It seems like an odd question to ask, but do you remember Studio Ghibli? For a majority of anime and animation fans, that might seem like a ridiculous question. How could anyone possibly forget the studio that made such cinematic classics like Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and I could just keep listing all of their movies since all of them are wonderful (except for Tales of Earthsea and Only Yesterday. Those are kind of bad). But looking back on the company, can you believe that it’s been nearly six years since they released their last film?
Their last feature film, When Marnie Was There, released in Japan in 2014 with a Western release the following year, but we’ve gone more than half a decade without a new Ghibli movie. Back in the day, Ghibli was pumping out quality titles every other year thanks to the incredibly talented animators and directors there, most notably Isao Takahata and Hayao “Anime Was a Mistake” Miyazaki.
While Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki have been working on a new title, How Do You Live?, for what seems like an eternity, Studio Ghibli surprised everyone in their New Year’s address saying that not only are they working on How Do You Live? but also a second, unannounced title. No details were given other than “It exists” and that their Tokyo theme park Ghibli Land is still under construction, but any new Ghibli film is enough cause for celebration. Here is the exact message:
“By the way, the zodiac of 2020 is ‘child’. Rats are a symbol of prosperity because of their fertility and are also said to be the angels of the god of fertility. I hope that the mood of the stagnating society will be renewed and that we will have a year of hope. Studio Ghibli continues to work on two new films. Also, Ghibli Park has started in earnest, so we hope to be able to deliver a lot of excitement again this year.”
With How Do You Live? going through an insane amount of production hell, with rumors circulating that Miyazaki and crew spend about a month to complete a single minute of animation and most likely missing its 2020 release date, which was originally supposed to tie into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, having a second project in the works makes complete sense. It seems ludicrous that Studio Ghibli would be doing nothing for six years, so hopefully that second project is closer to completion and we’ll be able to see it sometime in the near future. I’m a patient man. I will always wait for Ghibli.