We’re not going to see Hayao Miyazaki’s new anime for another three to four years, producer says

Producer gives tentative timetable while promising Studio Ghibli is doing “things we were never able to do in the past.”

A lot of people in Japan are expecting 2020 to be a very big year. With Tokyo serving as the host city for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the world’s eyes will be on Japan, and a number of construction projects and social initiatives have been launched with 2020 as their target for completion or implementation, such as the remodeling of Tokyo’s iconic Harajuku Station and the acceptance of transgender students to Ochanomizu Women’s University.

But one thing that’s not going to be ready in time for 2020? The new Hayao Miyazaki anime film, at least according to the estimate of veteran Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki.

Last Sunday, Suzuki appeared at an event in Tokyo to commemorate the release of his first non-fiction novel, titled Mianmi no Kuni no Kanyada. Since Suzuki will be forever associated with Ghibli’s animated works, while at the event he was also asked about the status of Miyazaki’s upcoming film How Will You Live?, which marks the director’s second time to come back from retirement. Specifically, he was asked when the movie will be released, to which he replied:

“I’m not exactly sure. In about three or four years. That’s the pace it’s progressing at. We’re taking the production very seriously. We’re doing things we were never able to do in the past. It will be a good film, so please look forward to it.”

That’s a long wait for ravenous Ghibli fans, especially since “three or four years from now” is the same estimate fans were given in October of last year, meaning that it’s possible that the original projection really should have been four to five years. Still, Suzuki’s comment that Studio Ghibli, whose dedication to their craft is second to none, is taking the production seriously is enough to fill any fan’s heart with confidence, and his promise that the studio is doing things they’ve never done before should also be reassuring to any detractors who feel the house that Miyazaki built has become a bit stale in its storytelling.

As for Suzuki’s new novel, it deals with a single mother living in rural Thailand. When asked if there’s any chance of Miyazaki one day directing an anime adaptation, Suzuki laughed and said “There’s no way that’ll happen! I told everyone at the office not to tell him about the book’s existence, because I think he’d say ‘What are you doing not working on the film?’”

The longer wait for How Will You Live? means that the fourth Rebuild of Evangelion movie will be able to enjoy that much more of the spotlight if it makes its announced 2020 release, thus preventing the film from creator Hideaki Anno, one of the few animators Miyazaki has expressed a personal admiration of, from competing with the Ghibli anime. And if you really need some new Miyazaki anime before his feature film finally makes it to theaters, there’s always his new short, Boro the Caterpillar, playing at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo (which also happens to be hiring).

Source: Oricon News via Anime News Network/Rafael Antonio Pineda
Top image ©SoraNews24

Petition to protest bulldozing of Ghibli-featured shrine gathers over 10,000 signatures worldwide

The people have made it clear that they want the shrine to stay, but will that be enough to save it?

Bordering a large park in Tokushima Prefecture on the western tip of Shikoku lies a shrine dedicated to the mischievous tanuki. Though it’s not a very old shrine–it was built in 1956–Kincho Shrine is beloved by the residents of Komatsushima City not only because of its endearing tanuki decorations, but also because of its appearance in the Studio Ghibli anime Pom Poko, directed by the late Isao Takahata.

Instagram Photo

Sadly, Kincho Shrine may soon be bulldozed and turned into a parking lot. It’s part of Hinomine Omiko Park, which Komatsushima City has been planning to demolish and turn into an emergency management facility by 2023. The shrine, which sits on the edge of the park, is apparently in the perfect place for a parking lot, and therefore is also facing the danger of demolition.

When the plans were announced earlier this year, local citizens and fans of Ghibli were outraged that an iconic setting and unique local feature would be destroyed, and a Citizen’s Committee to Protect Kincho Shrine was formed. The first order of business was to create a petition to protect the shrine, the goal of which, the committee chairman said, was “not to protest the plan for redevelopment, but to encourage the city to put its best efforts towards preservation.”

▼ The shrine is also apparently a beautiful place to visit in spring, which makes it even more of a shame if it were to be torn down (red pandas are not known to be native to the area).

Instagram Photo

The petition was conducted both in-person and online. Members of the committee petitioned locals in 36 places around Komatsushima City between April and June and received 3,092 signatures, while an online petition, which had started in March, gathered 7,094 signatures from netizens around the world. In total they were able to collect over 10,000 signatures in support of the shrine.

The committee submitted the petition to the Mayor and City Council Chairman of Komatsushima City on July 31, in hope that the city government would form a committee that would quickly work towards a solution. However, one problem still remains: the shrine rests on private property.

▼ Tanuki statues in Kincho Shrine

Instagram Photo

“The shrine does not belong to the city, and therefore we are not in a place to make a decision regarding it,” said the mayor.

Interestingly, it seems like nobody knows who the owner of the property is, so it is likely that the next step would be to find the owner and begin negotiations with them. Whether or not the city is able to move forward with their plan hinges on the decision of the property owner, so undoubtedly fans and supporters of the shrine are waiting for the outcome with bated breath.

Instagram Photo

Fortunately, several places that inspired Ghibli films are still active and in no danger of demolition in the near future, like Tomonoura, which inspired the setting for Ponyo, and Yakushima Island, the stunning inspiration for Princess Mononoke. If Kincho Shrine does end up demolished, Ghibli fans will certainly mourn its loss, but at least they will still have some wonderful Ghibli places to explore.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News/Tokushima Shimbun
Featured Image:

Anime Spirited Away finds a new way to be beautiful with gorgeous traditional hanafuda card set

The Studio Ghibli classic turns out to be a perfect motif for Japan’s centuries-old “flower cards.”

It really speaks to the talent of Studio Ghibli’s artists that the vast majority of the mystical creatures appearing in its anime films are entirely original creations, yet so aesthetically polished that many viewers assume they must be based on legitimate Japanese folklore. Ghibli’s highly cultivated design sensibilities just seem to immediately mesh with traditional Japanese imagery, and that aesthetic harmony is on display once again in a gorgeous set of hanafuda playing cards featuring the cast of director Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

Hanafuda literally translates as “flower cards,” and the full set of is divided into twelve suits, one for each month of the year and represented with seasonal flora. While this visual variety makes any hanafuda deck beautiful to look at, the Spirited Away set gets extra appeal by including several memorable employees and patrons of the anime’s magical bathhouse. Protagonist Chihiro appears in the April/cherry blossom suit, with Haku auspiciously gracing January/pine. Stern-faced witch Yubaba glowers from one of the December/paulownia cards, and also appears with a more tender expression peering into a cup of sake for September/chrysanthemum (or is that her sister, Zenibaba?). Meanwhile, No-Face hangs out under the bough of a tree for November/willow.

Boh, transformed into a mouse, shows up on one of the June/peony cards.

▼ Each of the 48 cards has some sort of nod to the film, such as Haku, in his dragon form, silhouetted against the moon for August/Japanese pampas grass, or Chihiro’s father stuck as a pig on the same July/bush clover card that traditionally has a wild boar.

If you’ve never played hanafuda before, fear not, as the cards come bundled with bilingual English/Japanese instructions. Even if you never use them for their ostensible purpose, though, the cards make for elegant interior decorations, and at a compact 5.4 centimeters (2.1 inches) long, can be used to spruce up even compact living spaces.

The set, which comes packaged in a hard case, is priced at 3,240 yen (US$29) and can be ordered online from Village Vanguard, Donguri Kyowakoku, or Amazon Japan.

Sources: Village Vanguard, Donguri Kyowakoku
Top image: Donguri Kyowakoku
Insert images: Village Vanguard, Donguri Kyowakoku

New City Hunter anime movie announced, reunites iconic voice cast and director【Video】

Anime’s greatest P.I./mercenary returns 20 years after his series ended.

Last month fans of landmark anime/manga franchise City Hunter were excited to see the photos of its currently-in-production live-action adaptation. Except, there’s a bit of a catch there.

The French film is technically an adaptation of Nicky Larson, the French-localized version of City Hunter. But that doesn’t mean there’s no new and genuine City Hunter content on the horizon, thanks to the surprise announcement of a brand-new City Hunter anime movie.

Eschewing the standard marketing tactic of starting off with a still image piece of concept art, then slowly trickling out bits of concept art for the next few weeks, the producers of the film, currently titled just City Hunter: The Movie, have dropped a fully animated teaser into fans’ ecstatic laps. In another crowd-pleasing move, the series’ core vocal cast is being reunited, with voice actor Akira Kamiya once again providing the unmistakable voice of Ryo. Also returning as Ikura Kazue as Kaori, one of anime’s earliest (and arguably most famous) female characters with the ability to pull a hammer out of hyperspace when she gets mad…

…Harumi Ichiryusai as Tokyo Metropolitan Police detective Saeko

…Tessho Genda as mercenary/cafe worker Umibozu

…and Mami Koyama as Umibozu’s boss and lover Miki.

Also stepping back into the world of City Hunter is director Kenji Kodama, who directed the original City Hunter TV anime and film, as well as a handful of direct-to-video OVAs and one of its TV movies (though not the 1997 or 1999 TV series, which serves as the last installment of the anime beyond a nebulous freebie produced for purchasers of a reprint of the manga). Character designs are by Kumiko Takahashi, animation director for the City Hunter TV series who went on to serve s character designer for Cardcaptor Sakura, Ouran High School Host Club, and Gundam Unicorn. Ryo and company’s appearances in the trailer don’t look too far removed from the designs originally provided by Sachiko Kamimura, however, retaining their long limbs and meticulously styled hairdos (excepting the perpetually bald Umibozu, of course).

▼ The film’s poster

On the audio side, the preview is accompanied by the franchise’s long-standing theme, TM Network’s “Get Wild,” one of the few anime songs outside of children’s series to achieve long-standing, mainstream recognition and popularity in Japan. As the video comes to a close, Ryo, using his “cool guy” voice (as opposed to his “pervy guy” voice) intensely intones “This city needs a guy like me, you know.”

Story-wise, no details are available, though the preview promises plenty of dramatic turning around by the supporting cast. The new City Hunter anime movie is scheduled to open on February 8, but ticket presales start on August 3, with early purchasers getting a replica keychain of the message chalkboard by which clients contact Ryo. Starting ticket sales six months before a movie’s opening date is surprising, but on the other hand, it’s exactly the sort of boldly confident move Ryo himself would approve of.

Sources: Comic Natalie, Jin
Images: YouTube/アニプレックス

Who will reign over the Summer Box Office Charts?

The months of July – August is a strong box office period in Japan as it sees the start of summer vacation and includes the Obon festival holidays. It is also when potential ¥3 billion blockbuster films are released. Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer (released April 13), now on its 15th week at the charts, is currently the year’s top grossing film with ¥8.63 billion.

Giving it compeition is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (released July 14) which opened the Summer Box Office Season massively with 833,190 admissions (¥1.217 billion) and reached the ¥2 billion mark in just 4 days.

Foreign films to be released in the next weeks include Incredibles 2 (August 1), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (August 3) and Ocean’s 8 (August 10). Now we look at the other notable domestic films squeezing in competition for the Summer Box office chart. Arama, what’s on your movie lookout for the Summer?

Pokemon: Everyone’s Story (July 13) – The film opened with solid numbers with 440,242 admissions with ¥500 million, just slightly higher than last year’s Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You! film. It can reach total of ¥3 to ¥3.5 billion, a good sign for the franchise.

Mirai of the Future (July 20) – The animated film from acclaimed director Hosoda Mamoru, widely considered as Miyazaki Hayao’s successor, had large potential blockbuster. Hosoda’s previous blockbusters “The Boy and The Beast” and “Wolf Children” earned more than ¥5 billion and ¥4 billion respectively.

Mirai of the Future opened with ¥400 million on 295,000 admissions. The numbers are strong but it wasn’t the potential breakout film it could be, as it saw a 40% drop from “The Boy and the Beast” (2015). It’s expected to be consistent and can reach total of ¥3 – ¥4 billion.

Bleach (July 20) – The live action film adaptation of Kubo Tite’s popular shonen action manga opened in 328 theaters but only earned ¥135 million from 99,000 admissions, a number worse than Takashi Miike’s live action film “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter I”. Due to a weak opening, reaching the ¥1 billion mark is unlikely. The film came way too late, years after the anime and manga concluded and when the general popularity of the franchise already declined years ago.

Code Blue – Doctor Heli Kinkyuu Kyuumei ~ The Movie (July 27) – Despite the onslaught of a typhoon this weekend, Code Blue is set to deliver the biggest opening for a domestic live-action film in years, and is poised to become a mega blockbuster film. With an estimated Friday opening of 330,000 admissions, the film records an even higher daily opening number than Detective Conan : Zero the Enforcer.

A ¥1 billion opening weekend is possible, but if it doesn’t do so in 2 days, it’s a shoe-in result for its 3- day opening. Only four domestic live-action films have ever debuted above ¥1 billion: Bayside Shakedown: Save the Rainbow Bridge! (2003), Hero (2007), Boys Over Flowers: Final (2008), and Rookies (2009). If it does consistently well over the next weeks, it could give competition for the Yearly box office chart with ¥7- ¥8 billion total in the lookout. Official numbers will be released on Monday, July 30.

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (August 3) – This is an animated movie that was announced in the combined second and third issue of 2018 in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. The film will feature original content that is yet to be seen in the ongoing manga. The first one million audience members to see the movie will receive a volume 0 book containing a special manga by Horikoshi, as well as character profiles and a “secret dialogue” between Horikoshi and Eiichiro Oda.

Gintama 2 (August 17)- The first Gintama film is a box office success with total earnings of ¥3.8 billion. The sequel directed by Fukuda Yuichi, is expected to do well and while a live action sequel can struggle to match it’s predecessor’s success (Gantz, Rurouni Kenshin, Attack on Titan) there are instances where it manages to exceed it (Death Note, Assasination Classroom).

Kensatsugawa no Zainin (August 24) – The film is directed by acclaimed director Harada Masato, whose latest film Sekigahara (2017) earned ¥2.4 billion. Kensatsugawa no Zainin also capitalizes on the box office draws of its lead stars Kimura Takuya and Ninomiya Kazunari. 70,000 advanced movie tickets are made available starting July 7. The film has high box office potential and judging from Harada’s previous films (Sekigahara, The Emperor in August), could also very well be headed for the Japan Academy Awards.

(via Eiga)

The post Who will reign over the Summer Box Office Charts? appeared first on ARAMA! JAPAN.


New Evangelion anime movie teaser trailer appears after six years of waiting【Video】

Creators throw patient fans a jaw-droppingly gorgeous bone.

Whether it’s making mecha skinny, having penguins live in an eternally summery climate, or completely skipping any sort of on-screen resolution to a war between humanity and aliens, Evangelion has always been committed to telling its story on its own terms. That goes for the production schedule of the current Rebuild of Evangelion movies series too, which took two years between its first two installments, stretched that out to a more leisurely three years between parts two and three, and has been dormant for the past six years.

But last week Studio Khara, Eva’s current rights holder, casually let it be known that the fourth, and final, Rebuild of Evangelion film finally has a release date, or a release year, anyway: 2020. It even threw patient fans a bone with a gorgeously animated teaser which played before screenings of new anime film Mirai of the Future, and which has now been released online.

Set to a jazzy backing track and energetic choir vocals, we see mecha pilot Mari Illustrious (who was added to the cast in the first Rebuild film) twirling her war machine above a boundless sea that’s a shade between red and purple, meeting a line of clouds at the horizon with a dazzling blue sky above.

Featuring some jaw-dropping camera movement as both the perspective and mecha rotate wildly, the trailer shows Mari’s Evangelion firing a pair of rifles, attached to arms that seem to have been pulled from another robot entirely.

There’s no indication of what she’s firing at, though. Given Evangelion’s penchant for psychological conflict, there’s just as much chance of a character unleashing massive firepower upon his or her own emotional demons as any physical-entity adversary.

▼ “Take that, unresolved feelings of adolescent loneliness and isolation!”

Virtual lack of any hints to the plot aside, the teaser at least seems to provide a more concrete preview of what to expect in terms of visuals than the final trailer for the third Rebuild movie, which was an (admittedly impressive) CG model of a piano.

Then again, prior to the “piano” trailer, Evangelion 3.0 had a conventionally animated preview…which the creators then decided to completely toss out, including none of its scenes in the film’s final version. So really, it’s too soon to 100-percent believe that even that sequence of Mari spinning through the sky will be in the fourth Rebuild installment, since director Hideaki Anno could just decide to make the whole movie nothing but still shots of melted-ankle Ritsuko. Still, since Evangelion 3.0 came out all the way back in 2012, the teaser’s release means fans have only gotten 3.7 seconds of new Eva animation a year since 2012, so maybe it’s best to just be happy to have anything at all.

Source: YouTube/KING RECORDS via Jin
Images: YouTube/KING RECORDS

Bathtub Cinema on Shibuya rooftop is Tokyo’s coolest stop for outdoor movies this summer

Japan’s first-ever bathtub cinema is set to screen Hollywood blockbusters for three days only.

As Japan sizzles under its hottest summer since record-keeping began in 1880, event organisers around the country are having to come up with creative solutions to entice people outdoors and away from the comfort of their air-conditioned homes this year.

One event which might be able to do just that is Tokyo’s new Bathtub Cinema, the first of its kind in Japan, which is set to pop up at MAG’s Park on the rooftop of the revamped MAGNET by SHIBUYA109 building that overlooks the world-famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing.

This concept of combining films with outdoor bathing first started in London, where outdoor cinema-goers were able to soak in private tubs while enjoying evening drinks with friends.

The event became so popular that it soon grew to include dozens of tubs, designed for either groups or couples, and a bespoke surround-sound system with two screens for the ultimate in cinematic enjoyment.

For the Tokyo event, the MAG’s PARK rooftop area will contain 12 round portable bathtubs which can comfortably seat up to four people.

The event will run for three days only, from 17-19 August, with three Hollywood blockbuster films set to appear on the 220-inch outdoor screen.

▼ Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will screen on 17 August.

©2016 CTMG. All Rights Reserved.

▼ Baby Driver will screen on 18 August.

©2017 TriStar Pictures, Inc. and MRC II Distribution Company L.P. All Rights Reserved

▼  And Spider-Man will screen on 19 August.

© 2002 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | MARVEL and all related character names: © & ™ 2018 MARVEL.

Tickets, which are set to go on sale from 10 a.m. (JST) on 28 July here, are priced at 18,000 yen (US$161.51) per tub. That might sound a bit pricey, but when sharing the cost between four tub-buddies it works out to be 4,500 yen each.

Plus, there’ll be a DJ spinning tunes after each screening, with food and drinks on sale in the rooftop area until closing as well.

According to the organisers, the area will open from 6:30 p.m. each evening, with the films scheduled to start from 7:30 p.m. Drinking, eating and bathing can be enjoyed up until 10:30 p.m., which means you can spend up to four hours in the bathtub — almost as long as a Japanese capybara!

Event Information
MAGNET by SHIBUYA109  MAG’s PARK 7f Roofttop
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jinnan 1-23
Hours: 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 17-19 August 2018

Source, images: Value Press