoted.

Miyazaki to Miyamoto: I hate your kind. Please die.

Miyamoto: (blank stare)

Miyazaki: (laughs)

Miyamoto: (laughs)

Reporter: (laughs)

Miyazaki: No seriously. See this plane? This will be you. Whirrrrr... CRASH! Boom! Argh! The humanity!

Miyamoto: (frowny face)
 

ghibli99

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nluckett said:
Not sure if Ill get hate for bumping this thread from 2 years ago, but I would really love to see this interview translated. Anyone up to the task?
Seconded. I really enjoy stuff like this. The pictures are so nostalgic, reminding me of the interviews and articles I used to read in US anime publications from the same era in the very early '90s.
 

nluckett

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I was reading an old Iwata Asks about Twilight Princess (http://us.wii.com/iwata_asks/twilight_princess/part_10/) in anticipation of Skyward Sword, and in there Miyamoto talks about having discussions with Miyazaki.

Of course, I was more than intrigued! Two of my favorite creatives on the planet chatting? I had to know more. A quick search in google and this old Gaf thread came up.

@twentytwo22, that'd be awesome!
 

rpmurphy

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nluckett said:
I was reading an old Iwata Asks about Twilight Princess (http://us.wii.com/iwata_asks/twilight_princess/part_10/) in anticipation of Skyward Sword, and in there Miyamoto talks about having discussions with Miyazaki.

Of course, I was more than intrigued! Two of my favorite creatives on the planet chatting? I had to know more. A quick search in google and this old Gaf thread came up.

@twentytwo22, that'd be awesome!
This came up in my search as well:
Game-Biz said:
"I once had a discussion with Hayao Miyazaki when he was making Porco Rosso and he asked me if I knew the way to make a landscape look authentic from a bird's-eye view. I wasn't sure and when I asked him what it was, he said: 'Just keep drawing!'" - Miyamoto
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=5010166&postcount=32
Doesn't seem like a part of this interview though.
 

twentytwo22

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Off to work, but I got through almost the whole first page. If someone can get this into the OP it would be appreciated. Feel free to share elsewhere, please just give translation credit where it is due. I will continue on this when I get home later.

"On June 17th (1992), in Tokyo's Yurakucho, at Toho Inc.'s headquarters, a private showing for screenplay writer, producer, and director Hayao Miyazaki's newest film "Porco Rosso" was held. Inside the leaflet that was passed out was Miyazaki's "Memo of Porco Rosso/Production Memorandum." In there, it was written that Miyazaki felt he must make a film that not just children could enjoy, but also their mothers. Not just that, Miyazaki wrote that first and foremost, he couldn't forget that this movie is for middle-aged men who needed some sort of a pick-me-up.

(From the leaflet) "Full of pride and freedom, with no gimmicks -- a story that is simple, with characters who have clear motives. The male characters are cheerful and lighthearted, and the female characters are incredibly charming, and enjoying life. Also, the brightness and beauty of the world is limitless. This is the kind of movie I intended to make." It seems to be a bit of an unthinkable movie.

That day, Nintendo's Miyamoto (who was scheduled to talk with Miyazaki), several editors, as well as myself attended the screening. I cried three times, and laughed out loud 14.
After the screening, Miyamoto said that "while I can't put my finger on exactly what was great, I thought the movie was interesting."

Miyamoto: It was interesting. I can't really tell you part-for-part, but there wasn't a boring moment during the 90 minute screening. I was watching without thinking, and feeling like I was floating on water -- it was nice.

Miyazaki: Because that is the kind of movie it is.

Miyamoto: (Porko Rosso's various air-battle scenes touched me) and I think that in games currently we can't get that kind of feeling-of-speed… although I think the method has to be hidden in a corner somewhere (laughs).

Miyazaki: I made this movie without a scenario. There was no great epiphany, either. As I was making it, my fear was about whether or not the wrap would fit around the whole thing, everything that ended up going in there, and it was pretty tiring to make.

Miyamoto: As for me, it is all just chatting, everything. I don't establish a scenario. Before the Labor Standard's were made more strict, I would be at the office at 2 in the morning, talking and mulling over ideas with various people, saying "yeah, tomorrow, let's do that." and going home, then doing the same thing day after day. Wondering what I would be doing the next day made going to the office the next morning very exciting, seeing just how much I could get done on a game in a day. As staff gets larger and larger, I worry that every member will come each day looking to do their part.

Miyazaki: When working on a large group project, you have your nucleus, you have those who are following after the nucleus, those who are covering for others, and it can't be helped that from that a rank is established. The quality of your finished product will be somewhat determined by the number of people you have in the nucleus. Getting a big group and working as a whole and putting each person's power together --- this is a lie. You will have lots of absentminded people in your group. Due to that, sure, you might quickly run two, three steps ahead --- but this will soon slow to a crawl, or you will end up with your eyes off of your goal, and things will come to a halt. That what is called the "bar-full of mouths". (laughs) When you get a group of people to work on something, it is the same for anyone.

Miyamoto: In our world, the number of people who can close up a project at the end, so to speak, are few --- and by not properly closing up a project you will end up with something else, something different. It is certainly a worry."
 

twentytwo22

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Next:

Miyazaki: That's a big fear for me, as well. Especially so for this film. Without sound or anything else in, the time we spent putting the sound in and putting the film together, wondering to my self if this is it, if I've really finished... At one point in time, I remember thinking that there was no way this was the finished product, turning blue and going home, where I thought "I really made a piece of crap..." (laughs) Then watching it again the next day and thinking "Actually, maybe this is truly finished." (laughs) Get some air, watch it again, and think "Actually, yeah, it's crap." ...This kind of cycle.

Miyamoto: It is a great feeling when you have a finished product.

Miyazaki: When you are finishing something, whether or not you accomplished what you set out for is suddenly something you can't care about. But, those things you wanted to accomplish but couldn't have built up -- a feeling like accumulating debt. But on the other hand, you have a finished film. That is the moment of "victory or defeat". This is really bad for your mental health. And there are lots of interviews. (laughs) At that point, you just sigh and realize you don't care at all about "if I do this or this, I bet more people will come see my movie." Anyway, you have to make a film which you can feel that you truly finished.

Miyamoto: For me it's like, if I had to say, I'm the type who, when everything just won't come together for me, I just relax and everyone will do the thinking for me. (laughs) Actually, even if I am asked about what exactly I was thinking, I can't even say it myself. It's interesting -- while we are expanding, there are these times that everything just doesn't come together in my head, but this can also create more variety in projects, so I have decided that sometimes that way is fine as well.
I think that deciding to create an anime is different from making a game. Just like things like radio cassettes and bicycles, game are tools. We are using televisions, using words, using images -- so games get treated similar to movies and novels. I think how games are made is similar to movies, but movies and such are flowing pictures. Even sloppily made movies, in their own way, can still hold their own at the box office. But, with games, if you do a sloppy job, there is no way your game will stand out or do well. If the game is no good, two or three days after release everyone will move on.

Miyazaki: I'm not really a hardcore fan of gaming, but my son will play and I will watch him from behind, and cheer for the villain. (laughs)

Miyamoto: That's the best way to play. (laughs)

Miyazaki: I don't have the energy to play games. When I try, I just end up dying over and over. "If you fight here or there, you will surely lose." -- I know the strategies. But then things go differently than I had foreseen, and I suppose that is what is interesting about games -- I'm just not a very interesting person.

Miyamoto: I understand what you mean.

Miyazaki: What I'm saying is that drama and games are fundamentally different. With drama, even when you know things are bleak, characters will still do their best and you can catch a glimmer of hope... it is all about how well you can tell this lie. A battle in the air, and neither side taking any damage -- and in the end it becomes and all out brawl (a famous scene near the end of Porco Rosso). This is par-for-the-course in a movie. Games are completely different from this. Because of that, one who likes games probably doesn't have an affinity for movie making. But, at the same time, movies have traits of drama and traits of games -- but at some point, these traits are differentiated, I think.

---

More later.
 

linko9

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twentytwo22 said:
Miyazaki: I'm not really a hardcore fan of gaming, but my son will play and I will watch him from behind, and cheer for the villain. (laughs)
This is hilarious. I can just imagine him watching his kid, and yelling "don't mess up" at opportune moments.

Thanks a lot for translating this.
 

twentytwo22

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A bit more, this finishes out page 2. I will get on the last page tomorrow morning.

---

Miyamoto: I think the opposite. The game I am imagining making is not unlike the movie scene you mentioned -- it is just made using computers and CD rom technology to make something that could be close to a movie experience. The game I'm working on right now, looking from the outside it resembles a novel, and you can put 30 hours into it while feeling those same sensations you get from a movie, I feel.

Miyazaki: In the past, when I didn't really know what games exactly were, I had heard they were a format where you could manipulate various things to make choices, and I spoke of an idea that I had for a game. Taking place in the South Pacific Ocean back when Japan was taking a pretty harsh beating, you would play a member of the Japanese armed forces tasked with flying a small plane, sent out to plant a single bomb drop on an American aircraft carrier. Having said that, the game would begin by having you choose whether or not you want to ride the plane at all. So if you don't ride the plane, what happens? You would grow and dig out potatoes, fighting off malnutrition, waiting for the end of the war... And then, in the end, becoming a prisoner of war, waiting for the end of the war in a camp... Or making an ending where you die, that would be fine too.

Miyamoto: I see.

Miyazaki: You would be making more and more of these choices as time went on. Examining the bomb to be dropped. Whether the bomb functions properly. Possibly, before getting the bomb examined, planes start coming at you from the opposition. With that pressure, whether you would attempt to drop an unexamined bomb or not. As expected, if you drop the unexamined bomb, it won't drop properly. And suddenly, here are the enemy fighters. Whether you should fly above the clouds, or below the clouds... the tail of your plane has a machine gun, but it holds 47 shots and you have already fired 30 of them -- is now a good time to reload or not... that sort of thing, take that and create it very elaborately as an animation, and bam bam bam, have five or ten lights lighting up and forcing the player to decide an action before all of the lights come on. If we made a game like that, I wonder how it would be perceived? This was the idea I spoke of before.

Miyamoto: Hmm...

----

Note: Looks like Miyazaki has some Peter Molyneux blood in him, and sounds like he came up with quick time events long before they were in video games!
 
Mar 5, 2009
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Yep. Sounds like Miyazaki was thinking of something like Heavy Rain there.

I wonder what game Miyamoto was working on that he described as being like a 'novel'?
 

UltimateIke

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Empowerer Blarg said:
I wonder what game Miyamoto was working on that he described as being like a 'novel'?
A Link to the Past would have just recently been released at this time, and Link's Awakening would be coming out in the next year. They're the only ones I would think of.
 

rpmurphy

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twentytwo22 said:
Miyamoto: ... But, with games, if you do a sloppy job, there is no way your game will stand out or do well. If the game is no good, two or three days after release everyone will move on.
I wonder if this has changed now with the digital market strategy broadening on many fronts.
 
Jun 9, 2010
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twentytwo22 said:
Miyamoto: I think the opposite. The game I am imagining making is not unlike the movie scene you mentioned -- it is just made using computers and CD rom technology to make something that could be close to a movie experience. The game I'm working on right now, looking from the outside it resembles a novel, and you can put 30 hours into it while feeling those same sensations you get from a movie, I feel.
lol, this is a big deal.. Kind of like finding the gaming equivalent of a CIA file mentioning the JFK assassination. Anyone familiar with the 32bit era knows that Miyamoto, at least publicly, was a huge opponent of CD-ROM. Here he not only mentions CD-ROM but goes on to detail a "movie experience" like game which would be a radical departure from the philosophy of gameplay he always espoused and was used as criticism of the 32bit CD machines at the time.
 

Pyrrhus

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neptunes said:
Is it true that Miyazaki is kind of a luddite?
Well, he did publicly state that he didn't like ipads because the gesture controls looked masturbatory to him...
 

GDGF

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east of eastside said:
lol, this is a big deal.. Kind of like finding the gaming equivalent of a CIA file mentioning the JFK assassination. Anyone familiar with the 32bit era knows that Miyamoto, at least publicly, was a huge opponent of CD-ROM. Here he not only mentions CD-ROM but goes on to detail a "movie experience" like game which would be a radical departure from the philosophy of gameplay he always espoused and was used as criticism of the 32bit CD machines at the time.
Well, at the time of this interview, Nintendo was still deep in development with their own CD-ROM systems (as both the Philips and Sony machines were public by then) Their falling out with Sony didn't really happen until October 13, 1992.
 

randomkid

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Very nice of you to do this translation. Now all I want to do is watch Porco Rosso again though.
 
K

kittens

Unconfirmed Member
Damn, awesome bump, and awesome that someone stood up to the challenge. Go GAF!
 
Apr 27, 2011
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GDGF said:
Well, at the time of this interview, Nintendo was still deep in development with their own CD-ROM systems (as both the Philips and Sony machines were public by then) Their falling out with Sony didn't really happen until October 13, 1992.
Yeah but he probably meant more the part about imitating the film industry. I wonder what this game would've been.... perhaps an early OOT?
 

Krev

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kame-sennin said:
It looks like he's been trolling Goro for years.
Now we know why Goro complained about Miyazaki being a bad father!

Anyway, great job twentytwo22.
 

Zefah

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Sorry, but that's not what Miyamoto was saying at all. I think it's a commendable effort, twentytwo22, and I'm sorry to call you out, but there are quite a few errors in your translation.

Anyway, Miyamoto is just saying that he disagrees with Miyazaki and believes that there are possibilities for games to be more like movies, using CD-ROMs and computers, etc. He says that, outside of the games he makes, there are possibilities for types of games that are more like novels, or like movies that you have to mess around with for 30 hours to become interesting.

He was just talking about the possibilities of games as a format, but made sure to separate those possibilities from the types of games he works on, which, at the time at least, he considered to be tools or play things, like bicycles and radios.

Then Miyazaki goes on about his idea for an interactive anime-like game, but dismisses it as impossible due to all of the work animators would have to put in redrawing tons of slightly different scenarios.
 

twentytwo22

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Zefah - appreciate the input, I'm going through this pretty quickly and was going to loop back through and edit the whole thing once finished. I can see what you mean about what Miyamoto is saying, and will touch it up a bit, but I don't think the meaning is so different (aside from one blurb).

Everyone else - halfway through the third page, today is a holiday so I have been pretty busy with the family but will get on it soon.
 

guek

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Who is miyamoto and why should we as gamers care?

Now if this were an interview with Steve Jobs...
 

Laughing Banana

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A collaboration between Nintendo and Ghibli... no, between Intendo and Hayao Miyazaki, will be the most fantastical thing ever in the whole universe.

Make it happen.
 

GCX

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Laughing Banana said:
A collaboration between Nintendo and Ghibli... no, between Intendo and Hayao Miyazaki, will be the most fantastical thing ever in the whole universe.

Make it happen.
Miyazaki has said that he doesn't want Ghibli to have anything to do with gaming. He didn't agree at all with the studio's decision to make Ni No Kuni with Level 5 and has stayed as far as possible from the project.
 

Zefah

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From what I've seen and read, Miyazaki comes off as a brash, generally unlikable old fellow who has a strong distaste for technology in general.
 

Uncle Rupee

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GCX said:
Miyazaki has said that he doesn't want Ghibli to have anything to do with gaming. He didn't agree at all with the studio's decision to make Ni No Kuni with Level 5 and has stayed as far as possible from the project.
Really? I had hoped his feelings would have changed by now. I thought he would have liked Level-5's Professor Layton games, especially the aesthetic and Layton's car.

But I have read Starting Point (collected essays and interviews) and if I recall correctly he was very critical of gaming during the famicom's heyday. He sort of sounded like an old coot who hated "kids and their comic books" from an earlier era.

That would explain why, even when these two got into the same room, there was never any collaboration born out of it. Which is sad, because to me Nintendo and Ghibli would be the perfect combination.
 

GCX

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Zefah said:
From what I've seen and read, Miyazaki comes off as a brash, generally unlikable old fellow who has a strong distaste for technology in general.
Miyazaki doesn't hate technology. He's good friends with John Lasseter for example and likes many Pixar movies.

He has said that personally he is too old to learn new technologies though. He's good at doing traditional animation so he's going to stick with that.
 
Aug 14, 2006
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Zefah said:
From what I've seen and read, Miyazaki comes off as a brash, generally unlikable old fellow who has a strong distaste for technology in general.
If that were the case, why would they utilise CG animation (albeit very much sparingly) in his own movies?