One Summer Day with Studio Ghibli

Guess who was one of the lucky few to meet with the fellows from Studio Ghibli?

It all started when I opened my inbox and someone told me there was going to be a private screening of Spirited Away with special attendance from Studio Ghibli. It was a free event but limited to 150 people, and to choose the lucky 150 people we needed to fill in a survey and they'd pick the ones with the best answers. Confirmed to come was Toshio Suzuki (executive producer), Koji Hoshino (president director), and other Studio Ghibli team members. To be quite honest, I didn't know any of the names LOL but heck I got super excited and fill the survey with my best answers.

Source: imdb

I wrote in the survey that Spirited Away was my first Ghibli movie. My late dad was the first to introduced me to the movie. I wasn't quite sold at first, because the poster was gloomy (see above?). Then I cried when Chihiro's parents got turned into pigs, then I laughed when Chihiro got stuck with a spirit that looked like a big radish, then cried again when Chihiro said she was going to save her parents, got amazed by Haku and Chihiro moments, and so on. It was a magical experience. So it led me to more Ghibli films - The Grave of The Fireflies, Ponyo, The Wind Rises, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, and Kiki's Delivery Service - and I loved all of them.

This answer got me a seat at the screening. Boom, baby!

With my Kiki bandana and bringing my Kaonashi plushy doll along with me, I went to Plaza Senayan XXI to watch the legendary movie once again, this time with fellow Ghibli fans. I got to meet with my friends (who got the seats too) and made new friends as well. Though I'm a bit sad no one there acknowledge me as Kiki :' (or maybe they're just too shy?). We all each get a souvenir, a mobile accessory of Muta from The Cat Returns, said it was a present from Toshio Suzuki.
Thanks, Toshio Suzuki!
I was surprised that there were a lot of people that knew Toshio Suzuki, because I didn't know him at all haha. The only people I know was Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. When I googled, turns out that Suzuki-san was one of the four founders of the legendary animation studio. Haha I guess I suck at fangirling. There was even this one person that brought tumpeng (a common dish of yellow fragrant rice shaped like a mountain with side dishes like chicken, egg, and so on, mainly served for celebrations such as house warming or birthday) because turns out it was Toshio Suzuki's birthday the day before.

Can you see Toshio Suzuki?

After the movie (and yet after watching it over and over again I still get the same feeling of magic), it was time for the people of Studio Ghibli to come. We all sang happy birthday to him when he came and he was seated, along with the other two companions. I got the chills, because he was one of the people who made my childhood magical.

It got a bit chaotic after this.

The MC asked for those who got Toshio Suzuki a present or gift to come to the front and give the presents themselves in orderly fashion. Those who want Suzuki-san's autograph could give their book, shirt, or anything else to sign to one of the commitee. I did want an autograph and prepared my notebook to be signed, but I didn't know it would be a bit chaotic that it had to be given to the committee. In the end, we all had a chance to get in line to ask for an autograph ourselves (so much for being consistent, committee + MC). At that point I thought, "I don't think we will get a chance to hear them speak or something."

Koji Hoshino on the far center, and Toshio Suzuki signing an autograph

The event was supposed to end at 6 o'clock, and I got my turn to ask for autograph at 10 to 6 or so. TOSHIO SUZUKI CALLED ME KIKI!!! I was happy he noticed :') I also noticed that people weren't asking autograph of the other two companions. I asked one of the committee whether all the Japanese people were from Ghibli and she said yes. To make their time worth while, I asked for all three autographs. One was named Tommy, and one was Koji Hoshino who turned out the be the president director of Studio Ghibli. Another fault of the MC and committee by not introducing us of all the guest.

My whole expectation of the screening was that we all would get to hear them talk about the movie, sort of like a talk show/discussion. But it turned out to be an autograph-gift giving show and we only get to hear Toshio Suzuki on the mic saying "thank you all for coming, go home safely." Though it was such a rare opportunity for us to meet with the people of Studio Ghibli, I couldn't say it was a very pleasant meeting. On the committee's instagram (@kaningapictures), there was an event the day before and I could see it was better organized than the screening. People such as artists and content creators were there having dinner with Studio Ghibli. They also got a paper, sketched with Ghibli characters, and got Toshio Suzuki's autograph. There were tons of papers waiting to be autographed. So it was sad that it didn't show at the screening as well. The event would be much better if we just gave the items that we want to be signed before the screening starts, Toshio Suzuki would sign them while we were watching, actually get to discuss the movie with them after the screening, and get our items after the event ends.

Well, as the MC said, we all got in for free. So I guess we couldn't have more than what we got.

Anyway, thank you for Kaninga Pictures for the invite! But the next time you get to host a Ghibli event, I hope it will be much better than the screening. The MC said the group photos of me, the audience, and Studio Ghibli people would be posted on Facebook or something, but it never showed up. That's kinda sad, again. But okay then.

Also, on the survey we were asked if we had something to say to the people of Studio Ghibli. I said my thanks to the people of Studio Ghibli for making movies so touching for people across the world, adults and children, giving such magical experience. Please continue to make more animated movies and continue to inspire us all.

No, I drew the Kaonashi myself, not them.