This past weekend, Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement, following the end of production on his latest work, The Wind Rises.
I’ve spoken — at great, unrelenting length — about my admiration for Miyazaki’s work. I’m especially fond of his thematic content: the futility of war, a need for respect and worship of nature, and a need for female as well as male heroes.
However, if there’s one lesson I took closest to heart, it’s this, in his own words:
“In order to grow your audience, you must betray their expectations.”
Take chances. Show what you believe. Be courageous. That’s what Miyazaki did throughout his entire career.