Former Ghilbi Artist Yōjirō Arai Making Directorial Debut!


By Clay Bohle

Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro - Studio Ghibli is synonymous with animated movie magic. Even the nice old lady slinging sweet tea at the corner store in my small Kentucky hometown has heard of these classic Japanese films and knows the name Miyazaki (probably because of me in this particular case...). With Miyazaki retiring, however, the question arises of who will take up the torch in the next generation. Who will champion the Ghibli-style animation and storytelling we have all grown to love? Fortunately, we may have our answer.

Yōjirō Arai, a former Studio Ghibli animator who lent his hand to such Ghibli films as Arriety, From up on Poppy Hill, and The Wind Rises, is set to make his directorial debut. Studio Colorido, who also released Arai’s short film “Control Bear,” will be bringing us Arai’s first animated feature film, Taifu no Noruda, this summer. You can check out a tantalizingly short 15-second teaser below.


It’s hard to tell exactly what the film is about from this teaser, but apparently the story revolves around the two middle school boys in the poster, whose close friendship is in tatters after one quits baseball. To add to the drama, this fractured friendship takes place during the largest recorded typhoon in their island’s history, and there’s also a girl with red eyes skulking about. The artwork is beautiful, and remnant of Arai’s Studio Ghibli legacy. We only hope he is able to capture that Ghibli magic as well.

Taifu no Noruda will get a three-week limited release starting on June 6, 2015. The film also features character design and animation direction by Hiroyasu Ishida and music by Masashi Hamauzu.

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