Top critical review
For fans- Less than the master showing his way
Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2020
For about the third time master director and artist Hayao Miyazaki has retired. There is every reason to believe that this one will take. His Starting Point, 1979-1896 reads like the results of going through old files and publishing some rather than trashing them all. I had hoped to gather some combination of who was the young Miyazaki, how he matured as an artist and some information on terms like Manga and any of the several forms and styles that in fact are mentioned in this collection. Instead this is a collection of lectures, interviews and promotional discussions. Being sections of the same things for different occasions it follows that it is repetitious, less than instructional and ultimately disappointing.
But for the lovely section of his drawings and the scattering of insights this would be a 2-star book. Towards the end there are flashes of brilliance, but they are lost in the flow of in-house interviews meant to sell movie tickets.. Even these are not dependable. The discussion of a light hearted movie can devolve into something more about personal politics or staff struggles.
As implied by the title there is a second book, Turning Point 1997-2008 which means there may be a third. Any interest I, as a fan still have is dampened. I will need some time to get over this let down and not make a point of buying a new copy.