Viz Media’s Studio Ghibli Imprint Releases The Art of The Wind Rises

Viz Media invites animation fans to savor the stunning artwork of The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki’s widely acclaimed fictional biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of Japan’s Zero fighter plane, with the release of THE ART OF THE WIND RISES on April 8, 2014. The brand new hardcover edition from the Studio Ghibli imprint will carry an MSRP of $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN.

The Wind Rises is Miyazaki’s cinematic love letter to the power of flight and the imagination, an examination of the rise of Japan’s military might in the years leading up to the Second World War, and a call for worldwide peace and harmony in the face of destruction. The film has won numerous awards including Best Animated Film from The National Board of Review and The New York Film Critics Circle as well as Best Animated Feature from The Toronto Film Critics Association and The San Francisco Film Critics Circle, among others. THE ART OF THE WIND RISES captures the art of the film, from conception to production, and features in-depth interviews with the filmmakers.

Masumi Washington, Senior Editorial Director, says, “The Wind Rises is an epic story set during an important era in Japan’s history, and we very excited to complement Miyazaki’s landmark film with the release of this wonderfully illustrated new hardcover art book. THE ART OF WIND RISES captures the evolution of the designs and characters that brought this captivating story to life. Join us to celebrate the work of one of the world’s most visionary animation directors with this new release from our Studio Ghibli imprint.”

Viz Media Debuts Hayao Miyazaki’s Turning Point: 1997-2008

Viz Media has announced the release of Turning Point: 1997-2008, an insightful collection of essays, interviews, memoirs, and illustrations from legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki. The new title covers the critical stage in the legendary director’s career when his animated films such as Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo began to garner a significant international audience. TURNING POINT: 1997-2008 will debut as a hardcover edition on April 8, 2014 and will carry an MSRP of $29.99 U.S. / $34.99 CAN.

TURNING POINT: 1997-2008 is the companion second volume to the earlier Miyazaki chronicle, STARTING POINT: 1979-1996, which was originally published by VIZ Media in 2009. This volume examined the first part of Miyazaki’s career, during which he rose from humble beginnings to create the seminal animated features Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind, Castle In The Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Porco Rosso, as well as his launch of Studio Ghibli. A fitting introduction is offered by John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and Walt Disney. VIZ Media will release STARTING POINT: 1979-1996 in a new paperback edition on April 8, 2014 under the Studio Ghibli Library imprint with an MSRP of $16.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN.

TURNING POINT: 1997-2008 follows Hayao Miyazaki as his grand vision continued to mature, cinema-lovers worldwide discovered and embraced his creations, and prominent film critics such as Roger Ebert delivered tremendous acclaim for the director’s films. In his legendary career, these crucial years represent the turning point. In the mid-1990s, Miyazaki moved from success to success as his work found a fervent audience outside of Japan. His animated films of the era, including Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo, were internationally lauded, and Miyazaki won an Academy Award® in 2003 for his film, Spirited Away, which was a commercial and critical hit.

Masumi Washington, Senior Editorial Director, says, “These two memoirs focused on Hayao Miyazaki are extremely insightful and give tribute to the power of animation as an art form. Both STARTING POINT and TURNING POINT offer collections of essays, interviews, and memoirs that go back to the roots of Miyazaki’s childhood, the founding of Studio Ghibli and continues with essays and discussions focusing on some of his most popular films, including Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. A captivating must-read for any anime aficionado or fan of the entrepreneurial spirit, these new books are wonderful tributes to a true visionary’s unending dedication and skill as a master storyteller.”

VIZ Media will also be releasing a stunning full-color hardcover edition, THE ART OF THE WIND RISES, based on Hayao Miyazaki’s latest and final feature film, on April 8, 2014.

GKids to Release The Tale of The Princess Kaguya in North America

GKids has announced that it will be releasing Isao Takahata and Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya anime film in North America in 2014.

GKids has opened a Facebook page for updates concerning the North American release of the film.

The Wind Rises Earns US$871,000 in Third U.S. Weekend

The Box Office Mojo website reports that Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises earned an estimated US$871,000 in 496 American theaters this weekend. It dropped from #13 to #16 in this third weekend in the United States. The Wind Rises‘ per-screen average this weekend is an estimated US$1,756.

The Wind Rises had opened with US$313,751 on 21 screens and then had earned US$1,517,404 on a wider release of 496 screens in its second weekend.

With a grand total of US$3,317,000, The Wind Rises is now #10 at the American box office among anime films of all time. It ranks below Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle (US$4,711,096) and above Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke (US$2,375,308).

Ghibli Co-Founder Toshio Suzuki Retiring as Producer

Producer Toshio Suzuki is voluntarily stepping down from his position at Studio Ghibli, although he will be assuming the new title of “general manager.” Yoshiaki Nishimura will be serving as the producer of Studio Ghibli’s films going forward.

Suzuki co-founded Studio Ghibli with directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and he served as its president. Suzuki stepped down as president in 2008, although he remained as producer for all of Ghibli’s feature films until last year.

Suzuki’s successor Nishimura made his debut as a producer on Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which opened in Japanese theaters in November 2013.

Miyazaki, Suzuki’s colleague for three decades, also retired from making feature films in September 2013. Suzuki made sure to emphasize that his decision to retire was not linked to Miyazaki’s. Instead, he hopes to step aside and boost the new era of Ghibli with “young strength” such as 36-year-old Nishimura and 40-year-old Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

The Wind Rises Wins Japan Academy Prizes for Animation and Music

Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises won the animation category in the 37th Annual Japan Academy Prizes on Friday. The film was competing against The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Captain Harlock, Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part 3: Rebellion, and Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Movie.

Composer Joe Hisaishi’s work on The Wind Rises also won the award for Best Soundtrack.

Viz Media Acquires Two New Studio Ghibli Library Deluxe Editions

Viz Media has announced a Studio Ghibli imprint expansion. The imprint will debut a pair of illustrated hardcover books related to Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki’s celebrated animated film, Princess Mononoke.

The Studio Ghibli Library imprint is exclusively devoted to the work of iconic Japanese film director Hayao Miyazaki and his famed animation studio. The imprint has collected a substantial catalog of full-color art books, film comics, children’s picture books and other releases celebrating Studio Ghibli films such as Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind, and Pocco Rosso.

THE ART OF PRINCESS MONONOKE · MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN
Hardcover Available August 2014

A rerelease of the popular Studio Ghibli art book, featuring an all new translation and presentation. The hardcover edition features insightful interviews, concept sketches, character art and finished animation cels from the critically acclaimed fantasy action film by Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki. Released in 1997, Princess Mononoke was the first Hayao Miyazaki film to break into the American mainstream. The journey from initial idea to the big screen is captured here in stunning detail and also includes a look at Miyazaki’s original concept art and the use of computer graphics technology in the film’s production.

PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY, by Hayao Miyazaki
MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Hardcover Available October 2014

An oversized, lavishly illustrated storybook featuring original watercolor art by legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, this is the original Princess Mononoke story created by Miyazaki in 1980 while he was first conceptualizing the landmark animated film that would later be released to universal acclaim seventeen years later. As an initial version of the tale, it offers a new and different perspective from the final version presented in the film. After a long, exhausting war, a samurai lost in a forest encounters a giant wildcat – a mononoke. The beast saves his life, but at the price of his daughter’s hand in marriage…

Masumi Washington, Senior Editorial Director, says, “These beautiful hardcover editions from the Studio Ghibli imprint are guaranteed to delight serious fans and collectors of the work of Hayao Miyazaki. PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY is an especially noteworthy release as it details the film’s original origin story, interweaved with many of Miyazaki’s own philosophies on the delicate balance that civilization must maintain with nature. Together with the ART OF PRINCESS MONONOKE, these volumes will be a thrilling way to revisit the landmark film and dive into the amazing details and story behind it.”

The Wind Rises Earns US$306,000 on Opening Weekend

The Box Office Mojo website reports that Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises opened in limited release this weekend in 21 theaters with an estimated US$306,000. Those box office receipts gave the film a per-screen average of US$14,571, which is the second highest among all films in the United States this weekend. The highest per-screen average went to Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, which averaged US$15,000 on two screens.

The Wind Rises will get a wide release on February 28, 2014.

Two English Commercials Now Streaming for The Wind Rises

The official channel for Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises is now streaming two English television commercials. The film will open with limited screenings in North America on February 21, 2014, followed by a wide release on February 28, 2014.

I am embedding the two commercials below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the videos due to region blocking.

Hayao Miyazaki Wins Annie Award for Writing The Wind Rises

Hayao Miyazaki won the Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Feature Production for The Wind Rises.

The Wind Rises was competing for Best Animated Feature, but Frozen won the award. In addition, character designer Kitaro Kousaka was nominated for his work on The Wind Rises for Character Animation in a Animated Feature Production, but the award was won by Jakob Jensen for his work on The Croods.