For as much as the global entertainment media loves Hayao Miyazaki, he doesn’t spend all that much time at press conferences and promotional events. Generally, the legendary anime director focuses on creating the story and art of his next great animated work, and leaves it to fellow company co-founder and producer extraordinaire Toshio Suzuki to promote the Studio Ghibli brand (and to drop tidbits about rejecting offers from Hollywood to make a live-action "Nausicaa" or why Ghibli agreed to let Netflix stream its movies).
So for fans it’s a rare treat to see Miyazaki appear on camera, but he recently did just that by going to get some treats himself at the Ghibli Museum’s reconfigured cafe.
Miyazaki and Suzuki stopped by the Straw Hat Cafe, as the restaurant is called, to taste-test its revamped menu and also to try out its new ordering system. The Ghibli Museum has recently reopened following a lengthy coronavirus precaution closure, and the facility has instituted a number of new health procedures for guests. Upon entering the eatery, Miyazaki pumps hand sanitizer onto his palms, then makes his way to the counter where he gives his order to an employee on the other side of a protective screen.
As part of the museum’s revised operating policies, customers pick up their orders at the counter, then carry it themselves to outdoor dining tables. So two of the most powerful men in the Japanese entertainment industry sit patiently while they wait for their numbers to be called, then collect their trays of coffee, hot dogs, and sandwiches.
▼ Miyazaki, naturally, showed up wearing his customary work apron.
As the two old work buddies munch away, Suzuki mentions that he feels the cafe’s new-and-improved pork cutlet sandwich, which uses different bread, breading, and is cooked differently from the old version, is a major improvement. Miyazaki also remarks that the food is tasty, and also present at the cafe, though sitting at a separate table, is Miyazaki’s son, Goro, director of Ghibli’s "Tales from Earthsea," "From Up on Poppy Hill," and the upcoming no-input-from-the-old-men "Earwig and the Witch." Dressed in a red-and-white checked shirt and enjoying a cup of soup, Goro, who was also the Ghibli Museum’s first director and heavily involved in its design, appreciatively comments that “You can taste the sincerity of the people who prepared the food.”
For many, though, the highlight of the video comes when an employee asks the elder Miyazaki if he’d like to try the cafe’s new cream soda. “I want to drink it,” he admits, “but I think I’ll pass for now.” His resistance eventually crumbles, though, and when he takes a sip of the dessert beverage, his customarily stern face momentarily transforms into one of innocent glee.
“This is like a dream,” he muses, later adding that the cream soda experience was “Beyond satisfying.” His joy reverberated out to fans who’ve seen the video, especially those who were concerned about how the director had been holding up during the pandemic, and online comments have included:
“This almost brought tears to my eyes. Seeing Hayao alive and active gave me goose bumps. Suzuki and Goro look to be in good spirits too.”
“Such an impressive sight, to see him so full of energy.”
“It seems like it’s been ages since I’ve seen Hayao and Goro on camera. The food looks great too, and I’m jealous of them for their great meal.”
As the video comes to a close, Miyazaki stops by the cafe’s entrance one more time to dandily give a literal tip of the hat and to say thank you for the food, and they were no doubt happy to have lived up to the Ghibli boss’ expectations.
Related Ghibli Museum official website
Source: YouTube/鷹の森ジブリ美術館 GHIBLI MUSEUM, MITAKA via IT Media
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