Celebrated and Award-Winning director and animator of Studio Ghibli has reportedly come out of his retirement at the age of 80 to release another magical fantasy. Hayao Miyazaki has come back into the animation field after announcing his retirement in 2013. And the fans are delighted. Studio Ghibli’s effect on everyone, irrespective of age, gender, and maturity, is something straight out of a fairytale. How Hayao Miyazaki turns everyday events that we overlook into something mundane in life is nothing less than the flick of a wand. Never has a Studio Ghibli movie left anyone disappointed. In fact, you come out of the theatre with a newfound meaning and appreciation for life.
The way Studio Ghibli portrays the little moments in life and the stillness in each frame is yet such a unique trait of Miyazaki. He was once asked why he has so many scenes in his films where the characters are just going about their lives without anything to add to their main story, mundane things like folding laundry or watching the sunset. To this, Miyazaki answered that he wants people to understand that there’s more to life than the big achievements. He said that the stillness in life is what makes us appreciate what is in motion. Apart from making us live in the moment, Miyazaki’s movies have the ability to transport us into magical lands yet make us feel at home.
Studio Ghibli’s most celebrated Director and Animator had announced his retirement back in 2013 after releasing “The Wind Rises.” Miyazaki has returned from his retirement after eight years to release a movie based on a book from 1937. The movie was inspired by the life of a warplane designer, Jiro Horikoshi, during the Second World War. The story was written in hopes of shining some light on the historic events of Japan and its descent into the War.
This is not Miyazaki’s first time coming out of retirement to make another movie. He had once announced his retirement back in the last ’90s and had come back in 2002 to release the Academy Award-winning movie “Spirited Away” in 2002. He had once again “retired” in 2013 and left fans all over the world devastated, only to announce his comeback again in February of 2021. It seems that we won’t be hearing the last of him for a long time. As an artist, the urge and need to create is almost always present. And it turns out that Miyazaki can never sit idle without creating art for too long.
“He needed to create something in order to live, basically,” said Horikoshi’s son.
What Can We Expect from the New Movie?
“How Do You Live?” is a story about a 15-year-old boy from Tokyo who is “small for his age and fond of mischief.” It’s based on Horikoshi’s favorite childhood book by Japanese writer Yoshino Genzaburō. The story revolves around a young boy “Koperu” who has recently lost his father and had to move to live with his Uncle. Koper, whose name is inspired by the great astronomer Copernicus, realizes how much his life has changed. The story revolves around his journey of self-discovery, his views on society and life in general, and how he fits in all of this.
Miyazaki has talked about he finds himself relating to what is not human in the story. Does that mean he relates to a character that is not necessarily a human? Or was he talking metaphorically like how he does through his movies? The only way we can be sure of it is to wait for the movie to be released and to see for it ourselves.
Although the movie’s title is not confirmed to be “How Do You Live,” Horikoshi stated that he’s making the movie because he doesn’t have the answer to the question asked.
Will it be Miyazaki’s Last Movie?
Judging by how Horikoshi has been in the past, and also his immense love for this field, it’s hard to say this will be his last movie. Miyazaki is known for never being able to stick to his plan of retiring. He’s an artist who simply cannot stop working. His workaholic nature has even come in the way of him being able to be a good father. Retirement and Miyazaki are two words that cannot coexist for a long time. Needless to say, whether this is his last movie or not, the world is always ready for a Studio Ghibli Movie.