Some people have a hard time adjusting to life after retirement. Whether it’s the stockbroker who can’t stop checking the market reports or the English teacher who feels the need to correct his grandchildren’s grammar, sometimes old habits die hard.
Maybe that’s why even after announcing his retirement from making feature films, anime legend Hayao Miyazaki has been making frequent visits to Studio Ghibli, the production house where he served as director for so many years.
And by frequent visits, we mean that the guy is there every single day.
Along with Miyazaki, veteran producer Toshio Suzuki was one of the founding members of Studio Ghibli. Now 65 years old, Suzuki is in the process of transitioning to a less hands-on role with the studio, but is still co-producing its newest film, When Marnie Was There, which is set to premier this month.
Suzuki recently made an appearance at a cross-promotional event for the new movie, this summer’s two Tokyo-area Ghibli art exhibitions, and cellphone service provider au. While there, he mentioned that despite announcing his retirement from film last September, Miyazaki can still be seen around the Ghibli offices each day.
“I really wish he’d stop showing up,” Suzuki said with a laugh.
▼ You’d think the guy responsible for this scene would be able to relax a little.
Still, Miyazaki only said he was finished making full-length movies. He never said he was going to stop working per-se,and we know he’s penning some sort of historical manga. Maybe hanging around Ghibli, where he was the driving force behind so many hits, just gets his creative juices flowing? It’s not that he comes in and acts like he’s still running the place or anything, right?
Actually, he does. Miyazaki may have a host of incredible talents, but keeping his opinions to himself clearly isn’t one of them. According to Suzuki:
“He says he’s going to leave the young staff members to their work, and not tell them what to do, but in reality, right after he gets to the studio, he’s dishing out orders.”
Suzuki himself seems to have a bit more faith in Ghibli’s new generation, as he praised Marnie director Hiromasa Yonebayashi and co-producer Yoshiaki Nishimura for their artistic and technical talents. “Considering their careers are only half as long as those of Miyazaki and [Grave of the Fireflies director] Isao Takahata, they’ve done a really great job.”
Still, all the animation fans who aren’t quite ready for a completely Miyazaki-free Ghibli will probably rest easier knowing that Miyazaki himself apparently isn’t either.