Friday saw the highly anticipated release of the last film – How Do You Live – by renowned animation director Hayao Miyazaki in Japanese cinemas.
Miyazak is not only known by anime lovers but also beloved by artists for creating a balance of fantasy and realism in his unique style of animation.
He founded Studio Ghibli with late director Isao Takahata, and went on to create three of Japan’s 10 highest grossing films, namely: Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.
Miyazaki wrote the plot of his latest and sadly his last film, How Do You Live, which takes its name from the 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino. The plot was kept under wraps until the film’s release on Friday.
The movie takes place in Japan during World War II and follows a young boy named Mahito whose mother dies in a fire. His father remarries his late wife’s younger sister Natsuko and moves his family to her large ancestral home in the countryside.
Mahito discovers a mysterious tower in the house – that he is warned not to enter.
Mahito later sees Natsuko disappears into the tower, and follows her in because he thinks his mother is in the tower. Once inside, he is transported to a magical alternate world, where he meets new friends and foes alike.
Thematically, in How Do You Live, Miyazaki has once again created a coming of age story in which a child must learn to put others ahead of his own selfish desires.
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