Since Hayao Miyazaki announced in 2016 he was coming out of retirement to follow up The Wind Rises (2013) with How Do You Live?, Studio Ghibli producer and general manager Toshio Suzuki says a team of sixty animators finished thirty-six minutes of film, according to IndieWire. This is compared to Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro (1988), which took eight animators eight months to complete; Suzuki says at one minute of hand-drawn animation per month and twelve minutes’ worth of movie a year, How Do You Live? will be done in three years. It is an adaptation of Yoshino Genzaburo’s 1937 coming-of-age tale.
Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You (2019) is part of the environmental allegory subset of science fiction that is making a comeback in the wake of the devastating climate change which is ravaging the planet as we speak, according to The Atlantic. Shinkai has directed six animated features since 2004, but his Your Name (2016) broke global box office records for anime, grossing more than any domestic release ever in Japan, second only to Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001). Set in a modern Tokyo where it never stops raining, Weathering With You stars an impoverished young writer named Hodaka (Kotaro Daigo) and an orphan named Hina (Nana Mori), who has the power to pray away the clouds while the world ends slowly and imperceptibly around them.