This whole year has been spent intermittently being upset about the state of the world and excited about the prospect of a new Hayao Miyazaki movie in the works. After announcing his latest un-retirement in late February, we were left to speculate about what the project would be. I had assumed, as many others had, that it would be a feature-length version of the short he’d been working on, but a new report by The Ashahi Shimbun (via The Mary Sue) tells us it’s not the typical kids fare one might expect.While speaking at Natsume Soseki Memorial Museum at Waseda University in Tokyo, the report says, Miyazaki revealed the title of his new anime as Kimitachi wa Dou Ikiru ka, which translates to “How Do You Live?” or “How Are You Living?” The title comes from the title of a 1937 book by Genzaburo Yoshino, a journalist who “served as the chief editor of Sekai (The world), a progressive monthly magazine, for many years and was an opinion leader in postwar Japan.” Miyazaki went on to say “The film is about how this particular book featured prominently in the protagonistâ€™s life.”Â He also said the movie would take about 3-4 years to complete, so we definitely have something to look forward to…just not any time super soon.This kind of politically resonant storyline is not outside the norm for Studio Ghibli. Isao Takahata‘s masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies took on how war effects children, and his movie Pom Poko was a comedic take on Japan’s dwindling forests and wildlife. Miyazaki himself has dealt with these issues in more fantastical ways, including Princess Mononoke‘s condemnation of demolishing nature, and Spirited Away‘s warning about children forced into work. His most recent (and at one time final) feature film was the somber biopic The Wind Rises which took a look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the Mitsubishi engineer who designed the aircraft eventually used as fighter planes in WWII. While Miyazaki drew criticism of romanticizing the Japanese Empire’s losing effort in that war, he’d done it more as an allegory to one’s creation being perverted by those who own it.It was recently revealed that Miyazaki came out of retirement because of his beloved grandson, and while on the outset a movie about a character’s devotion to a postwar text isn’t all that child-friendly, Miyazaki has a way of making everything feel like a storybook.He also said the movie would take about 3-4 years to complete, so we definitely have something to look forward to…just not any time super soon.
Image: Toho/GKIDS/Studio Ghibli
Enjoy more from the world of animation!
- Our review of gorgeous new anime, and one of the best movies of the year, In This Corner of the World!
- Add several Hayao Miyazaki movies to your Blu-ray collection!
- Why the complete series Blu-ray of Samurai Jack is well worth your time!
[brightcove video_id=”5604861205001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”rJs2ZD8x”]