Last week, Hayao Miyazaki announced he would come out of retirement (again) to direct another film. This is obviously great news for anime fans and film lovers alike. To date, all eleven of Miyazaki’s features have been critically acclaimed and commercially successful.
His most recent feature, 2013’s The Wind Rises, was a bittersweet drama about a man, Jiro Horikoshi, who overcomes his physical limitations to achieve his dream of becoming an aviation legend. About three months after the film’s release, Miyazaki announced his retirement. This was undoubtedly the end of the auteur’s career. So we thought.
When I saw The Wind Rises in theaters, the film’s poetic visuals and gripping (but gentle) story completely engulfed me. The world was absent; Jiro and I alone soared together during those precious two hours.
As the credits rolled, tears sneaked down my face. I have cried during other Studio Ghibli movies, namely Grave of the Fireflies and Whisper of the Heart, but I was surprised by this emotional breakdown. After leaving the theater, I realized I wasn’t crying over the film itself; I lost it knowing I would never again experience a new Miyazaki film.
But here we are, three years later, and the animation master is ready for one more; ready to awe his audiences, inspire the cinema community, and add to his legendary filmography. Though the completed project is roughly 3-5 years away, anything new from Miyazaki is a gift to be cherished for generations to come.