Hayao Miyazaki’s new film How Do You Live? will come to cinemas in 2023

Japanese theaters will get the anime master's latest in June.


Charles Bramesco


Most of the world had accepted that the Japanese animation great Hayao Miyazaki hung up his stylus after his last feature The Wind Rises, and resigned ourselves to a future of smiling and nodding politely through the films of his son Goro. But life is long and full of surprises, and what is the corpus of Studio Ghibli about if not the sudden, unexpected appearance of the miraculous?

All of which is to say that it turns out Miyazaki’s got another one in him. Today brings the once-feared-impossible news that the master will return for another feature-length animated film, titled in English as How Do You Live? Not too much is known about the project at present, but the simple fact of its existence is what really counts, and Japanese moviegoers will be able to report back by the theatrical run in July if a bow at Cannes isn’t in the works.

Promoted with a poster of a bird that may or may not have an eye coming out of its mouth beneath a pair of fake eyes, the film will loosely adapt Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel of the same name, though the book is also known and cherished by the unspecified protagonist of Miyazaki’s script. In the novel, a fifteen-year-old boy named after Copernicus embarks upon an odyssey of philosophical inquiry through prewar Tokyo, using “his discoveries about the heavens, earth and human nature to determine the best way to live,” per an official synopsis.

The hand-drawn poster suggests that Miyazaki may employ his signature animation style once again, but reports of various non-starters over the years have hinted at the filmmaker exploring the computer animation techniques he’s previously claimed to deplore. At eighty-one years old, he could still be full of surprises.

It’s been a decade since the last new work from Miyazaki, and it seems likely that this avian-themed film will be his swan song. If that’s the case, we should just consider ourselves lucky to have one last chance to enter his tranquil, devastating universe.

Published 13 Dec 2022

Tags: Hayao Miyazaki Studio Ghibli

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