“Ghibli will continue making movies,” veteran producer vows as Miyazaki returns to the genre that made him a legend.

Hayao Miyazaki coming out of retirement for the second time may have been a forgone conclusion, but that doesn’t mean the anticipation is any less intense for his upcoming anime film, titled How Will You Live? Miyazaki’s latest project is expected to premiere in Japanese theaters in or around 2020, and given the immense international acclaim he’s acquired in the latter half of his career, should reach overseas audiences not too long after.

The film shares its title with a 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino, which follows a teenager’s emotional development and his relationship with his peers and uncle. However, much as Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, (which was billed as his final film upon release in 2013) was not an adaptation of the book of the same name, neither is Miyazaki’s How Will You Live?

Instead, the new anime will be a fantasy action/adventure, as revealed by Studio Ghibli producer and career-long Miyazaki collaborator Toshio Suzuki, who’s seen Miyazaki’s annotated storyboards for the first 20 minutes of How Will You Live? “The content of the film is very different from what you’d expect from the title. It’s a grand fantasy. Looking at the storyboards, I could easily understand why Miya-san changed his mind about retiring,” Suzuki said, using the nickname he often does for Miyazaki. “He couldn’t have his career end with The Wind Rises. His reputation, after all, was built on his fantasy action/adventure works.”

It’s true that The Wind Rises, a fictionalized story of the life of the developer of Mitsubishi’s World War II-era Zero fighter plane, was much more grounded in real-world settings and situations (its fantastic dream sequences not withstanding). And while they may not fit into the standard blockbuster mold, it’s true that many of Miyazaki’s most memorable works, such as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky Laputa, and Spirited Away, contain significant fantasy adventure elements, as well as heart-pounding acton scenes. 1997’s Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki’s first attempt to put an endnote on his career as an anime filmmaker, also fits into the category.

Suzuki also took the opportunity to assert that while Ghibli has taken an extended breather, releasing no feature-length anime since 2014’s When Marnie Was There, the company isn’t done making animation by a long shot. The producer revealed that concurrent with the new Hayao Miyazaki production, Studio Ghibli is also working on a CG film to be directed by the elder Miyazaki’s son, Goro, director of the 2011 Ghibli anime From Up on Poppy Hill and the 2014 CG TV series Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter.

“Ghibli will continue making movies,” Suzuki declared. “That’s the path we follow, and all we can do is continue, until the day we can’t anymore.”

Source: Cinema Today via Otakomu, The Japan Times
Top image ©SoraNews24