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Ghibli Adapts Kokuriko-Zaka Kara Shōjo Manga (Update 4)

posted on by Egan Loo
Goro Miyazaki to direct Summer 2011 anime about high school girl in 1963

The film journalist hiroo Otaka reported on his Twitter account that Studio Ghibli announced its newest work, Goro Miyazaki's anime adaptation of Chizuru Takahashi and Tetsurō Sayama's Kokuriko-Zaka Kara manga, on Wednesday. The anime will open in Japan next summer.

The story is set in Showa 38 (1963, a year before the Tokyo Olympics) and follows the coming of age of an ordinary, pigtailed high school girl named Komatsuzaki in Yokohama, a harbor city near Tokyo. Her sailor father went missing after an accident, and her photographer mother is frequently going abroad for work. Her family now runs a lodging house. The manga recounts Komatsuzaki's everyday life of "laughter and tears" with two boys — a school newspaper member and the student council president.

Goro Miyazaki is the son of Ghibli's co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki. The younger Miyazaki had previously directed Tales from Earthsea (Gedo Senki). The older Miyazaki is planning the Kokuriko-Zaka Kara film and co-writing its script with Keiko Niwa (Gedo Senki). Satoshi Takebe (theme song arranger on Deltora Quest, Romeo × Juliet, The Story of Fifteen Boys) is composing the music. Ghibli's former president Toshio Suzuki is producing the film as he has for almost every Ghibli project.

The original manga ran in Kodansha's Nakayoshi shōjo magazine in 1980. Studio Ghibli's publishing department and Kadokawa Group Publishing re-issued the manga this past July with a new wraparound jacket band that says that "Hayao Miyazaki recommends this!" Ghibli's sales blurb added that the studio was looking into whether the shōjo manga could be made into a movie.

[Via Livedoor, Uri-Sure Matome R, Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web]

Update: More background information added. The website has opened for the film. Miyazaki had already revealed in Cut magazine's September issue that he co-wrote the script about a girl and "positive" boys for a young director who is not really a rookie. Thanks, toru.

Image © 2011 Chizuru Takahashi, Tetsurō Sayama, GNDHDDT

Update 2: More information from Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web added. Aoi Teshima (Yamaha Music Communications) will perform the theme song. She had previously starred as Theru in Tales from Earthsea, and she had also performed the theme song for that film.

Update 3: Suzuki had previously revealed "The Five-Year Plan for the Management of Studio Ghibli" at the end of last year, after Miyazaki presented part of the plan to the Ghibli production staff in November of that year. The first three years are devoted to works by young creators, while the last two years will be devoted to the production of "epics."

The first work was this year's Karigurashi no Arrietty from first-time director Hiromasa Yonebayashi. The second work is Kokuriko-Zaka Kara, with which Suzuki says that Goro Miyazaki will demonstrate his "true worth" since his first film involved "beginner's luck."

Suzuki did not specifically say if there will be a third work by a young creator next year, nor how many "epics" will be made in the last two years of the five-year plan. Suzuki did say that Kokuriko-Zaka Kara is in the final stage of storyboarding.

Source: Eiga.com

Update 4: Suzuki revealed in an interview with Kadokawa's Anime NewType Channel that designer Katsuya Kondo (Kiki's Delivery Service, Like the Clouds, Like the Wind, Ocean Waves, Twilight Q) is handling the characters in the new film. [Via tsk06]

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