Game & Anime

Release Date for Studio Ghibli’s Latest Miyazaki Film “How Do You Live?” Finally Announced in Japan

Ghibli’s beloved director Miyazaki has come out of retirement for this new animated feature, which finally has a set release date!

The world has been waiting for 10 years for a new Miyazaki film, and we can thank our lucky stars and Studio Ghibli, because we’re finally getting one. As Studio Ghibli’s most famous director, Hayao Miyazaki is known for his work creating hits like My Neighbor TotoroSpirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and so many more, but with the release of The Wind Rises back in 2013, the legendary animator officially announced his retirement from the world of animation. He was stepping down from his active job working on Studio Ghibli’s biggest films, and leaving the work to successors, including his son Goro Miyazaki. However, it didn’t take long for that “retirement” plan to fall by the wayside, and by 2016, the elder Miyazaki was back at his old job, beginning development for a new full-length feature film. The result is “How Do You Live?” (君たちはどう生きるか), which will finally premiere in Japan on July 14, 2023.

Image Source: Toho

“How Do You Live?” is based on the 1937 novel of the same name by early 20th-century author Yoshino Genzaburo (in turn based on work by Yuzo Yamamoto), which follows a 15-year-old boy as he finds his way in the world and mulls over the deep questions of how we all live together, and how we should live. The final story, written and adapted by Miyazaki himself, is apparently more loosely inspired by the book than a faithful adaption, which shouldn’t really surprise Ghibli fans. (Readers of the original Howl’s Moving Castle novel will know that this loose adaption style is a common strategy for the director.) The final result, according to Studio Ghibli producer and executive Toshio Suzuki, is a “big, fantastical story” with a final runtime of just over two hours, that took a team of 60 animators years to draw by hand.

With Miyazaki getting up there in years (81 years at the end of 2022), his Studio Ghibli legacy has clearly been on his mind, which might have contributed in part to some of Ghibli’s bigger plans in recent years, like the large-scale Ghibli Park theme park that finally opened near Nagoya earlier this year. When it comes to this new film work, Toshio Suzuki has mentioned in interviews that “How Do You Live?” is meant to be something of a parting gift from Miyazaki, particularly for his own grandson, as something to remember his grandfather by. The famed animator and director is hoping to leave behind one last story to round out his legacy as he faces not just the end of a long career, but eventually the end of a long life as well. By the July 2023 release date, “How Do You Live?” will be seven years in the making, and Ghibli fans are sure to be both overjoyed and tearful as they finally get to see Hayao Miyazaki’s final project in theaters next summer. It will be the end of an era.

▷ Check out the first glimpses from inside the (mostly) finished Ghibli Park!

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