Studio Ghibli this week announced the first details of its next anime feature. Producer Suzuki Toshio (62) held a press conference at the Tokyo headquarters of the Toho movie studio on Wednesday. He said the movie, scheduled for a summer 2011 release, will be based on Takahashi Chizuru and Sayama Tetsuro’s manga “Kokurikozaka Kara” (photo, left). The project is being overseen by Miyazaki Hayao (69), who also drew the official poster (photo, right), but will be directed by his son Goro (43). It will be just the second project undertaken by the younger Miyazaki, who got mixed reviews for “Gedo Senki” (Tales from Earthsea) in 2006. The theme song for that movie was performed by Teshima Aoi (23), who has been signed up again for the new project.
The original “Kokurikozaka Kara” manga, which appeared in the girl’s magazine “Nakayoshi,” was set in a fictional location in the 1980s, but the movie will take place in a Yokohama high school in 1963. It was the year before the Tokyo Olympics and a period of rapid economic growth in Japan. It was also the year singer Sakamoto Kyu had a huge hit with the song “Ue wo Aruite Arukou” (Sukiyaki), and that optimistic title (literally, “Let’s walk with our heads held high”) was chosen as the catch copy for the new movie.