On 2 December at an event to celebrate the release of the Blu-ray edition of Princess Mononoke, an interview was conducted with Studio Ghibli producers including its former president Toshio Suzuki. Over the course of the interview Suzuki gave the audience some brief yet revealing insights into what went on at Studio Ghibli after Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement.

During the event, someone asked Suzuki if Miyazaki had seen Ghibli’s latest theatrical release Kaguya Hime no Monogatari, to which the long-time associate said yes and shared an anecdote about a screening at which Miyazaki was present.

“This was by far Ghibli’s most moving story, with many coming to tears at Kaguya Hime no Monogatari. With all that going on, Miya-san came out of the theatre will a stern expression on his face and looking around at everyone.” (Toshio Suzuki)

According to Cinema Today, afterwards, a producer for Nippon Television, Seiji Okuda, came out of the screening in tears. Miyazaki saw this and, visibly irritated, went to him saying, “Okuda-san, what’s this! Your eyes are all bright red and swollen from crying. Crying at this movie is amateur!”

“I knew Miyazaki for a long time, but I didn’t know what he was talking about there. I wonder what movies ‘experts’ were supposed to cry at. After that, I met face to face with Mr. Miyazaki every day but we never brought up Kaguya Hime. However, I think he understood through others among the staff who watched Kaguya Hime that it was touching.” (Suzuki)

Those in attendance of the interview were impressed with the revelation taking it to mean that although Miyazaki has retired from film-making he still has strong feelings regarding the reputation of the Ghibli brand.

As for his own plans after animation, Suzuki also let the audience in on what Hayao Miyazaki is currently working on. “Miyazaki told me what he was working on after retirement,” said the producer “and he’s busy drawing a sword-fighting kind of manga for an existing model magazine. This is an increasingly detailed story he’s drawing from those in the past.”

So as many might have suspected, although Miyazaki has said he would not return to animated features he hasn’t hung up his pencil just yet.

Source: Cinema Today via Hachima Kiko (Japanese)
Top Image: Wikipedia – Natasha Baucas
Inset Image: Wikimedia