Without fanfare or PR, Japanese anime master Miyazaki’s final film opens

TOKYO, July 14 (Reuters) – Oscar-winning Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki’s final film opened in Japan on Friday with no trailers, ads or commercials, and early viewers said the lack of information made the experience more exciting. .

Now 82, Miyazaki, known for feature films including the Academy Award-winning „Spirited Away,” called a press conference a decade ago to say he was too tired to make another feature film and was retiring.

But he soon got it back, as he had previous retirement announcements, and after a few short projects „How do you live?” (Kimitachi wa do ikiru ka?), the story of a 15-year-old boy coping with the death of his father.

„I was really excited to see Miyazaki’s film,” said Michiru Miyazato, an 18-year-old student who attended the premiere at a central Tokyo theater.

„Because I didn’t know anything about it beforehand, I was even more excited, and I think it was really cool.”

Like other Miyazaki films from Studio Ghibli, the company he co-founded, it was released just in time for the start of school summer vacations in Japan and features the rough hand-drawn artwork and vivid colors for which Miyazaki has long been known.

But the launch lacks the usual fanfare of events, saturation advertising, trailers and commercial tie-ins. Only one poster, drawn by Miyazaki, was released – and even that was sent to a limited number of theaters.

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„With a complete lack of promotion, I felt like my body could experience everything directly,” said Yumiko Kokubo, a social worker in her 50s.

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki said the strategy stemmed from a desire to do something new.

„A poster and a headline – that’s all we got when we were kids,” he told NHK public television.

„I wanted to imagine what a movie was about and bring that feeling back.”

It is also the first of Miyazaki’s films, including „Princess Mononoke” and „My Neighbor Totoro,” to have an IMAX release.

Although Miyazaki has returned from retirement several times in the past, many believe his age may be real this time.

„I thought his previous film was the last, and then this one was announced – they say it’s the last,” said Renz Takahashi, 24, who works in computer graphics.

„So I was really looking forward to it.”

An overseas release date is yet to be announced.

Report by Elaine Lies; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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