The Boy and Heron has been in theaters for almost a month, but the studio still hasn’t shown a single scene off the screen.

It’s been almost a month since the premiere of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest anime movie, The Boy and the Heron (titled How Do You Live? in Japan) but Studio Ghibli is still keeping almost every single detail about the movie under wraps for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it in the theater. With no trailer, TV commercials, or promotional stills, the only hint of what the movie looks like comes from its poster, which features a mysterious birdman-looking creature.

But it seems that Ghibli is ready to loosen its grip on potential spoilers, as an official movie program for The Boy and the Heron is finally going on sale.

Ordinarily, major movies in Japan have a program booklet available for purchase in theater lobbies as soon as they start screening, filled with screenshots plus interviews with members of the cast and crew. Ghibli made the surprising decision to not release a program when The Boy and the Heron premiered on July 14, ostensibly as part of producer Toshio Suzuki’s desire for audiences to go into the viewing experience with no preconceived notions about what they’re about to see.

Of course, you can’t keep people who already have seen The Boy and the Heron from talking about the most highly anticipated anime movie of the year, and this Friday will mark four weeks since the movie’s release. That’s probably about as long as you can reasonably expect the aura of mystery to last, and sure enough, Friday is when the The Boy and the Heron’s program will go on sale.

As with the anime itself Ghibli and distributor Toho aren’t giving a ton of details about what’s in the booklet. What we do know is that the program is 40 pages and A4-size (21 x 29.7 centimeters [8.3 x 11.7 inches]). In addition, Ghibli and Toho specify that it’s a “full-color” program, which doesn’t seem like something they’d bother mentioning as a sales point unless the program contains at least a few stills from the movie (which, having seen it, I can assure you is gorgeous), although there’s currently no confirmation as to the pamphlet’s exact contents.

The Boy and the Heron program goes on sale August 11, priced at 820 yen (US$5.95). It’ll be available in the lobby of Toho theaters playing the movie, and can also be preordered online now through the Toho Animation and Ghibli Museum stores (here and here).

Source: Toho via Otakomu
Top image: Studio Ghibli
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