Burn your flags or they will burn you!
This website is of a very mixed and confusing nature and some of the pages are more of a personal notebook than it should be. If you do manage to find something useful in here i'm pleased though.
The Boy and The HeronThis might be a story about a boy who goes through a traumatic part of his life, and the twisted way he experiences everything until he finally gets his life back on track and admits his mistakes along the way. – A story that tells us that putting up a fake show because you're angry will only lead to more lies and chaos. Only when you face your problems honestly and head-on, you will be able to proceed with your life.
But it could also be a demonstration of how shinto-buddhist people cope with hard times. An explanation why being religious may be a benefit in some situations. The shinto presence is very obvious in this movie.
Or maybe it's simply just one grand finale, a salute to all the existing Miyazaki movies we all know and love. After all, there are rather obvious references to most of them scattered all along the movie. So much that it may feel like a collage of existing material.
On the other hand, maybe the whole point of the movie is actually hinted at when we're told that one of the main characters "went insane because he read too many books". A hint to the viewer that overthinking things may not lead to blissful happiness. A clue to everyone who are trying hard to come up with interpretations of this movie, instead of just enjoying the ride. And that's probably my best guess at what's going on.
Keep in mind that the theme song for Totoro went "kodomo no toki ni dake anata ni otozureru" (only during childhood do I visit you). Much in line with that, this may be a movie which is supposed to be watched the way a child would, rather than being deciphered and dissected.
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