Studio Ghibli to release Hayao Miyazaki's latest film 'How Do You Live?'  No trailers, no promotional marketing

Studio Ghibli to release Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film ‘How Do You Live?’ No trailers, no promotional marketing

Japan’s Studio Ghibli says it won’t release any trailers or promotional materials before the release of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film How do you live?

The upcoming film, which opens in Japan on July 14, is undoubtedly the most anticipated film to hit Japanese theaters in years – and very little is known about it (the US and overseas release dates for the film have not yet been fixed). Ghibli previously described the film as “a grand fantasy” loosely based on Japanese author Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel How do you live?, a coming-of-age story about a boy’s emotional and philosophical development after his father’s death. And the studio released an obscure poster for the film in December (see it below), but hasn’t said anything else about the film since: no plot summary, no voice cast, nothing about the film’s setting or characters. In an interview with Japanese magazine Bungei Shunji on Friday, Ghibli lead producer Toshio Suzuki, considered Miyazaki’s right-hand man, said he won’t be revealed more about the film before it hits theaters.

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Explaining the absence of markup for the upcoming film, which has already become evident in Japan, Suzuki said, “As part of corporate operations, over the years Ghibli has wanted people to come and see the films we have made. So we thought about it and did a lot of different things for that purpose, but this time we were like, ‘Eh, we don’t need to do that.'”

She added: “Doing the same things you did before, over and over again, gets tired. So we wanted to do something different.

Fans of the legendary anime house, which has long prioritized the pure experience of its works over commercial considerations, will recognize the decision as a very Studio Ghibli-esque move. For years, Ghibli limited the amount of merchandise that could be licensed and made from its characters, out of fear that they might be overexposed and lose some of their magic. And when the company launched its first long-gestating theme park last year, it restricted advanced media access to the park, fearing widespread coverage would make the attraction too popular, which would undermine the gentile appreciation of nature that it was designed to engender for visitors .

In the interview, Suzuki also contrasted Ghibli’s approach to How do you live? with the usual Hollywood marketing methods.

“There’s an American film – ah, I almost said the title out loud! – due out this summer around the same time (as How do you live?),” he said. “They made three trailers and released them one at a time. If you watch all three, you know everything that’s going to happen in that movie. So how do viewers feel about it? There must be people who, after seeing all the trailers, they don’t want to go see the movie.So, I wanted to do the opposite of that.

Suzuki also revealed that it was Miyazaki’s compliment on the first poster that ultimately convinced him to take such a bold and stripped-down approach to releasing the film.

He explained, “I’ve been involved in our films ever since Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), but this was the first time Hayao Miyazaki sincerely praised me. ‘Suzuki-san, that’s amazing. This is the best poster you’ve ever made,” he said. I felt like it was a suggestion, so I decided ‘Let’s just go with this poster for marketing.’ So, no trailers or TV spots… No commercials on After all, I think this is what viewers crave.

The only Studio Ghibli poster for How do you live? and under.

Studio Ghibli to release Hayao Miyazakis latest film How Do |