Jonetsu: Passion, enthusiasm, zeal, or spirit.
Passionate characters mark all of Miyazaki Sensei’s work, and it seemed to me that Jirou and Naoko are no exception. I wanted to draw them while they were young and full of promise, before their dreams are really realized, to also pay tribute to the countless young people Miyazaki Sensei has inspired to strive for beauty in art and storytelling. I don’t think you can really retire from storytelling. Miyazaki Sensei may not be making movies anymore, but he will always be a genius storyteller. I had to enter, just for the small chance that he would be able to receive a print of something I had done (I mean, seriously, who gives a darn about any of the other prizes in comparison?). But I’m still satisfied that I created a tribute to the absolute best of my ability for what is sure to be an incredible final masterpiece.
Oh, and if America doesn’t select him for an Academy Award, I won’t want to live in this country anymore.
Arigatou, Miyazaki Sensei.