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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

There aren’t a lot of Japanese animators with name recognition on this side of the Pacific. We have Hayao Miyazaki — co-founder of Studio Ghibli and director of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, and countless others — and…well, that’s about it. Sure, we can maybe point to Mamoru Hosoda or Makoto Shinkai as others with more universal appeal, but they’re nowhere close to the level of fame as Miyazaki. Despite the high number of talented animator from the Japan, we’re often pretty content to stick to our own brand of animation. As such, it was quite the big deal a few years back when Miyazaki confirmed that The Wind Rises would be his last animated feature.

It was a sad day for animation fans, but The Wind Rises was a fittingly mature note for him to go out on, and hopefully leave the door open for other animators. Well, like John Wick, Miyazaki is back.

In a report from 47News (via ANN), Studio Ghibli produer has sated that Hayao Miyazaki has started prep work on his new feature film. It’s unclear how far along he is in the pre-production process, but according to Suzuki, the filmmaker has shown him the storyboards.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Miyazaki wanting to return. Last November on an NHK special, he expressed his desire to get back to work, but this is the first time since then that we’ve heard an update on how the project is going.

Surprisingly enough, the project he’s working on next is called Boro the Caterpillar. Those who have been following his work likely remember that this is an idea he’s had for some time. In fact, it’s an idea he had before he started work on 1997’s Princess Mononoke. More recently, however, he had set to turn the idea into a CG-animated short for the Ghibli Museum. Unsatisfied with the end product as a short, he opted to turn it into a full feature.

We’ll eagerly wait to see how it all turns out.

Are you looking forward to seeing Miyazaki’s next project? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: 47News (via ANN)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.