Miyazaki Rethinks Retirement – The Boy and The Heron Not His Last Movie

To no one’s surprise at this point, Miyazaki has once again reconsidered his retirement plans. A retirement announcement is nothing new for the legendary animation auteur, who has done it at least three times before. However, now the real question should be whether the 83-year-old will ever actually retire.

Miyazaki’s reported last work, The Boy and the Heron, winning the Best Animated Feature, would have been an iconic end to the chapter of his successful career. A gift for his grandchildren to remember him by, the film was supposed to be his last.

However, just like always, when his brain and body recover from exerting themselves after creating a new masterpiece, he conveniently talks himself out of all his retirement plans, which is good news for everyone.

After creating and hand-drawing most of the frames in his own films, Miyazaki is bound to feel the strain, especially at his age. However, when he overcomes the strain, he backtracks on all his retirement plans.

Miyazaki Rethinks Retirement – The Boy and The Heron Not His Last Movie
Academy Award Winner Miyazaki

Susan Napier, a professor at Tufts University, said, “I think he’ll retire when he can no longer hold a pencil.” The author of Miyazakiworld continues, “The man was not made for retirement. His work is the most important thing in his life.”

Roland Kelts, the author of Japanamerica, said, “He literally doesn’t know how to do anything else, and he’s the very best at the one thing he does know how to do.” Referring to Miyazaki, he continues, “He’s a deeply competitive man, which is one of the reasons Ghibli hasn’t been able to or willing to groom a successor.”

Miyazaki was also apparently driven by the desire to beat his competition. Other artists might emerge in light of his “retirement,” but none can fill his shoes, so Miyazaki seems to be in for as long as he sees fit.

In the NHK broadcast documentary, Miyazaki said, “It’s time to create a work by pulling up things hidden deep within myself,” which doesn’t seem like the words of someone planning to give up on their work just yet.

Miyazaki is rumored to be working again and might return with a short animation. According to Studio Ghibli’s vice-president Junichi Nishioka, Miyazaki is already brimming with new ideas to work with. Even if the Academy Award winner doesn’t plan to animate, he will continue writing.

Aaheli Pradhan

Aaheli Pradhan

A grandma by heart who loves to knit, sketch, and swing in parks. Binge-reads a massive amount of manga from psychological to shounen-ai. Either awkward or salty, there's no in-between.


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