Sharing a House with the Never-ending Man is an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at a Japanese company from an American’s perspective. It is not about the personalities at Studio Ghibli or where Miyazaki gets his ideas for the movies.
It is interesting to see cultural differences explained so clearly. I also found out what a sound mixer’s job really consists of—and it makes computer programming look interesting. It is interesting to see the ideas that we were copying like continuous improvement and agile teams taken to extremes. Agile teaches you to only plan for the next task rather than for the entire project. Miyazaki takes that to the extreme of not writing the conclusion of each film until after the film creation has started and is well on its way. The description of meetings feels very American from an upper management perspective. All decisions are made informally before the meeting. The meeting merely announces the decisions to the peripheral and subordinate staff.
Overall, I don’t think Sharing a House with the Never-ending Man will appeal to fans of the movies. It is, however, an interesting look into Japanese culture. 3 stars.
Thanks to Stone Bridge Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.