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Hayao Miyazaki’s Final Movie Has a New English Title, Will Release in NA This Year

The final Hayao Miyazaki movie at Studio Ghibli, previously known as How Do You Live, gets an official English name & North America release - The Boy and the Heron

It takes a lot of clout and bravery to release a film without literally any marketing at all, but if anyone was going to pull it off on word of mouth and a single poster, it’s probably legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. That’s what he’s been doing for the past few months with his film known in Japan as How Do You Live?, which finally released in theaters there today. Well, we still don’t have any new images for the movie, but at least now the allegedly final Hayao Miyazaki movie has an official English name, The Boy and the Heron, and a confirmation that it will come to theaters in North America later in 2023.

And… that is pretty much all Studio Ghibli wants us to know. GKIDS has acquired the rights to distribute The Boy and the Heron in the U.S., as it does with almost every major anime out there, and that’s the title they’ve given it. And they’re keeping mum on the marketing as well, for whenever it is it releases. Since the film did release in Japan today, information is now out there if you go explicitly looking for it in reviews, but if you want to go in blind like Miyazaki would prefer everyone to, then don’t read any of that.

As has been previously reported, How Do You Live? is said to be an adaptation of Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 YA book of the same Japanese name. It tells the story of a teenage boy who goes on a journey of discovery with the help of his uncle’s journal, eventually growing and learning about the meaning of life. It’s not clear, however, just how closely the film hews to that book and whether or not the film will feature an actual heron or even what the heck is going on in the movie’s poster. The film returns Studio Ghibli to its hand-drawn animation roots, but we haven’t seen a single frame of art from it. It is an almost entirely unprecedented release in modern cinema and a striking way to go out for Miyazaki.

That is, of course, if this is truly the final Hayao Miyazaki movie. The director has retired a few times now and keeps returning to deliver again, but he’s currently 82.

About the author

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a News Writer and film aficionado at Escapist. He has been writing for Escapist for nearly five years and has nearly 20 years of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and video games for both print and online outlets. He has a degree in Film from Vassar College and a degree in gaming from growing up in the '80s and '90s. He runs the website and has written for The Washington Post, Destructoid, MTV, and more. He will gladly talk your ear off about horror, Marvel, Stallone, James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.