Goro Miyazaki returns to the director’s chair for Aya and the Witch.

In some ways, there’s a sense of familiarity to Studio Ghibli’s upcoming anime Aya and the Witch. For starters, it’s an adaptation of Earwig and the Witch, a children’s book by British author Diana Wynne Jones, who also wrote Howl’s Moving Castle, which was itself turned into a Ghibli movie in 2004. Goro Miyazaki, son of Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, is directing, with his father serving as project planner, reminiscent of their collaborative roles on the production of Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill in 2011.

At the same time, Aya and the Witch also represents completely new round for Ghibli, as it’s the studio’s first-ever CG anime. So how will CG visuals from arguably the planet’s most stalwart champion of hand-drawn animation look?

Like this.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK, which will air Aya and the Witch describes it as the story of a girl who’d been living unaware of the fact that she’s a witch’s daughter until one day when she’s taken to a creepy house.

Along with the first look at the characters, Goro Miyazaki made his first public comments about the project, saying:

“In Japan today, there are many adults, and few children. I think it must be hard for that small number of kids, because they have to deal with so many adults. While I was thinking about that, I met Aya, and I thought, ‘Ah, this is it! This is how to deal with them.’

So please watch Aya and the Witch and see how she deals with adults who are a pain in the neck. I sincerely hope that our Aya, who has a mean streak but is cute, will give courage to children and energize adults.”

▼ The Aya and the Witch logo has an especially strong Ghibli vibe

Goro Miyazaki’s musings on the exasperation children face in dealing with certain kinds of adults is intriguing, considering the public knowledge that he and his own father haven’t always had the warmest relationship, as well as Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki’s previous comments that he sees a lot of the younger Miyazaki in Aya/Earwig’s personality. It’ll be interesting to see how all those ideas play out when Aya and the Witch airs on Japanese public TV broadcaster NHK this winter.

Source: NHK
Top image: NHK
Insert images: NHK (1, 2)
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