Netflix’s The Summit of the Gods has been nominated for Best Indie Feature in the 49th Annie Awards next to other anime such as Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle and STUDIO 4ºC’s Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko.
In an interview, Rich Ting, who voiced Habu Joji, discussed his connection with the role, how the film showcased proper Asian representation, and how it broke stereotypes on Japanese Anime.
The film touched on different aspects of a person’s journey that adults can relate to. The experience of being a child looking up to an idol, being an adult with goals and dreams, the challenges one will face as they pave the path toward success.
The Summit of the Gods has shown what is an achievement outside its usual portrayal. “It’s not about the overnight success. It’s about [the] longevity and doing it because you love it. It’s what wakes you up every morning.”
The detail on the animation is golden, the accuracy of the mountains’ details and the illustrations of the characters in terms of culture are on point. Ting said, “I think it continues to break down these stereotypes and these profilings. When you hear “Japanese Anime,” you think crazy hair, glitter, high action. And when you come across [The Summit of the Gods], it expands that spectrum and kills that ignorance and gets you out of that tunnel vision mindset and opens your eyes.”
The film, based on a manga series of the same name by Jiro Taniguchi and on the 1998 novel by Baku Yumemakura, follows Japanese photojournalist Fukamachi Makoto as he tracks down the famed and elusive mountain climber, Habu Joji, in an effort to retrieve the camera of George Mallory–real-life Everest explorer who lost his life while attempting to summit in 1924–in order to discover who truly was the first to reach the mountain’s peak.
During his investigation that could define his career, Fukamachi learns more about Habu’s story, why he disappeared years ago, and why he’s now attempting to summit Everest without oxygen. Soon, the two men find themselves tackling the world’s most dangerous peaks together.
The Summit of the Gods is not just a climbing story, it’s about taking each step a time not being overwhelmed with the greater goal, and all the obstacles and all the distractions and negative energy going on in the current, sticking to your roots, to your passion.
It touches on mental health, commitment, perseverance, and not listening to the excess noise. It’s motivating and timeless, a must-watch for all ages.