Anime News

Hayao Miyazaki’s How Do You Live? Anime Film Only Gets One Poster, No Trailers Says Ghibli President Suzuki

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Phineas T. Barnum once said that “all publicity is good publicity” but according to Studio Ghibli president and How Do You Live? producer Toshio Suzuki, no publicity is also good publicity cause Hayao Miyazaki’s next film – his first in a decade – won’t be getting anything past the original teaser poster.


That’s not to say the news of no trailer hasn’t spread across the world, with outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter and Variety picking up the story from Bungei Shunju’s live stream on June 2.


Previously released poster for How Do You Live?

How Do You Live anime film poster


Suzuki, who recently became the president of Studio Ghibli once again, commented on the live stream about the studio’s plan for marketing How Do You Live?, saying (as translated by The Hollywood Reporter) “As part of company operations, over the years Ghibli has wanted people to come to see the movies we’ve made. So we’ve thought about that and done a lot of different things for that purpose — but this time we were like, ‘Eh, we don’t need to do that.’”


In Japan, this is a huge break in current marketing trends which see a slew of trailers and posters for films to hype them up to audiences with Toho leading the pack in this regard, who are also How Do You Live? in the country. 


While only a teaser poster for the film had been released up to now, it is not uncommon for the final month leading up to a film release to be when it’s fully marketed. The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki’s last film in 2013, only got its first trailer a little over a month before release.


RELATED: Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘How Do You Live’ Anime Film Reveals Poster, Premiere Date


Suzuki went on to explain that Hollywood’s trailers and a comment from Miyazaki supporting the poster prompted the limited marketing plan for How Do You Live?, “There’s an American movie — ah, I almost said the title out loud! — coming out this summer around the same time. They’ve made three trailers for it, and released them one at a time. If you watch all three, you know everything that’s going to happen in that movie. So how do moviegoers feel about that? There must be people, who, after watching all the trailers, don’t want to actually go see the movie. So, I wanted to do the opposite of that.”


He continued, “I’ve been involved with [Ghibli] movies since Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), but this was the first time Hayao Miyazaki genuinely praised me. ‘Suzuki-san, this is amazing. This is the best poster you’ve ever made,’ he said. I felt like that was a hint, so I decided, ‘Let’s go with just this one poster for the marketing.’ So, no trailers or TV commercials at all … No newspaper ads either. Deep down, I think this is what moviegoers latently desire.”


It’s a bold strategy in a post-Your Name theatrical environment where as many eyeballs as possible in advertisements is the mainstay so it’ll be interesting to see if Miyazaki’s and Studio Ghibli’s name alone can carry a film.


How Do You Live? is inspired by the book of the same name by Genzaburo Yoshino, a favorite of Miyazaki. No details of the plot have been released though the film does not follow the book. The film releases in Japan on July 14 and according to Variety, is pre-sold to international distributors, though no international dates have been revealed.


Sources: Bungei Shunju on YouTube via The Hollywood Reporter, Variety


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Daryl Harding is a Senior Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram