As fans of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli eagerly anticipate the upcoming release of the film “How Do You Live?” (Japanese: 君たちはどう生きるか, Hepburn: Kimitachi wa Dō Ikiru ka), we delve into the journey of this extraordinary animation project.
A New Story Unfolds
The film, while bearing the same name as the 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino, spins an original tale that’s not connected to the novel’s storyline. Described as a “big fantastical film,” “How Do You Live?” follows the psychological growth of a teenage boy as he interacts with his friends and uncle.
The Return of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli
Perhaps what makes this film truly special is its place in Hayao Miyazaki’s illustrious career. After announcing his retirement in 2013, Miyazaki surprised fans by deciding to helm another project, commencing work in July 2016. The result? Studio Ghibli, the cherished animation studio known for producing many of Miyazaki’s past masterpieces, reopened its doors to this new endeavor.
A Cinematic Farewell
Fans should brace themselves for a cinematic goodbye from the master animator, as “How Do You Live?” is set to be Miyazaki’s final film. More than just a farewell, the film serves as a heartfelt parting gift to his grandson, encapsulating Miyazaki’s legacy as he steps into the “next world”.
The Journey of Creation
The journey towards the film’s completion has been an intriguing one. With an animation style rooted in hand-drawing, the production process understandably took time. Miyazaki’s creation pace, once ten minutes of animation per month, had dwindled to one minute per month during the production of this film1. Despite the challenges, the production team announced in December 2020 that they were halfway through, with COVID-19 work-from-home restrictions unexpectedly speeding up the process.
Mark your calendars, as the film is scheduled to premiere in Japan on July 14, 2023, distributed by Toho12. For fans outside Japan, stay tuned, as the dates for the worldwide release are yet to be announced. In a break from traditional practices, the release is set to occur without a conventional marketing campaign. Fans will not see any trailers or images prior to the film’s premiere, apart from a single teaser poster1.
A result of the combined efforts of Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Nippon Television Network (NTV), and Studio Ghibli, the film promises a runtime of 2 hours and 5 minutes, with a Dolby Digital sound mix and an aspect ratio of 1.85 : 1 .
Anticipating a Masterpiece
As we count down to the release of “How Do You Live?”, we can’t help but reflect on the remarkable journey of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. While the film marks the end of an era, it also stands as a testament to Miyazaki’s enduring legacy and the magic of hand-drawn animation. We can’t wait to see what “How Do You Live?” has in store for us!