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Hauru no Ugoku Shiro
(Howl's Moving Castle)


Studio Ghibli Diary Translation (Page 3)

Translator's notes in yellow.

11/21/03 (Fri.)

As we wrote yesterday, at 11 a.m. the main staff all gathered in the conference room for a planning meeting on treatment. At first, since we stayed with easy-to-understand matters, there were no problems, but since there have been more detailed storyboards lately, nobody remembers exactly how far we got with the planning. But somehow we managed to remember enough to start things off without incident.

When Watanabe and Kamimura from the production stayed late into the night setting up the schedule and so on, they noticed the sound of an electric eraser and other signs that someone was around from the animatorís area. Even when they had finished their planning and were preparing to go home, these signs continued, but when they looked in to say good night, nobody was there. Strange. When they were on their way out they verified with the security guard that someone had left about five minutes before, and so were able to go home somewhat relieved. Still, the timing seemed a little too perfect.

[No entry for 11/24, the replacement vacation day for Labor Thanksgiving Day, which fell on Sunday this year]

11/25/03 (Tues.)

Thanks to the efforts of Kitakawa over the three-day weekend, all of the computers used for production have been changed over to Windows. Watanabe, an iMac user who resisted up until the end, finally gave way. All of the staff interestedly turned their machines on and fiddled around with them like beginners. Incidentally, Kamimura's machine was not changed.

Watanabe was caught by Suzuki at the entrance first thing in the morning and taken into Suzuki's office. Today's production meeting was postponed until tomorrow or later.

Since our production team was busy, Kamimura went out to pick up and drop off work [at other studios contracted to help with the animation]. On the way to and from the office, he noticed a total of three traffic accidents. Is Ghibli's "Accident Man" back in action?

11/26/03 (Weds.)

Since there was not much work coming back from the other studios today, the production team were almost all at their desks all day. Since we are in touch [with the other studios] by telephone and know before the fact the situation there, we knew that there would not be much today, but looking at the production team lined up facing their desks like ducks in a row [lit. wild goose heads] was still secretly agitating.

11/27/03 (Thurs.)

The air has gradually started to get dry (a little late, but . . .) Since colds have started going around at Ghibli, there are humidifiers running here and there. Since these have been in use for many years, some of them are caked up with lime and broken. Today, the animators requested, "Since there aren't enough, we'd like one more," but when we rushed out to buy one, there weren't any of the type they wanted. Because the hybrid type often turns white here and there after a while, at Ghibli, we buy the steam type as a general rule, but there were no large steam-type humidifiers suitable for a big room at the large-scale dealers nearby. That evening, we went to one more large-scale electric appliance store and finally found one. What will we do if they start breaking one after another? Should we go ahead and buy two or three to keep in reserve?

11/28/03 (Fri.)

The regular rush check was held. The previous time ended without any special problems, but this time, there were two cuts which needed retakes. We were relieved that at least there weren't any large retakes.

Tomorrow is the regular vacation day at Ghibli, and the day after is Sunday. Ah, after the vacation it will be December, the so-called Shiwasu [an alternate name for the twelfth month of the old lunar calendar]. We'll have to hurry with the production. Still, time is passing quickly. If only we had another half a year. . .

12/1/03 (Mon.)

In commemoration of the first day of December, [we held] a production meeting covering the last three weeks. Much of the work is falling behind, but it all has to get done no matter what. Reports on the last three weeks and current status. There were no heart-warming topics.

Imura went out to buy lunch, had his umbrella stolen at the convenience store, and got wet coming back. We asked him, "What will you do about going home?" and he said he would take the extra studio umbrella. But when it came time to go home, the extra umbrella was gone. Two umbrellas stolen in one day!

12/2/03 (Tues.)

From early morning on, between going to Mr. [Kazuo] Oga's office to pick up background paintings and going to other studios [to pick up work], the production team members were out for most of the day. Because of this, even Kamimura had to go out to pick up work. When he came back, he said, heartily, "It's been a long time since I've gone out to the other studios -- it really felt like Shiwasu there, too."

Recently, we've been eating a lot of cheap sweets. When we see them at the convenience store, we immediately buy them, and everyone tries them out. The production team's desks always are stocked with cheap sweets these days.

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