The film "The Boy and the Heron" has graced theaters for nearly a month, yet the studio has refrained from revealing even a single glimpse beyond the screen.
It's been almost a month since Hayao Miyazaki's latest anime movie, "The Boy and the Heron" (known as "How Do You Live?" in Japan), premiered. However, Studio Ghibli remains tight-lipped, guarding nearly every aspect of the movie's content, making it an enigma for those who haven't yet witnessed it on the big screen. Devoid of trailers, television ads, or promotional images, the sole insight into the movie's appearance stems from its poster, featuring an enigmatic birdman-like entity.
Nonetheless, Ghibli appears ready to relinquish its hold on potential spoilers, as an official movie program for "The Boy and the Heron" is at last set to be available for purchase.
Typically, significant films in Japan offer a program booklet for sale in cinema lobbies upon their release. These booklets often include screenshots and interviews with cast and crew members. Strangely, Ghibli decided against producing a program when "The Boy and the Heron" premiered on July 14, ostensibly due to producer Toshio Suzuki's aspiration for the audience to approach the viewing experience without preconceived notions.
Naturally, those who have already viewed "The Boy and the Heron" cannot be restrained from discussing the year's most eagerly awaited anime movie. This Friday marks four weeks since the film's debut, likely signaling the end of the air of mystery. Indeed, Friday heralds the release of "The Boy and the Heron's" program.
Much like the anime itself, Ghibli and distributor Toho have provided minimal information about the booklet's contents. It's known that the program comprises 40 pages and is of A4 size (21 x 29.7 centimeters [8.3 x 11.7 inches]). Additionally, Ghibli and Toho emphasize that the program is "full-color," a detail that would hardly be highlighted unless it contained several stills from the film (which, having seen it, I can confirm are stunning). However, the exact contents of the pamphlet remain unconfirmed.
The program for "The Boy and the Heron" will go on sale on August 11, priced at 820 yen (US$5.95). It will be available in the lobbies of Toho theaters screening the movie and can also be preordered online via the Toho Animation and Ghibli Museum stores.