Following its official premiere in Japan, Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, How Do You Live?, has revealed not only its official cast and staff but confirmation of an English release with a new title. While 2013’s The Wind Rises was marketed as Miyazaki’s final film, in 2016, it was announced that Miyazaki had begun working on a new film which would now serve as his last film, How Do You Live? What’s especially interesting is that according to Anime News Network, Studio Ghibli has deliberately decided to release it without any marketing, so people don’t feel spoiled before even seeing it, with not even the basic story being made public at any point.
All of that has changed following How Do You Live?’s premiere, however, and a lot of information about its production and international release has been revealed. Not only has the cast, staff, and actual story finally been revealed, but following the premiere, it was confirmed for an official English release from G Kids under the title The Boy and the Heron. With the movie only just premiering after being framed as such a mystery for so long, details are still naturally sparse, but this is still plenty noteworthy for being the most that’s ever been revealed about the film since its reveal.
How Do You Live? Releases in English as The Boy and the Heron
With How Do You Live? now being officially released, details on its cast, staff, and story have finally been made public. Soma Santoki makes his anime debut voicing the protagonist Mahito Maki, Takuya Kimura, who voiced Howl in Howl’s Moving Castle, plays his father, Masaki Suda voices the grey heron, Japanese artist Aimyon voices Himi, Kou Shibasaki voices Kiriko, Yoshino Kimura voices Natsuko, Jun Kunimura voices the Parakeet King, and additional characters are voiced by Keiko Takeshita, Jun Fubuki, Sawako Agawa, Karen Takizawa, Shinobu Ōtake, Kaoru Kobayashi, and Shohei Hino. Additionally, Joe Hisaishi once again composes for Studio Ghibli, and Kenshi Yonezu performs the theme song, “Globe”.
As for the story, How Do You Live? follows Mahito Maki in the aftermath of his mother’s death from the firebombings in Tokyo. Still reeling from her death, Mahito’s family moves to the countryside and his father remarries his pregnant maternal aunt, and as Mahito struggles with all of that, he encounters a talking heron who takes him to another world with the promise that he can meet his mother again. Nothing else has been revealed about the story at this time, but this does confirm that How Do You Live? is not an adaptation of the novel by Genzaburo Yoshino and is likely only using similar themes from it.
Everything Known About The Boy and the Heron’s English Release
In addition to staff and story details, details on How Do You Live?’s English release have also been revealed. For its English release, How Do You Live? will be released under the title The Boy and the Heron, likely due to the obscurity of the novel the movie takes inspiration from. A release date hasn’t been confirmed, but at the very least, GKIDS has confirmed that it will be released later this year. More information on How Do You Live?’s English release will likely be revealed in the upcoming months, but for now, it’s still great to have any information at all, especially regarding the plot.