Hayao Miyazaki released an official statement to the media September 6 on his reasoning behind his previously announced retirement. While he says that he intends to keep working in various capacities for the next decade, he won't return to the directing chair. The production period on his films continues to increase -- his current film, "The Wind Rises," took five years to make -- and at that rate, he points out, "the studio can't survive."
He says that if he had any intention of changing his working style, which calls for him to take a pencil to thousands of drawings per film, he would have "come up with a better method... long before this."
While he's mentioned the possibility of retirement before, he made it clear that he's "really serious this time... My era of animation is over." He said that he would neither script, supervise nor involve himself with future Studio Ghibli projects.
Miyazaki fans can take heart that "The Wind Rises," a fictionalized biopic of "Zero" fighter designer Jiro Horikoshi, is playing to good reviews on the fall festival circuit, and an awards season campaign is planned by Disney, who will distribute in North America. So we can delay our goodbye to this great filmmaker for a little while longer.
Check out our TOH! ranking of the Top Ten Studio Ghibli films, many directed by Miyazaki, here.
A review roundup of "The Wind Rises" is after the jump. Check out the trailer here.