Hayao Miyazaki’s Pre-Studio Ghibli Movies Hint At The Master Director’s Career To Come – SlashFilm


“Sherlock Hound” and “Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water” are both titles that Miyazaki worked on initially, but wasn’t super involved with and ultimately left to others to complete.

While he served as a director on the former show, it was only for the first six episodes. The story really is just “Sherlock Holmes” with dogs, but the episodes are visually stunning and fun to watch. There are even echoes of Miyazaki’s later work on “Lupin the Third.” Ultimately, however, the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate took issue with the show and suspended production, after which Miyazaki left due to other commitments. Still, something stuck with him, seeing as his next show had similar Jules Verne-style steampunk vibes, as did many other projects he would later work on. The idea of anthropomorphic animal characters and magical creatures in “Sherlock Hound” is also something he’d revisit in the future, most pointedly with “Porco Rosso.”

Meanwhile, “Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water” was based on an idea by Miyazaki and inspired by Verne’s writing, especially “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas.” Originally, Miyazaki wanted to make a show called “Around the World in 80 Days by Sea,” but after it fell apart, he cannibalized the concept and incorporated elements of it into everything from “Future Boy Conan” to “Castle in the Sky.”

“Nadia,” as it were, takes place in an alternate universe circa 1889. There, a teen girl named Nadia is pursued by jewel thieves seeking a pendant she owns. She’s eventually rescued by Captain Nemo on the Nautilus and they join forces to battle the Neo-Atlanteans (who seek world domination), all while exploring mysteries of the world and Nadia’s secret origins and powers. The show was directed by the great Hideaki Anno, who Miyazaki mentored for a while, and features several Miyazaki staples, including a plucky female hero with an inextricable connection to nature. Overall, though, it mostly feels like Anno’s work (he initially envisioned “Evangelion” as a sequel to this show).

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