Famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki is insisting his retirement is for real this time. Given Miyazaki's track record of threatening retirement, the Studio Ghibli announcement, out of the Venice Film Festival, that his latest film, The Wind Rises, would be his last might be met with raised eyebrows. But Miyazaki told reporters at a press conference in Tokyo today that he will indeed not be making any more films.
"I know I've said I would retire many times in the past. Many of you must think, `Once again.' But this time I am quite serious," the 72-year-old Miyazaki said, according to Elaine Kurtenbach and Mari Yamaguchi of the Associated Press. "This will never happen again."
Miyazaki understood why people would be skeptical. His retirement has been a point of discussion since 1997's Princess Mononoke.
Though he still plans to work—he wants to spend time on the Ghibli Museum—he explained that it has become hard for him to work the long hours required to create his hand drawn masterpieces. "You just can't do anything about those problems resulting from aging," he said. His films also take years to complete; Miyazaki estimated, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that he "could be going on 80 by the time I finished another film." Perhaps providing some comfort to his fans, Miyazaki stopped short of saying he'd never draw again. "I won't make any promises, because I might break them," he said.
Miyazaki's latest film, The Wind Rises, is a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, who designed Japanese fighter planes during WWII. Though Miyazaki's famous and completely fantastical films were haunting, there is harsh reality to be confronted in The Wind Rises. "There are visual flights of fancy here as glorious as anything Miyazaki’s studio has created, but the story is rooted in a country trudging towards its own destruction," Robbie Collin of The Telegraph wrote.
You can watch the trailer here: