I'm switching gears a little today and blogging about a screenplay writer (and director and producer, but I'm focusing on the writing aspect). Hayao Miyazaki is my favorite screenplay writer of all time. It's no contest.
Miyazaki's characters are amazing. They have so much depth and heart that you can't help but fall in love with them. Nausicaä and Mei are two of my favorites that he wrote himself. Howl, Kiki, and Shizuku are among my favorite that were already made by other writers/artists and included in his screenplay adaptions.
Setting is an attribute of Miyazaki's work that will last for all time. Not only is the art absolutely stunning to behold (mostly by other people's hands, but I'm pretty sure Miyazaki contributed to some of it), the concepts are brilliant. Castle in the Sky and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind have some of the best settings ever created, and that of Spirited Away is nothing to sneeze at.
Heartwarming. That's the best word to describe Miyazaki's plots. Heartfelt and heartwarming from beginning to end. There are arcs and try-fail cycles galore. And there is emotion. So much emotion. Whisper of the Heart (an adaption of another person's manga) contains one of the best plots of any film I've ever witnessed.
If you haven't watched a Hayao Miyazaki film you haven't lived. Go. Watch. Love.