Hayao Miyazaki’s new film, known internationally as The Boy and the Heron (Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka in Japanese, which translates as How Do You Live?) will be hitting North American theaters on December 8, after already opening in Japan. It’s Miyazaki’s first movie in 10 years, and a number of people think it’s his last. You know who disagrees with this? Apparently, Miyazaki himself.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Eli Glasner spoke with Junichi Nishioka, the vice president of Studio Ghibli, and Nishioka said, “The Boy and the Heron is not [Hayao] Miyazaki’s final film and he is already coming into the office with new ideas.”
According to the CBC, “Other people say that this might be his last film, but he doesn’t feel that way at all. He is currently working on ideas for a new film. He comes into his office every day and does that. This time, he’s not going to announce his retirement at all. He’s continuing working just as he has always done.”
Miyazaki has previously stated intentions to retire, but so far that hasn’t happened. In 2019 he declared that he was ready to retire after The Wind Rises, yet he can’t help working on his art.
Studio Ghibli gave this description for The Boy and the Heron:
A young boy named Mahito
yearning for his mother
ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead.
There, death comes to an end,
and life finds a new beginning.
A semi-autobiographical fantasy
about life, death, and creation,
in tribute to friendship,
from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.
The first trailer for the movie was also released this week. It’s in Japanese with English subtitles, and you can see it here:
Miyazaki will also be receiving the Donostia Award for career achievement from the San Sebastian Film Festival later this month.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.