By: Hannah Becker
Merry Christmas, anime fans! On December 13th, Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli announced two new anime films to be released in Japan this upcoming summer by co-founders Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. This sort of dual announcement has not happened since the 1988 announcement of films My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies.
Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke), has already created a Kaze Tachinu 2-part manga mini-series, which his new movie will be working off of. Kaze Tachinu (“the wind has risen”) also will loosely follow a novel of the sametitle by Tatsuo Hori. The anime film is said to follow the life of a historic World War II Zero fighter designer by the name of Jiro Horikoshi. Not only has beloved Miyazaki directed the film, he also wrote the screenplay. It’s been almost five years since Ponyo, Miyazaki’s last masterpiece, so Kaze Tachinu has been long awaited.
Takahata’s new film to be released around the same time, is Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (“The Tale of Princess Kaguya”). The plot will follow a 10th century Japanese folktale, where moon princess Kaguya-hime is discovered in a glowing bamboo plant as a baby. This story has influenced many other anime from Leiji Matsumoto’s Queen Millennia to the series Sailor Moon. Since Takahata’s founding of Studio Ghibli in 1985 with friend and fellow animator Miyazaki, he has created films such as Grave of the Fireflies and Pom Poko.
Both of these upcoming films are sure to have top-notch scores, seeing as Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) is scoring Kaze Tachinu and Shinichiro Ikebe (Future Boy Conan) is doing the Kaguya-hime no Monogatari soundtrack. It’s never too soon to get more anime films from Studio Ghibli, so get excited for two sure-to-be-great features coming out this summer!