This is the news we’ve been waiting to hear since the acclaimed director came out of retirement.

It was a sad day back in September 2013 when Studio Ghibli announced that their acclaimed director, Hayao Miyazaki, would be retiring from filmmaking. Despite saying he would retire on numerous occasions prior to 2013, at the official retirement press conference which was live-streamed on Niconico, the then 72-year-old director was adamant that he would now be retiring for good, telling the audience that, “My time making feature-length animation films is absolutely over.”

▼ Numerous articles have been written about Miyazaki’s retirement announcements.

With a repertoire of classic anime films like My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away under his belt, Miyazaki was said to be leaving the movie world with The Wind Rises as his last feature film.

However, after it was revealed that Miyazaki was spending every day of his retirement at the Ghibli animation studio, it wasn’t long before the retired director announced he would be creating a short 10-minute film to be screened as one of the exclusive shorts shown at the Ghibli Museum.

With the short, called Boro the Caterpillar, yet to be shown at the museum, fans were in for another surprise when it was announced that Miyazaki would be coming out of retirement to make one last feature film. According to the director, this move was inspired by his desire to leave an anime behind for his grandson.

▼ News of Miyazaki cancelling his retirement was made in the 2016 documentary “Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki“.

With this emotional desire behind his decision to come out of retirement, many have been waiting for more news about what the feature film might be like. Which brings us to this weekend, when the 76-year-old director announced the title of his upcoming feature at an event held at Waseda University on 28 October to commemorate the opening of Shinjuku’s Natsume Soseki Memorial Museum.

Miyazaki’s new film will be called “Kimitachi wa Do Ikiru ka”, which translates to “How Will You Live?“, and will be loosely based on the 1937 novel of the same name, written by Genzaburo Yoshino (1899-1981). Yoshino was a journalist, critic, translator and author of children’s literature, who made a name for himself as the founding editor of monthly pro-democracy opinion journal “Sekai” (“The world“), which became a highly influential publication in postwar Japan.

▼ Yoshino’s best-selling novel has also been reproduced as a manga (below right).

According to Miyazaki, the original Kimitachi wa Do Ikiru ka novel will hold great meaning for the main character of his upcoming film. The novel itself features a teenage protagonist who ponders on some of life’s most philosophical issues.

Despite previously giving himself a 2020 deadline for his new feature anime, Miyazaki now says that the movie will take three to four years to complete. While that seems like an excruciatingly long time away, it still gives us plenty of time to rewatch all his previous classics and catch up on all their secret details while we wait for his next film.

Source: Asahi Shimbun via Net Lab
Featured image: Instagram/@ghibli_world